Double Fantasy / Stripped Down
(EMI / Capitol)


Most days still come and go and some days I can’t remember what happened yesterday, but I can’t and won’t ever forget the entire sequence of tragic events that happened December 8th, 1980. I mean, 30 years on and I still remember everything about that day. I mean little things that you'd never remember! Living and working myself a few short blocks from where John Lennon lived and worked his final few years in Manhattan, I have to still remember the rude awakening and tragic reality that day and night brought to my world. By the end of that day, it seemed like time stood still yet something was truly over and a new page was being turned as the world struggled to accept what happened. That sense of finality and the new era that emerged with the dawn on December 9th, 1980 is still with us and everyday that passes is another day without John Lennon’s earthly presence. We all live in hope that there is a heaven, even though it was John who taught us to try and forget birth and death and to try and imagine a heaven on earth. On September 9th, 2009, EMI Records unveiled their classic, ground-breaking Beatles In Mono box set and a year later, John Lennon is paid the ultimate music honors with a sweeping catalog initiative of his short but sweet solo career as overseen by Yoko Ono and EMI Music, as the music universe celebrates John’s 70th birthday on October 9, 2010. While it’s been 30 years since John’s final album, Double Fantasy was released in the Fall of 1980, 2010 sees a number of Lennon remasters brought to light again, including eight of John’s classic solo albums that have been digitally remastered from his own original mixes. Highlights of the remaster series include Double Fantasy - Stripped Down. Commenting on this new release Yoko adds, ‘Double Fantasy Stripped Down really allows us to focus our attention on John’s amazing vocals. Technology has advanced so much that, conversely, I wanted to use new techniques to really frame these amazing songs and John’s voice as simply as possible.’ Of course, this 2010 Double Fantasy Stripped Down comes as a two CD set that is paired with the original Double Fantasy album as it first appeared in November 1980. After an open minded spin, one can only surmise that Yoko has succeeded with her remake / remodel of Double Fantasy - Stripped Down and one need only give a listen to the rich sonic detail of the newly reconstructed Stripped Down version of what was to become the album's haunting epitaph, "Everyman Has A Woman Who Loves Him" which, in this new vocal duet version between John and Yoko is simply breathtaking. Also of note on Stripped Down is the incredibly designed, new b&w cover artwork created by Sean Lennon. In addition to the final 1980 album, this new reissue / remastering program features all of John’s other solo albums, newly remastered at Abbey Road by mastering wizard Allan Rouse, one of the engineers responsible for the great sound behind the Beatles In Mono box set from ‘09. Included in the 2010 album remastering series are all the albums John Lennon fans grew up with following the Beatles’ breakup including, John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (1970), Imagine (1971), Sometime In New York City (1972), Mind Games (1973), Walls And Bridges (1974), Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975) Double Fantasy Stripped Down (2010) / Double Fantasy (1980) and lastly, the posthumously released Milk And Honey (1984). Also released to tie into the individual album releases is a hits compilation, released in two editions entitled Power To The People: The Hits, a four CD set of non-chronological themed discs titled Gimme Some Truth and a deluxe 11 CD collectors box containing the remastered albums, rarities and non-album singles titled The John Lennon Signature Box. Further commenting on the series, Yoko adds ‘In this very special year, which would have seen my husband and life partner John reach the age of 70, I hope that this remastering / reissue program will help bring his incredible music to a whole new audience. By remastering 121 tracks spanning his solo career, I hope that those who are already familiar with John’s work will find renewed inspiration from his incredible gifts as a songwriter, musician and vocalist and from his power as a commentator on the human condition. His lyrics are as relevant today as they were when they were first written and I can think of no more apposite title for this campaign than those simple yet direct words, ‘Gimme Some Truth.’


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