Michael Fremer Rated 10/11 Music, 9/11 Sonics!
As part of the celebrations for John Lennon's 80th birthday his most vital and best loved solo recordings have been completely remixed from scratch for a new collection: The definitive new best of John Lennon - 36 tracks on four 180-gram LPs completely remixed from the original master tapes, giving these classic songs a new life for generations to come and sounding better than ever before. Lift-off lid box contains 4LPs, 8 page booklet, fold-out double-sided poster, 2 post cards and GIMME SOME TRUTH. bumper sticker.
In everything he did, John Lennon spoke his truth and questioned the truth. An incomparable and uncompromising artist who strove for honesty and directness in his music, he laid bare his heart, mind and soul in his songs, seeing them as snapshots of his current emotions, thoughts and world view.
Believing the one quality demanded of himself as an artist was to be completely honest, he did not disguise what he had to say or conform his messages to be more in line with what he felt others thought they should be. Love, heartbreak, peace, politics, truth, lies, the media, racism, feminism, religion, mental well-being, marriage, fatherhood - he sang about it all, and one just needs to listen to the songs of John Lennon to know how he felt, what he cherished, what he believed in, and what he stood for.
On October 9th, 2020, John Lennon's 80th Birthday, in celebration of his remarkable life, a collection of some of the most vital and best loved songs from his solo career will be released via Capitol/UMe as a suite of beautifully presented collections, titled GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES.
Executive Produced by Yoko Ono Lennon and Produced by Sean Ono Lennon, these thirty-six songs, handpicked by Yoko and Sean, have all been completely remixed from scratch, radically upgrading their sonic quality and presenting them as a never-before-heard Ultimate Listening Experience.
Mixed and engineered by multi GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks, who also helmed the mixes for 2018's universally acclaimed Imagine - The Ultimate Collection series, with assistance by engineer Sam Gannon who also worked on that release, the songs were completely remixed from scratch, using brand new transfers of the original multi-tracks, cleaned up to the highest possible sonic quality.
After weeks of painstaking preparation, the final mixes and effects were completed using only vintage analog equipment and effects at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles (formerly A&M Studios, where John had recorded some of the Rock 'n' Roll album), and then mastered in analog at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton in order to ensure the most beautiful and authentic sound quality possible.
The album cover features a rarely-seen striking black and white profile portrait of John Lennon, taken on the day John returned his MBE in "protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigerian-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and Cold Turkey slipping down the charts."
The album cover and LP booklet and typographic artworks were designed by Jonathan Barnbrook who created the covers for David Bowie's albums Heathen, Reality and The Next Day and won a GRAMMY® Award for the packaging of Bowie's Black Star album.
GIMME SOME TRUTH. traces the arc of Lennon's post-Beatles life and career, bringing together songs from all of his revered solo albums including John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970), Imagine (1971), Some Time In New York City (1972), Mind Games (1973), Walls And Bridges (1974), Rock 'n' Roll (1975), Double Fantasy (1980) and 1984's posthumous Milk And Honey.
The collection is bookended with his early non-album singles, kicking off with the one-two punch of "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)", Lennon's exuberant exhortation about the karmic forces of action/reaction and equality ("we all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun") and the electrifying addiction-themed "Cold Turkey", culminating with the holiday classic "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" and the anti-war protest anthem "Give Peace A Chance", with its ubiquitous, titular call to action: "All we are saying is Give Peace A Chance."
Sequenced in chronological order by album they were released on, songs on the 36-track version include all of Lennon's biggest hits and showcase his thoughts, beliefs and convictions about everything from peace ("Imagine", "Give Peace A Chance", "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"), religion ("God"), politics ("Power To The People", "Working Class Hero"), lying politicians ("Gimme Some Truth"), racism ("Angela"), equality ("Woman"), love and marriage ("Love", "Oh Yoko!", "Dear Yoko", "Mind Games", "Out The Blue", "Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him", "Grow Old With Me"), fatherhood ("Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"), loneliness ("Isolation") and much more.
Some of the many other highlights include the sonically sumptuous "Jealous Guy" and "#9 Dream", the acerbic "How Do You Sleep?", the breezy, carefree "Watching The Wheels", a rollicking live recording of "Come Together" that he had originally recorded with The Beatles, the rapturous Elton John collaboration "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night", and the jubilant, bittersweet "I'm Stepping Out".
When listened to in sequence, GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES. plays both like one of the greatest-ever live Lennon concerts and an emotional telling of his life story, from just after the breakup of The Beatles, to falling in love and marrying Yoko, his peace activism, personal soul-searching, inspiration, celebration, confusion, reunion, fatherhood, his five-year break from music while raising Sean, and his triumphant return into the '80s with two new albums. Throughout these incredible, timeless songs we experience the many facets of John Lennon: the songwriter, the revolutionary, the musician, the husband, the truth-teller, the dad, the provocateur, the peace activist, the artist, the icon.
"Lennon the great rock and roll singer, Lennon the tender romantic, Lennon the skilled melodist, Lennon the angry kid, Lennon the amateur psychiatrist, Lennon the uncompromising idealist, Lennon the leftist 'community organizer', Lennon the self-centered, Lennon the singing my personal love sentiments to the world, and Lennon the great guitarist and producer are all represented here, artfully condensed down from the classic albums and the failures into a powerful summation of an artist whose contributions to our Boomer lives and generations beyond cannot be overstated. How lucky we were/are to have him come along when he did. How sad he left so early." - Michael Fremer, Analog Planet, Music 10/11, Sound 9/11
These mixes exude intimacy in ways the cooler originals missed (yes they were AAA but many were also from the coke era) and while I usually object to mix uniformity from originals that were all very different, it works well here.
- 180g Vinyl
- 4LP Box Set
- 36 tracks
- The Ultimate Remixes
- Remixed from the original master tapes
- Mixed & engineered by Paul Hicks and Sam Gannon
- Final mixes completed using only vintage analog equipment and effects at Henson Recording Studios
- Mastered in analog by Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios
- Executive Produced by Yoko Ono Lennon
- Produced by Sean Ono Lennon
- Songs handpicked by Yoko and Sean
- Box with lift-off lid
- 2 gatefold jackets
- 2 postcards
- 8-page booklet filled with photos and a replica of Lennon's letter to the Queen of England in 1969 when he returned his MBE
- Fold-out double-sided poster
- GIMME SOME TRUTH. bumper sticker
- Album cover, booklet & typographic artworks designed by Jonathan Barnbrook
- Made in the Czech Republic
- Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
- Cold Turkey
- Working Class Hero
- Power To The People
- Jealous Guy
- Gimme Some Truth
- Oh My Love
- How Do You Sleep?
- Oh Yoko!
- Come Together [Live / Ultimate Mix]
- Mind Games
- Out The Blue
- I Know (I Know)
- Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
- Bless You
- #9 Dream
- Steel And Glass
- Stand By Me
- Angel Baby
- (Just Like) Starting Over
- I'm Losing You
- Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
- Watching The Wheels
- Dear Yoko
- Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him
- Nobody Told Me
- I'm Stepping Out
- Grow Old With Me
- Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
- Give Peace A Chance