Eight of John Lennon’s solo albums and other recordings have been digitally remastered and will be re-released in October to celebrate his 70th birthday on Oct. 9, Capitol Records/EMI announced Tuesday.
The reissue project, overseen by Yoko Ono, is called “Gimme Some Truth” and will be launched on Oct. 4 in most of the world and Oct. 5 in North America with the release of eight remastered studio albums and several new titles.
The highlight will be the re-release of “Double Fantasy” in a newly remixed 2-CD set with a new “stripped down” version remixed and produced by Yoko Ono and Jack Douglas, who co-produced the original mix with John Lennon. The release will pair the new version with Lennon’s original remastered mix. News of the project had been floating around for some time.
“‘Double Fantasy Stripped Down’ really allows us to focus our attention on John’s amazing vocals. Technology has advanced so much that, conversely, I wanted to use new techniques to really frame these amazing songs and John’s voice as simply as possible. By stripping down some of the instrumentation the power of the songs shines through with an enhanced clarity. ‘Double Fantasy Stripped Down’ will be complemented by the original album in the 2CD format. It was whilst working on the new version of this album that I was hit hardest emotionally, as this was the last album John released before his passing,” Ono said.
Also announced for release: a hits compilation in two editions titled “Power To The People: The Hits”; a 4-CD set of themed discs titled “Gimme Some Truth”; and a 11CD collectors box with the remastered albums, rarities, and non-album singles, titled “The John Lennon Signature Box”. All of the remastered albums and collections will be available on CD and for download purchase from all the major digital download services.
Also being reissued are the Lennon albums “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 Stripped Down” (2010) / “Double Fantasy” (1980) and “Milk and Honey” (1984).
The albums have been digitally remastered from Lennon’s original mixes by Yoko Ono and a team of engineers led by Allan Rouse at EMI Music’s Abbey Road Studios in London and by George Marino at Avatar Studios in New York. All of the remastered titles will be packaged in digisleeves with replicated original album art and booklets with photos and new liner notes by noted British music journalist Paul Du Noyer, according to EMI/Capitol Records.
“Power To The People: The Hits” gathers 15 of Lennon’s songs, and will be available as a 15-track single-disc and digital package, and as an Experience Edition with additional content. Both versions will be packaged in digisleeves with booklets including a new liner note essay by Du Noyer.
“Gimme Some Truth,” which will be packaged in a slipcase with rare photos and a new liner notes essays by American music journalist and author Anthony DeCurtis, presents 72 of Lennon’s solo recordings on four themed CDs: “Roots” – John’s rock ‘n’ roll roots and influences; “Working Class Hero” – John’s socio-political songs; “Woman” – John’s love songs and “Borrowed Time” – John’s songs about life.
The “John Lennon Signature Box” is a deluxe 11-CD and digital collection of the eight remastered albums, a disc of rare and previously unreleased recordings, and an EP of Lennon’s non-album singles. The CDs will be housed in digisleeves within a deluxe box including a collectible limited edition John Lennon art print and a hardbound book featuring rare photos, artwork, collages, poetry, and new liner notes by DeCurtis.
“In this very special year, which would have seen my husband and life partner John reach the age of 70, I hope that this remastering / reissue programme will help bring his incredible music to a whole new audience. By remastering 121 tracks spanning his solo career, I hope also that those who are already familiar with John’s work will find renewed inspiration from his incredible gifts as a songwriter, musician and vocalist and from his power as a commentator on the human condition. His lyrics are as relevant today as they were when they were first written and I can think of no more apposite title for this campaign than those simple yet direct words ‘Gimme Some Truth’,” Yoko Ono said in a statement.
Announcements of updates and additional events to celebrate Lennon’s birthday will be at John Lennon’s website www.johnlennon.com.