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Reviews: Imagine: John Lennon (soundtrack)


"Imagine: John Lennon" was the soundtrack to the excellent film documentary of John Lennon in 1988. It is a compilation album that features songs by John from early Beatlemania to his final solo album. It was released Oct. 4, 1988 (US) and Oct. 10, 1988 (UK)

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Rating: 5.0
Jun 30, 2009
dito
imagine- what can i imagine without John... he was my inspire

Rating: 4.5
Apr 22, 2007
Philippe
The soundtrack of the movie.It can't be a masterpiece because it dips into Lennon's music with and without the beatles.Therefore, there is a lack of coherence that spoils it for me.But, of course, one can't disagree with the choice of material.The thing is, for a Lennon fan, ther isn't much to discover here.I've got it anyway! but I prefer watching the movie!

Rating: 4.0
Dec 12, 2005
nocturnalquadruped
For anyone out there that has the most popular Beatles albums and the most popular Lennon albums you won't find much new on this Album. Why four Apples then? Because this is a great listen from start to finish, the first track is the most superior version of real love with Lennon on acoustic guitar, this version comes across better with no production to speak of than everything the threetles did to the version released in the late nineties. From Real love the tracks dip into the Beatles years with Twist and shout (Great) don't let me down (Greater) and Strawberry fields forever (Greatest). After the demise of the Beatles we visit Lennons solo years with the classic Mother, (If your Mother has left home prepare to share Lennons pain, it Hurts) and then into the later years with some tracks from double fantasy. One little gem towards the end is the Imagine rehearsal (can you let the musicians in) which is John demonstrating Imagine to his co-workers. Overall a great listen if you are bored with Walls and Bridges.

Rating: 5.0
Aug 30, 2004
Ervin D.
I am very partial to this album because it's the first album that introduced me to the Beatles and then eventually, John Lennon. When my dad first brought home a cassette tape of this album and when I first listened to it, the music just totally blew me away. I somewhat had a concept of who the Beatles were and I just knew John Lennon, as a name. When you're a kid, who cares who's singing anyway, as long as it sounds good, you'd like it. I remember singing with this album a lot, many times not even knowing the words. Not knowing it at the time, but this was the start of my extreme admiration towards both the Beatle's and Lennon's music. Now, in my early twenties, and now as a guitarist/songwriter, I appreciate this album more. Lennon's version of "Real Love" in this album is still my favorite, so much so that I sing and play it the way he does it here. I love it's organicness and feel, very warm and cozy, just his voice and his acoustic guitar. Like the film, it illustrates how he grew up as a musician, and as a person. From a "Hard Day's Night" to "Help" to "Strawberry Fields" and so on... For me, this album was my outlet to explore more into the Beatles' and John Lennon's music, and if that was Yoko's intention when she released this album, then she definitely succeeded with me. I don't really care what the intentions were when they released this album, I just know that I was introduced to really beautiful music. And I hope it will do you as it did me because it's such a beautiful compilation of an artist's life's work.

Rating: 3.5
Jul 24, 2004
Morozov Dima
This album has it's pluses and it's minuses but let's begin from the start. First of all, this is a movie soundtrack and, of course, it should include all songs that were put in film. In this regard this album is completed very good. But for people who just want to recognize Lennon as a solo artist and who didn't see this film (the majority of fans-beginners) the purchase of this disc wouldn't be the best way because the album includes too much of the well-known Beatles' material.So they should buy "John Lennon Collection" or "Shaved Fish". Secondary, this album is just a collection of #1 hits of solo Lennon and Beatles and therefor the realise of this album can be truly charachterized as Yoko's attempt to sell sold. In light of this I should notice the following warning on production which somehow or other relates to John Lennon: "Lennon and John Lennon are trademarks of Yoko Ono Lennon". I think that any comments are unnecessary.

Rating: 5.0
Jan 4, 2004
T Saporito
What can I say about such an awesome album. It has a little bit of all the music spectrum with all the pop songs like "Just like Starting Over" and the rock and roll 60's "Revolution". It was the first solo John Lennon album I got and I reccomend it to anyone who wants to see what John Lennon was about thru his life. The only... downfall, if you say it has one, is that if you are relitavely new to the whole John Lennon thing, know that his songs are an aquired taste, like beer. Revolution, now my favorite song, Annoyed me so much when I could heard it for the first time I turned it off.

Rating: 3.0
Nov 26, 1999
Ward
The marketing folks were most likely trying to make this release as accessible as possible for neophytes; it's admittedly convenient to have a nice pile of Beatle classics alongside John's solo hits. But collectors didn't really need another version of Help! or In My Life in their racks. Also, vinyl buyers got 4 short sides to correspond to one full CD. So why 3 stars then? Because it's a nice round musical look at John. Going through his recorded history chronologically tells volumes. As for the alternate tracks, I believe this was the first official appearance of "A Day In The Life" with a clean (i.e. not cross-faded) intro, the live take of "Mother" is a welcome change of pace, the quick run-through of "Imagine" to the session guys who'd never heard it before nor imagined (sorry) that it would become such a famous song is charming, and even the unfinished quality of "Real Love" (did John know he was reverencing "Isolation" in the bridge?) was obvious to the Threetles when they embellished it in 1995. Again, a great introduction, especially if it leads the listener to the original albums.

Rating: 4.0
Dec 6, 1998
Stan "The Piano Man"
This Lennon Compilation is probably the most complete for its kind. It starts off with "Real Love" which sounds beautiful (For a half completed song), and is very emotional..a great intro song for the remainder of the album. Then from track 2 it begins with his most popular Beatles tunes. A terrific way to go about an album thats Biographical. About halfway into the record begins songs from his solo years. Of course the record partially coincides with the movie (Which was excellent by the way), but not entirely which is good. Still like other Lennon collection albums too much of "Double Fantasy" is put in, and not enough of songs from his "Lost Weekend". The only unecessary track on the album is the demo of "Imagine", though an interesting listen..listeners get this segment on the movie, and the demo version is nothing to sneeze at really (Speaking in terms of putting it on the album). Overall though this is a very good collection, one I listen to frequently, and is great for the road if you only want to bring one Lennon CD that says it all.

Rating: 3.5
Oct 4, 1998
Bernardo Quiroga
"Imagine: John Lennon" is a compilation of some of the best songs from John Lennon. It has the same good thing that George Harrison's "The Best Of" compilation has: it comprises most of the best songs from the singer not only as a solo artist but as a member of The Beatles. But what I didn't like was the fact that, being a FILM SOUNDTRACK album, it didn't compile some of the versions from the film (Let's say the rehearsals of "How Do You Sleep" and "Oh Yoko", the live version of "Twist & Shout" or the promo film version of "Revolution", all shown on the film, and deleted for some reason from this album)...the cover claims: "However for technical reasons and in order to provide complete versions, some of the performances differ from those used in the motion picture". OK, but some could have been included, since some are circulating among collectors, and even one (The "Twist & Shout" version) was officially issued almost a decade after on "The Beatles Anthology 1". Anyway, all the songs included are excellent...it shows an early John from the beatlemania years ("Help!", "Twist & Shout"), a more polished Lennon, now with the lovely bach-influenced "In My Life" and the psychedelic masterpieces "A Day In The Life" and "Strawberry Fields Forever". A few more late-Beatles-hits are included ("Ballad Of John & Yoko", "Revolution", "Don't Let Me Down") to introduce the album into the Yoko period. The relation mother-wife that John felt for Yoko is shown clearly with the addition of "Julia" and "Mother". Also, you can find a big delight with those solo period tracks from side-B (Let's say "Stand By Me", maybe John's best cover version, "Give Peace A Chance", widely known, the love songs "Woman" and "Jealous Guy", the existencial questions from "God", and the big hits which preceeded his death: "Starting Over" and "Beautiful Boy"). I can say that "Imagine" almost loses its brightness with all those big hits around, but still is a good close for the album. A nice thing to include the demo for "Real Love" (preceeding in its release the Beatles version in 8 years) and the "Imagine Rehearsal", since always it will be nice to notice how the song was originally thought by the artist. This is the best of all the compilations issued from John Lennon, but it isn't good to buy compilation albums, since they show you the songs not like the artist thought them: the record labels take the tracks out of the original context, the context in which the artist originally put them. Compilations are good only if they bring new things for the fans...not only 2 tracks like "Real Love" and the "Imagine" rehearsal. For a beginner, an excellent example of good compilations are the "Past Masters" Beatles CDs, because they bring all the big hits and b-sides not included on any album, to give the listener the chance to listen to all the songs the artist officially released.

Rating: 4.5
Jun 18, 1998
John Smith
I got "Imagine" for Christmas six months ago, and since then it's resided in my CD player all day, everyday. I can't get enough of this music! The CD starts off with the simple yet pretty "Real Love", which I actually prefer to the Anthology II version. Then it goes into "Twist and Shout", which is the one song that can put me in a good mood no matter what's going on. There's the classic "Help" and the beautiful "In My Life", the strange "Strawberry Fields" and ominous "A Day in the Life". The best part about this album is that it has both solo and Beatles material, and the solo stuff is some of the best. "Mother" tugs at the heart strings, making you feel his pain, and "God", agree with him or not, is one of his best songs ever. "Woman" is a heartfelt declaration of love to Yoko, and "Beautiful Boy" to his son. Then of course there's "Imagine", which is not his best, but is his most important song, truly defining his life and times. I enjoyed this compilation album extremely, and would suggest it to any Lennon fan.

Rating: 2.5
Jun 7, 1998
Casey
The collection of songs here is good, but really there's nothing new. In fact, the only real reason I bought the album was for the song "Real Love," which is pretty good (I have heard another demo version, with John playing piano, which is also nice." But, any one who's even a modest Beatle fan will have already owned or heard everything else here. And the Imagine Rehearsal certainly doesn't add much--buying outtakes of previously released songs ins't my cup of tea. Imagine: TST, along with all the other Lennon compilations, just leaves me wishing they'd release an album with all the singles. If you like "Imagine" or "Working Class Hero" that much, buy the studio albums.

Rating: 3.0
Mar 27, 1998
Christian
The movie "Imagine" was to me a very emotional movie but also very rich detailed movie. It´s so hard to keep the tears away when you see this movie. I´m really glad that they did this movie for a warm tribute to the memory of John Lennon. And to this movie a soundtrack came with it. And the songs on this record are featured in the movie. The album begins with the plain demo "Real Love", recorded in circa 1979. John didn´t finish this song, but 15 years later the surviving members of The Beatles re-recorded it. It´s available on the "Anthology 2" album. Almost half of the album contains Beatles song. Songs that were mostly written by John of course. The beautiful track "Julia" to "A Day In The Life" and so on. And the rest of album consists of Lennons best work. What´s really sad is that there´s mostly tracks from the "Plastic Ono Band", "Imagine" and "Double Fantasy" album. I really wish that there were more material from the other albums. There should have been "#9 Dream" and more other a bit less commercial songs. The album would have been better as a double-cd with Beatles songs written by John and solo songs on the other. It would have been a really good then.

Rating: 5.0
Feb 5, 1998
saff hashmani
well i just have to say i love this album...it is great. This album excellently chronnicles lennon with the beatles and as a solo artist. With songs like Help! can't buy me love...we can see why baetlemania took place and with later songs like strawberry fields forever and a day in the life...show the genius of lennon's lyrics and the beatles mastery and they remind us why the beatles remained and remain popular. The inclusion of the live recording of mother makes a standout track. This version shows us how much emotion lennon's songs and lyrics especially had, it can certainly reduce you to tears. Stand by me is a fantastic cover and reminds us of lennon's origins as well as making one wonder how it would fell if lennon were still alive and were still "standing by us". This album can certainly capture any music fan's attention with it's musical brilliance to the excellent poetry of lennon's words this album is just dazzaling. A perfect sound track to a perfect film, making me wonder about lennon and if were still with us today... Imagine.

Rating: 4.5
Jan 16, 1998
Anthony S.
An excellent selection of Lennon songs! It is nothing new to the Lennon fan these pieces. We all have come to expect this kind of work. But, for the new fans oir just the curious this would be the album to dip your toe into! A variety of rock and ballads, solo and Beatles. Just listening to the songs such as Revolution, Strawberry Fields, Give Peace A Chanca and Woman would lurer any person into the pleasures of John's songs. The only criticism that I could make mention is the absence of Instant Karma! With the inclusion of Instant Karma, it would be pretty hard to buy pass! But, it is an album that stands out!

Rating: 5.0
Dec 4, 1997
Valérie Faucher
C'est une excellente compilation. Mettre les plus gros hit sur le même disque est selon moi le meilleur moyen de vendre des disques, surtout si ils proviennent de Lennon ou des Beatles. Une autre chose que je trouve bien de faire est de mettre quelques chansons moins populaires sur ces disques pour, justement, les populariser. A force d'écouter un disque, les gens aimeront des chansons plus méconnues et les feront découvrir à leur tour à leurs proches.

Rating: 3.0
Oct 13, 1997
Matt Carney
THis is a great collection for anyone who wants to get a very small taste of both Beatles and John Lennon material. It is poor though in the sense that first of all it does not flow together well, I know it is a soundtrack and that is why I hate soundtracks, but it jumps too much and the styles changed so great that it does not flow well. I had all the songs on here and the movie before I bought this, but I had to get it for Real Love(this was way before the Threatles redid it). It is awesome. I actually think that this version is better than what the Beatles did it on Anthology Three. I also love the the Imagine rehearsal. I hope that they come out with a solo anthology because I have heard some great versions of lennon material and harrison material. It would be great and I know I WOULD BUY THE CD's and I am sure many others would too--just a hint to anyone who might be able to do that. ANyway, this is a good Lennon soundtrack/greatest hits album but it is too sporadic for my liking so it only gets a three apple review. Every big beatle/lennon fan needs this cd because Real Love sounds great!

Rating: 5.0
Aug 26, 1997
Pamela
Imagine: John Lennon is an amazing album. It includes Beatles' songs such as Help!, Strawberry Fields Forever, and one of their greatest, A Day In The Life. Some of John Lennon's songs on this album are the beautiful song Real Love, Jealous Guy, and my personal favorite, Imagine. All of these songs were written with the complete honesty Lennon's music was, and still is, famous for. Imagine: John Lennon is a great album for fans of all ages. I'm 14, and I can't stop listening to it; it's really worth the $22(Can) that I paid for it. Get Imagine: John Lennon today-you won't be sorry.

Rating: 4.5
Aug 11, 1997
Jim Jacobs
An excellent choice for the new John Lennon listener. Not only do you get some of John's best recordings, you get a taste of some his superb Beatles hits as well. The album starts out with an acoustic version of Real Love which the beatles rerecorded for 1995's Anthology. It is interesting to hear the song in it's early stages with different lyrics. John also sings real life instead of real love durring the song. An excellent start for the album. Next we go into perhaps one of the Beatles all time best cover song, Twist & Shout, from the Please Please Me Album. This track was the last track to be recorded for that album in 1963 & the version issued is take 1. You can really hear the raw energy of John's voice as he literally destroys his voice durring the course of the song. The remaining Beatle tracks speak for themselves but it is the inclusion of A Day In the Life that really makes this album a classic. For the first time, the listener can finally hear how the song really begins with out the crowd sounds from Sgt.Pepper. The remaining tracks could be considered Shaved Fish part 3 or The John Lennon collection part 2. This makes the third time that John's solo material has been released in the form of some of his greatest hits. The only other new track is the Imagine rehearsal track where the listener hears John on his white piano by himself with no strings or overdubs. It is recordings like this that should have been issued on the Menlove Avenue album. Watch the movie Imagine, then get the soundtrack to it. You will not be disappointed.

Rating: 4.5
Aug 8, 1997
Becca the Beatlefan
Imagine:John Lennon is one of my personal favorite albums (even though I rated it a 4.5). I gave it a 4.5 only because of the inclusion of Revolution instead of Revolution 1. John himself even said he preferred Revolution 1. This is a good album for any new fan who wants a taste of John Lennon in general. It covers his whole musical career, from Please Please Me to Double Fantasy. It's also good for a die-hard fan because of the tracks not heard anywhere else, like Real Love or the Imagine rehearsal. It also includes rare photos. I also recommend the movie.

Rating: 5.0
Jul 20, 1997
Chris
I think this is a very good and solid soundtrack. The songs seem to flow nicely one after another. I strong disagree with the person who rated it a 1 because he seemed not to be able to understand that this is a soundtrack and not a greatest hit cd. and the reason why they didn't play i am the walrus and other hits he had with the beatles was because they weren't a part of the movie and didn't fit in. i just wanted to get that point across because that man evidently didn't know what he was writing about. as for the cd, it's a fine masterpiece we'll worth spending your money on.

Rating: 4.5
Jul 12, 1997
Kent Ellis
Of all the solo-Beatles albums I own, this is the one that I prefer to all the others. It combines a perfect blend of Lennon and Beatles hits in order to create the best "hits" album possible, even if they called this a soundtrack. I think the best thing about this album, Lennon's career and the Beatles is that just when the music gets a little slow or repetitive, the direction/sound/motive of the music changes. Every song, with the exception of Give Peace A Chance(although influential at the time), Stand By Me, and Mother, has a definitive Lennon/poetry-esque edge to it. Even the simplest of all the songs, Real Love, stands the test of time. Not only was this album good music or catchy music, but it was important music. Shell out the $18 for this album and prepare to fall in love with Lennon all over again. :-)

Rating: 5.0
May 29, 1997
sarah stern
I think that this ablum is amazing. While focusing on his solo career it also focuses on when he was with the Beatles. I also noticed that the tracks were evenly split and that there were six songs by the Beatles and six songs by Lennon solo. One thing that I think they should have added was 'All you need is love'. It was one of their most famous songs.

Rating: 4.5
May 28, 1997
Justyn Dillingham
Imagine: John Lennon is a much better compilation album than Shaved Fish or the John Lennon Collection. While Shaved Fish does not include John's final songs and the Collection collects everythingwith little rhyme or reason, Imagine collects the most personally meaningful songs of Lennon and puts them in a form that perfectly sums up his life. Opening with the solitary, wistful version of Real Love that subtly and spiritually evokes nostalgia, sorrow, and growth. It is like Lennon looking back over his life and finding meaning at last in real love. Then the album jumps abruptly into that late hour at the end of the day that saw the Beatles' first album recorded in a rush, when a twenty-two year old John Lennon bawled out the words to Twist And Shout against a backdrop of wildly crunching guitars. Then the mad run-run-running sensations and isolation of Beatlemania in Help! and the beginning of introspective lyrics in In My Life. Beatlemania goes by quickly, as does the psychedelic period. Strawberry Fields Forever is John's stumbling invocation of childhood longing. A Day In The Life, Lennon's most haunting and accomplished song ever, shows him seeing after the Summer of Love and the English optimism of Sgt. Pepper only images of death and despair,lifted only by his immortal cry, 'I'd love to turn you on.' Then the Beatles' final period of music is captured in the jeering rock of Revolution and The Ballad of John and Yoko. Childhood memory and dreamy longing is captured beautifully in Julia, and his love cry to Yoko Ono with an easygoing bluesy twist in Don't Let Me Down. The bed-ins and peace marches are summed up in Give Peace A Chance. From John's Imagine album comes the stumbling How? representing his mood after the end of the Beatles. A demo of Imagine leavens the despair with hope, briefly. Then Lennon renounces all his icons- Jesus, mantra, magic, Buddha, Elvis, Dylan, and finally the Beatles, in God. Then we hear a live performance; Lennon singing and screaming his past in Mother. Finally, the subject turns to Yoko Ono in the rock revival Stand By Me, Jealous Guy, and skips five years to Lennon's return for Woman. His love for his son Sean comes up in Beautiful Boy, and finally the return of Lennon to rock and pop, both a part of (Just Like) Starting Over, bringing up the hope and optimism in John Lennon before he was silenced forever. The record that was played over and over as the world mourned for John, the song that for many people represented Lennon's dream for the world, was Imagine, which ends this album. Though this album does a perfect job of chronicling Lennon's life through his music, it of course neglects many great songs. The inclusion of Working Class Hero and I Am The Walrus would have put more emphasis on Lennon's anger, an emotion that he injected into his songs as powerfully as love. All You Need Is Love, Instant Karma, and Cold Turkey would also have improved the scope of this album. But even without these classics, Imagine: John Lennon evokes John Lennon as much as the movie does, with feelings of love, joy, and sadness.

Rating: 5.0
May 21, 1997
Lisa
This is a album with some of the greatest collection of song ever written by the Beatles, or John Lennon. I struggled to find this album, and when I did, you know how overjoyed i would be. Real Love, on of the most poignant and haunting songs on the album, is better, i think, than with the Beatles on the song. God, a wonderful song, written about self-esteem, reflects on how John was so stubborn, and Judgemental about his ways. He only believes..in Me. Yoko in Me. That;'s reality. I would reccammend this album to any beatle lover.

Rating: 1.0
May 7, 1997
Jeff Blehar
Oh God, oh God. "WHY?," I ask as I stand witness to another flimsy compilation album that totally fails to find the inner essence of John Lennon the ARTIST. The compilation, which will certainly be bought by people looking for a compilation album of Lennon music (they're cheating themselves, no matter what; the only other choices are the pitiable Shaved Fish and the inadequate, hit-based John Lennon Collection. Just buy the albums; it's a worthwhile investment. Start with Walls And Bridges), does great injustices to not only Lennon's solo work, but also to his unassailable Beatles work. This double slander earns it the single-apple rating, a badge of shame. The songs themselves are great, of course, but anybody who picks this up as representation John Lennon's body of work (and I fear that most people who buy it, except for the completists, do for just that reason) is being gravely misled. As for John's work as a Beatle, this album ignores so many of his key songs, like "Revolution No.1" (which was John's original statement, NOT "Revolution") or "Yer Blues" or "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" or "Across The Universe" or "I've Got A Feeling" or "She Said, She Said" or "Tomorrow Never Knows" or...so many other songs it's disgusting! Ditto for his solo work. Where's "Love?" "Nobody Loves You (When You're Down And Out)?" "I Know (I Know)?" "I Don't Want To Be A Soldier?" "Woman Is The Nigger Of The World?" "New York City?" "Watching The Wheels?" All of these songs, aside from being high points for sheerly musical and aesthetic standpoints, represent key signposts, markers, and turning points in Lennon's development of his writing style, and personal outlook on life. All are missing. As an owner of every album, I argue that the way to know an artist is by judging his album tracks, not his popular singles (Else we'd be calling the Bee Gees the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, and not the disco trend-distillers they really are). Never is this more true of Lennon. Do you want to know the best music of John Lennon? Read my reviews of his other albums and then decide for yourself which one to start with (IMHO, Walls And Bridges or Plastic Ono Band). Otherwise, do the right thing and eschew this and other compilations, buy them only to complete you collection, and pity the people who buy 'best of' albums and think they're getting the complete picture of ANY artist's body of work.

Rating: 4.5
Apr 30, 1997
Sara-Jane Smith
I really adore this album because I think it shows all the sides of John's music....the early Beatles stage (Twist&Shout), his trapped feeling during Beatlemania (Help!), the breakup (Don't let me down) and then the post Beatle. All the post Beatle songs are very emotional and show a side of John's ever changing personality..him throwing off the beatles image (God {it's one of my faves}, his love for his family (Beautiful Boy, Women) and his emotional distress about his mother and father (Mother {another fave}. I really enjoy this album as it was my first ever sound of John. I first heard it when I was 6 or so (I'm only 15 now so......) and I think it covers John well. Sure, it's not the beast album but I find it very enjoyable!

Rating: 5.0
Apr 2, 1997
Lynne Villeneuve
Let's get real people. It's a soundtrack. It's not meant to be the end-all and be-all of Lennon music. The only songs on here are the ones appearing in the movie. If you haven't seen the movie, see it. It's essential. This album is a good one to start a Lennon collection with, cause it attempts to cover all facets of his music, from the Beatles on. This is not a statement of Lennon's beliefs, opinions, or whatever at the time of his death. It's just a tribute by his widow and some other high-placed friends. If you want to analyse the music in context, you'll have to get the other albums, and know something about the history. Just enjoy the music. It's a compilation. Don't expect too much. It's not the bible. It's just John.

Rating: 3.0
Mar 28, 1997
little_roo
This could have easily been a compilation of John's best works throughout his life, but simply falls short by leaving out important songs. The first song is Real Love, now infamous for being tinkered with by three old men. This version however, is ten times better than the anthology 2 version. This is why: It's a solo guitar demo, and it's in a lower key, and john doesn't sound like a castrated parrot anymore. The chorus is different, not as poppy as the anthology 2 version. Best of all, it has a whistling coda, akin to jealous guy, which instantly makes it classic lennon. There are good choices in the album, Julia, How?, A Day in the Life, Revolution, In My Life, Imagine, Mother, etc. Unfortunately, it leaves out such gems as Tommorrow Never Knows, Cold Turkey, Mind Games, How Do You Sleep? and many others. There is no sign of experimental numbers, even excerpts would've been appreciated, because it was an important part of John's life. The rest of the album is pretty standard. Apart from an Imagine demo, there's nothing special that you can't get elsewhere. I don't really recommend this album, but it gets three stars, because john lennon songs are all classics. And for Real Love. But instead, you should buy the Imagine documentary video, which showcases live versions and outtakes of most of the songs featured here, (the memorable line 'how do you sleep at night you cunt!' from How Do You Sleep?, and scream induced live version of Mother (also on the album, but watching it makes more of an impression than hearing it), John arguing with someone who screws up the backing vocals of Oh Yoko!, plus many others). What could have been a wonderful album, a John Lennon anthology, isn't.

Rating: 3.5
Mar 22, 1997
Juice
Every song on this album is excellent, the content deserves a 5! However, I am extremely annoyed at what this album could have been... If you really like Lennon, I would recommend getting all the albums, you'll be able to get more for your money. Overall, it's a pretty "safe" selection, with what are considered to be his "best" songs, although there are many more songs that I like over these ones...~~THERE ARE TWO REASONS FOR BUYING THIS ALBUM~~:... 1. acoustic version of REAL LOVE, superior to the A2 Beatles version; live version of MOTHER that totally rocks the POB version; IMAGINE rehearsal, a nice little listening alternative to the finished product; 2. if you're somewhat unfamiliar with John Lennon and his Beatle work, but like him, buy this album!!!!!!!!! I guarantee that you will be hooked on him after listening to this album!!... I think that this album could have been much more improved if they only released alternate, or live takes of songs ie from the film: live versions of Jealous Guy, How?, How Do You Sleep?... I agree with the other review, they really should release an Anthology-like product of John's work, big fans of John would be more interested in it than this middle-of-the road approach for a collection.

Rating: 2.5
Mar 20, 1997
Matthew Hay Brown
An afterthought to the engaging film of the same name, "Imagine: John Lennon" is a conceptual disappointment. As an overview of the artist's career, it reveals little; as a compilation of hits, it is inferior to earlier collections. The first sanctioned airing of "Real Love" -- as a pleasant guitar demo, far removed in mood from the piano tapes embellished by the Threetles -- and a not-very-interesting rehearsal of "Imagine" hint at what this project could have been: a Lennon Anthology, offering the same sorts of insights into the creative process so abundant in the Beatles releases, an appropriate complement to the film. Even without the release of further rarities, the soundtrack could have illuminated some of the darker corners of Lennon's ouvre -- lesser-known but telling tracks like "I Don't Want to Be a Soldier," "Give Me Some Truth," "Working Class Hero," "Isolation," "Hold On," "My Mummy's Dead." Instead, we get a poorly-executed selection of hits unlikely to please the devotee, who will have all of the recordings, or the newcomer, who should be treated to "Cold Turkey," "Instant Karma," "#9 Dream," "Mind Games" (and who is directed to the excellent "John Lennon Collection") "Imagine: John Lennon" is notable as his first compilation to include Beatles and solo work, a treatment EMI should consider for all four. But even here, the selection falls short; whole sides of Lennon are ignored when the psychedelic experimentation of "Tomorrow Never Knows," the tormented confession of "Yer Blues" and the yearning emotionalism of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" are omitted. A couple of years back, rumors had EMI preparing a major release of Lennon demos, rehearsals and outtakes -- a project that appears to have been put on hold during Anthology. We can hope that such a release, the document that "Imagine: John Lennon" could have been, is indeed on its way.

 

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