Since it was released on September 9, 1971, on the iconic eponymous album, “Imagine,” John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s paean for peace has become one of the most famous and beloved songs in the history of music – an indelible melody known the world over, a sentiment shared no matter the language spoken.
Yoko Ono Lennon says: “John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other. The song ‘Imagine’ embodied what we believed together at the time. John and I met – he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together. We have this oneness and ‘the whole world would eventually become one’ is the sense that we will all be very happy together. All these instructions are for people for how to spend eternity, because we have lots of time.”
Over the last five decades “Imagine” has endured as a timeless global anthem, a collective prayer uniting the world through song and imagination; providing comfort in troubling times and unity, hope and happiness in others. This was especially evident in the dazzling opening ceremony of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics where the song was re-imagined by renowned orchestral composer Hans Zimmer for a global audience in the hundreds of millions, initiating the celebrations for both the Olympics and Imagine’s 2021 Golden Anniversary.
On September 9, 2021, Yoko & Sean Ono Lennon, The Estate of John Lennon and Universal Music Group invite you to “join us” with a Global Party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “Imagine” – the song, the album and the film.
“IMAGINE” FILM – WATCH PARTY
One of the first full-length conceptual music films, John & Yoko’s “Imagine” (1971) contains all the songs from John’s Imagine album, four songs from Yoko’s FLY album plus a few additional pieces. In 2018, under the supervision of Yoko Ono Lennon, the film was completely reassembled in HD from the original 16mm negative reels and cleaned and digitally restored frame-by-frame with the audio completely remixed in 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos by triple GRAMMY®-award winning engineer and mixer, Paul Hicks.
At 11:30 am PDT/2:30 pm EDT/7:30 pm BST, fans around the world are invited to watch the “Imagine” film together, either online or in person at participating venues as Yoko Ono Lennon, Mercury Studios and partners including The Coda Collection, Hard Rock and Music Venue Trust make the film available to view for free.
Meanwhile Tim Burgess’ wildly popular Tim’s Twitter Listening Party will be hosting a simultaneous online Listening Party event, where the experience of watching and listening to the music of the “Imagine” film will be enhanced by a second-screen Twitter experience – with quotes, photos and multimedia, led by Yoko Ono Lennon, the John Lennon Estate and many of the musicians, filmmakers and friends involved in the making of the album and film, as well as fans joining in using the hashtags #timstwitterlisteningparty and #IMAGINE50.
Confirmed participants for the Event are: Yoko Ono Lennon, The Estates of John Lennon, guitarist George Harrison and keyboard player Nicky Hopkins, plus Sean Ono Lennon, bassist Klaus Voormann, drummer Alan White, cameraman Nic Knowland, factotum Dan Richter and MC Tim Burgess, with more to be announced soon.
The event is a fitting sequel to the Listening Party held for the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection box set launch earlier this year. Check out the replay here.
HOW TO WATCH THE FILM ONLINE
The Coda Collection, a unique streaming platform that delivers the most iconic music documentaries, concert films, and more, is proud to stream the “Imagine” film in the U.S. and the U.K. to empower even broader audiences to take part in this global special event. The Coda Collection is available exclusively via Amazon Prime Video Channels.
Audiences in the U.S. will be able to stream the “Imagine” film on The Coda Collection channel during and after the event with a free 7-day trial.
Audiences in the U.K. can stream the film on Amazon Prime at no additional charge during the event. Tweets from the Twitter Listening Party will also be available for anyone to follow live on a bespoke page at the Coda Collection website. To explore The Coda Collection, including other John Lennon & Yoko Ono films, visit codacollection.co
The film will also be available to view online in the USA for AXS subscribers (see below) and in the UK for Sky subscribers on NOWTV and the SkyGo App, and to rent or purchase globally from Apple TV, iTunes or Amazon Prime; or on Blu-Ray or DVD. To discover the best way to watch the film in your country, click here.
HOW TO WATCH THE FILM IN PERSON
In the UK, Sage Gateshead is excited to welcome people back to its phenomenal Sage One venue with a free Surround Sound screening of the film, timed to sync with the interactive Listening Party.
Additionally, Grassroots Music Venues all over the UK will be screening the film for free, in collaboration with Music Venue Trust. Check your local music venue for details and look for the hashtag #IMAGINE50 on Twitter.
Hard Rock is also getting in on the celebration and will show the “Imagine” film throughout the day in select Hard Rock Cafés in North America and Europe. Many of the Hard Rock Hotels in the U.S. and Mexico will be offering the film for guests to watch for free in their rooms. Check with your local Hard Rock Café or Hotel for participation and viewing times.
You can also host a screening at home and invite your friends and neighbors round.
For those who want to join in with the Party, but need to watch the film later in the day, all the tweets from the Listening Party will be collated and made available to replay at this link on the Tim’s Twitter Listening Party website soon after the event finish time, so you can watch the film and enjoy the party replay at your leisure.
AFTERSHOW ON TWITTER SPACES
Immediately following the Tim’s Twitter Listening Party watch party, Sean Ono Lennon and BBC6 Music’s Chris Hawkins will host a special #IMAGINE50 Listening Party Aftershow with discussion and Q&A via Twitter Spaces at 1:40 pm LA/3:40 pm NYC/8:40 pm UK /4:40 am Tokyo. The audio-only event will include many of the contributors that made the album and film. The lineup will be announced soon.
AXS TV SPECIAL
A few days prior on September 6th at 5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT, AXS TV will honor the 50th anniversary of Imagine with a showing of the “Imagine” film as well as the 1988 documentary “Imagine: John Lennon.” Hosted by Ahmet Zappa, co-host of AXS TV’s “Rock My Collection, and Katie Daryl, executive producer and host of “The Top Ten Revealed,” the duo will be joined by an impressive roster of notable musicians who reflect on how John & Yoko have impacted their lives, and how the Imagine album and song have influenced their careers. The special will re-air September 8 at 5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT and the “Imagine” film will also be available to stream via the AXS TV NOW app. Visit AXS.com for more information.
IMAGINE – THE ULTIMATE MIXES & OUT-TAKES
DOUBLE WHITE VINYL
- Crippled Inside
- Jealous Guy
- It’s So Hard
- I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die
- Gimme Some Truth
- Oh My Love
- How Do You Sleep?
- Oh Yoko!
- 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 Mama I Don’t Wanna Die (Take 25)
- Gimme Some Truth (Take 4)
- Oh My Love (Take 6)
- How Do You Sleep? (Takes 1 & 2)
- Oh Yoko! (From Bed Peace footage – Sheraton Hotel, Bahamas 1969)
LIMITED EDITION DOUBLE WHITE VINYL RELEASE
On September 10th, Capitol/UMe will release a limited collector’s edition pressing of Imagine as a double LP on white vinyl, featuring the acclaimed 2018 Ultimate Mix mixed by engineer Paul Hicks and overseen by Yoko Ono Lennon on LP1 and a host of outtakes on LP2. The unique, expanded edition, Imagine – The Ultimate Mixes & Out-takes, includes the original demo for “Imagine” alongside a host of outtakes that demonstrate the writing and recording process and showcase the evolution of the songs. Included are outtakes for nearly every song on the record including “Jealous Guy” (Take 9), “It’s So Hard” (Take 6), “Crippled Inside” (Take 3, Take 6), “Gimme Some Truth” (Take 4), “I Don’t Wanna Be A Soldier Mama I Don’t Wanna Die” (Take 25), “Oh My Love” (Take 6), “How Do You Sleep?” (Takes 1 & 2), and an early version of “Oh Yoko” taken from the Bed Peace rehearsal filmed in the Bahamas. The limited edition release is available to pre-order now here: https://johnlennon.lnk.to/Imagine-White-2LP
IMAGINE – THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION
The stunning Ultimate Mixes and Out-takes included on the vinyl were originally released in 2018 on the six-disc box set, Imagine – The Ultimate Collection. The historical, remixed and remastered 140-track collection, which was fully authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon (who oversaw the production and creative direction) offers a variety of listening experiences that are at once immersive and intimate, ranging from the Ultimate Mixes of the original album, which reveal whole new levels of sonic depth, definition and clarity to these timeless songs, to the Raw Studio Mixes that allow listeners to hear Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band’s original, unadorned performances, to enveloping 5.1 surround sound mixes, and a Quadrasonic Album Mix, presenting the original four speaker mix remastered in Quadrasonic sound for the first time in nearly fifty years. This ultimate deep listening experience, which features scores of previously unheard demos, rare outtakes and isolated track elements, also includes The Evolution Documentary, a unique track-by-track audio montage that details the journey of each song from demo to master recording via instructions, rehearsals, recordings, multitrack exploration and studio chatter. The comprehensive nature of the full Imagine – The Ultimate Collection is the absolute best representation of a career artist working at the top of his creative game.
DOLBY ATMOS MIXES – COMING SOON
The much-requested three-dimensional Dolby Atmos mixes and full-length Stereo versions from the Blu-ray content in the Box Set Edition of Imagine – The Ultimate Collection will be made available on streaming services to celebrate John Lennon’s birthday this year, on October 9th.
As part of the celebration, a new collection of merchandise has been released in the official store. To see the full collection, visit: store.johnlennon.com