Posts Tagged ‘Yoko Ono’

The sessions that birthed John Lennon’s raw and deeply personal 1970 solo album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band receive the full unfettered treatment via a massive, lavishly crafted eight-disc super deluxe box set scheduled for release April 16th.

The eleven songs on the original album were a cathartic release for Lennon amid his recent break from the Beatles. Now, 50 years later, the influential album is remixed and remastered in a collection that features 159 tracks across six CDs and two Blu-ray audio discs. Clocking in at a whopping 11 hours of music, each song is presented in multiple forms- dubbed Ultimate Mixes, Evolution Mixes, Element Mixes, Raw Studio Mixes and Demos which include new mixes, rough demos, outtakes, rehearsals and jam sessions.

A separate single disc will be sold which includes the Ultimate Mixes of the original album and Lennon’s first three non-album singles, and an expanded 2CD or 2LP version adds a disc of outtakes of each song. The Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band album, originally released at the same time and recorded with the same core musicians plus guests, including Ornette Coleman, is included on the Blu-Ray edition.

Everything in this comprehensive box set has been newly mixed from scratch from brand new 192kHz/24bit hi-res transfers. In addition to the various new mixes, the set boasts 87 never-before-heard recordings. The Blu-rays present an array of listening options including high-definition, studio quality 192kHz/24bit audio in stereo and enveloping 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos for the Ultimate Mixes.

Quick takes on a few songs: Lennon’s guide vocal on the “God” Elements Mix alternates back and forth in sections between a talking vocal and a vulnerable sung vocal. “Mother” evolves from Lennon at home on guitar to experimenting with a tremolo guitar backing track before ultimately deciding on the piano version that opens the record.

George Harrison makes an appearance playing electric guitar on “Instant Karma (Raw Studio Mix)” an early take included here but recorded before the Plastic Ono Band sessions. Unsurprisingly, George’s jagged but melodic electric guitar work on this January 27th, 1970 take of the song makes the track sound more like a continuation of the Beatles than a Lennon solo song. Other takes of “Instant Karma” feature Harrison on acoustic guitar.

“Give Peace A Chance” and “Cold Turkey,” two other pre-session tracks, are presented in work tape and rough versions. Interestingly, “Power To The People” and “Do The Oz,” two 1971 Plastic Ono Band songs included on the 2000 reissue, are not included here.

While Lennon only recorded two takes of the harrowing album closer “My Mummy’s Dead,” four versions are included on the box in slightly different mixes.

The common perception regarding Lennon’s frame of mind when he went in to record the music was that of an emotionally fragile man. He and Yoko had experimented with an intensive six-month therapy program called Primal Scream, which unlocked his emotional childhood traumas and provided the lyrical basis for many of the songs that wound up on the album.

The rawness is definitely oozing from the tracks, but as the box set and photos in the beautiful 132-page hardcover book in the deluxe edition reveals, Lennon was in a pretty positive ‘let’s make music’ frame of mind. This is particularly evident during the loose set of jams that occupy one disc in the deluxe box, collected from various dates over the month-long recording sessions. Lennon and the band warm up and run through a bunch of ‘50s tunes and more, including a joking Elvis impression medley.

The book also includes an extensive interview with Arthur Janov (the late psychologist who pioneered Primal Scream therapy), scores of master multitrack box photos, track recording sheets, commentary on each song from those involved in the sessions and a visual map layout of the surround sound’s instrumentation.

Engineer Paul Hicks explains the Elements Mixes: “When we were going through the outtakes and even the master takes in some cases, we found the occasional overdub where we could understand why they didn’t end up using it, but we thought was fascinating to hear. The conga on ‘I Found Out,’ the extra vocals on ‘Hold On,’ the alternative organ take on ‘Isolation’ and maracas on ‘Well Well Well’ are a few examples.”

 

There were no set rules for any of the selections, really. It was just per song – what did we feel would be nice to isolate or show off, that might have escaped people’s initial listening experience.”

The liner notes also explain the Evolution Mixes. Each track has been edited down from all the original 8-Track multitracks, quarter-inch live recordings and mixes and a few demo cassettes. ‘These are ‘mini-documentaries that explore the development of each song through their elements, arrangements and the musicians that play on them.’

This reissue is fully authorized by Yoko Ono, who oversaw the production and creative direction, and from the same audio team that worked on 2018’s critically acclaimed Imagine – The Ultimate Collection, including triple GRAMMY®-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks and mixers/engineers Rob Stevens and Sam Gannon.

Featuring John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Alan White and Phil Spector. Completely Remixed from the original multitracks, containing Ultimate Mixes, Out-Takes, Elements, Raw Studio and Evolution Mixes; Demos, Jams and Yoko Ono Live Sessions. SUPER DELUXE BOX SET CONTAINS: 6 CDs – 102 new Stereo Mixes – over 6 hours of audio. 2 Blu-Ray Audio Discs – 159 new Stereo Mixes – Over 11 hours of audio in Hi-Res 192/24 Stereo, 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos Mixes. 132 Page Hardback Book With Rare Photos, Memorabilia and Extensive Notes. WAR IS OVER! Poster and 2 Postcards. Also Available: 2 CD, 1 CD, 2 LP, Download and Streaming.

 

Image 1 - JOHN LENNON PLASTIC ONO BAND (Ultimate Mixes) [2-LP VINYL] (PRE-ORDER 23/4/2021)

A new best-of box set of John Lennon’s solo work will arrive on October. 9th, which would have been the Beatle’s 80th birthday. The new set, titled ‘Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Mixes‘ was executive produced by Yoko Ono Lennon and produced by Sean Ono Lennon. The two handpicked 36 of Lennon’s solo tracks, which “have all been completely remixed from scratch, radically upgrading their sonic quality and presenting them as a never-before-heard Ultimate Listening Experience.” (Quote via press release.)“John was a brilliant man with a great sense of humour and understanding,” wrote Yoko Ono Lennon in the preface of a 124-page book included in the Deluxe Edition (quote obtained via press release). “He believed in being truthful and that the power of the people will change the world. And it will. All of us have the responsibility to visualize a better world for ourselves and our children.

Unearthed, never-before-seen 8mm footage filmed in John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s home features in the new video for “Look at Me,” from the upcoming John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band-The Ultimate Collection reissue, due out April 16th.

The video — which also utilizes the “Ultimate Mix” of “Look at Me” — boasts between-takes footage from a pair of the couple’s short films,Film No. 5 (“Smile”) and Two Virgins, both filmed by camera operator William Wareing at Lennon’s Kenwood home in 1968.

The intimate side-by-side footage — unseen by the public before its release Thursday by the John Lennon Estate — offers a glimpse into Lennon and Ono’s domestic life, as well as shots of Lennon strumming an acoustic guitar and his drum skin from the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover.

Capitol/UMe and the Lennon estate previously shared an updated video for “Mother” from the massive John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 50th anniversary reissue, which features 87 never-before-heard recordings, including 14 “Ultimate Mixes” of the album’s tracks that strip off producer Phil Spector’s effects, tape delays, and reverbs.

The truth is what we create. It’s in our hands.”The box set will come in various forms, including the Deluxe Edition, which will come along with the book, postcards, a fold-out poster and a bumper sticker. For more information on the various packages, head to johnlennon.com. In addition to the box set announcement, the Lennon estate also shared one of the tracks from Gimme Some Truth: a remixed edition of “Instant Karma (We All Shine On).”

Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) · John Lennon · Yoko Ono

As part of the celebrations for John Lennon’s 80th birthday, his most vital and best loved solo recordings have been completely remixed from scratch for a new collection:

 

The Moonlandingz are about to start their final tour of the year, and in time for that, here’s an EP around the track This Cities Undone – that first appeared on their debut album Interplanetary Class Classics. There is a brand new song – Dirty Red Rosea remix by Confidence Man, and a single version of the title track featuring guest vocals by Yoko Ono and Human League’s Phil Oakey.

“I’m a big fan of Yoko’s 70’s albums like Approximately Infinite Universe and during a late night semi drunken recording session, I suggested to Sean Lennon – who we were working with up at his studio in upstate New York – that this crazy psychedelic freak out track that we had on the boil – but had no lyrics for – could really work with Yoko doing her thing on it. Sean got it straight away, said that he thought it was a good idea and after that brief suggestion it was never mentioned again.

About 2 months later I’m at a tiny gig in some old spoon factory in Sheffield, watching a bloke play a home made synth in a shoe box with a wind up clockwork parrot sat on his shoulder, when I get an email off Sean titled MUMLANDINGZ... In the email was a video clip of his mum doing this incredible vocal over our music… The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, her voice stirs you like the most primal of rock and roll, it’s got so much spirit, it’s proper witchcraft!

After receiving the Yoko vocal, Lias Saoudi and I set about writing some words for the track back in Sheffield. A week or so later we got our friends Philip Oakey (Human League) and Rebecca Taylor (Self Esteem) to come and sing on the track and then Dean Honer & I went back to NYC to mix it. It was a song that went on quite a journey, but it was worth every bit of the trip. I see the track as a celebration of the activist in us all, the downtrodden, the ignored, people bullied by their local council, the government, the CEO’s in the workplace, the people you never voted for making a complete pig’s ear of running your cities, lunching out on decent hard working taxpayers money, whilst thousands of kids sleep rough in the street and whilst tower blocks burn. We live in frightening times, under the pretence of a so called democracy and something’s got to give!”
The whole EP can be heard now, and it’ll be coming out on 10″ next month

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