John Lennon ‘Imagine’ – Film, Audio and DVD/BluRay On The Way?

Speculation and rumours that there would be a number of additional elements accompanying the forthcoming Imagine John Yoko book (due on October 9) has had an on again/off again nature over the last few days.

The story so far…..

Officially, all we know is that the book is happening, as is a cinema release of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono film Imagine, announced this week: This is the 1972 film with each of the songs from Imagine portrayed (plus four songs from the Ono LP FLY, recorded at the same time) in between glimpses into the lives of John and Yoko, plus some fun sequences featuring the pair and a host of celebrity mates. It looks like it’s the original 70 minute cut of the film, plus an additional 15 minutes or so of bonus material.

If you’d like to go along and see the movie on the big screen there’s a special site set up find out where it is on near you and you can book tickets. Screenings start from September 17.

We also now know that there will be definitely be a DVD and Blu-ray release of the 1972 Imagine film, coupled on the one disc with Gimme Some Truth – The Making of John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ Album which dates from 2000 and is directed by Andrew Solt:Gimme Some Truth is a surprisingly good examination of the recording process, a fly-on-the-wall window on Lennon in the studio creating the Imagine album that stands the test of time. The DVD and Blu-ray will be available from October 5, and Amazon is taking pre-orders now. There will be bonus material included, but it has not yet been revealed just what this will be. These two films will be great to have in remixed sound, 5.1 mixes (if that is your thing), and fully restored visual content.

And that leads us to what hasn’t been announced yet regarding the last piece in the puzzle: the audio from the Imagine sessions.

There’s been lots of talk about a super deluxe box set; a single CD; a double CD; and a double LP (with a limited edition in clear vinyl for collectors too). Depending on who you believe this is about to be officially announced (like in the next few days, with an October 9 release date), or this part of the Imagine re-issue project has been delayed and we won’t see it until at least February, 2019. (This courtesy of Lennon producer, Jack Douglas, who apparently stated at the Chicago Fest for Beatles last weekend that the project had been shelved to February next year).

Until something official comes out it all remains speculation, but the big box set (which will be audio only) will likely contain four CDs, plus two Blu-rays of material. On these will be some 140 tracks – which is HUGE!

In the box we’ll get the remixed stereo Imagine album, plus singles and extras; outtakes from the album, singles and extras; the Quadraphonic album remastered; raw studio mixes; plus a host of other audio content. For example, someone well-connected to the project has posted this as the content on CD2:

CD 2 – ELEMENTS & OUTTAKES
Elements Mixes and Album & Single Outtakes
ELEMENTS MIXES
Imagine (Strings only) 
Jealous Guy (Piano, bass & drums)
Oh My Love (Vocals only) 
How? (Strings only) 
ALBUM OUTTAKES
Imagine (Original demo recorded at Ascot) 
Imagine (Take 1) 
Crippled Inside (Take 3) 
Crippled Inside (Take 6 alternate guitar solo)
Jealous Guy (Take 9) 
It’s So Hard (Take 6) 
I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier (Take 25) 
Gimme Some Truth (Take 4)
Oh My Love (Take 6) 
How Do You Sleep? (Takes 1 & 2) 
How? (Take 31)

That’s just for one CD. Those two Blu-rays alone will contain a massive amount of additional audio and this release (if it comes about) will set a precedent for the Apple/Universal box set re-issue approach so far. There will be raw studio mixes; “elements” mixes with instruments and voices separated out; documentary content about the evolution of the songs; plus interview material from the time of Imagine with John and Yoko included. To date the breadth of material planned for release is unprecedented.

The promotional music site Ultimate Classic Rock jumped the gun today and published an article called “John Lennon’s Imagine Album Explored in a Six-Disc Box Set“. As you can see if you click through, they’ve subsequently taken that story down, possibly with a big rap across the knuckles form Apple/Universal….

We reckon this big release program WILL happen. It’s just a matter of when.

UPDATE: The official Lennon site has now uploaded a teaser Imagine the Music page and a video (a beautiful short extract of just the isolated vocals from ‘Oh My Love’). Looks like we’ll know exactly what is on offer on August 23, when The Ultimate Deep Listening Experience will be officially announced.

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The Film Scores and Original Orchestral Music of George Martin

Here’s a release to look out for in November – a newly recorded disc of music composed by the late Sir George Martin.

Called The Film Scores and Original Music of George Martin this gathers together a cross-section of works illustrating his musical genius – some for the very first time: The music is performed by The Berlin Music Ensemble, under the baton of US-born producer, composer and arranger, Craig Leon who is the driving force behind the project.

“When I was going through it, I was just struck by the elegance of the composition and how much they fit the era that I grew up in music, and again made me think how much I wouldn’t have even had the life I had if George Martin hadn’t done what he did,” Leon said. “He bridged the gap between an interpretive producer and a creative producer, which was the thing that I wanted to do.”

The recording will be out on November 10 on CD and digital download on the Atlas Realisations label. Then, in January 2018 to celebrate George Martin’s birthday, a 2LP vinyl edition will also be released.

The track listing:

  • 1-5 The Pepperland Suite (Original music written for the film Yellow Submarine)
  • 6-9 Live and Let Die Suite (Original music written for the film Live And Let Die)
  • 10-12 Three American Sketches for Violin & Chamber Orchestra
  • 13 Judy’s Theme
  • 14-16 Under Milk Wood Overture (Incidental music to Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas)
  • 17 Belle Etoile (* First recording)
  • 18 Waltz in D Minor for Flute & Chamber Orchestra
  • 19 Prelude for Strings
  • 20-29 The Mission Chorales (* First recording of the original sketches written for the film The Mission)

And here’s a short background video featuring Craig Leon talking about how the project evolved:

We love the music of George Martin. See also:

Vale Sir George Martin

Produced by George Martin – New DVD/Blu-Ray

Produced by George Martin – Six CD Box Set

Paul McCartney a Pirate?

Paul McCartney has posted this photo on his Instagram feed:

#PiratesLife  And this on Facebook.

Release date is the same day as the newly re-mixed 50th Anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band comes out……

Help! – Coming on BluRay in June

Help!, will be the next Beatle film to be released on Blu-ray. It will join last year’s releases of digitally restored copies of the Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour feature films on Blu-ray, DVD and on iTunes. Presumably, as this is a Blu-ray only release, the 2007 DVD release of Help! remains current.

The group’s second feature film makes its June 24 Blu-ray debut as a single-disc package, pairing the digitally restored film and 5.1 soundtrack with an hour of extra features including an introduction by the film’s director, Richard Lester, and an appreciation written by Martin Scorsese to be included in the booklet.

The Beatles official site has the full press release with details.

Pre-order details will be published shortly.