Graham Reid | | 1 min read
The well of John Lennon's solo music is drained dry.
In the 40 years since, Double Fantasy, the last album released in his lifetime (with half the songs by Yoko Ono), there has been the posthumous Milk and Honey (further sessions with Ono for an intended album of that title apparently), any number of compilations, the Acoustic album in 2004, the 4-CD box set Lennon released around what would have been his 50thbirthday, the 4-CD set Anthology which includes home demos and alternative versions, and the “signature box” which is all nine solo (or with Ono) albums and two further discs of singles and home tapes (as well as the Power to the People hits collection) in 2010 on what would have been his 70thbirthday, the albums reissued on vinyl in 2015 on his 75th, the Imagine box set two years ago and . . .
Given his solo career lasted only a decade – and for four years of that he didn't release anything, the well was always going to be rather shallow.
And now it is dry.
The evidence is that, on what would have been his 80thbirthday, there is nothing left to say. Just the repackaging which results now in a double CD/four record remastered collection of the familiar as Gimme Some Truth (subtitled hopefully The Ultimate Mixes) and a single disc selection from it
The well is not only dry but Ono and her son Sean who are behind these collections expect you to drink the last drops from the same cup you have been handed repeatedly.
And to pay for the privilege.
Those of us who admired John Lennon as an artist are not unaware of the commercial imperatives in popular culture.
But this kind of marketing taints the memory and treats the audience as nothing more than consumers to be milked and bilked.
A decade ago in the liner notes to the Lennon box set, Yoko Ono wrote, “We are all feeling the depletion of energy on many levels. Depletion starts in our minds, our spirit and our soul.
“So wake yourself up, my friends . . .”
Wake up to what these reissues are.
There is a considerable amount about John Lennon at Elsewhere including interviews with Yoko Ono, rare tracks, and reviews of Lennon albums, box sets and art. Start here.