Bagism: Albums & Singles

Reviews: Imagine


"Imagine" was John Lennon's second major release apart from the Beatles. Released on Sept. 9, 1971 (US) and Oct. 8, 1971 (UK), it has remained John's most commercially successful album. It was recorded primarily in John's home studio which turned out to be the last time he would ever record in England.

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Rating: 5.0
Aug 17, 2007
Lennon666
This album is a vey moving & touching album in which John is expressing his view of what the world should & can be like. I agree with John on so many things. Especially this album messege that there can be peace if we try to make it happen. Also, if we want peace killing is not the way to get it.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 14, 2007
Paul Panetta
I bought this album in Early 1972,(I know it came out in 1971)and I played this album thru. Usually there's albums or even movies that you get and you have to view it or in this case listen to a few times,cause you might think it's not that bad as I thought.As I mentioned, I played this album thru ONCE,I considered it that this would be John Lennon's album that he would be remembered by or to be idenified with. And it's true today.This could be one of the best albums of the 1970's!My small gripe is the song,I DONT WANT TO BE A SOLDIER MAMA,That kind of reminded me of I want you( she so heavy) off the Abbey Road Lp,you know just repeating itself and can't find that ending? All in All, A creative masterpiece,and the old story goes,if you were on a desert island with a great stereo system,this is one of the albums you should have while your marooned!

Rating: 5.0
Jun 16, 2007
anonomus
Well the first time I heard this song i felt like singing it so Ifound the lyraks and i sang along it let me feel like there was hope in this world

Rating: 5.0
Jun 2, 2007
Navid
His music made me see the living & the world on a different view...

Rating: 5.0
Apr 21, 2007
Philippe
This is it, THE Imagine album, the milestone John took a fortnight to record.It's a pop/rock album, unlike the previous one, and thus it sold much more. But we encounter the same qualities : great songs, great voice + this time a lush production and an anthem.What to say about the song "Imagine"? It's pure magic, timeless and eternal. This album is very varied,from the Boogie-blues of "It's so hard" to the delicate "Oh my love" and "Jealous guy".On "Gimme some truth", Lennon spits the lyrics out like burning venom, an impressing performance."Oh Yoko" could have been a successful single and "How" is enchanting."How do you sleep" is majestuously cunning and vicious, but what one feels after listening to this masterpiece is how various it sounds.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 8, 2007
Frank
Well if it's 1971 and you hear this ablum, you may not feel all that bad that the Beatles broke up. This is a an excellent album. Who needs the other three? Even if they were together, I don't feel they could make a better album than this one. Paul McCartney's Ram album has nothing. What did he learn in all those years? Obviously not much. Then George Harrison does not make an album in 1971. The same Beatle who always complained that he did not get enough of his songs on the Beatle albums. What was his problem now? Then of course Ringo Starr makes the Beocoups of Blues album, which isn't worth the vinyl it's printed on. So what's the deal? John Lennon does not need the other three Beatles, but it seems very evident the other Beatles sure needed him. Imagine, Jealous Guy, and How do You Sleep are very well written songs with great vocals. "Oh My Love" is a gem. "I don't want to be a Soldier" is great when played loud. John Lennon is in high gear on this album. One big hubbadu, is on "How do You Sleep", Mr. Lennon seems to be attacking his old chum Paul McCartney. "Yesterday" was the only thing he ever did and now his is "Another Day". "Another Day" is a Paul McCartney single about a woman bathing herself, getting dressed and going to work. McCartney goes into great detail about it. Wierd. Maybe Lennon is right about all that, who knows. John Lennon for the 2nd year in a row proves he is the best Beatle. Imagine is a beautiful album.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 23, 2007
Friend
In my opinion IMAGINE is a very open-hearted and sincere album, with great love lyrics. Maybe this album is not the masterpiece, but every time I'm listening Imagine I realize that we live in a wonderful world. Beautiful expression of emotions...

Rating: 4.5
Feb 4, 2007
Arlo
I Love this album, but it is very overrated. The only truly amazing tracks are imagine, jealous guy, and how do you sleep. great album, but not as good as plastic Ono band.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 7, 2006
KJ
Simply Amazing. From social activism to idealism. This album is the definitive work of genius.....

Rating: 5.0
Sep 6, 2006
Diane
The message I would like to post is relevant to John Lennon's eternal gift to humanity. The gift of truth written in the words of "Imagine" which highlights the core purpose meaing of life. Yet to often remains a silent yearning that dwells within ALL. His words applied today have the power to undoubtedly awaken humanity from their dream of illsuion & unveil the true nature of all things, seen & unseen ~ "Unconditional Love" the peace & harmony of interconnected "Oneness"

Rating: 5.0
Aug 13, 2006
Lou
I love Imagine! I always used to hum the tune until my dad said listen to the words and I have never been so listening I am going through an eco-friendly and world peace phase and this song can describe some people in different ways which only you can judge I think most of us can put our hands up and say..... "rock on John"!!!!!!

Rating: 4.5
Jun 1, 2006
karan awasthi
iam a great fan of john lennon. he was a grest artist and his ideas and his vision was great and this album proves it. johnny will always remain in our hearts and live foreever....... jai bhole naath

Rating: 5.0
Apr 25, 2006
Outlaw
Imagine....WOW!!!MY favorite song ever!!!

Rating: 4.5
Mar 28, 2006
Michael James
What is it...?Plastic Ono Band or Imagine as Lennon's best? My money is on Imagine...if only because of production. One day a long while ago I thought Imagine was the most brilliant song I'd ever heard...until I realized the socialistic underpinnings...I never thought of John as a socialist...It leaves a sour taste in my mouth today...although Utopic in theory...socialism never has worked and never will...but I digress..."Crippled Inside" and "Oh Yoko" will forever by my favorite Lennon tunes on this recording...I always loved "How" as well, especially the way the refrain edges back into the verse...perfect Lennon. I believe it's Nicky Hopkins on piano for most of the record...I love the happy face it gives me every time I hear his keys come alive. "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier" has never been a fave...it breaks up an otherwise masterpiece...that's why I only give it a 4.5

Rating: 4.5
Mar 21, 2006
norwegianwood
This is probably one of my favorite Lennon albums. My favorite song is "How do you Sleep". Now i am probably one of the biggest Mccartney fans out there, but its funny to listen to (and i like to think that his pretty face has lasted more than a year or two.) people don't give Macca enough credit. i really like gimme some truth, its a great rockin song. i have it on my phone and like to play it all over my college campus and everyone always loves it. how? is a beautiful song with great lyrics. i also love Oh my love, its simple and pretty.

Rating: 4.5
Jan 10, 2006
dylan lennon
This is a beautiful album. It has some of lennons greatest work thanks to this album john was able to erace his image as a beatle,he was now the true john lennon not the old beatle any more.So that was a deliverance for lennon.He was very inspired when he wrote this album thats why it has some of his best ever songs.i think the two most beautiful songs in this album are "jealous guy" and "imagine"there just so beautiful they put you into a dreame.And the lyrics of imagine absolutly beautiful and sensible. seriously this is the most awsome john lennon album.If you buy one buy imagine.BUt there's one bad thing about it,its when john lennon insults paul mccartney in the lyrics of how do you sleep that was vreal mean.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 14, 2005
Ringo
My local radio station played "Imagine" on, and the song, just took my temporary pain/issues away for a few minutes. I've heard the song before many years ago. I now can play the song with little trouble on my classical guitar. It's a bit difficult to play the " slur" notes from the " Fmajor chord to "C"major chord,also it's a bit hard for me to learn the bass part for me to play on my bass. If anybody plays the bass part,if you wouldn't mind sharing on how you found out what string(s)/notes to play for the bass part, I would appericate it. ** Just email me. Thanks Ringo

Rating: 4.0
Oct 14, 2005
bizgotti
here we have a piece of work that is straight from the artists heart. i find this record (like most of john's work) is boundary free, it has no rules , no restrictions. the opening track is magic really, the vocals seem to be stern yet dreamy at the same time, and the music is simple but anymore would just be wrong. "crippled inside" has a nice little bouncey chord progression and melodie but the lyrics are filled with hurt. to me the best track on the record is "gimme some truth." pure raw, in your face , i don't give a sh*t energy!!!! the lyrics are very aggressive but catchy as well. there seems to be a common thread of contrast on this reocrd that works really well. the entire record is enjoyable however it does have some low points, and by low points i just mean there are moments that aren't as good as other moments but that doesn't mean that they are not good at all it just means that there are better parts then others.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 2, 2005
Matthew Stead
Imagine is a classic album although it does feel a bit too polished and made for a more mainstream audience than Plastic Ono Band was. The title track is still excellent, even though in today's commercial society it might have been over-used but listening to it on here makes you remember why it's a classic. Crippled Inside reminds me of Tight Ass on the Mind Games album with it's country and western comedy feel to it. Jealous Guy is a classic, starting with a heavenly piano into some sincere heartfelt words. It's So Hard is a good rocker but does feel held back by the production, it should have been allowed to let loose. I Don't Want To Be A Soldier is hard to get used to, it's long, heavy and slow. But it is based on a poem from Lennon's childhood, so it does have some sentimentality to it. Gimme Some Truth is a great simplistic song that has a real bite to it. Oh My Love is a beautiful slow song, an underrated classic. How Do You Sleep is great, with an excellent description of his former bandmate maybe it's too long and steady but the lyrics make it more spontaneous. How is a good simple song but is nothing special, you just listen to it because you're in the mood for it. Oh Yoko is a great song, unlike the rest of Imagine it's fun, playful and exciting. This track proved popular with people when it was first released, many were putting pressure on Lennon to release it as a single. Overall this album is a definitive classic, but possibly lacks the aggression and emotion from his other solo albums.

Rating: 3.5
Aug 31, 2005
David Moses
Only someone extremely unintelligent would say 'David Moses doesn't know what good music is.' We all know music is almost completely subjective in how it is received, so if I believe 'I don't want to be a soldier' to b a true dirge of a number, that is surely my prerogative. To disagree is one thing. To tell me I don't know what good music is, demonstrates a clear lack of debating skills and a more delicate understanding of the subjective intrecacies of music.

Rating: 4.0
Aug 16, 2005
Marota Aphane
Imagine is the masterpiece Lennon has ever come up with. The title song Imangine is Lennon's dream of a peacefull and equal humanity bound together by "real love" and socialism--"Imagine no possessions...No need for greed or hunger, A brotherhood of man, Sharing all the world". I have heard them the rest of dreams including Martin Luther King but I think Lennon's is the ultimate best message to urge us all to follow what is good for mankind- Socialism."You may say that I am a dreamer, But I'm not the only one, I hope some day you'll join us, And the world will live as one" Prophetic poetry!

Rating: 5.0
Aug 10, 2005
instant karma 311
david moses does not know what good music is. his bad review on the song "I don't want to be a soldier" is uncalled for. I admit it's repetitive, but certainly not terrible. There are NO bad songs on the Imagine album as with any of Lennon's albums period! so all you lennon bashers, go somewhere else, because Bagism is for hardcore lennon appreciaters and not have any garbage put downs! peace .

Rating: 4.0
Aug 8, 2005
DJ Eric
Imagine is always thought of as the most pop John Lennon record howevermany disagree,,heres my song by song breakdown 1.Imagine-reguarded as the signature Lennon solo track it does reign as his most epic lyric wise,yet its set to quite a simple yet effective tune,Its not my favorite lennon track but still one of his best- 9 out of 10 2.crippled inside-this is a bit tounge in cheek with quite a good lyric,the music sounds like something John would often bash McCartney for writing,sort of ol'sho-biz type tune,,but I do like this tune as it works as a pure pop song with enough Lennon wit to give it cred.-7 out of 10 3.Jealous guy-This is another ballad which almost everyones heard.Its a gentle melody thats quite infectous,John seemed to become a master of these sort of ballads during his solo years ala imagine,mindgames,woman etc.its one of my favorites and remains in date thanks to the NOT over produced sound that spector usually gave.- 10 out of 10 4.Its so hard-the thing that drives me crackers about Lennons solo tracks is the way they were produced,a song like this would sound so rocking qwith the guitars turned upand dirty etc but hence we get a watered down "commercial" version complete with cheezy strings instead of a wicked harrison solo,,I really like this tune but it was produced so bad it makes me hurt so as a tune its 9 out of 10 but the production makes it a 5 out of 10 sadly.... 5.I dont wanna be a soldier mamma-this is pure filler,again horrible production and the tune is straight neither rising or decending it just sort of waifs,,I suppose as a blues tune played in a smoke filled night club at 2 am this would really fly but othewise its my least favorite on the record by far-2 out of 10 6.Gimme some truth- the 70's need to over produce really holds this track,,I mean if you ever hear the demos of this track,,it rocks hard,its a really great tune with a nice lil sofisticated melody but that spector really cleaned it up to taste like candy when it was never meant to be,its a rocker and one of Lennons best pure rock songs with a good lyric.oh to hear this rocked out,,such a great song but badly produced-9 out of 10 7.oh my love-Another Ballad and In my mind perhaps his second best,,its just beautiful without flaw or over production,nothing in this needs to be different,the production is clear and minimal (which always worked best in lennon tunes to me).and its just a nice tune-10 out of 10 8.How do you sleep-Once again a case of how the production kills a record,,nevermind the attack on Paul lyric,although quite nasty n pure Lennon,the tune is really rockin,,again if you hear early demos of this,this baby rocks but again spector chose to put cheezy strings on it and really hurt the record,,its really a funky dirty awesome rock n roll record,but the production hurts it in the end,I suppose "for the time" these treatments to the records were how it was but my they almost ruined this great record-7 out of 10 9.How?-This is the one tune on the album which the "over" production seems to work.It sounds like a spector produced tune and works as one.I just wish this was the only one he'd produced.its a tune that needs to grow on you,it took me several listens to get into this one but sure enough I like it quite alot now,a bit lush but like I said it works on this one-8 out of 10 10.Oh yoko-Ok getting past the yoko part,this is another sort of sho-biz tune Lennon often put down Paul for but again he makes it work,it still sounds quite fresh 30 years on andis a good ending for the album,the tune is nice and stays away from cheeze,,its a pure pop song via John 1971 and the production is good- 8 out of 10. Overall this is a great record of songs that gets hurt by some of the production choices noted but I would advise getting it as one of Johns best works peace

Rating: 5.0
May 16, 2005
Lennon Rocks
An excellent album. Nice cover too. Starting with "Imagine" and followed by "Crippled Inside", the songs are full of lyrics with many different thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Although the album isn't very melodious, they are easy to listen to. I especially liked "How?" because the lyrics were very powerful and gave alot of meaning to how we view the world. I didn't really like the last track though. Overall, "Imagine" is a great album.

Rating: 3.5
Apr 7, 2005
David Moses
Not bad. Not bad at all. The ballads are excellent. 'Oh my love' is a beautiful song, as are 'how', 'jealous guy' and 'imagine'. I love imagine, but I think it has way too much praise showered on it. It is deceptively simple and the instrumentation and melody is far from awesome. I think the reason it has done so well is that people like to see it, as a signature John Lennon song full of optimism for the world- glorifying it far more than it is acually worth musically. Still a great song though. I love 'gimme some truth' this is more genuine for me than the idealistic 'imagine'. 'Crippled inside' is a really catchy song and 'It's so hard' rocks quite well. 'How do you sleep' is ok as far as the melody goes, but thouroughly immature on attacking Macca in a largely unwarranted way. 'Oh yoko' soon tires as it is a repetitive dirge and has no meaning whatsoever. As for 'Soldier' this is one of the most insipid numbers I have evr heard. It goes on and on and on, without variation or change and has no structure whatsoever. A nasty vocal a horrible arrangement and an absolutely terrible song. This ruins an otherwise strong album.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 16, 2005
Caryn DePauw
I feel the song Imagine,is one of the highest vibratory songs ever written."And the world will be as one," is there any higher thought? "You say I may be a dreamer," who has changed the world, but dreamers? "Imagine all the people sharring all the world," lets all have lofty thoughts such as this, perhaps we will indeed change something, our thoughts are the only thing we can change,so lets do it! "Its easy if you try"! Incidently, I heard on a radio show that was taped,John telling that Yoko wrote the lyrics for Imagine, he fessed up good for him................ Caryn, "Imagining all the people living life in peace."

Rating: 5.0
Jan 19, 2005
Tony Piper
Imagine is one of my favorite John Lennon albums. John was one of the most honest musicians of his time. His music reflected his true feelings about the world and his personal life. He was not afraid to tell the world that he screwed up just like the rest of us. He also was not afraid to tell the world that a lot of other people screwed up including the US Government. Let us not forget his milder days and the near perfect collaboratin he had with George, Paul , Ringo, and dont forget Pete Best( the fifth Beatle) Rubber Soul is an album that also will live beyond our time. That is an album that came between "jump up and rock and experiment" If you haven't heard it, please do so. I personnally have a serious problem with the SOB that killed him. John had a lot of music, love and inspiration to share with the world that we will never know.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 4, 2004
Morozov Dima
More then a year passed since a wrote my review on this album and I slightly changed my mind. I was wrong when I said that this is Lennon's best album as I found out for myself that "Plastic Ono Band" is better. Of course, "Imagine" is great song and that's a pitty that Lennon didn't write it in 1970, as he could put it into "POB", making that album his absolute best!!! Anyway, it doesn't matter now after 34 years. About the album "Imagine" I can say that all tracks here are perfomed and mixed really professionally (thank you Mr Spector!). "Gimme Some Truth" has cool lyrics and melody, "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier..." is nice anti-war song put in classical rock key. "It's So Hard" is nice rock (or blues?) number and it shows Lennon's prefer to simple "naked sound" without many studio effects: just drum, bass, untuned piano, sax, distorted guitar and echo-vocals - what else is needed to make a good song?(Macca, notice!) "Crippled Inside" is a contry-style number. Of course, there's his famous "Jealous Guy" in this album - one more hit and another reason to give to the album good mark. "Oh My Love" is also beautiful mixture of nice melody and love lyrics (co-composed with Yoko, this song shows us mutual love feelings between Lennon and Ono). "How Do You Sleep?" is cool attack on Paul and his sweet music. This is one of my favorite Lennon's songs because it has nice meaningful lyrics and pretty good musical structure (by the way, the guitar riff in chorus was repeated later by Lennon in "Steel And Glass"). "How?" isn't a hit track, however, it isn't bad to listen and the chorus is nice. Well, that's virtually all what I could say about this epochal Lennon's album. To finish, I'd like to add that this disc would be a nice present for your dear ones and, of course, that is the most claimed present for every Lennon's fan-beginner. Enjoy!

Rating: 5.0
Oct 22, 2004
khairul zainudin
I'm just bought Gimme Some Truth - The making of Imagine DVD and you know what,here are the truth about the imagine album.All the track and composition are really-really great and the producer Phil Spector is I think is most legendary ever producer.George also taking part with his guitar work and Alan White with drum. Just name a few of it.The track was great starting with Imagine,crippled inside,How,Oh Yoko,Gimme some truth,Mama I dont wanna be a soldier,Jeslous guy and this song are show how really kinder man like John Lennon.His work are totally masterpiece.Sure it takes a thousand years to find another John,perhaps.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 9, 2004
Gr8ful
I lisened to this album (or at least side 1)every day for 15 years. My father played imagine (and still does)every morning as almost like a morning prayer. He started soon after its realease, and i listened along side, until I moved out in '86. The album never gets old. I still listen to it and notice and learn new things about it all the time. That is the mark of a true masterpeice, when you find new things after listening to it over 7,000 times.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 27, 2004
Rick Jackson
being a huge lennon fan, this album is supperb, yes it has ballads, tear jerkers, solid rock, and great lyrics, all the ingredients for a perfect record, i like his dig at paul in how do u sleep, the album also has ringo and george on it, close to a complete beatles record, anyone who says this album is junk has their head up too deep in their own ass. thanks john for a great record

Rating: 1.5
Sep 16, 2004
burning man
What a mongrel dog of a record this is. OK so Lennon wanted to be accepted after all. This is a remarkable peice of back peddling for a man who's previous album gave the bird to any notions of commercial viability. How I long to hear these songs parred down to demo quality (especially "Imagine" and "Jealous guy"), but I'm afraid this would only expose the banality of most of these songs. Apart from "Gimmee some truth" this collection is a patch work quilt of styles that only hangs together in any way because of the repetitive nature of the production (Wall of sound..yuck). And as for "Oh Yoko". Enough already about how much he loved Yoko. It's as if he's trying to hard to convince someone,maybe the world, maybe Yoko, maybe himself. The only other moment on this album that in any way stands out is "I don't want to be a soldier....." because it's the only song on this set that tries to take any risks, although in the end it is crushed under the weight of it's own apathy. As for "How do you sleep", that song is just plain embarrasing.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 2, 2004
Howard Gough
This is John's finest album & the best produced by any of the solo Beatles. There is a wonderful tearjerking track in 'Oh My Love'& the title track speaks for itself. 'Crippled Inside' does not go anywhere in particular but gets there with considerable charm (by the way, this could be another attack on Paul like 'How do you sleep'). 'Jealous Guy' is another classic & 'It's So Hard'is heavily blues influenced. 'Gimme Some Truth', 'How', 'I don't want to be a soldier' are more classics & even 'Oh Yoko' is a catchy tune. Superb from start to finish. John, you are really missed.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 21, 2004
Rhonnie P Fordham
This is John's best album to me. Every single track is written perfect with beautiful music. The album also contains ''Imagine'' the hit song off the album which is the greatest song John ever wrote solo. ''Crippled Inside'' is a attack on Paul McCartney with a good country music theme. Jealous Guy is a masterpiece one of John's best about him saying sorry to Yoko because he was jealous. ''Oh My Love'' is a very well written slow love song. ''Gimme Some Truth'' is one of my favorite Lennon songs with him on his humorous side making fun of politicians. ''How Do You Sleep?'' is another attack on Paul with a George Harrison guitar riff. ''How?'' is a beautiful song with well written lyrics. ''Oh Yoko'' is one of John's best beautiful song about him telling how much he loves Yoko. This album shows why Lennon is the greatest songwriter of all time. Buy It!

Rating: 4.5
Jul 3, 2004
Lennologist
Oh, that rare beast. A near perfect album. A masterpiece, dare I say. There is many ways to sum up John's second album 'Imagine'. It was a huge change after the anger and raw emotion of 'Plastic Ono Band' and shows a slightly more contented, but still cynical man. The first track is still the one that people will be talking about until the end of time as we know it. It's called Imagine and it's a beautiful song, masterfully put together by John and Phil Spector. Speakin of Phil Spector, some of his "wall of sound" albums have been horrendous but he shows here that when he is working with the right artist and has the right songs, he can truly make magic. The range of songs on the album is genius as well. In the span of only ten tracks, John goes through ballad, rock, political, romantic (almost folky) and country songs, which is amazing considering the album never seems uneven. If there is a theme to the album thn it's probably the theme of wanting a better world which we can see in songs like Imagine, Gimme Some Truth and I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier, while at the same time thinking about his own life and how it is going, in songs like How, It's So Hard, Oh My Love and Oh Yoko. John also takes time out to famously atatck Paul McCartney in two songs. Crippled Inside is a less obvious song (and less serious) and talks more about people who are fake than Paul specifically, while How Do You Sleep establishes from the first line that it's about that old accomplice of John's. Still, they don't seem out of place or too bitter and the playing on them is absolutely brilliant. If there was one song that I would say I don't like on this album it is I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier. I've never been a big fan of this song as it just seems too lose momentum too soon. The same goes for Gimme Some Truth, which is a better track but right up until after the guitar solo, I think it loses steam. Besides that, the album is pure genius and some songs like Jealous Guy are just amazingly listenable. But there is one track on here that means a lot to me and that's Oh Yoko. This was the first real song of John's that I heard. I had heard others like Imagine and Happy Xmas before but those are ones that can get a lot of radio play but Oh Yoko is really just a normal song off an album. It was this song that made me love both John and Yoko and I will never forget it.

Rating: 4.5
May 26, 2004
J Starling
IMAGINE is among John Lennon's best solo albums. It doesn't quite match PLASTIC ONO BAND, but is still one of the best albums ever made. The title track has suffered over the years from accusations of being hypocritical, sugar coated, or trite - as well as overplay from "classic rock" and "adult contemporary" radio (which makes his jibe from "How Do You Sleep" that Paul's music is "Muzak to his ears" a bit ironic). However, the song does have a warm and rich vocal from Lennon, and the music has an undeniable hook - don't hate this song only because it's beautiful! There is a bittersweet air to this song as well, and I think its worth noting that this is perhaps his last true "grand statement" (in the vein of "All You Need Is Love" or "Give Peace a Chance"), and I think John realized that the utopian hopes that this song expressed were indeed passing out of favor already. A less exposed ballad, with a similar arrangement to "Imagine" is "How?". This song still resonates today in a way "Imagine" would have if it weren't for 30+ years of constant media exposure. If "Imagine" is the son of "All You Need is Love", "How?" is a worthy succesor to "Help!", "Strawberry Fields" and other personal songs which express self-doubt, and ask for a bit of kindness and support from a world that is rather stingy in those departments. "Oh My Love" is another fine ballad, as well as "Jealous Guy", the album's other hit. The most polemical song of the album is "How Do You Sleep?", an attack on Paul McCartney. John Lennon often said in later interviews that the song was as much an attack on himself as it was on Paul. This may have been an after-the-fact attempt to soften the criticism of the song. Yet, as I stated with the "muzak" attack, the lyrics can lend themselves to that interpretation in places. Musically, it features good guitar work from George Harrison, as well as the most effective use of strings on the album, as accent the song without smothering the entire production. "It So Hard" and "Crippled Inside" are enjoyable, if somewhat hackneyed from a musical standpoint. "Its So Hard" is the sort of stiff, full of itself blues-rock posturing that Beatle John so cleverly mocked in "Yer Blues" three years earlier. "Crippled Inside" is a rather corny country type track with rather playful lyrics that are silly enough to not be too preachy. "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier" and "Give Me Some Truth" point toward the very confrontational political phase that Lennon was entering at the time. In all this is a solid album with several strong moments, and no real stumbling points, except "It's So Hard".

Rating: 4.5
May 23, 2004
I'm very bored ...
Biggest misconception I've always found is people saying solo material from each ex-Beatle pale in comparison to their Beatle stuff .. this album proves this to be completely wrong, as it stacks toe to toe with any Beatles album both lyrically and musically. It has just the same depth and breadth as any of the fab-4's top albums imho. All that's different, is this one is a purely Lennon flavah .. tho I must admit, Lennon only had two very good solo albums imho (this and Plastic Ono). Double Fantasy could have been great if they ditched all the Yoko stuff and filled it with the unfinished stuff on Milk and Honey instead (Free as a bird, etc) .. Paul and George also had some very fine Beatles-calibre solo albums .. back to this one, I love every single song on it and also feel it's one of Lennon's most polished solo albums production-wise. Is it just me, or does anyone else notice Lennon's technically weak piano work on the title track? Don't get me wrong, it's one of my favorite tunes of all time musically and lyrically, but I do think for such a univeral anthem JL should have had his playing a little more polished (get Billy Preston or even Paul McCartney?) .. tho his piano playing was pretty solid on Jealous guy and Oh my love(?) .. go figure. I think many people tend to misinterpret the meaning of "Imagine" including the church who once requested for it to be used as one of its anthems only if they were allowed to modify some of the lyrics from "imagine there's no heavan" to "imagine there's no evil" .. John naturlly refused and retorted back "they don't get the f*'in point!" the real point being that if the earth on which we already live in is so peaceful, then it's heavan itself, so there's no need to conjure up some mythical place called "heavan" to escape to .. ah John, ya clever genius you!

Rating: 3.0
May 12, 2004
Nick
Well,now i have to talk about BEATLES and then for JOHN LENNON.First of all,i MUST talk about ABBEY ROAD which was the best disc as well as LEL IT BE made by BEATLES.The songs thati like listening to are:come together,something,maxwell's silver hammer,octopus's garden,because,you never give me your money and golden slumbers in which PAUL gives hisself.Moreover, the best songs in LET IT BE (ALWAYS PERSONALLY SPEAKING)are:dig a pony,the long and winding road,don't let me down,i me mine and let it be.The reasons that i like that songs and all the other BEATLES' songs are many.However the most important reason is that when i am sad for some people or worried about some things that songs say to some "STRONG" people what i want to say but unfortunately some times i am afraid of them. Now i have to talk about JOHN LENNON the PHENOMENON.IMAGINE is the best LENNON'S song. It talks about PEACE and gives a BIG message to all countries and to their governments which think that they have the power.I think that all people are dreaming of a world where all things would be as IMAGINE says.When i hear that song i become calm and i think about peace.That message i want to give to all the people but for some people is difficult. Finally, i give peace to all people and i hope the world will be peaceful and hear BEATLES.

Rating: 4.5
May 9, 2004
Kelvin
Well... what can be said about the 'Imagine' album that hasn't been said hundreds of times before, in many different ways. It shows the exact opposite of Lennon on 'Plastic Ono Band'. This Lennon was a much happier person, more contented in the life he led and someone who had finally put down the demons of the past (although much more were to come as evidenced on albums like 'Mind Games' and 'Walls and Bridges'). That's not to say that this album displays a much kinder John, though. He was never one hide his thoughts and two songs in particular on this album ('I Don't Wanna Be A Solder Mama I Don't Wanna Die' and 'How Do You Sleep?') show that raw, angry John although surrounded by happer songs, it isn't as noticeable as 'Plastic Ono Band'. The one track on here that will live forever, no matter what, is the title track. An instant classic when it was first released, it showed John's hope for the world although people who love the song don't really seem to listen to the lyrics. A land without possesions, religion or a heaven or hell aren't too appealing to some people out there yet they still seem to love this song for it's idea of the world as a happy place. I, for one, couldn't imagine a world without possesions. I'm not a greedy person at all (although I do like to get my way sometimes) but the idea of basically living in this world of nothing is too scary even for me (although the whole religion aspect doesn't scare me like it used to because I've changed from being part of a Christian family to being an aethiest). Away from that track, 'Jealous Guy' and 'Oh Yoko' are probably two of the best songs on this album. Both songs for Yoko, they show that John had a true love for this woman, no matter what some people do think. Other songs like the optimistic 'How', catchy 'Crippled Inside' and the quiet, tear worthy 'Oh My Love' just prove what a talented songwriter John was. Is this my favorite of his albums? I'm not really sure. Is this a classic? Definitely, and people should get down on their knees and be thankful that John and this album existed at all. Imagine the clouds dripping, dig a hole in your garden to put them in - yoko ono

Rating: 5.0
Mar 15, 2004
Arnar
Great, A Masterpiece, Lennons greatest album, the first song and the best opens the album, that song is Imagine. Next comes Cripple Inside a great song, you know some people might think that im just a "crazylennonfan" in one word and because iam a "crazylennonfan" i am rating this album 5.0, its not like that, but iam a "crazylennonfan" but i rate every song for itself, i think "Cripple Inside, i would like to rate it about 4.0" thats how. Next comes Jelous Guy Another Masterpiece, i have nothing to say about that song because i dont know anything about it, its just great, thats all i know. And then comes Its So Hard, Its Better Version Then On Live In New York City, The Imagine version is better on that album, the version on live in new york city(im talking about Imagine)is a live version its great on its way, but not better then the "Un-Live" Version. Next I Think is Gimme Some Truth, And thats a great rock song, about politics and lies. The rest is just great how do you sleep is about Paul McCartney and The Other Masterpieces on the B-side have earn for this rate.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 3, 2004
Dingy
Simply superb! Im not kidding, Im a tough critic in general so its hard for me to give anything perfect, but this albums has certainly earned its mark. Imagine alone with the rest being filler songs could earn this album a 3.5 (that song just simply cant get old, and I hear and feel something new each time) but this is simply not the case .. there's NOT ONE weak song on this album! Ill even go as far as saying this is JWL's "White album" in how it has a bit of everything, a song for every mood including a legendary universal peace anthem that young kids today still appreciate and luv. Jealous guy is the other obvious poppy hit, but theres also 5 VERY under-rated JL solo songs you just dont hear much of: Gimme some truth, Oh my love, How?, How do you sleep? Oh yoko! Some of JL's finest piano riffs can be found on hte lovely and very emotional Oh my love, where How? is good enough of a tune and lyrics to be a solo hit in its own right. My only small complaint was that it was a little too short (just 10 tunes), but rather 10 fine, solid ones with no fluff or fillers. Direct-minded dudes and dudettes who cant see things past the surface in any art, ones who listen to music only for the "muzak" (eg the ones who couldn't penetrate and appreciate Plastic ono) would definitely appreciate this album or Double-fantasy more than JL's other artsy-fartsier ones.

Rating: 5.0
Dec 22, 2003
Chopboy
The tracks are arranged in perfect order! You won't be disappointed when you buy this! "Oh Yoko" is the only fast track in this album. Read the lyrics. It's great isn't it? This album is good for 1 year Lennon fan. It's fun to listen to while drinking coffee in your bedroom! Buy it!

Rating: 4.0
Oct 8, 2003
Sam Lovell
Great Album. My fav song is Gimme Some Truth. I never get sick of hearing john tear into the establishment. Oh Yoko is alos a great song, i think some lennon fans are wrong when they say his creativity decreased when he hooked up with yoko, i think the opposite. great songs, great album, great artist. (happy birthday john)

Rating: 4.0
Aug 1, 2003
Dima Morozov
"Imagine" is the best album and song that ever heard in my life. Both, album and song, include the phylosophy of man who knew and understood life very good and had his own mind about social and political problems in the world. Here we must remember that he was very rich and famous, so he would never mind about it like many others. There are some pacifistic songs in this album like "Imagine", "I don't want to be a solider", How Do You Sleep", "How?" ( Ithink you will agree with me that it is pacifistic one )and, surely, great "Give Me Some Truth". I called it great because I've never heard the song that had so openly hating and angree meaning to politicians. But though this album has mostly pacifistic ideas in songs, you can see there some songs about love and human's soul. Here we can recognize some tacks like "Jealous Guy", "Oh My Love", "Oh Yoko!", "Crippled Inside" and "It's So Hard". Though, you know, I'd say that song "It's So Hard" has some pacifistic idea to, don't you think so? Well, anyway, I think it doesn't make her any worse. Actually, I'd recomend everyone to listen to this album 'cos it's really great. That's what Ithink about it.

Rating: 5.0
Jun 19, 2003
Byeage4730
This is just a nearly perfect album. I argue that this is a better album than "Plastic Ono band" with many reason as to why. I think that it displays more of John as an artist and what he is capable of as a musician, singer and a songwriter. This is an album that rocks, includes beautiful ballads, and that built up anger against his former partner Paul McCartney. What more could you want from a John Lennon album. "Imagine" is the definitive Lennon album hands down. Just because he had a dark side and was an incredibly deep individual does not mean that the only time he was at his best was when he was miserable and screaming. His ballads rival Paul McCartney on the grounds of lyrics and honesty alone but "Imagine" doesen't just move you with great ballads. If "Imagine" represents the best ballad on the album then "How do you sleep?" represents the greatest rocker on the album. What a killer groove. George Harrison, as a guest guitarist on the album, plays some of his most inspired solos ever and the slide solo on "How do you sleep?" is no exception. It's just an incredible solo. "Gimmie some truth" is bloody rock and roll at it's best with the political edge that is very inspired. "It's so hard" proves that Lennon could sing and play the blues better than the other Beatles and he seemed to have a real love for it. I have never been a fan of Johns love for putting Yokos name into so many of his songs but with "Oh Yoko" it seems so natural and real, besides it's just a very catchy song. I have always felt it so great for the album to end with the sound of the harmonica. In the early Beatle years it was a bit of a symbol for him and to hear him playing his heart out as the song fades is just a perfect end.

Rating: 3.5
Jun 2, 2003
Rene
Imagine is an overrated album by Lennon fans. I don't think it's his best or even his second best album.However it's still bloody good.It has two contrasting themes, Love and Lennon's darker side. He has a chip on his shoulder with McCartney, with the establishment and with 'Yellow bellied son's of Tricky Dicky.' The title track opens the album. It is hearlded as the greatest song of all time in many a circle. It's often being voted 'best song ever,' I think for it's sentiments not it's merits as an all round song. Don't get me wrong it's a fantatic song but like this album not Lennon's best. 'Crippled Inside' has a Hill-billy feel to it I think. Basic but clever lyrics.A strong acoustic guitar accompanied by Piano. "There are undertones of resentment in the lyrics" would be an understatement. Jealous Guy...a Lennon classic and no mistake.A rareity in as much as it's one of the only John to Yoko songs which is considered in high regard.It works with the vocals being subtle.There is a breasy melody which capitivates the emotion of this track. I don't like 'It's so hard' Lennon sounds constipated.'I don't want a be a soldier' also lets the album down a bit. It's very ruff and scrappy.'Gimme some truth,' this is Lennon pissed off. I don't think that this track sets the album a light but the sentiments are ruthless.'Oh my love' was co written by Yoko. It's slow and faint but lead by a great pianist in Lennon. The song falls into the positive catagory of the album.Where do I start with 'How do you sleep?' The anamosity Lennon displays defys his image at the time as a passovist. "The only thing you done was Yesterday" is a slight exaggeration, but McCartney was releasing albums like Wildlife and Ram!!! The album ends on a high with 'How?' a classic in my book.It sounds in the lyrics as a song of self pitty and it may well be. The musical arrangements are to my likeing. I can identify only two different cords in 'Oh Yoko.' That said it's churpey, and was probaly written in half an hour. It's not supposed to be a 'classic.' Lennon takes the piss out of McCartney's 'Ram' on the sleeve of Imagine by grabbing a pig by it's ears, almost childish, but very funny. You would never have thought just a few years previous they were working together as the greatest ever song writers.

Rating: 4.5
Feb 4, 2003
Hector Roddan ('Imagine all the people,
This is a sincere apology having recently revisited and read my reviews, to anyone who has never ehard 'Imagine' ignore my review (dated 11th March 2002). Having listened to the album again recently and comparing it with 'Lennon/Plastic Ono', I really regret writing this review. 'Imagine' has a brilliant melody and tune, the echoey vocals really adding to the effect of the song. The brillinace of 'Imagine' continues into 'Crippled Inside' as the music expores hiding away truth, one line in particular that I like is 'You can go to church and sing a hymn, Judge me by the colour of my skin, you can live a lie till you die, one thing you can't hide, Is when your crippled inside' because I feel this is very truthful about the way some chuirches and religous organisations are, not all, I'm trying to avoid making sweeping statements here because I always look back and realise what a stupid comment I have just made. Tack 3, 'Jealous Guy' is wonderful with the calm, dreamy atmosphere it creates. 'Its So Hard' is perhaps one of the less well known tracks, and one that initially I disliked because of the instrumental introduction however, the introduction I now feel adds to the phonetic pace of the song. 'I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama...I Don't Wanna Die' is, I feel, unusual on the album for its changes in pace and tone, however, the one outstanding feature of this song is the lengthened stretched out sound of the 'Well I don't' at the beginning of each verse. 'Gimme Some Truth', though in my original review, I praised greatly as 'the best song on the album', this is a view which I retract, 'Gimme Some Truth' is unusual for the period when ti was written because of the heavily aggressive tones and beats, however, when you read the lyric sheet, some of the rimeing phrases, I find, are incredibly true, it is a pity that the overall sound of the song in some places, does not contribute to this ('I'm sick to death of hearing things from up-tight, short-sighted-narrow-mided hypocritics, All I want is the truth, Just gimme some truth'). Going back to my original review, I was incredibly derisory about the next two songs ('Oh My Love' and 'How') and from listening to the album almost constantly over Xmas, realise a MAJOR MAJOR flaw in my criticism - there is another track in between 'O My Love' and 'How'. 'O My Love' is a wonderfully simple lovesong about the bliss of love with a lovely piano solo and peaceful intrumentals which contrast greatly with 'Gimem Some Truth' thus adding to the overall creativity of the song. The next track, 'How Do you Sleep?' is, like 'Steel and Glass' on 'Walls and Bridges' a vitriolotic gem from Lennon, attacking McCartney not in a painful to listen to way, like some of the tracks on 'Primal Scream' ('John Lennon, Plastic Ono Band'), but can be listened to as a song without making you want to go and punch someone or the cd/lp/cassette player. 'How' is perhaps one fo the weaker songs on the album, being about being lost and confused ('How can I go forward, when I don;t know which way I am facing', 'You know life can be long, and you got to be so strong and the world is so tough Sometimes I feel I've had enough') in this song, I feel, Lennon talks about his time before meeting Yoko. The final track, 'Oh Yoko' is one of the best 'Yoko' (that is to say, written purely about Yoko) songs because of the jaunty, cheery instrumental and the plain vocal. Overall, this album rightly is one of the most well known written by Lennon, even though it has taken me approximately a year to realise that. The best thing about 'Imagine' is the freshness and brightness of all the tracks, and I would now rate it above 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band' because it seems so much more positive by comparison, 'Imagine', the title track, I feel, is one of the greatest peace anthems ever written, (however, my experience of peace anthems is somewhat limited), and, thoguh many people say it is hypocritical of Lennon (living in a big house, with lots of meny etc. etc.) to write a song saying 'Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed and hunger, a Brotherhood of man', to me, this doesn't effect the power of the song.

Rating: 3.5
Dec 13, 2002
Dan
I think this is a good album that could have been better if Phil Spector hadn't made everything so pretty. Imagine is a pretty good song I think but the lyrics aren't that great. I wouldn't want to live in a world where I didn't own anything! Crippled Inside is OK, but I'm not much of a country fan. Jealous Guy I think is one of the best songs on the album. It is a sad song but it ends up sounding kind of corny with the strings. It's So Hard is another very good song even if the lyrics don't have much of a point. I actually think the strings sound OK in this song. I Don't Want To Be a Soldier is a repetitive tune, and would probably work better as a poem. Give Me Some Truth is another one of the best songs on the album with no orchestration and very good lyrics and an excellent guitar solo from Beatle George. Oh My Love is a stupid song, that's all I can say about it. How Do You Sleep is another very good song, but I don't think Lennon had that much right to be so angry at McCartney for wanting to do things his own way. How? sounds kind of like The Long and Winding Road, and I think it is another boring song but it has good lyrics. Oh Yoko is a nice way to close the album, but I think the lyrics are way too simple. Every verse is the same except for one damn word! Anyway, I think this is an OK but overrated album.

Rating: 3.5
Oct 14, 2002
Andrew Bowman
Now, I'm going to start by upsetting a few people. Imagine is not a particularly good song. In fact, it seems overly naive, and is in fact based on a conceptual poem by Yoko (see her book Grapefruit). The song screams Yoko Ono, and only the tune gives the song any weight, but the intro was used to better effect on Oasis's 1995 UK number 1 hit, Don't Look Back in Anger. Lyrically, it's a nursery rhyme, and perhaps the weakest track on the album. Not a popular view I know, but it wouldn't do if we all liked the same thing. Crippled Inside seems too much like Rocky Raccoon for my liking, and while it's certainly catchy, so's syphillis. It's bounciness takes the power of the lyric away. Jealous Guy is perhaps the best song in his entire solo catalogue. Hearfelt, with a stunningly beautiful piano intro, which always makes the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. It's So Hard is a great rocker, without the pretentions of Well Well Well. Grunge before grunge was invented. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama, I Don't Wanna Die. Well, There're those pretentions. This track is too long and too boring to be of any real interest. Not that I'm deriding fellow reviewers' opinions, it just doesn't do it for me. Gimme Some Truth is a very funny song, but I don't think it's supposed to be. The bridge as always captured my imagination, but I must confess I've never even considered that Mother Hubbard was anything other than, especially not mother fucker! Oh My Love was co-written with Yoko, and you wonder how many of the lyrics are hers, and who they were aimed at! How Do You Sleep? is seemingly an attack on Sir Paul. However, John was later to admit that it was more aimed at himself. Stiil incredibly powerful, and still incredibly shocking. Excellent stuff. How? is such a beautiful song, that it should be released as a single. A damn sight better than the title track, and somehow more meaningful. A highlight of the album. Oh Yoko is a nice little bouncy tune, but I do feel that the images of John doing his morning ablutions is a tad too much. This album isn't as good as it's predecessor, but still a fine example of music for music's sake. Only the title track needs a public flogging.

Rating: 4.5
Sep 13, 2002
BluJay ("Imagine all the people, livin l
The most famous of John Lennon's solo career is unarguably and without any form of doubt, and even without a vague shadowy thing hovering in the corner not altogether sure whether it is going to be a doubt, and in this sense is remarkable. Though it relies sometimes rather too heavily on the wall of sound effects courtesy of Phil Spector, the sound is pleasant and enjoyable. The title track IMAGINE, combines soft and lyrical piano and vocal with a harder drum and other instrumentation and an even stronger and harder moral founding. I disagree with many that this is John's most moralistic song, ATTICA STATE, and WE'RE ALL WATER are equally moral, as is GOD and even WORKING CLASS HERO are eqwually or more morally based. CRIPPLED INSIDE is a great second track, with eually strong political currents, this time, knocking putting on a face to cover pain ('One thing u can't hide, is when you're crippled inside') and therefore follows a similar vein to the Primal Scream songs on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. JEALOUS GUY is a nice non-political interlude from the heavy weight of IMAGINE and I DON't WANNA BE A SOLDIER MAMA, which is something that later albums and especially Sometime in New York City was lacking (on there, the least political song being ANGELA or SISTER's O SISTERS). I DON'T WANNA BE A SOLDIER MAMA is great with the echoey and extended sound of 'Well I' and the simple lyrical and musical backrounding makes a song which is catchy and easy to memorize as well as being kind on the ear. GIMME SOME TRUTH is a simple rocker, though similar to material on STiNYC, it fits into Imagine as an odd-one-out (yeah, i know that don't make sense, but noeones doing a common-sense check are they? HOW DO YOU SLEEP is a brilliant impression of muzak while putting muzak down. Oh Yoko however, could have done with being a little shorter and not repeating the entire song at the end. All in all, a brilliant album, muchly recomended.

Rating: 3.5
Sep 11, 2002
David Moses
Much better than the dire rubbish that came before it. The inclusion of strings on the album and the better sound of more succint production helps to elevate this album. 'Imagine' is obviosly an excellent track. Not just because of the God-like status it has achieved, but simply because it is strong enough to hold its own, on its own merits. A nice melody, with a sparce, but pleasent backing. 'Jealous guy' continues in the same ballad like way, that is so much more satisfying to listen to, and so much more complex than 'Love' (the best song from Lennon's previous album.) 'Oh my love' is the best thing on here in my opinion. A beautiful song with a georgeous melody, one of the best he ever wrote. The other brilliant track is 'how'. Again, fantastic melody, and good use of the strings. 'Crippled inside' is catchy and enjoyable. @How do you sleep' is a scathing attack on McCartney and the venom is clear from John's voice, although later he admitted to this being autobiographical again. I'll hazard a guess he was jealous that Paul wrote yesterday, and he hadn't. 'Gimme some truth' is a nice contrast from the more mellow songs on the album. Typically a horizontal melody for Lennon, the best thing here is the lyrics and the sheer force of emotion. One of Lennon's better rockers. 'It's so hard' is OK, but one of the fillers for the album. 'Oh yoko' is a stupid song that is just made up of one verse, that does not go anywhere. Still, it is enjoyable enough and I like the inmstrumentation. The one dire, abominobal track is 'I don't wanna be a soldier mama...' it has no direction, Lennon repeating the same pattern over and oveer again. It is tiring and hugely irritating, and placed betwenn two angry rock songs, makes me think the tracks were not put in the correct order. This track though is rubbish and should have been obliterated completely. Othwerwise, a decent effort, from the less talented beatle.

Rating: 3.0
Sep 2, 2002
Kevin
This album is mediocre. You have the classic "Imagine" which everyone knows. The lyrics are so greatly written and I like it a lot. "Crippled Inside" has nice lyrics but it has some country in it and I don't like it. "Jealous Guy" is annoying and not a very good Lennon song. "It's So Hard" is an awesome blues song, my second favorite off this album. "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama" is a bad song, IMO. It's extrememly annoying. "Gimme Some Truth" is an angry song and it's a decent song itself. "Oh My Love" is a bit too slow for me and I'm not such a huge fan of slow songs. "How Do You Sleep?" is another angry song off this album but I prefer "Steel And Glass" over this one. "How?" is mediocre, nothing special. "Oh Yoko!" is my favorite off this album and one of the three that shine off this album(It's So Hard & Imagine). Without these three songs, I wouldn't like this album too much and I'd give it a 2 but these three songs save this album. I like this album a lot at first but then it fell down the drain for me. I would suggest "John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band" or "Walls And Bridges" over "Imagine".

Rating: 5.0
Jul 12, 2002
Julia
Imagine is an album that, for me, has become better and better as time has gone by. I can't lie that when I first heard the album, I wasn't that impressed. I read all these amazing reviews from people saying it was his best statement, best record, etc. But I just thought it was a nice little album with some well-composed music. To be honest, the production sort of turned me off. It wasn't as clear or raw as POB, which I consider to be a pure masterpiece. But as I started listening more, I realized that most of the reviews were not that off. In fact, I can see exactly why Imagine is heralded as it is. The first song is the title track, and I am 100% positive everyone knows that song. "Imagine" is a very controvercial song. Some love it, some hate it, some declare it as one of- if not THE-greatest pop songs written in the 20th Century, others believe it to be a load of crap with very naive and unrealistic lyrics. All of this can not take away from the fact that it is a very, very, very beautiful song. There is an eerie, calm, haunting quality about the music and the vocal. The lyrics can mean whatever they want to whomever, but they are clear, concise, and gripping. It is a powerful track. Period. But there are so many very beautifully composed, telling, and powerful numbers on this record. That is what makes it a classic. "Oh Yoko" is a happy song, with a very catchy melody. But it isn't just about some guy who has a sick dependency on his wife, it describes just how much John loves Yoko, and how much she means to him. Fill in anyone's name instead of Yoko, and you can probably see how personal this song is to your own life. "Jealous Guy" is simply gorgeous. Without question this song is the most beautiful on this album, and that is saying a lot because there are so many beautiful tunes on here. I disagree with the person who said "Its So Hard" was a weak track. I love it! Nice gritty guitar, great vocals, straightforward lyrics. John was on top with his muse in this album, folks. He had the melodies, the lyrics, the vocals going on. "Gimme Some Truth" is very underrated. I always thought of it as an early example of rap music. Just the singing. Its angry, loud, rough, and quick. But I love the lyrics. Lennon was a genius at writing hooks. You would think all he would do is bitch on and on with this song, but then he does that little "Money for dope, money for rope" thing. So catchy! "How Do You Sleep" is just amazing. The guitars, the unsubtlety of the lyrics, because we know who he is singing to. Just brilliant. I do think it just may be the best track on the album. I love Paul McCartney, like everyone, but this song is one of my faves. Sorry. "Crippled Inside" is also one of my favorites. It has that country thing going on, with a ragtime piano and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the lyrics. I think this song is just a gem. John actually called it corny, but I hardly ever agree with that man's opinions on his songs anyway. Its such a catchy song. "Oh My Love" is hauntingly beautiful, with lyrics on the same level, poetically, as "Julia." I have always loved "How." I've read people complain about the strings, but I think they really work magic with the song. It was George Harrison's favorite song from this album, and I think it has a deep and real message. There are questions in life that never can be answered, known as Ultimate Questions. You think about them all the time, but the answers never come out in words. Many times it is our own actions that bring us to some conclusion, and many times we are still left blank. That is what "How" reminds me of, so its a powerful and endearing song, in my book. The only song that even sticks out, just a tad, is the "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier" tune. It isn't bad, but long and monotonous. I love the lyrics. Swear there was no one who could play on words better than John. No one. But I know many who consider this song a favorite of theirs, and I understand the message behind it. Anti-war, anti-fighting, etc. Lots of people have this rush to judgment about John Lennon. They think, "well, he preached about peace and love but wasn't that way himself...blah, blah.." But tell me: who is? Who really is? Isn't it great enought that the man KNEW that these two things were the answer and tried to make that point, tried to get that message out. He could have sang about nothing at all, but he decided to make his music about something. No one knew him apart from those who were close to him, just as no one knows many famous people. It is often the ones who have the most difficulty displaying said qualities that become the best teachers. My piano teacher could hardly play, but she taught me more on that instrument than anyone else, many baseball and basketball coaches know they could never play like their protegees, but they are content to steer them through their goals and accomplishments, reveling in their triumphs. That is the tremendous quality of a teacher, an influence, a guide. That is what I think Lennon was. And it just so happens that he did an amazing job that no one else could ever try and touch. He made his points and messages clear in his music, and on this album. It stands the test of time because what is on this album is going on in the world today. Its real man, just as the man was himself. Imagine is worthy of all its praise, and then some. But you have to really, really listen to see why.

Rating: 5.0
May 12, 2002
Liam
Sometimes you get songs and albums that are overhyped. When it comes to "best song" polls, it's always a straight battle between Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody and Lennon's Imagine. Personally, I don't think either is the best song ever, but they're both great. Imagine, well, what's to say about it that hasn't already been said? Not a lot, probably. I know people who detest political songs on principle, and people who seem to think musical complexity is the be-all and end-all of musical brilliance. Utter rubbish! Simple ideas are often the best, and this is certainly the case here. Imagine just has that lyrical thread of "why can't we all live happily together" - indeed, why can't we? Like it or not, it is a great and powerful song. Moving on, there are other good songs on this album, in particular Jealous Guy - which is at least equal in greatness to the title track. A heartfelt lovesong, this started life as "Child Of Nature" back in the days of The Beatles, and has been vastly improved. It contains some exquisitely beautiful piano playing, and the idea of whistling in the instrumental solo is quite clever. My other favourite on this album is How. It's another beautiful, pleading song that really tugs on the strings of your heart; about the struggles of life. The music almost seems like it doesn't quite work, which to me is just part of the charm. That makes three great piano ballads on the album! Aaah! There are, however, many different styles on this album, such as the country twang of Crippled Inside and Oh Yoko to the dark, epic nature of I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama and How Do You Sleep. Crippled Inside is the sort of song that if you have any kind of sense of humour, you'll tap your foot along to from the off, while I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama actually has rock'n'roll roots, I should think - at least, the melody and chord structure seem to be descended from basic rock'n'roll. Of course, the most notorious song on the album is How Do You Sleep - very, very aggressive, John later said in an interview that it was about himself, although this doesn't seem to be a popular belief among the fans, who seem to prefer to believe it's directed at Paul McCartney. If it wasn't such a nasty, vindictive song at a definite person, I would probably love it. Unfortunately, the whole ambiguity of the lyrics against John's later comments makes me not like it as much as I might. Anyway, moving on, another standout track on this album is "Gimme Some Truth" - lyrically, it's one of the finest songs John, or anyone else for that matter, has ever written. To make great music, you have to put your heart on the table and lay your emotions bare. Gimme Some Truth is exactly that. Oh My Love, credited to John and Yoko, is the most relaxed on the album, a happy love song, and very metaphorical in the lyrics - a very appealing quality. Not forgetting It's So Hard, the rock'n'roller of the album. Lyrics once again in the vein of How and I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama, this is a little more ambiguous, and I love it to bits. Finishing off the album is Oh Yoko, with a decidedly country sound to it, and one of many songs on this album that doesn't have a middle eight (about four or five in total). It's one of those songs that's likeable without being overly memorable. Good, but not outstanding - but still good, of course. In conclusion, this is definitely John's best solo album all-round, and one of the best albums by anybody. Excellent job!

Rating: 4.0
Apr 13, 2002
Joe Ritter
Imagine is probably the most famous post-Beatles album John Lennon recorded, with the possible exception of Double Fantasy. Displaying a wonderful sense of artistic creativity (not to mention a distancing from the often Paul-ish sounding Fab Four) and musical genius, if there is a message Imagine conveys it is purely John. The title track is pretty much above statement, and it has just as much musical value as it does political statement, a rare quality. The number two song, "Crippled Inside" shows a sense of creativity in pairing such a dark title with up beat, folk style lyrics. George Harrison plays the Dobra, a heavy sound throughout, and if I have one complaint it is the the two painfully noticable anomolies in the song, the first an awkward "ahhh" by John at about 1:41, and the the other an extra note at the ending fade. In a good bit of producing, Crippled Inside is followed by Jealous Guy, a nice sounding ballad, that unfortunately features a piano melody that is an obvious rehash of "A Day in Life." It is a pleasant song for the non-critic, and the rock analyst will see the connection to "Gimme Some Truth" coming it at number six. In the fourth song, Lennon combines an acidy rock guitar with a jazzy sax, and produces a good, stomping beat, but goes over the the ledge with his throaty vocal style. A harsher variant of the Come Together style, his sound doesn't carry a lot of potence, and at the end of the verses falls off into a misplaced country twang. Track five, "I don't wanna be a soldier, Mama I don't wanna die," is pretty straight forward, and the guitar and vocal go nicely, and the echo sounds just right. Before the various intrumental sections, Lennon cries out a loud "Hit it!" that takes a little away from the emotion of the song, but otherwise he is sure to bash everyone, from "I don't wanna be chruchman mamma, I don't wanna cry," to "I don't wanna be a poor man, mama I don't wanna fly," and "I don't wanna be a lawyer, mama I don't wanna lie." If anything, this song runs a little song at six minutes, considering the stable sound. Gimme Some Truth is at number six, and it is what I believe to be some of the best political protest screaming acid rock John ever did. Ironically, it sounds very Beatle-esque, but "Son of Tricky Dicky" is an obvious political remark, or the hard hitting line "Neurotic physchotic pig headed politicians" stressed for effect. With George Harrison's solid guitar behind his lead John's chorus verse: "No short haired yellow bellied son of tricky dicky Is gonna mother hubbard soft soap me With just a pocketful of hope, It's money for dope, money for rope." Packs an incredible wallop, and yes, it is Mother Hubbard, not what the more profane (but still fitting) mother f*cker. John has so much anger, raw emotion, in this song that it hits hard, and you'll crank the volume. "Oh My Love" was an interesting choice to follow "Gimme Some Truth" but with the references between "Truth" and "Jealous Guy" it fits as a sort of catalyzing agent, giving the feeling that there is something between the screaming and the crying. Musically, it is marred only by a wrong note on the guitar at 0:16 and 2:29, but otherwise this simple ballad speaks of John's personal feelings, just as strongly as "Imagine" and "Truth" do, but from a far more reserved standpoint. "How Do You Sleep" is a very cold blooded stab at Paul McCartney, obvious to anyone who knows anything about the Beatles, referring to Sgt. Pepper, the "Paul is Dead" hoax, and saying the only thing Paul did was "Yesterday," both the song and with the Beatles. Further brought home by the stab at Paul's the ram, (a picture of John grabbing a pig on the back cover) "How Do You Sleep" is a good piece of rock music, ahead of its time, with a very good slide guitar from George. "How" leans back toward the mood of "Oh My Love" with a very intelligent passage of individual strains, seperating each set of lines, with a very orchestrated set of "Oh No's" between each verse. The recurring "Life can be long And you've got to be so strong And the world is so tough Sometimes I feel I've had enough" expresses a very poetic sign of frustration, a more mellow John (if such a thing is possible) who realizes that to back up his "Truth" protest, he needs an academicly appealing "How" as a song of confusion. Lastly, at number ten, "Oh Yoko" is a simple song, similar to a contemporary girl group tune, with an upbeat rythem and well done harmonica played by John. Overall, this is a very interesting album, and anyone interested in Lennon as a singer, activist, and man, should hear it.

Rating: 3.0
Mar 11, 2002
Hector Roddan
Bleaugh! In comparison to John's first solo album 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band' this is awful, the overly synthesised Phil Spector wall of sound creates a horridly smooth feel tot he album, this album is more like McCartney on 'Pipes Of Peace' than John Lennon, Lennon appears to be dressing his feelings in sweets, blotting out what he's trying to say. And, this album has the token 'love song to Yoko' which many albums have ('Oh Yoko!') though better written than 'Dear Yoko' on Double Fantasy. The Album opens with Lennon's most well known song, fully dressed in synthesised wall of sound fog, and the 'Lennon echo' on the lyrics (how come if Lennon hated his voice so much, you can hear it so clearly on 'Plastic Ono' and 'Mind Games'?). The idea behind the song was good, no countries, equality, and no religion too. The album brightens with 'Crippled Inside' about the world, with the lovely truthful 'You can go to church and sing a hymn, Judge me by the colour of my skin'. 'Jealous Guy' is a self exploratory type of song, still with the horrid 'Lennon echo'. The next three tracks ('It's so Hard', 'Idon't wanna be a soldier Mama, I don't wanna die', and 'Gimme Some Truth) are by far the best tracks on the album after 'Crippled Inside' and 'Imagine' because they are hard, slightly political, blunt proper Lennon songs. After the vitrilotic attack on society ('Ive had enough of reading things by neurotic psycotic pig headed politicians') in 'Gimme Some Truth', we are subjected to the torture of a slow moving love song to Yoko ('Oh My Love'), suggesting that Lennon had nevwer seen or understood anything before he met Yoko (true in a way, I suppose), but would sound much better faster with more strength and force, not as it is like a limp lettuce leaf. 'How Do You sleep at night' is John's attack on Paul, saying how Pauls only work was 'Yesterday' and that soon people'll see through his 'pretty face' is Lennon back in full swing, singing louder and stronger standing up against arrpgant-McCartney. 'How?' is the only love song on the album that carries some real weight as being about Lennon or how he thinks and feels, it is superior to 'Oh My Love' because there is some force behind the singing and there is a variation in notes. The album finishes on a mediocre high, 'Oh Yoko!' is by far the best song that John ever wrote to Yoko. Overall, a pretty drowned fish of an album, but is liked by a lot of people who haven't heard any of Lennon's other work, once you here his later stuff, you see how bad this album really is.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 8, 2002
Phil Western
It is rare that I would give 5 stars to an album, but after spending the last week listening to this masterpiece, I can safely say it is one of the best albums I own.(The same is true of POB). The album opens with Imagine, which is a beautiful song in its simplicity.I think the message of the song transcends the fact that Lennon was rich and powerful.It is idealistic, and meant to be listened to with an open mind, hence the title "Imagine".Crippled Inside is up next, and it is a fun track, sort of in an old ragtime/country style.I read someone referring to this song as stupid in an earlier review.I disagree strongly.The lyrics again, are simple but the message of the song relates to something quite deep.Most people do spend their life trying to cover up their inner turmoil with a smile, and John is singing about the futility of this.Jealous Guy is simply glorious.Am I the only one who finds his voice utterly heartbreaking?One thing that gets overlooked alot is what a great piano player Lennon was.This song is possibly the most emotional on the album, along with "How" The lyrics are universal on Jealous Guy.Most of us "guys" can relate to this song."It Aint easy" is next, and it sounds kinda Beatles-y.It is a very bluesy 12 bar number, and is probably the least heartfelt song on the record, but it is still sleezy and great.The 1st side closes with "I dont wanna be a soldier" which has been lambasted on this review board as being boring and over produced.I couldnt disagree more.I love this kind of production and I think the song slides beautifully.There is alot of reverb on the drums, but that was Spectors signature, and Lennon obviously was willing to take chances and try new sounds.I love it.Side two opens with my personal favorite "Give me some truth".This is an angry and fed up song and it really has alot of fire to it.The lyrics are basically a big fuck you to all the political and media bullshit that was going on at the time it was released.Its funny cuz the song sums up the way I feel about the current media and the government that is in power today.It is sad that there isnt anyone around making protest songs anymore, cuz everyone has been sedated into a coma by advertising and consumerism.Anyway, it is a fantastic song."Oh my love" is next, and it is a two part ballad, done simply, and it is extremely memorable.This guy was really in love."How do you sleep" is a great rocker, and it is easy to apply the lyric to anyone who you feel has taken credit where it wasnt deserved (except some of the more direct references like "those freaks was right when they said you was dead")Its good shit."How" is a real heartbreaker for me personally.I dont know why, this song just really has a sadness to it that gets me every time."Oh Yoko" is a suitable album closer, and it reminds me musically of "Nobody told me" Imagine is a great album.Period.Every record collection should have a copy in it.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 24, 2001
menno
Arguebly lennon's finest solo album. This is a world of difference compared to the plastic ono band album. The lp opens with what has to be Lennon's best known song. Frankly, I don't really see what makes this tune so beloved. I think it has something to do with the image of peace prophet that many people have made & over-worshipped (notably: especially after his sad passing). For those who don't know: Lennon was human, not a god, even tho his music sounded divine! To me, it is very obvious that his Unfinished music works with Yoko Ono were nothing more than a big 'Fuck you, I'm not perfect & this is what I NEED to do' to the public. But back to the album: 'Çripple inside' is a lighthearted countryblues with some sharp lyrics. Then the first masterpiece here: 'Jealous guy'. A touching introspective song, remaining from the white album sessions. This is the Lennon that we all love so much: a fragile man who simply tries to keep his life together. 'Ít's hard' is a blues with even more personal lyrics (ýou gotta run, you gotta hide, you gotta keep your woman satisfied'). 'Í don't wanna be a soldier' has got to be the weakest song here, altho it has some excellent solo's by Harrison. Too long, too much repitition. Side b opens with what has to be Lennon's most agressive song from his solo career. George's slide-guitar sound has never been bettered and John's angry shouting vocals are 100% pure. 'Oh my love' is of course for Yoko and also one of his finest lovesongs. A gentle happy/sad ballad with very personal lyrics. 'How do you sleep?' invites us to learn about John's feeling towards Paul McCartney about that time. This is Lennon on the edge.... Paul Mccartney must have been deeply hurt after hearing this for the first time ('Those freaks was right when they said, you was dead'). George Harrison clearly chose John's side by playing a mean slide solo on this one... 'How' is again a gentle introspective gem in which lennon describes his deepest doubts. The album closes with 'Oh Yoko' which is not as bad as the title suggests (kidding). The influence of Phil Spector is bigger than on any other Lennon lp and to my taste he has helped making this record the monument it is. This lp gives (just like plastic ono band) an honest insight into the man John Lennon without getting too sentimental or self-indulgent. Recommended!

Rating: 5.0
Aug 27, 2001
cashman
In my opinion this is Lennon's best album and certainly one that manages to avoid some of the over-indulgence of some of his later works. I realise that the guy truly loved Yoko Ono and he was perfectly entitled to sing about her but this album doesn't overdo it. It starts with a song that will always be associated with him and his attitude to the world. Imagine summons up both an idealistic view of the world and still highlights some of its problems. This stops it from becoming sentimental and avoids the very easy trap of being too sweet. Jealous Guy is my own favorite Lennon song. It too has some beautiful bittersweet lyrics that Lennon whispers to us. The song is both melodic and full of real emotion. However, despite the softness of the opening tracks, the album also has some "political" overtones. Gimme some truth is every bit classic lennon as Imagine. How Do You Sleep? serves as a reminder of the falling out between John and Paul. While the song is bitter and sour in its lyrics it's excellent as Lennon manages to use some great rythm and beat to sum up his feelings. The album closes with a song about Yoko which hints very strongly at how the rest of his work would be influenced. Overall, this is a perfectly balanced album of depth and manages to have popular appeal without being over-produced or too commercial - a lesson that most current singers could try learning.

Rating: 4.0
Apr 15, 2001
Bart Williams
Artistically, the Imagine album (the follow up to Plastic Ono Band) was ulimately a faliure. It did not quite feature the all-out honesty and was no where near as powerful as its predecessor. Imagine contains a few too many throwaway tracks, Its So Hard and Oh My Love are both unessential additions to the Lennon catalogue (although some people do seem to like the latter). The mid-way track on the record, I Don't Want To Be A Soldier Mama, is very repetitive and doesn't really have much to say. It is overproduced and screams EXTRAPADDING! at you as soon as you hear the opening line. The album made controversy when released, for the track How Do You Sleep? which is basically an attack on Paul McCartney. Phil Spector's prodction managed to dress up the track with an orcherstra-like sound, which somehow takes away some of the power of the song. Although the lyrics are generally succesful, you can't help thinking that the whole song is maybe a little bit childish and silly. Despite all this, the collection does deserve the four stars I have awarded it. It opens with the excellent Imagine (which you all know about) the humorous country-esque Crippled Inside (another attack on McCartney) and then moves into the almost magical Jealous Guy which sees Lennon in a personal mood. A political nature from Plastic Ono Band is retained on the album with the excellent Gimme Some Truth, which has Lennon pointing his finger at various different people (including tricky dicky). It features quite a heavy guitar solo (Courtesy of George Harrison)and is one of Lennon's best political songs. How? is a beautiful song, a piece of poetry dressed up with an orchestra (courtesy of Spector) and the album finishes with Oh!Yoko which suprised me because it was not bad and didn't quite collapse under its self-indulgence as previously expected. The Imagine album is a far more commercial version of Plastic Ono Band (hence the orchestra and strings backing) and so fails to be as powerful as its predecessor, but it remains a good album and is probably a great album for those who like their music to be a bit more catchy.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 28, 2001
The Beat
No words i or anyone else could ever dream up could do this justice, all i can do is give my take on it.. It all starts off with Imagine, probaly the most famous song of all time, and many would say, the best song of all time. A stunning song in every sense, musicaly it carries you away, lyrically it temps your mind to question life and how we live. And his singing on the song Imagine is to this day un-matched. Jealous Guy, the 'other' famous solo Lennon song, tells a tale of a man in love to the point of finding hard to belive that its real maybe.. Scared what he loves does not love him back..but as he says in the song "I`m sorry that i made you cry/I`m just a jealous guy" He can only be honest, and say sorry. Dont listen to this song if you are felling down, you`ll cry...You`ll probaly cry anyway if you listen to this song, it is without doubt one of the most moving songs ever wrote. "Oh My Love", simply the best love song ever wrote, about love opening your eyes to the real world(It maybe seem a little arrogent if you yourself have never felt love...it`ll make sense one day..trust me) "Crippled Inside", shows John`s wicked sense of humor, while still having real meaning behind "One thing you cant hide/Is when your crippled inside". You can live your life with a fake smile. but you cant hide your true fellings. Like most of the songs, that can be so honest it hurts. For me to go on what ruin it, buy this album, and experince it. You`ll never listen to music in the same way, it will change your life, and that is what John Lennon is all about. The best album of all time, from the greatest song-writer of all time.

Rating: 3.5
Nov 30, 2000
Paul McCartney
This album is a fine effort from a man who learned something through his years in the Beatles. It's no 'Ram' admittedly, but it does have some pretty good moments. The title track has really captured the world's imagination and become a classic of the 70's alongside 'Silly Love Songs' among others, even if some of its lyrics are a little preachy and idealistic. Mind you, I've never been a great fan of one-word song titles. 'Jealous Guy' was butchered by Bryan Ferry and has never really felt the same ever since. 'Oh My Love' is a beautiful ballad in the style of 'My Love'. 'Gimme Some Truth' is a bit of a rant from the White Album sessions which really drives along musically but again suffers a little from lyrics that are sort of preaching practices. 'How' - another one word title I note - always makes me respond with 'why ?'. It has a bit of the 'Watching the Wheels' feel to it, but frankly lacks a little lyrically and has backing strings that go a ittle syrupy. I'm not sure how use of strings on rock albums really works. I would hate to be the muggins that the song 'How Do you Sleep ?' is aimed at, but it certainly shows a private bitterness that belies the public image of giving peace a chance. I have always thought getting your spouse to sing along on tracks a bit fruity, but what would you expect on 'Oh Yoko' - in case of accidents he always takes his mum, I suppose. 'Soldier' is not really my cup of tea, 'It's So Hard' and 'Crippled Inside' fill up an album that has merit and has aged well.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 20, 2000
Andrew Gray
Before I review this album, I would like to ask a question; Is John Lennons 'Imagine'the best solo album by any of the ex-Beatles ? I have always felt that the solo careers of the respective Beatles dont get the credit they deserve. Some of the material, on this album particularly, is up there with any of the collective stuff. After the glorious 'Plastic Ono Band', Lennon needed something special to follow it up. He did with what I consider to be the record that defines what he is all about. To me, John Lennon was about contrasting styles. This album has that more than any of his others. He makes the transition between ballads and agressive hard rock with ease. Unless you have been living on the moon for the past thirty years, you will be familiar with the title track. Is it the greatest song ever written ? Most hardcore Lennon fans would argue that it is but it isnt my personal favourite. That is reserved for 'Jealous Guy'. It is such a personal song that I think that you must consider it more than any of his other songs. I think it is something we can all relate to. People always seem to be under the misconcepttion that Lennon could not write gentle ballads (the same as people thought that McCartney could'nt rock.). The other classics on this album like the touching 'Oh My Love' and the vulnerable 'How' prove that Lennon was at his best when he was in this vein. That is'nt to say that this album does'nt rock. There are a couple of up-tempo numbers like 'Oh Yoko' and 'Crippled Inside' which are very catchy but the harder songs are dominated by the great George Harrison. Lennon himself said that Harrison had never played so well as on 'I Dont Wanna Be A Soldier,Mama', a protest song in which Lennon denounces all violence, and the vicious 'How Do You Sleep?' a savaging of Paul McCartney. This song and the fiery 'Gimmie Some Truth' find Lennon on top vocal form. He screams and shouts his way through these numbers and with 'Its So Hard' there is a nice balance between hard and gentle songs. This album is one of those rare occasions where everything is right. The Plastic Ono Band play a blinder supporting John. Klaus Voorman and Alan White are fantastic and the work of the vastly underrated Nicky Hopkins is up there with the best Keyboard work ever. Those three and George Harrison make for one hell of a backing band. So is 'Imagine' the best solo album made by any of the ex-Beatles ? No question about it.

Rating: 4.5
Aug 10, 2000
Colin Heddle
This record no where near matches the magic of "Plastic Ono Band", but it definitely has quite of magic bit in it!! "Imagine" is a record full of love, peace, & imagination. Recorded in John's home studio in Ascot,England, it took almost all of 1971 to record. The opening track is "Imagine", one of the most well known songs of the 20th century. The song is beautiful, & is a song that Yoko says crystalized his dream. If you actually listen to the lyrics of the song, you will automatically be sent into a trance of thought. Imagine what the world would be like. "Crippled Inside" is a fun tune to listen to. With a taste of country western, the song explains being unable to hide a broken heart. "Jealous Guy" is a beautiful song about John's jealousy when it comes to women. The song originally started as "Child Of Nature" , a song John wrote in India in 1968. The song is note by note the same, but the lyrics were just rewritten. "I Dont Wanna Be A Soldier" is the only song on the record that I am not too big on, its OK, but I dont find it that catchy. "It's So Hard" is an amazing song. A pure rock & roll/blues tune. John singing the blues about the bad side of life. "Gimmie Some Truth" is John's song about not taking any shit. Without a doubt, that is something John never did take. The song is straight forward, pure, & catchy. "Oh My Love" is the best song on the album. Absolutely beautiful. Although it is credited to being a John Lennon/Yoko Ono song, I have a feeling that Yoko didn't have much to do with it. Arguably because the song didnt have to do with Grapefruit or "the wind", two things that Yoko could not stop going on about in those days. The song is about love, simple as that. "How Do You Sleep" is a hanus attack on John's former partner, Paul McCartney. In the song, John makes many notes such as "Those freaks was right when they said you were dead", which John claims to mean that Paul did die creatively. A very funky musical track. "How", is a song where John asks the questions of love. Once again, a beautiful song. The closing track is "Oh Yoko", a love song about his wife. Instead of just singing a love song, he is singing a realistic love song about his love. The song is great, catchy, & beautiful. I have always thought this could have opened the record well instead of "Imagine" & "Imagine" close the record. Overall this album remains second in the rankings of John's solo work. The album is pure & beautiful. I would reccomend it to everybody. Thanks for reading.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 4, 1999
Ward
John called this album "Working Class Hero with sugar on it" in response to those who liked it better than POB because it was 'nicer'. The biggest difference between this and POB is simply the production, or more specifically, the strings. Imagine sets the tone for the rest of the album right away, and despite its radio saturation, it remains a lovely song to this day. (And he's not saying there's no heaven, he's just suggesting we think about it. I will also be devil's advocate and say he knew just how hypocritical for a guy in a large house on a huge piece of land to sing about having no possessions. His next house was a studio apartment in the Village.) Crippled Inside is a jaunty little number, complete with George on dobro and gold old Nicky Hopkins on piano. I've always loved Jealous Guy; the words, the melody, the sentiment all speak to the hopeless romantic in all of us, but I've found playing it for potential girlfriends will not bring the desired result. It's So Hard isn't that exciting, but it is short; it was also a B-side, suggesting that even John knew it wasn't much. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier used to be my least favorite, but I've since come to appreciate its hypnosis. Spector gets to go all out on the production here, considering the short leash he had on POB. Gimme Some Truth is another great example of how John could put seemingly nonsense words together successfully. Oh My Love follows, and always reminds me of overcast days walking thru the woods (or was that the video I remember?) The subject matter notwithstanding, How Do You Sleep? is yet another example of how nasty John could get if poked. This is followed by the tail-between-the-legs How? which makes me feel like he understands me. Perhaps the best album closer of his or anyone's career would be Oh Yoko!, such a happy, stupid song you have to smile, wishing that harmonica would just play forever. This is John at his most commercial without being stuck in its time; he'd set a standard that he'd chase for the rest of his life. It's still incredibly honest.

Rating: 5.0
May 19, 1999
Manuel Lazcano Puig
Despite the fact "Imagine" is the song from which John Lennon is best remembered, I think there are much better ones. Unfortunately this song has been labelled into a category of Greatest Hits, and even non-John Lennon fans know the song. The song is absolutely great, but I'm sure you must be well acquainted with the overall Lennon work to actually fully grasp the meaning of the song and feel its music. Otherwise it is nothing but a "hit". This album is fantastic, almost magical. "How?", for instance, depicts musically what Lennon was all about. I still get the shivers whenever I play the B-side, which jumps straight to John's edgy-raspy voice in "Gimme Some Truth", one of his best tunes ever, in fact... I won't go ahead mentioning and describing songs, because each and every one of them deserve special mention. Absolutely a must.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 14, 1999
Jeff Montez
"You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one, I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will live as one." The song "Imagine," is one of the most well known songs in the world. John Lennon, is one of the most well known men in the world. The album "Imagine", in my idea, is the best album ever made. It is such a powerful album and strongely represents Lennon's strong feelings for world peace and his deep love for the people of the world as a whole. Songs like, "How Do You Sleep?" and "I Don't Want To Be a Soilder" and "Give Me Some Truth" show how much he loved being a musician and how he didn't want to partake in war. The song "How?", was an unknown song being no one ever talked about it; but I feel it was one of the best songs on the album. This album took all of John Lennon's hate, anger, rage, love and passion and put it all into music and lyrics. Imagine all the people, who's lives would be altered if we didn't have the moving words of "Imagine" sung by the charazmatic John Lennon and played on the grand piano. I'll end by saying, the times have definantly changed, but John Lennon will always be here with us. So stop one day and take the time to Imagine all the people, living for today......

Rating: 4.0
Dec 3, 1998
Micahel Paul Ellis
The Imagine alblum as a whole is defintley not John Lennons best solo work. The title trach however due to the simplicity of the melody to the amazingly powerfyl lyrics make it one of the most accessable songs of all time. The other songs like I dont wanna be a soldier, oh my love, how do you sleep,crippled inside are quite poor and do not make for easy listening. The song give me some truth has a nice up beat tempo to it and the lyrics are interesting as they are pointed at president Nixon. The other outsatnding song is Jealous guy which I believe to be better than Imagine. The music is beautiful, with the use of the violin and the words are nice also. The song is truely moving and provides Lennon fans with a true classic. The album as a whole then is not great but if should be bought due to the inclusion of two of the greatest songs ever.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 9, 1998
Nathaniel Otte
This album is one of the best of all time. "Imagine" is a song which shows what a great man John was and how much he cared about people, and world peace. The second track is the bluegrassy "Crippled Inside," which has country-blues style dobro. Next is "Jealous Guy," a song which is both apoligetic and beautiful. The song that follows is the blues-ish "It's So Hard," which is also the American B-side of the "Imagine" single ("Imagine" was not released as a single in the UK until 1975, and was backed with "Working Class Hero"). Next is a track that is lenghy and repetitive, but still good, "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier." Side two opens with "Give Me Some Truth," a song which expresses anger toward critics, authors, politicians and actors. Then, a beautiful Lennon/Ono collaboration, "Oh My Love" sends one to a far-off, distant, heavenly place. The next song is an angry reply to Paul McCartney, "How Do You Sleep?" which features George Harrison on slide guitar. Then comes "How?" an adult's version of childish questions like "Why is the sky blue?" "Oh! Yoko" closes the album, which speaks of John calling his wife's name in the middle of certain situations. For those of you just starting to get into John's music, this is the album to buy. This album is a true picture of the great mind of John Winston Ono Lennon and answers the question of why he is remembered with so much love. LONG LIVE JOHN LENNON!

Rating: 4.5
Aug 25, 1998
Adam J. Forman
Possibly a landmark in LP history, John Lennon's "Imagine" album is one of best ever--and that's saying a lot. John starts the album with the title track, leading the listener in by the nose to other musical ventures. Songs like "Gimme Some Truth" and "How Do You Sleep" express John's anger and frustration at a corporate world that simply doesn't understand him (although the latter is very much a direct comment to a fomer Beatle--can you guess who?) Yoko's presence is felt in the pinnacle of the album "O My Love," in which John makes himself very clear on how much he loves this woman. He sings "O my love/for the first time in my life/my eyes are wide open" in such a way that even someone who hated him could instantly fall in love with his sincerity. Other greattunes that make the album tremendous are the classic "Jealous Guy" and the banjo-sounding "Crippled Inside." Overall, John took rock and roll one step higher, and elft us with an LP to remember.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 7, 1998
Jean-Pierre
In my opinion, IMAGINE is the classic love ballad from a man to his wife. As the album starts, the ballad of Imagine comes on, thus, an opening, of expression to his wife. His originality is best expressed when he says "...but I'm not the only one, I hope someday you will join us, and the world will be as one." Through this statement, he says that he is who he is, and that he is not afraid to admit it, he is also not afraid to speak on other people's behalfs. Crippled Inside describes how people can be perfect on the outside, but miserable on the inside. "You can shine your shoes and wear a suit, you can comb your hair and look quite cute, you can wear a collor and a tie, but one thing you can't hide, is when you're crippled inside." He is saying that all the money in the world, all the fame and fortune is meaningless if one doesn't have love. Jealous Guy is a prime example that no one is perfect. And although we may trust our signifigant other, jealously is always going to be a problem. A marraige like John and Yoko's was one of a kind. "I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm sorry that I made you cry, I didn't want to hurt you, I'm just a jealous guy." He apologizes for his jealously, knowing that it was thought of as nothing. I Don't Want to be a Soldier Mama is the classic song of peace. How he doesn't want to fight, for he may die, he doesn't want to be a lawyer, he doesn't want to lie. He wants to be him, just plain John. Oh My Love depicts the immensity of the heart of John. Of course written about his wife, He commences to explain that the love of his life had opened his eyes. " I see the wind, I see the trees..." "...Every thing is clear in my heart." The joys of togetherness is what this song shouts. Gimme Some Truth just goes to show how narrow-minded we all are. He goes on to describe how everyone is greatly respected by people, but in the end, they are all " narrow-minded hypocritics." How Do You Sleep shows that even in a world that one Imagines, there will always be probleems there. This song written to spite Paul, explains that popularity is only popular if you go by what other's say. "You live with straights who tell you, you was king, jump when your mama tell you anything." Popularity is one-sided. Oh Yoko is the other main Love Ballad from this album, the man cannot express his love enough for his wife. He explains that in a relationship like his, both members are equally happy, "In the middle of the night I call your name..." "My love will turn you on." The love John Winston Ono Lennon shared with us touched the lives of millions, and John Lennon said once, "Yeah, that's the one I like best." He was speaking of Imagine, because it was his one album where he got to be himself, he didn't have to see if the "other guys" wanted to edit the lyrics. It was just John, doing what John does best--entertainment.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 5, 1998
Takashi Okamoto
I believe that, Like the other types of arts, music must be heard in the way of "heart to heart communication". In this sense, John Lennon's album "Imagine" is the best recording to explain it. The album is intensively filled with the simplism. It eventually manages to send large impact more directly to listeners. In other words, without any knowledge of music or John Lennon himself, listeners can recieve his true heart easily and deeply. First track "Imagine" is crystalised his heart and contains sufficiently his thought about the world. his wisper is widely brought into many people's heart. With "Crippled Inside", you can enjoy his talent in terms of making a song with his exhausted feeling on soft melody. "Jealous Guy" really talks about men's weekness, delicacy and sensitivity. Many peoiple consider the song as the most impressive song in the album. In same way, you can find the same sense in "How". On the other hand, "Give me some truth" gives you some truth of John as an agressive rockn' roller. But the songs is based on his sorrow and inspired on the bad people and experience John suffered from. 'Powerfulness covering the weekness' shown in his works is one of the John's biggest charming point. In a sense, "Oh My Love" is the best track to explain the simplism in the album. It contains very simple words and few number of chords in the song and but full of impression. The song is onle one number that songwriting credit is Lennon-Ono. It seems to me that making this song, he was inspired by the Japanese short style of poem called 'Haiku' or 'Tanka' taught by Yoko. "Oh Yoko" represents his sense of innocence. The way of him to express his pure mind in the songs is so simple and unique and it's what nobody else has. I must confess that John made this "heart to heart" album successfully because of the fact that he's one of the most influencial musicians in the 20th century's music industry. However, there is no sense that he seems to be karismatic in the album. He didn't seem to force us understand. Tenderly incouraged messages are what he reveal in the album and that's the main factor to remain his words in the album in our heart.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 7, 1998
Matt Jackson
The Imagine album retains the enormous sound quality of Plastic Ono Band, but is definately more upbeat. George Martin remarked that he would have loved to produce this album, and it isn't hard to see why. The title-track is his greatest ever song, and can't be faulted. 'Crippled Inside' is a nice catchy number, the equivalent of 'Tight A$' on the Mind Games album. 'Jealous Guy' is a beautiful ballad; listen to the Roxy Music 'cover' and you'll see how much Bryan Ferry ruined it. The 'political' songs - 'I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier' and 'Gimme Some Truth' - are very strong rock tracks, and the guitar work on them is magnificent. 'That' track - the much discussed 'How Do You Sleep? - is an excellent track, despite it's vitriolic lyrics. Lennon remarked that all he wanted to do here was 'make a funky rock track' and he did. Even the mawkish 'Oh Yoko' is pulled off here, something he couldn't achieve with 'Dear Yoko' on Double Fantasy. This album, I repeat, IS superb, and is second only to Plastic Ono Band.

Rating: 4.5
May 29, 1998
Lisa
Let's face it, IMAGINE is John's most widely-known song after the breakup of the Beatles. The title track is whistful and peaceful, setting the stage for the rest of the album. How do you sleep?, a secret message to Paul from John in response to Paul's Ram album released earlier, brings back to memory the songs and spirit of the Beatles, reminding everyone about Sgt. Pepper and the Walrus. Crippled inside, a folky, almost country song, add in the fun and gives the bag more variety. Oh Yoko!, a lighthearted track about the essence of love, is more like a bubblegum jingle in the sense you can't get it out of your head. It closes the album to wrap up the entire package. In the album are a few rough edges around I don't want to be a soilder and Gimme some truth, but overall, the enormity (or image) of John Lennon will carry you through the album and you will find yourself enjoying anway. IMAGINE is a must-have album for any diehard Beatles/John Lennon fan.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 18, 1998
Cynthia
Let's face it: IMAGINE is the song most people think of when they think about John Lennon. It is a legend, and everyone knows the tune and words to this song. It will doubtlessly live forever. For some, it's a way to try and keep John alive too. However, it has caused people to forget about the rest of the album it came from. The only other song that ever seems to get any notice, especially by the people who make the collections of John's music, is JEALOUS GUY. While this is a wonderful peice of work, it is not the only other song that he wrote. People seem to forget that IMAGINE was an ALBUM, not just a single. There is so much wealth in this album that gets unnoticed. The cleverly biting song HOW DO YOU SLEEP?, the sad and confused HOW?, the joyful and loving OH YOKO!,etc. Every song is like another facet of his life, and it is all expressed so clearly in this album. There are songs, like OH YOKO!, that people tend to brush off, but that would be wrong. John wrote his music from what he lived in his life, and to appreciate the music fully one must understand that. John was a story teller on the most personal level. He hid nothing, so we should not disregard his honesty. I could go on and on like this, but I won't. I just want to say this: IMAGINE is the only album of LEnnon's that i am lucky enough to own on Vinyl. The first time I played it, I remember the great sense of beauty and honesty that came through to me, pops and clicks and all. It is a truly great album and piece of work which should be listened to with an open mind, heart, and ear. It is a lovely gift to all who listen.

Rating: 3.0
Apr 4, 1998
John Bauldie
John Lennon began to be sanctified and eulogised the moment he got hit outside the Dakota. The press overkill which followed the murder left little unsaid. Lennon was indeed far more newsworthy than Jesus, and the over-solemn processes of that creepy Christmas culminated with the rafters of Liverpool cathedral ringing in irony to the sounds of his most celebrated song—"Imagine there's no heaven/It's easy if you try." Now, it's as if his edges have imperceptibly begun to blur, and it's becoming increasingly hard to imagine quite who he was, this man in a million photographs. Perhaps it's easiest to think of him as the rough-edged, cocky rocker in the Hamburg doorway. Open the door to the ROCK ‘N’ ROLL CD and you'll be blown away by Lennon as Dr. Winston O'Boogie, never happier, slippin' and slidin' his way enthusiastically through his teenage record collection for what is arguably his finest two-thirds of an hour. In contrast, Lennon's sometimes debilitating unhappiness is all too audible on the IMAGINE CD. He was never more angrily unhappy than he is on that record's (maybe his) best song, Give Me Some Truth, never more strangely unhappy than on the bitter McCartney-attack How Do You Sleep? and never more bemusedly unhappy than on How?. But IMAGINE ends with the ecstatic and liberating song to Yoko, the apple of his I. SHAVED FISH remains a successful attempt to summarise the post-Beatles Lennon. It presents him as a stridently political (Power To The People, Woman Is The Nigger Of The World) or screamingly personal (Mother) somebody. Throughout, his voice echoes and reverberates with its most powerful and memorable qualities—intensity and sincerity. Who was he? A man, take him for all in all.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 3, 1998
JeeVee
I will post this review in Spansih, specially for those latins and spaniards that come here and think that no-one speaks their language. "Imagine" nos invita a imaginar. Empieza con la canción "Imagine" donde nos imaginamos un mundo sin odio, sin guerra, sin países, sin hambre. Un piano genial acompaña esta obra clásica. Pasamos a "Crippled Inside" una canción que muchos han interpretado como un ataque a Paul. A mí me da la impresión que no es así... igual la canción no es tan buena. Luego viene "Jealous Guy", una canción que me impresiona porque parece pertenecer a su trabajo más tardío, como después de su separación con la medio-bruja de Yoko Ono. Sigue "It's So Hard" una canción que va más hacia el rock pero que no me convence. "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier" suena bien la primera vez pero después cansa. "Give Me Some Truth" ataca a los políticos mentirosos, a los ricos pretensiosos y pide la verdad. El lenguaje simple y vulgar sin ser grosero le da el matiz especial a esta canción genial. "Oh My Love" es uyna canción que no inspira mucho pero que tampoco molesta. "How Do You Sleep?" sí ataca a Paul McCartney directamente pero con una excelente guitarra cortesde George Harrison y un buen ritmo logra convencer. Después John diría que, luego de haberse perdonado con Paul, sintió que la canción era más como un autoataque. "How?" es una canción con mucho significado donde John explora su personalidad tal como lo haría en "God". Y llegamos a "Oh Yoko!" que pese a estar dedicada a esa hijue**** suena genial, con una guitarra y un piano geniales, mejor dicho, un fin perfecto a un álbum que si no tuviera "Crippled Inside" sería perfecto. Este álbum lo tienen que comprar y además es un excelente regalo.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 29, 1998
Matt Carney
This is another terrific masterpiece by John. It of course does not have the punch to it of Plastic Ono Band, but then again what album can compare with the misery and despair that John felt while recording that song. This album is much more hopeful, and is terrific. "Imagine" of course is the most well known track on here, and it is tremendous, with some terrific lyrics. "Crippled Inside" is also a nice country type of rocker that is one of John's better songs--I have heard an early version of this song called "Daddy Where You Been So Long" and it is cool to have because then you learn how this song changed. "Jealous Guy" is another great ballad by John which proves that he too can write the balads that Paul is famous for just as well as Paul can, and this one is terrific at that. "It's so Hard" is the next track and it shows John returnign to a more rockabilly style, although this is a good song, it sounds much better on John Lennon live in nyc, album where the orchestra parts are cut off for a cool saxophone. "I Don't Watn to Be A Soldier Mama" is a great rocking, kind of Avant Garde style of music, John displays his bitter but to the point lyrics well on this song, which takes the longest to like, but in time it grows on you, and really is a good, powerful song."Give Me Some Truth" is another one of John's tremendous rebel songs. It features John doing another one of his great vocal performances in my mind at least. The beautiful ballad "Oh My Love" co written with Yoko, is just another terrific ballad--that this album is full of, It is amazing and has a much differrnet sound than most other ballads. "How Do You Sleep?" is of course his brutal attack on Paul featuring some great slide guitar by George. Another tremendous song. "How" is maybe where John is talking to everyone giving them hope with lyrics like "How can I move forward into something I'm not sure of" it just gives me hope every time I feel that everything is too hard and liek the rest of this album, it is awesome. Finally, this album ends with "Oh Yoko!", which is a terrific and catchy number about Yoko. I really like this song, and it ends the album on a happy and catchy note. This is a great album and every song is just terrific, with maybe a few slight problems, but still great. Best of all, I was lucky enough to find an original issue on vinyl in Mint condition with the poster and postcard and everything, it was an incredible find, and makes this album seem just that much better. A great album though, and ranks up there with any of The Beatles material as well.

Rating: 4.5
Mar 23, 1998
Christian
"Imagine" is Johns second solo album and the follow up to the strong "Plastic Ono Band" album. On this album John has recorded some tracks in his own home out in Tittenhurst. I think John wanted to have a relaxed feel to it. The album open up strong with the classic "Imagine" a song about peace, love and understanding. I really love the lyrics on this song, "You Might Say I´m A Dreamer/But I´m Not The Only One". John really knew what he was writing when he recorded this song. It follows with the very angry attack on Paul McCartney, "Crippled Inside" is clearly about Johns anger against Paul. Paul recorded two songs about his feelings against John, "Dear Boy" and "Too Many People". John was of course angry about this, so he recorded two tracks about Paul. I always feel a sort of 1920´s blues feel to "Crippled Inside", but I´m not sure if Blues was a popular thing back then. I don´t know, I wasn´t born then :-)) And then very emotional track "Jealous Guy", it´s very stunning that this song didn´t do anything until Roxy Music did a tribute to John after nearly two years after his dead. But I think that Johns version is much better. Then to the very rocky "It´s So Hard", it reminds me a little about the song "Whole Lotta Yoko", which he performed at the Rolling Stones Rock And Roll Circus show. Then to the Vietnam influensed song "I Don´t Want To Be A Soldier", "Well, I Don´t Wanna Be A Failure Mama, I Don´t Wanna Cry". It feels very much that John did really want express his deepest anger against the Vietnam war. But in the end of the song it´s just painful to hear it over again. And I suppose John wanted the listener to react. Then after the "Give Me Some Truth" song, a song about the rich and powerful but weak politicians. "All I Want Is The Truth/Just Gimme Some Truth" he sings and I think a lot of other people agreed with him. This was time of all demonstration agains the Vietnam war. And for the very sweet song "Oh My Love", you really feel Johns love and feelings to Yoko, this is true music. When John was feeling negative, Yoko helped him to be positive. I think that this song is a "thank you" to Yoko. And then the second attack on Paul, "Who Do You Sleep", you feel Johns inner anger about Paul. It´s almost a very cruel song about him, but John was insulted and had to get something out of himself. "So Sgt. Pepper Took You By Surprise" he opens. Also on the track is George on guitar, playing slide guitar. But I think the song is too much in the end, I personally feel that this song is the weakest song on "Imagine". Then after my favorite track on the album, "How?", this is John with his deepest emotions at its fullest. The track reminds a little of "The Long And Winding Road". This was Johns version, sort of. I really love the lyrics on this song, take "How Can I Give Love When I Don´t Know What It Is I´m Giving". "How?" has that really good impact on people as the "God" song did. And for the last track "Oh Yoko!", the song he wrote in 1968, I think this is his feelings about Yoko when he first met her. John didn´t care about anything at this moment except of Yoko. It has that perfect end of a album as "God" had on "Plastic Ono Band". "Imagine" was also the last album John recorded in Great Britain. And what a good album.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 11, 1998
colon, barbara l
Since the first time that I heard the album, I kept playing it over and over...(until my roomate's radio started showing it's age!) I love every song, especially 'Jealous Guy'...however, Imagine is da bomb! Nevertheless, I play it at the end, because it's my favorite. I like 'Oh Yoko', expressing the love that he has for Yoko, that whatever he did, he always felt her in his heart. That's how I feel with this one guy, but he hates me now...I wish there was a way that I show him that I miss him...even though I messed up...anyways...Imagine is my all-time favorite album...and I wish to own John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's collection...pictures, posters, books, music, eveything... In Imagine, everything he says is on point, and we can all wish for a world like that, and when he says to imagine a world with no religion, you can't imagine all the deep conversations I've had about religion. I think religions are a hoax.

Rating: 5.0
Mar 6, 1998
bungalow bill
this is my favoraite lennon solo album. the album start's of with "IMAGINE" which represented lennons dreams and thats why alote of pepole had discribed this song as an autopien song that has no connection with real life. but even in the lyrics of the song lennon explaines that even he cannot realy believe with all his heart that this dream can be achived and thats why he regards himself in the song as a "dreamer". the second song "CRIPPLED INSIDE" is a combination of country and bluse,its a happy simple tune with lyrics that points to a bad emotional state(there is some simuleraty to "YER BLUSE" from the "the white album" which also has lyrics that talk about pain that are sunged almost joyfully) "JEALOUS GUY"is a butifull touching balad ,an apology from john to yoko. it was wrriten while john and the beatles were on vacation with the maharishy and was origginaly titled "CHILD OF NATURE"(it had totally diffrent lyrics). "ITS SO HARD" play almost an identiecal part on the album as "CRIPPELD INSIDE" but it has more blusy fill. "I DONT WANT TO BE A SOLDIER" is by no doubet the least catchy song of the album., it is very reppetative(it has only on chord) but the lyrics are strong and when you see it on the imagaine film you can realy understand it. "GIVE ME SOME TRUTH"is masterpeace of anger and bordom and its realy the most ingoyeble song in the album. "OH MY LOVE" is a gentele love song wrriten by john and yoko ,it has a briliant melody that remindes johns writing during the "white album. "HOW DO YOU SLEEP" is supposed to be johns response to one of mccartney songs which appeared on the album"ram". i dont know much about that story,but i can still ingoy the sheer beauty of the music. "HOW"is again a beautiful balad with a brilliant melody and for once in this album a realy perfect musicl production. "OH YOKO" a simple love song dedicated to yoko . which has four chords and lyrics that has no intension of devoloping astory or amassage but a simpe delicate cry for love. (sorry for all of thouse spelling mistakes)

Rating: 5.0
Feb 24, 1998
Omar Santos
I think this record is the best album in Lennon's single carrer, and it contains his best song as a single artist: IMAGINE, but the album is not that song only, JEALOUS GUY is fantastic, and I must not forget HOW?, in which lyrics we can feel a worried Lennon and HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?, with messages to Paul, If you can buy this record you should do it, it doesn't matter if you're not a Lennon fan you'll enjoy it...

Rating: 4.5
Feb 22, 1998
Cesar Bretón
¿Que podemos decir de este lp? Lp surgido en un momento de transición, influenciado desgraciadamente por la bruja de Yoko Ono, aunque el resultado es excelente. A destacar en el album la por supuesto canción bandera de Lennon " Imagine ". El resto de las canciones siguen la linea marcada por el album anterior y cabe destacar la nota negativa de la canción " How do you sleep tonight? " que claramente ataca sin piedad a el antiguo compañero Mr. Paul, motivada por las discrepancias entre Paul y Yoko. Si tienes que hacer un regalo aconsejo que regales este lp, no decepcionará.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 5, 1998
Winston O Boogie
Personally, I find this to be Lennon's greatest achievement both musically and lyrically. I think I understand life a little more each time I listen to it. From the impeccable, yet simpistic ballad of hope "IMAGINE" to the gritty, in-your-face rocker "GIVE ME SOME TRUTH", this album is the mother of all albums. I feel like "HOW?" was written especially for me sometimes. And the beautiful "OH MY LOVE" takes my breath away. This album defines my life, and who I've become thanks in large to the influence of Mr. Lennon and it's my favorite album of all time. The music was a bit more happy and smothered with instrumentation, unlike the previous album, but the message remains clear. Just listen to the words. They make the song in any case.

Rating: 4.5
Dec 25, 1997
Tara
``Imagine'' is clearly one of John's best albums. It shows exactly what a wonderful songwriter he is. It seems to be well thought-out, and all the songs are straight from the heart, especially the song ``Imagine.'' It shows Lennon's dream for peace on earth. And ``Oh Yoko'' shows his deep and undying love for her. Of course, some of the songs show that he's crying out for help, such as ``How?'' and ``Crippled Inside''. My personal favorite was ``How Do You Sleep?'' That song shows all the animosity he had toward Paul McCartney. All in all, Imagine is a truly spectacular album.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 11, 1997
Zara
If anyone questions the brilliance of Imagine then they better go out and listen to the CD sometime. Many years after its release it can still reach into the hearts of its listeners. The songs are all clear cut and they vary in style and the lyrics are pure poetry. When you hear John's voice singing you know he means what he is saying and that's enough to make this album rock on its own.

Rating: 5.0
Nov 2, 1997
barry
This album is the album of all time, and it is not because of the song Imangine. The reason is OH MY LOVE. The most under rated song that John Lennon ever recorded. Just close your eyes and listening and it is the bueatiful thing of all time. All the other songs are great to, especially Imagine, Jealous guy, and How. The only thing thAt is bad about the album is that there are only 10 songs. But the ten are great!!!

Rating: 4.5
Oct 9, 1997
Chris '81
From all I have read about the Imagine album, it would seem that it was weak, with angry go-nowhere songs. But having actually listened to the album, I am happy to say that it's wonderful. However, any album with Imagine on it is bound to be wonderful. Imagine begins light, is heavy in the middle, and finishes the same way it starts. I love this kind of variety. Few artists could go from the upbeat Crippled Inside, to the harsh Give Me Some Truth, to the beautiful Oh My Love. But was there really any doubt that John Lennon could make it work? If you do not own, or have not listened to any of John's solo work, then I full heartedly recommend Imagine to you. It best reflects the many sides of John Lennon.

Rating: 5.0
Oct 4, 1997
Steve Andrisevic
On its own merits this album is brilliant.Everything about it is a statement of where John was in the early seventies.Namely dealing with life just like the rest of us who were alive back then.He himself has stated that the title track was the communist manifesto with a sugar coating.Personally I think its great that there are so many things going on in this album.John by all accounts was a very complex person and it would be unrealistic to expect only one topic to come from such an artist.It must be remembered that while John was working on this album Paul was working on Ram,another great album.In an interveiw with David Wigg he said that if you wanted to hear what The Beatles would sound like put all the tracks from the different solo albums together on a tape and there would be the answer.Its an interesting idea and the result is clear.There never would have been a Beatles if John had not first imagined.

Rating: 4.0
Sep 25, 1997
Jon Hammond
"Imagine" finds Lennon a year later with a more optimistic attitude than the one on "Plastic Ono Band". His most successful album, it includes one of the most recognizable and beautiful songs ever rcorded, "Imagine", and then ventures off into the many facets of John's solo life: dealing with himself, political statements, feuding with Paul McCartney, and his love for Yoko. A solid album, and his last before his move to New York.

Rating: 5.0
Sep 13, 1997
Simmy
I really like Imagine the album. There are many brilliant songs on it. IMAGINE, of course is a song that always takes my breath away, even after I have heard it many times before. CRIPPLED INSIDE has kind of a cowboy movie feel to it, only much nicer than any music on cowboy movie! I think its the piano. It adds a nice touch. i think the words are Johns veiw on society. Wearing a mask and painting your face, but inside your crippled.JEALOUS GUY has been a favourite of mine since I heard it on Imagine the movie.The piano on it is beautiful, and his voice is sweet and touching. ITS SO HARD has a really nice guitar part in the beggining. ITS SO HARD is a bit like CRIPPLED INSIDE, with lines like - you gotta live, you gotta love, you gotta be somebody, you gotta shove - John looking at life again, but being saved by Yoko, cause - when its good, its oh so good, when i hold you in my arms baby... I DONT WANNA BE A SOLDIER MAMA I DONT WANNA DIE doesnt really have much of a tune, with John singing the same line over and over, changing the person he dont wanna be, and the reason why, but the music is good and it is a good song to listen to, and the word put over a strong message. GIVE ME SOME TRUTH. I love it! The words of GIVE ME SOME TRUTH were probably just John stringing together all the scornful adjectives he could think of, but they work so well, and they run so smoothly. This is a great song to sing/shout along to. The guitar solo is great and I am extremly glad there is no orchestra because i reackon it would have wrecked it. OH MY LOVE is beautiful.It reminds me of his song LOVE. (Not on the Imagine album) It proves that the stereotype of John being the rocker of the Beatles, and Paul being the soppy one is wrong. HOW DO YOU SLEEP is obviously directed at Paul, but Paul must have done something to make John attack him so viciously. The lyrics are very well thought out, John refers to Pauls songs and the Paul is Dead hoax. And Georges slide guitar really adds to the song. Its a pity about the ochestra though. i have to say that I prefer the raw version that John is shown singing on Imagine the movie. In HOW, i have a mental picture of John standing in the middle of nowhere, unable to move foward, or look back. Johns voice is really moving. The whole song is very negative, but then comes OH YOKO, and Yoko saves John from despair. OH YOKO is a happy song and when you listen to it you automatically find yourself tapping your feet and nodding your head. It is a lovely song, and ends the album really well

Rating: 5.0
Sep 13, 1997
Gustavo Rodriguez
Perhaps Lennon's most misunderstood album. "Imagine"'s immense popularity (due to the overly familiar title track) causes it to be undermined by serious critics. I, however find it unendingly fascinating and disturbing that Lennon laid himself out, warts and all, into something as inescapable and overwhelming as mass public consumption. Of course this is something that he was famous for doing with the Beatles and even more so with his solo career. Lennon created music that caused us to ask what exactly defines a commercial album. "Imagine" was designed to be a commercial album (as opposed to the rawer, personal, and ambivalent Plastic Ono Band") and yet if we look beneath the surface of it's catchy refrains and glossy production values we find an album that is full of the mazes and contradictions that made up John Lennon's personality. This album is the antithesis of "Plastic Ono Band" only in terms of external structure. Because Lennon "hides" his similarly dark and varied themes behind classic pop structures and production values, "Imagine" is twice as perverse as the album that preceded it. Most listeners (especially upon first hearing) expect an entire album that consistently reflects the mood, feel, and spirit of the title track. What follows, however is far more difficult and challenging. The title track in fact, almost seems out of place, for most of the subsequent tunes are about being "crippled", "jealous", and "not knowing which way to turn." Many times the music seems sweet and unassuming. Other songs like "Gimme Some Truth" and "How Do You Sleep?" are hard enough to shatter the stereotype of Lennon the album's hit single has fostered in many of our minds. "Imagine"'s bookends, the title track and "Oh Yoko!" serve as optimistic ideals. Sandwhiched between them is a the voice of someone who is angry, insecure, unsure of the future, loving, hating, and just plain lost. All throughout this ride through Lennon's id he tries to talk to us about difficult, unique, pe

Rating: 5.0
Sep 12, 1997
Emily Play
tHIS ALBUM IS PROBABLY John's 2 best solo album(Plastic ono band is of course his best). This album is still excellent. There is again John showing his contempt for the government and discrimination in the songs"I.....Solidier" and "Gimme Some Truth"9the latter being probably the finest song on the album). How Do you sleep is another excellent track, it would be truly fantastic if Phil Spector didn't clutter it up with those total 70's style orchestra's. My question is is why did not of the Beatles want to record with George Martin again? This song is so great because it totally rips on Paul(even though Paul is awesome, and whoever hasn't got his new album ou should get it asap). It just shows how angry John was at Paul at that time Anyway, Imagine of course is great,crippled inside is country-ish and is excellent. The album could have rivaled Plastic Ono band if it wasn't for that overproduction"aka the wall of sound". This is truly shown in the track It's so hard with the completley wrong idea of having the orchestra follow the bluesy Lennon song(this definately shows when you here it on John Lennon Live in New York City. It has the ballads for all of you ballad people,(Imagine,jEALOUS gUY, ETC). I especially like the catchy yoko song"Oh Yoko". It is excellent album-a must have!

Rating: 4.0
Sep 5, 1997
The Eggman
Musically, this album is terrific. Lyrically, its genius. Overall, not the best I heard of Lennon, but close enough. IMAGINE is just one of those songs that has a sort of atmosphere to it ya know. Its beautiful, and breathtaking, it really does allow the listener to "Imagine". CRIPPLED INSIDE is an interesting tune because its a good illustration of what John was like as a person, I particularly like the piano. The only song I don't like on the record is I DON'T WANNA BE A SOLDIER.. because it just goes on for too long, however, I admire the songs sound (Musically). I think that if Phil Spector hadn't placed his 'Wall of Sound' on the album also, it probably would of ended up with the sound like it was recorded in a cardboard box, but of course thats speculative. Overall the album is a classic that all Lennonites sould have without question.

Rating: 4.0
Sep 4, 1997
Philonous the Alethian
"Crippled Inside" is neat because in it Lennon's splenetic attitude is honed with some sharp wit, while "Gimme Some Truth" is a failure because it's nothing but attitude out of control. Oddly, "Crippled Inside" has that 1920's ricky-tick sound that irritated Lennon so much when McCartney did it ("Honey Pie" etc.). I guess the jolly tune is meant to make a horrifyingly ironic contrast to the tragic tone of the lyrics, like a skeleton in a clown suit. "You can wear a mask and paint your face"--like the dying Aschenbach painted his face in Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice." "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier Mamma I Don't Wanna Die" at first leads you to think it's going to be a conventional antiwar song, but the further into it he sings, the more nonsensical and incoherent the words become, until you gradually realize that the words are just an excuse for him to cook up a hypnotic spooky voodoo chant. "Oh My Love" is the most haunting ethereal love song I've ever heard, although it should have been spelled "O My Love" (never mind). I agree with the other critics who say that if Lennon were alive and rewrote "Imagine", he wouldn't include the gratuitous attack on religion. He did become somewhat more religious, or at least mystical, before the end of his life. "It's So Hard"--a rather obvious double entendre! When I hold my woman in my arms, I feel like going down on her too!

Rating: 4.5
Aug 13, 1997
John Lennon 2
I thought that the album was really groooooovvvvyyyy. I have only one small problem, in Imagine he says that we have to imagine no religion. Sorry old friend, but thats hard to do. Sorry again.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 7, 1997
Mike Castellanos
If PLASTIC ONO BAND was John Lennon declaring that "the dream is over", then IMAGINE proclaimed "long live that dream". Starting out with the wide-eyed idealism of "Imagine" put Lennon right back on the commercial turf he had somewhat lost with POB. The songs are obviously Beatle-esque ("Oh My Love", "Jealous Guy") and the rock n' roll Lennon enjoyed so much. The album showed John was as capable of turning out great commercial music just like his old partner what's-his-name. IMAGINE has many highlights: "Jealous Guy" is such a plaintive track, John's voice almost cracks, and the song itself is elevated by Nicky Hopkins truly beautiful piano; "Gimme Some Truth" is thunderous, and on the track George Harrison's guitar is harder than it ever was on his own solo music; "Oh My Love" is a simple love ballad, the kind of well crafted music McCartney had stopped doing at this point; and of course "How Do You Sleep?", the famous character assasination of Paul, which although most Beatle people could have done without, the music on the track (droning strings, Harrison's vicious slide work, Lennon's echoey vocals) makes it impossible not to listen, Harrison's presence making it clear who's side he's on. IMAGINE will stand the test of time as well as POB and BAND ON THE RUN and ALL THINGS MUST PASS. Initially, most people who get it may do so out of ex-Beatle curiosity, but the music goes beyond that. It stands as a diary entry of one of the most public but misunderstood icons of the late 20th century. Optimistic, furious, sometimes confused, IMAGINE is essential in the understanding of the lennon "myth".

Rating: 2.5
Jun 27, 1997
Myke Carter
I'm sorry to announce that the "Imagine" album marks a point at which John and I part ways - not entirely, mind you, but to a great extent. Most of the music in it is great - some of it is excellent even - however, a lot of its most important lyrics thoroughly disgust me. The album also consists of so many mismatched attitudes, styles, arrangements, and production techniques that it comes off sounding more like a patchy collection of A-sides and B-sides of singles rather than a cohesive album. "How?" and "Oh Yoko!" are the quintessential Lennon compositions in this set and the two in it which wholly justify its purchase. Both would have been very appropriate songs for The Beatles to record had they continued working as a band in the 1970s. "Jealous Guy", a nice melodic and apologetic ballad, "Crippled Inside", a jaunty tune fit for a saloon, and "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier", the weird one of the bunch (musically), are also excellent songs but, again, differ so greatly from one another in sound and style that their mixture detracts from the personality of this album as a whole. The phrase "crippled inside" is also too ambiguous to make a clear statement. I can imagine it meaning several different things, but without knowing which interpretation is closest to what John had in mind when he wrote it, this song fails to communicate much to me. "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier" could have been a really great song had it not been drowned by Phil Spector's trademark "Wall of Sound" production techniques - by which I've never been impressed. "It's So Hard" and "Oh My Love" are more or less generic songs from John. The former of which is a raunchy blues-rock fusion piece with lyrics of not much importance. The latter is stronger lyrically than musically and is somewhat reminiscent of John's earlier song, "Julia". The three songs remaining on the album really ruin my impressions of it. The opening title track is as much an anthem for the socialists/leftists/Communists in this world as "I Am Woman" was for its feminists. The music and melody of "Imagine" is beautiful and truly inspired. In his lyrics, John clearly shows that his intentions are good ("Imagine all the people living for today... living life in peace... sharing all the world"). However, along with his good intentions John provides for us a list of really bad ideas that supposedly could realize them. ("Imagine there's no heaven... no hell below us... and no religion too...) I can understand how a non-religious person like John would see religion as more of an obstacle to achieving world peace than as a tool useful in promoting it. There are as many religious wars happening in the world today as there were when he wrote this song. However, there is also much good that can be said of religion and to suggest that having it stripped from society is any kind of solution to something is ludicrous. The world of the 1990s appears to me to be far less religious than the world I knew as a child in the 1970s - and I see no signs of increased peace because of it - quite the opposite in fact! The concepts of Heaven and Hell are great motivators for many people I know to be more decent to one another than they otherwise would be. I believe, albeit in a most general way, that given a choice between good and evil, men without God will choose evil. I think John really missed the boat on this. And I really wish we all could have a sequel from him now that he really knows the truth of this great human debate. ("Imagine no possessions...) Yeah, right, John. You first. "Give Me Some Truth" is also offensive. ("I'm sick and tired of hearing things from uptight-short sighted-narrow minded neurotic-psychotic pig-headed short-haired yellow-bellied son of tricky dicky tight-lipped condescending schizophrenic egocentric paranoiac chauvinistic hypocritics...") Hypocritics??? Hey John! WAR IS OVER! GIVE PEACE A CHANCE! It's a two-way street, y'know! And "How Do You Sleep?"... Good Lord! This song has got to be one of John's greatest songs MUSICALLY but lyrically it is deplorable. ([Dear Paul McCartney,] Those freaks was right when they said you was dead... / The only thing you did was Yesterday / And since you've gone you're just Another Day... The sound you make is muzak to my ears...) Hypocritics??? Hey John! ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE! "Imagine" may be a necessary addition to any serious Lennon fan's collection, but by no means is it one of John's best efforts.

Rating: 4.0
Jun 15, 1997
Mack Slater
Well, in my opinion this is the storngest Lennon solo album that he made. "Oh My Love" is as good of a love song as there is. Even the song "Oh Yoko" is a good song. "Imagine" of course is great and I like his "up yours" attitude in "Gimme Some Truth". This is better than any other Beatles solo record in my opinion. Stong words mixed with nice music, a little rough but that makes it more natural. Any Lennon fan should have this record.

Rating: 4.5
May 21, 1997
Lisa
I really enjoyed this album. Imagine, the title track, is well known for it's powerful message. The piano in the song is delightful, and John's voice is strong, showing he really wanted to get the message across. Dear yoko is another favorite of mine on that album.It's tune is ,"Like a chewing gum commerical." It stays in your head because of it's catchy melody. How? is a wonderful little tune that is about direction. It also has a strong message, if you only look for it. A few of the song could have been cut from the album, in my Opinion, such as I don't wanna be a soilder. But in the end, it is, in my opinion, well worth while to buy, and a good hearty helping of some a Lennon's best work.

Rating: 4.0
May 21, 1997
Bret Staples
This is a great album. It is tuney and yet Lennon get's his point across. While containing such hits as Jealous Guy and the Never forgettable Imagine, and the tuney Oh Yoko, Lennon also expieraments much with this album, going with the old western Crippled Inside. He also went with an older style grunge with it's so Hard. While haveing many plus sides Lennon starts his protest against the Vietnam War, with such songs as I dont wanna be a soldier, and Gimme some Truth where he even reffers to Nixon "Son of tricky dicky" Even in Imagine he expresses his thoughts about the war "Imagine there's no countries, nothing to kill or die for." This album is a definite success, and a must for Lennon fans, as well as anyone who likes good music.

Rating: 5.0
May 19, 1997
Briana Eades
This is an incredible, touching, poignant and heart-breaking album. everytime i listen to imagine and how? i cry. everytime i hear how do you sleep and gimme some truth, i feel empowered. every track is so incredible. this is definitely the best solo album in my book. you can just listen to it over and over and never get tired of it. even crippled inside with it's country sound is great. i could gush like this forever, but i just wanted to emote to you all how fabulous Imagine is. john is at his best on this album! -strawberry fields forever

Rating: 4.5
May 17, 1997
Philippe St-Germain
This is probably my fave Lennon solo album. True, it's more commercial than Plastic Ono Band. But in a way it's easier to listen to, more catchy. I like POB, but this one always captivated me a bit more. The title track, IMAGINE, is probably my favorite song he did in solo, and other faves of mine include GIVE ME SOME TRUTH, HOW DO YOU SLEEP? (some thought it was mean spirited. it is, in a way, but John was just answering to some McCartney lyrics well... in a less subtle way. If you watched the Imagine: John Lennon documentary though, you know that both were in fairly good terms some years before Lennon's death), CRIPPLED INSIDE, JEALOUS GUY... a really good album.

Rating: 5.0
Apr 20, 1997
Brad Snyder
The greatest solo album by--in my opinion--the greatest songwriter ever to breathe on the planet Earth. Imagine captures a wide range of emotions and a wide range of musical style. "Imagine" obviously takes the prize as the best song on the album but, "Crippled Inside" and "Oh Yoko" have a youthfull feeling to them like no other post-Beatles Lennon song. "Jealous Guy" is a timeless anthem of love. And "How Do You Sleep" and "Give Me Some Truth" show the angry side of John Lennon which I feel he never captured into his songs enough. Every song on this album is pure brillance in my mind but, the best aspect to this recording is that everytime you listen to it it gets better.

Rating: 4.0
Apr 6, 1997
Anna of the Field
Well, it's very personal opinion, but IMAGINE seems to be the bst Lennon albm ever heard ( "Double Fantasy" were excellent, but it was John plus Yoko - what a pity ). Let's make the rating of the songs at the album: IMAGINE: nothing more can be said. CRIPPLED INSIDE: typical Lennon. Wonderful.JEALOUS GUY: soundtrack to many romances ( of my parents, for instance ) a tune to touch the heart. IT'S SO HARD : Well, I don't like this one. Many people do, but I think it was a waste of vynil. I DON'T WANT TO BE A SOLDIER: one of the best scenes of the film "Imagine" and a good work of George at the guitar. GIVE ME SOME TRUTH: again the fierce Lennon, that would be MORE fierce in STNYC. Not a favorite, but anyway, it's a good one. OH MY LOVE: touching, incredable. HOW DO YOU SLEEP?: the long fight between Lennon and McCartney. You have to listen to understand. HOW?: Just like "Mother". "How can I give love if love is something I ain't never had?", says the lyric. OH YOKO! Oh, no, not again... I still like "Dear Yoko", from "Double Fantasy" more than this one. That's it, from A to Z. An excelent album, in my very opinion.

Rating: 3.5
Mar 31, 1997
April (17) Starchild
When I got this album for Xmas, I was honestly afraid to play it. I'd heard a some of his solo work and loved it, namely "Instant Karma," "Cold Turkey," and "Imagine." But to be honest, I'd also heard horror stories of him doing experimental music. I'm willing to try something new, but I found I was one of the few who liked that sort of stuff ("that sort of stuff" being things like "Don't Worry Kyoko," which may not be easy listening but is at least interesting artistically). The first time, I listened to it on headphones as not to embarass myself--and was very pleasantly surprised! "Imagine" of course I already liked. It's almost a church hymn (except for the no religion part) and if it were actually sung at churches or other religious places, maybe there wouldn't be so much intolerance. "Crippled Inside" is rather odd: the lyrics are a bit of a downer, but the tune is upbeat and almost danceable. Did John do it that way on purpose, to be ironic? Who knows? "Jealous Guy," is, in my humble opinion, a little too sugary. It almost sounds like something Sir McCartney would write (sorry, Paul). Although I'm sure he meant every word. "It's So Hard" is actually one of my faves, it sounds rough, like "Happiness Is A Warm Gun," almost. "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier" is slightly long and repetitive, but somehow I get the feeling that that was the point because it sounds like a guy begging or praying desperately not to have to fight. "Give Me Some Truth" is almost a good song. Note, "almost." Well, if nobody's doing anything to change the world, than YOU should do something positive. Writing "Imagine" doesn't count because the only people affected by it are the very people who already live by its standards! "Oh My Love" is wonderful. Due, probably, to Yoko's help in writing it, it has the flavor of a Japanese folk song. It's simplistic and therefore effective in its message. "How Do You Sleep" is great!! It is kinda mean, but John is famous for saying exactly what he thinks without any subtlety. For being a mean song, it was sure done creatively. Not that I have anything against Paul, mind you. "How?" is kind of meandering, most likely done on purpose. It sounds like what it is: a guy pondering his new-found love and how it got there and why he never had it before. "Oh Yoko!" is very cheerful and happy, sort of like, "I'm in love!! Isn't the world grand!?!" which is rather different from the message on most of the rest of the album. It's also the only song in which he mentions Yoko by name. Listening to this (and the other love songs on the album) you honestly believe that he really and truly loves her, and wasn't brain-washed like some mislead people believe. With the possible exception of "Crippled Inside," the message of the song matched the tune used to present it: form following function. On the whole, the album is a little too idealistic. Sorry life ain't fair, man. But don't we all need a little idealism in life to give us hope and make us feel better when we're down??

Rating: 5.0
Mar 25, 1997
The Walrus
I recently had the pleasure of getting IMAGINE, it was everything i could have hoped for. IMAGINE, was probably one of John's greatest song, it gave the world a united message of peace and unity. CRIPPLED INSIDE is a very good song, John's telling the world everyone that no one is perfect and everyone is just human. JEALOUS GUY is almost a predate to John's lost weekend (the eighteen months that him and Yoko were separated in 1973 i believe) its a song for all guys who are just give a little too much sometimes, and it's the ulitmate way to apologize to your loved one. IT"S SO HARD is a very good attempt at the Blues, although he doesn't pull it off that well john did do a great job with it. I DON'T WANT TO BE A SOLIDER is a great song against an unjust war, it tells of the pain of being a solider. GIVE ME SOME TRUTH, is a great song to play when your down, and your just tired of being of being pushed around by the system. OH MY LOVE, is a great John love song to Yoko or anywoman. HOW DO YOU SLEEP? is a song john wrote about Paul McCartney, john really pulled off some "therapy" about his anger to Paul. HOW? is a great song to play when you feel like you don't have any direction in your life. OH YOKO! is a song john wrote to Yoko singing of his eternal love to her. In my opion IMAGINE is a great album and should be forever treasured for all time, by all people

Rating: 5.0
Mar 24, 1997
David A. Carpenter
Imagine is the most commerical album of Lennon's solo career. Obviously the title track is unforgettable. However, there are some sleepers on this album, such as Jealous Guy and Oh My Love. Perhaps the two best on the album are the angry Give Me Some Truth and Lennon's scathing attack on Paul McCartney in How Do You Sleep. This is a must-own album for any collection!

Rating: 3.5
Mar 23, 1997
Moondog
I agree with most of what's been said. John said later that everything he did after this album was terrible. I would like to point out this was the last Plastic Ono Band album. I feel the POB was a very unappreciated period of John's career. The lineup on Imagine features POB mainstays Lennon, Harrison, Voorman(friend of the Beatles since Hamburg, and designer of the Revolver cover) on bass and Alan White(who later became the Drummer for the group YES) and Jim Keltner on drums, and on keys Nicky Hopkins(who also played on Revolution). The Plastic Ono Band started with the great Live Peace In Toronto performance featuring Lennon, Ono, Clapton, Voorman and White (although you could argue The Dirty Mac was truely the beginning a year earlier). They went in the studio following that to record the Cold Turkey single with Lennon, Clapton, Voorman and Starr , with Yoko and the Band on the B-side. Then they played in London in Dec of 69 with Lennon, Ono, Clapton, Harrison, Voorman, White and Keith Moon and Billy Preston(later overdubbed with Hopkins) on keys. Then came Instant Karma again with Lennon, Harrison, Voorman, and White. Lennon stripped down for their next two albums John Lennon/POB with Lennon, Voorman and Starr, and Yoko Ono/POB with Ono, Lennon, Voorman and Starr. They followed with the excellent single Power To The People and the Imagine album. So the Plastic Ono Band ran from 1969 to 1971, featured Lennon, Harrison and Clapton on Guitars, Bassist Klaus Voorman, Nicky Hopkins on keys, and Keltner, White and Starr on drums, and produced the albums Live Peace Toronto, John Lennon/POB, and Imagine, plus the singles Cold Turkey, Instant Karma, and Power To The People. The Plastic Ono Band was Lennon at his most primal, and truely at his peak. The Plastic Ono band came to an end though with the successful Imagine album in 71. On his next album Sometime In New York, Lennon replaced POB with The Elephant's Memory Band, a local New York group, although he did retain drummer Jim Keltner for the album. The two disc set does contain the POB's London '69 performance however. The POB did continue in a different form though with Harrison. Following the Imagine sessions, the POB performed Harrison's Concert For Bangledesh in 71 which is on video, featuring Harrison and Clapton on guitars, with Voorman on bass, Preston on keys, and Keltner and Starr on drums. Harrison's following album Living In The Material World in 73 featured Harrison with Voorman, Hopkins and drummers Keltner and Starr. But following Imagine Lennon would no longer use this band. Imagine what Lennon may have done with a permanent Plastic Ono Band of himself, Clapton, Voorman, Hopkins, White and Keltner...with guest appearances by Starr and Harrison. It seems when Lennon left POB and truely became a SOLO performer was when he began to lose the direction and focus he had up to that point.

Rating: 3.5
Mar 21, 1997
PAULDO
I wasn't too please with the album to be honest. Maybe I was expecting too much. Imagine is there however! IMHO the song needs a bit more working done on it. Cripped inside isn't too interesting, not much for country. Jealous guy - another favourite, very sugary. tracks 4 and 5 are average. Give me song truth is better however: One of the angriest songs on the album!. How do you sleep? is a rather mean attack on Paul, especially when john sings about peace in imagine, then what is this song doing on the album!?! George plays slide on that however. OH yoko! is another sentimental yoko song, nothing great, very upheat and a pleasant way to finish the album. Theres a picture of John holding a sheep which is a take off of Pauls ram album by the way!

Rating: 4.5
Mar 19, 1997
Charles (Give Me Some Truth)
"Imagine" is a terrific album showing John starting to come to terms with his identity after "Plastic Ono Band." IMAGINE - What hasn't been said about this already? A deep universal anthem. CRIPPLED INSIDE - A nice happy-go-lucky tune. It's good to see John analyze himself in a lighthearted mood. JEALOUS GUY - A beautiful honest confession to Yoko. IT'S SO HARD - A very good rocker ruined by screaching, out of place violins. I DON'T WANT TO BE A SOLDIER - Perhaps not his greatest song, but the tune is hypnotic, and the wordplay is nice. GIVE ME SOME TRUTH - One of the best songs John ever wrote for the Beatles or himself. Never has there been such an accurate portrayl of the U.S. government (and political fat-cats) as this. George adds a terrific guitar solo to this outstanding tune. A true classic. OH MY LOVE - Another one of my favorites. The music is sparse and delicate. For me, this song is John being reborn. After letting out his life's anger and pain on "Plastic Ono Band," we see the beginning of a new John: "for the first time in my life, my eyes (mind) can see (feel)." HOW DO YOU SLEEP? - O.K., so he released most of his anger on that previous album. I love this message to his old pal (I somewhat agree with his assessment of Paul's music at the time - my personal opinion). The tune is highlighted by another great George solo, and some stinging violins on the chorus. HOW? - Another beautiful song about confused identity. Phil Spector does a great job on this one: it reminds me of "The Long And Winding Road" in places. OH YOKO - A pleasant upbeat song for Yoko with a great Dylanish harmonica solo. A nice way to end the album. This is a great record produced nicely by Phil Spector (except for "It's So Hard"). A must have.

Rating: 4.0
Mar 19, 1997
Bob
This was a good album, but slightly uneven. There were 3 outstanding songs on it, and the rest were good, but nothing to write home about. I'll go song by song, as is customary with reviews like this. The first song is Imagine, the title track. What can I say about it that hasn't been said before? It is one of the best songs on the album. John's ideal for a better world. Maybe someday we'll see John's dream come true. The next song is Crippled Inside, a somewhat boring, almost cowboy song. It does have a message, though, and that's what John always wanted with his songs. Some people take it as an attack on Paul. We'll get into that later. Then comes the wonderfull Jealous Guy. John comes to terms with his anger inside, and apologises for loosing his cool. After that is It's So Hard, a great bluesy tune. Next we have I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama, I Don't Wanna Die, which is a good attempt at a political song, although too long for my tastes. The first song on side 2 is Gimme Some Truth, one of John's best politcal songs. An attack on Dick Nixon and all hipocrites like him. Then you have Oh My Love, a sweet song about being in love for the first time, and the only song co-credited with Yoko. After that comes the somewhat mean spirited How Do You Sleep?, a blatant attack on Paul. John was hurt by a couple of lines in Paul's Too Many People, on Ram. Lines like "Too many people going underground", and "You took your lucky break and broke it in two" were taken by John as a subtle attack on him. John, never very good at being subtle, decided to return it, and so How Do You Sleep? was born. Next comes the last of the outstanding songs (Imagine and Jealous Guy being the others), How?. How? is a song about John's confusion with life. It has a beautiful melody, and the way John sings it is haunting. Finaly, we get to Oh Yoko!, a touching love song to Yoko with an upbeat tune. All in all, a very good album, but not quite as good as a Beatles record. It just goes to prove, they realy were 4 peices of a puzzle, who don't work quite as well without each other.

 

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