Basic tracks for the album were recorded in his home studio (Ascot Sound Studios in Tittenhurst Park) with strings overdubs added at the Record Plant in New York City. As on his last album, Phil Spector joined Lennon and Yoko Ono as co-producer on Imagine. Extensive footage of the sessions, showing the evolution of some of the songs, was compiled on a video documentary entitled Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon's Imagine.
The title track "Imagine" became Lennon's signature tune and was written as a plea for world peace. "Jealous Guy" has also had enduring popularity and was originally composed as "Child of Nature" during the songwriting sessions in India in 1968 that led to The Beatles' double-album The Beatles. "Oh My Love" and the song "How?" were influenced by his experience with primal therapy: "How?" contains the questions he was facing while going through the changes produced in him during the ongoing process of primal therapy, while "Oh My Love" was written to communicate the joy and growth Lennon was experiencing as a result of the therapy.
Lennon also indulged his love of rock and roll with "Crippled Inside" and "It's So Hard." "Gimme Some Truth", originally heard in the Let It Be sessions, appears on the album with a new bridge. The politically-themed "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" closes the first half of Imagine in a cacophonous manner.
George Harrison guested on a few of Imagine's tracks, most infamously "How Do You Sleep?", Lennon's response to what he considered veiled remarks about him on Paul McCartney's then-current album Ram. Although Lennon softened his stance in the mid-70s and claimed he wrote the song about himself, he revealed in 1980, "I used my resentment against Paul... to create a song... not a terrible vicious horrible vendetta... I used my resentment and withdrawing from Paul and The Beatles, and the relationship with Paul, to write 'How Do You Sleep'. I don't really go 'round with those thoughts in my head all the time".
Early editions of the Imagine LP included a postcard featuring a photo of Lennon holding a pig in mockery of McCartney's similar pose with a sheep of the cover of Ram. At the end of the album is "Oh Yoko!", a ode to his wife complete with a Bob Dylan-style harmonica solo.
Upon release in September and October 1971, Imagine was warmly regarded by critics and promptly went to #1 worldwide and became an enduring seller, with the title track reaching #3 in the U.S. and #1 in the UK following Lennon's death. In 2000, Yoko Ono supervised the remixing of Imagine for its remastered reissue.
In 2003, Imagine was placed at #76 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and reissued by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab on gold CD and on 180 gram half-speed mastered vinyl. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.
|How Do You Sleep?||0||0|
|It's So Hard||0||0|
|Oh My Love||0||0|