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Solo forums => John Lennon => Microscopes => Topic started by: Bobber on February 20, 2013, 11:39:10 AM

Title: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Bobber on February 20, 2013, 11:39:10 AM
Imagine

(http://991.com/newGallery/John-Lennon-Imagine---no-post-228295.jpg)

Imagine
The song with which John is identified with most. It’s terribly overplayed and I have heard it too many times to be surprised by it. Still I can enjoy this song as it’s well played and produced. The strings are nice and are Phil Spectors idea I presume. A hopeful start in every way.

Crippled Inside
Who always thought that granny music was Paul McCartney’s department? Here comes John Lennon with a honky tonk piano (starting at 0.14) and he slides away into a simple 16-bar bluesy kind of thing that sounds as if it was recorded in 1950. A bit of slide guitar in the second verse and in the solo adds all to that feeling. A nice song to tap along with, but that’s about all there is. Full of musical cliches.

Jealous Guy
Beautiful song which had come to John in India in the spring of 1968 as Child Of Nature. The song his fully grown up here. Maybe the string section during the solo (John’s whistling) is a bit too much. Is there a version available without Phil’s strings? Still it’s a nice arrangement, but I’m just curious. Even Bryan Ferry couldn’t do it better than John.

It’s So Hard
It certainly is. Here’s another song full with musical cliches. Not surprising at all. Even the addition of the terrible sounding saxophone is pretty clear from the start. The middle section is alright to me (When it’s good.... from 1.13). Who thought that a string-kind of solo would do the song any good? Because it certainly doesn’t. The guitars sounds awful, like they are the cheapest ones John’s could find. Not one of John’s best efforts.

I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier Mama
I like this better. Something interesting is happening here. There’s some tension in the music that makes it worth to listen to it again. John’s voice is reverbed/echoed but it’s well done. Drums and bass provide an ongoing rhythm on which guitar and piano are improvising, although, it sounds like that. There’s not much lyrics and that adds to the feeling that this song was made up during a jam or so, as does the length of the song, but still it’s a good thing to listen to.

Gimme Some Truth
Here we go again. John is ruining his album with another rant. He drops in immediately from the start. Pity. The drums are very heavy and the rhythm section in total is pompous and far too slow to give the song the power it should have. Is that guitar solo from George Harrison? It sounds like him and it shows me that, if I’m right, George lacked an original idea. Pretty boring song to listen to,all in all.

Oh My Love
This is much better. Oh My Love is a beautiful ballad. John’s voice is double tracked and sounds delicate and vulnerable. Love that little bell at 1.00. A strange thing that I noticed: the lower notes from the piano are in my right ear, the higher, loosy played notes are at the left. It doesn’t sound logical somehow. Besides that, a beautiful highlight.

How Do You Sleep
The dig at Paul. Oh well, it’s just the kind of thing that boys do. But because it’s The Beatles, digs like these are always blown out of proportion. Besides the digs, this is a pretty good song actually. I guess John did his best to make this a song to remember, ha2ha. The introduction is reminiscent of Sgt Pepper and John starts with that line to underline that feeling. ‘So Sgt Pepper took you by surprise’. How Do You Sleep is another kind of bluesy song on the album, but done in a much better way. Phils strings are adding to working up to the climax of the chorus (0.53). Guitar, bass and drums produce a nice hook. Good song, well worked out. One that John really put an effort in.

How
This one song shows more honesty about John’s state of mind than the complete Plastic Ono Band album. Plus it’s a very nice song. Again, I’m curious to hear it without the strings, which are becoming a bit too much at this point of the album. It particularly shows at the middle section, which is a nice piece of music and is well written, but the strings are a too much here.

Oh Yoko
A forgettable piece of singalong junk. John’s voice is double tracked but out of sync here and there, which annoys me. John is singing the second part of the chorus in falsetto, but it sounds pretty bad to be honest. And what’s that mouth organ doing?

All in all there's some great and beautiful songs on this album (Imagine, Jealous Guy, Oh My Love, How Do You Sleep, How), but some bad ones as well (It's So Hard, Give Me Some Truth), so I wouldn't call it a masterpiece. Still nice to hear a couple of songs from this album every now and then.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on February 20, 2013, 01:41:14 PM
You're going faster than usual Bobber! It think Imagine is John's All Things Must Pass or Band On The Run, an enjoyable piece of music. I put Plastic Ono Band in a different category, an album that one may not play that often (who wants so much pain?), but with higher artistic merits. I don't necessarily rate the albums according to how much I enjoy them, but I understand those who do that.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Bobber on February 20, 2013, 01:57:31 PM
You're going faster than usual Bobber!

I know. I'm trying to finish John's solo output as soon as possible.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on February 20, 2013, 02:31:10 PM
I know. I'm trying to finish John's solo output as soon as possible.

Bad steps must be done faster? ;D
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on February 21, 2013, 04:01:15 AM
I have only two LPs from John's solo years; Imagine and Rock 'n' Roll.  I gave my John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band LP to my sister years ago in trade for the Rock 'n' Roll album.

Last night, I listened to my Imagine LP and heard it the way I first did in the Fall of 1971 when I bought it.  Listening to the LP unleashed a flood of memories from my youth, I must say.  I'm still trying to sort them out so I'll just comment on the songs as they come to mind for now.


Oh Yoko!

I really like this song.  It's beautiful in its lilting melody and message: John was in love with Yoko and he was telling the world.  I like the piano backing very much and how John's harmonica outro alternately moves between the right and left channels.  I think Phil Spector did a nice job in its production. 

I remember a late Fall evening in 1971 visiting a friend and sitting on the stoop of his house playing my guitar.  A few of his sister's friends stopped over and wound up sticking around to listen.  I was playing delta blues and Bob Dylan songs so I had my harmonica holder around my neck and a few harmonicas in my guitar case.  The Imagine album was high on the charts at the time and one of the girls asked me to play a song from the album.  I played Oh Yoko! and they soon joined in giving me the chance to do some harmonica accompaniment.  It's too bad there wasn't a tape recorder available.  I think we sounded pretty good.

It's at the end of the LP and as I sat there reflecting on the song, I realized that it reminded me of another song from the past.  I took out my America Holiday CD and listened to Lonely People...


America - Lonely People [HQ] (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uLnYWuvEWo#)


The Holiday album was produced by Sir George Martin.  Perhaps he was responsible for some of the similarities like the ragtime piano and how Dan Peek says "hit it!" before his harmonica solo at 1:27 

John says "right!" just before his harmonica solo at 2:49


John Lennon Oh Yoko! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlfeyeMFiYA#)


I understand this was the last time John played harmonica on his recordings.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Bobber on February 21, 2013, 07:29:10 AM
I wish I had such memories, especially concerning John's solo output. By the time I became aware of John Lennon in the first place, it was 1976 and John's output was more or less history by then. That's probably why I don't have any special memories towards John's work. I was never excited when a new album was released. You understand I lean more towards Paul and George for that matter.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on February 21, 2013, 10:37:29 AM
Interesting that you find the strings a bit out of place occasionally on this. I feel they go well on here. Later they get a bit much and good greif turn down that brass. But I like this album, it's certainly up there with the best solo's.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: nimrod on February 21, 2013, 12:15:11 PM
Thats a great post Baz, I too am a big fan of Oh Yoko and I agree it definatly influenced America's Lonely People, in fact you can hear a lot of Beatle stuff in America music, they loved The Beatles and even persuaded George Martin to produce them. I believe theyre Hatrick medly was theyre version of side 2 Abbey Rd.
Oh Yoko is a wonderful song, full of the magic of John Lennon, Im guessing its one of those songs that he wrote in about an hour (like Hard Days Night), I love the honky tonk and the falsetto when he repeats 'Oh Yoko' for the second time on each verse. You can tell he put his heart & soul into singing this song.
Its really crazy but when I was about 18 we used to go to a local park on Sundays with acoustics and sing songs, like from Love Forever Changes, Question by The Moody Blues and another favourite was (you guessed it) Oh Yoko, and like you I wish someone had had a cassette recorder..
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on February 21, 2013, 06:13:03 PM
Evening all.
Haven't heard this for years but I remember it being pleasant enough.
Strange that for what was supposed to be his big commercial release there is a real lack of potential singles here. Couldn't write them??? Didn't want to write them???
The album comes and goes a bit and lacks a big moment (and a catchy single) but nice enough.
I like Oh Yoko as well. Jaunty in a Paul McCartney kind of way. It's nice.
I remember everyone thinking his trashing of Macca was very cool (McCartney was little short of satan spawn at the time.)
Nice picture of a pig too.
Nice.

Can't wait for DTINYC.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: nimrod on February 21, 2013, 10:45:26 PM
Evening all.
Haven't heard this for years but I remember it being pleasant enough.
Strange that for what was supposed to be his big commercial release there is a real lack of potential singles here. Couldn't write them??? Didn't want to write them???
The album comes and goes a bit and lacks a big moment (and a catchy single) but nice enough.
I like Oh Yoko as well. Jaunty in a Paul McCartney kind of way. It's nice.
I remember everyone thinking his trashing of Macca was very cool (McCartney was little short of satan spawn at the time.)
Nice picture of a pig too.
Nice.

Can't wait for DTINYC.

I does contain 2 No 1's Kevin (Imagine & Jealous Guy)..not bad,

Its my favourite solo Beatle album, if I had to choose 1 solo album to be marooned on a desert island it would be Imagine
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on February 21, 2013, 11:05:26 PM
I wish I had such memories, especially concerning John's solo output. By the time I became aware of John Lennon in the first place, it was 1976 and John's output was more or less history by then. That's probably why I don't have any special memories towards John's work. I was never excited when a new album was released. You understand I lean more towards Paul and George for that matter.

That's a bit of what it was like coming of age in the 1960s and growing up with The Beatles, Cor.  My perspective differs a bit from some members here and is the same as several others.  In retrospect, I'm grateful for the experience.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on February 21, 2013, 11:36:19 PM
Thats a great post Baz, I too am a big fan of Oh Yoko and I agree it definatly influenced America's Lonely People, in fact you can hear a lot of Beatle stuff in America music, they loved The Beatles and even persuaded George Martin to produce them. I believe theyre Hatrick medly was theyre version of side 2 Abbey Rd.
Oh Yoko is a wonderful song, full of the magic of John Lennon, Im guessing its one of those songs that he wrote in about an hour (like Hard Days Night), I love the honky tonk and the falsetto when he repeats 'Oh Yoko' for the second time on each verse. You can tell he put his heart & soul into singing this song.
Its really crazy but when I was about 18 we used to go to a local park on Sundays with acoustics and sing songs, like from Love Forever Changes, Question by The Moody Blues and another favourite was (you guessed it) Oh Yoko, and like you I wish someone had had a cassette recorder..

Yeah, Kev, it's not like today where someone always has a smartphone to capture these moments. 

Question remains one of my favorites since its release in 1970.  How I loved the sound of Justin's Gibson 12-string!  It took over 20 years, but in 1994 I bought a 1991 blonde Guild JF30-12, the model he used then and uses currently.  I think it's such a pretty guitar with its arched back, ebony fretboard and gold hardware.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on February 21, 2013, 11:41:35 PM
Evening all.
Haven't heard this for years but I remember it being pleasant enough.
Strange that for what was supposed to be his big commercial release there is a real lack of potential singles here. Couldn't write them??? Didn't want to write them???
The album comes and goes a bit and lacks a big moment (and a catchy single) but nice enough.
I like Oh Yoko as well. Jaunty in a Paul McCartney kind of way. It's nice.
I remember everyone thinking his trashing of Macca was very cool (McCartney was little short of satan spawn at the time.)
Nice picture of a pig too.
Nice.

Can't wait for DTINYC.

Mine went missing.   :(


Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on February 22, 2013, 12:18:28 AM
...they loved The Beatles and even persuaded George Martin to produce them. I believe theyre Hatrick medly was theyre version of side 2 Abbey Rd.

I remember reading that, Kev.  Anyway, I know you're one person who won't think I'm silly when I say that Muskrat Love is one of my favorite songs.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: nimrod on February 22, 2013, 12:45:03 AM
I remember reading that, Kev.  Anyway, I know you're one person who won't think I'm silly when I say that Muskrat Love is one of my favorite songs.

I was always a big fan of America Baz from the very first time I heard them, was very sad when Dan left, he was my favourite of the 3, he was obviously a sensitive soul and I think the drugs got him. (have you read his book ?)
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on February 22, 2013, 02:07:32 AM
I was always a big fan of America Baz from the very first time I heard them, was very sad when Dan left, he was my favourite of the 3, he was obviously a sensitive soul and I think the drugs got him. (have you read his book ?)

Thank heaven we had groups like America during the disco 70s, Kev.  I couldn't wait for that decade to end!

You could tell Dan was like that just watching him perform.

I have to start reading regular books again.  Right now I'm reading an excellent text in surgical head and neck pathology.   :)
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on February 22, 2013, 08:19:56 AM
I does contain 2 No 1's Kevin (Imagine & Jealous Guy)..not bad,


Jealous Guy was a single (in his lifetime)????
Considering McCartney managed 3 singles on Band On The Run and harrison 3 (??) of ATMP, this does seem a bit quiet.
Though to be fair John was very quiet in the single release department generally (only 9 between 70 and 75, nearly half of McCartneys single releases for the same period.)
Surely the accountants at Apple must have hoped for a little more from Lennon?
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on February 22, 2013, 01:41:38 PM
The song "Imagine" was #1 in UK and #3 in US, and as far as I know "Jealous Guy" was not released as a single until the 80's, and it was far from being a #1.

Nevertheless, I don't see why we should rate an album according to the number of hits, some of the best albums ever didn't have any important single. How many hits had Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's or The White Album, for instance?
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on February 22, 2013, 01:53:47 PM
Considering McCartney managed 3 singles on Band On The Run and harrison 3 (??) of ATMP, this does seem a bit quiet.

What's the third single from All Thing Must Pass apart from "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life"? Maybe you're also considering "Isn't It A Pity", the B-side of "My Sweet Lord". Moreover, you should also consider that it was a double album (not counting the jams disc), so it's easier to get more hits from it.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on February 22, 2013, 02:46:37 PM
The song "Imagine" was #1 in UK and #3 in US, and as far as I know "Jealous Guy" was not released as a single until the 80's, and it was far from being a #1.

Nevertheless, I don't see why we should rate an album according to the number of hits, some of the best albums ever didn't have any important single. How many hits had Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's or The White Album, for instance?

Agree totally.
Guess it's just that John seemed pretty lean on the singles front all round.
Twas more an observation than a criticism. ( I agree some of the greatest albums are single free...Pink Floyd, Led Zep etc)
Was Lennon doing this on purpose? But  Yoko tells that story about him fretting about not having hits like McCartney.
I can't imagine Apple weren't releasing them because of quality (didn't hold them back with George).
 
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on February 22, 2013, 04:41:07 PM
Agree totally.
Guess it's just that John seemed pretty lean on the singles front all round.
Twas more an observation than a criticism. ( I agree some of the greatest albums are single free...Pink Floyd, Led Zep etc)
Was Lennon doing this on purpose? But  Yoko tells that story about him fretting about not having hits like McCartney.
I can't imagine Apple weren't releasing them because of quality (didn't hold them back with George).

I see your point. However, in 1969-1971 John was quite productive on the singles market, or at least he almost maintained the rhythm of the Beatles, because he released several non-album singles. We have "Give Peace A Chance" and "Cold Turkey" in 1969; "Instant Karma!" and "Mother" in 1970; and "Power To The People", "Imagine" and "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" in 1971. Then in 1972-1975 he released less quantity of singles, but I think that's because he wasn't as productive as, say, Paul. Actually Paul usually didn't have more than one important hit per album (Band On The Run is an exception).
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: nimrod on February 22, 2013, 10:55:34 PM
The song "Imagine" was #1 in UK and #3 in US, and as far as I know "Jealous Guy" was not released as a single until the 80's, and it was far from being a #1.



Jealous Guy was Roxy Music's only No 1 record in the UK (and Australia)
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on February 23, 2013, 12:09:53 AM
In the early 70s here in the United States, AM music radio stations were Top 40 in format.  The FM stations were album-focused and so we heard other songs on the album regularly despite not being released as singles.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on February 23, 2013, 02:10:27 AM
My goodness Cor. Your on a roll. I'll get one up asap.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Bobber on February 25, 2013, 12:35:45 PM
Interesting that you find the strings a bit out of place occasionally on this.

Mmm, maybe not out of place, but a little overwhelming or too much here and there. I'm wondering what the songs would sound like without them. Are the strings making the songs better?
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on February 26, 2013, 11:48:05 PM
I think they do mostly, How Goes Your Kip? is maybe better without them. I think that he was into orchestrating this one.

The strings, the brass and the tarts all get a bit much occasionally. I prefer a number of John's rougher versions.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on March 01, 2013, 10:29:39 AM
I'll have my review up this weekend.

(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing002.gif)


Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Bobber on March 01, 2013, 11:22:05 AM
I would like to add to my review that I have been just listening to what I heard. In these and other microscopes I'm not going into detail in what was happening in the background and personal life of the artist. That's all.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on March 01, 2013, 01:33:51 PM
I would like to add to my review that I have been just listening to what I heard. In these and other microscopes I'm not going into detail in what was happening in the background and personal life of the artist. That's all.

I did.
His state of mind really does seem to influence the music he makes, and I would find it hard to discuss one without the other.
I find McCartney completely the opposite. I find it impossible to find anything of the real man in most of his music. Is he depressed? Is he happy? Who knows. His state of mind appears irrelevant to say Band On The Run. It's another reason I think he is such a cold fish. (not that I think this makes his music any better or any worse. Just different from Lennons.) Conversley, I don't know how I could talk about POB without discussing Lennons head at the time. This makes him very interesting.
They really are chalk and cheese.
Can we do STINYC now please?
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Snoopy66 on March 01, 2013, 08:49:09 PM
I did.
His state of mind really does seem to influence the music he makes, and I would find it hard to discuss one without the other.
I find McCartney completely the opposite. I find it impossible to find anything of the real man in most of his music. Is he depressed? Is he happy? Who knows. His state of mind appears irrelevant to say Band On The Run. It's another reason I think he is such a cold fish. (not that I think this makes his music any better or any worse. Just different from Lennons.) Conversley, I don't know how I could talk about POB without discussing Lennons head at the time. This makes him very interesting.
They really are chalk and cheese.
I also found it hard to separte John's personality completely from his music. Yes, Paul is quite different, he doesn't reveal much of his state of mind in his solo-work. But I wouldn't pretend that he's "a cold fish", I guess he's just more introverted and doesn't handle his emotions through music. John used music like a outlet, therefore it very much reflected his feelings, especially tourments and pains. However, John could be kind of "cold fish" outside his music, like his behaviour towards Cyn when he met Yoko.
Snoopy
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on March 01, 2013, 09:02:09 PM
I find McCartney completely the opposite. I find it impossible to find anything of the real man in most of his music. Is he depressed? Is he happy? Who knows.


Yes, Paul is quite different, he doesn't reveal much of his state of mind in his solo-work. But I wouldn't pretend that he's "a cold fish", I guess he's just more introverted and doesn't handle his emotions through music.


But every so often Paul let his feelings out...

The Beatles - I'm Looking Through You (Take 1) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IIvxT_Dow4#)

The released version was very tame by comparison.  I wonder if Jane Asher heard this take at the time.    ;D
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Snoopy66 on March 01, 2013, 10:01:16 PM
But every so often Paul let his feelings out...

The Beatles - I'm Looking Through You (Take 1) ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-IIvxT_Dow4#[/url])

The released version was very tame by comparison.  I wonder if Jane Asher heard this take at the time.    ;D

This take is awesome  8) Well, Paul sounds here indeed very passionate with a strong voice. Hmm... still, I don't think it's quite the same as John. Paul's outlet is much more enthousiastic and high-spirited, unlike John.
Snoopy
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on March 01, 2013, 10:06:39 PM
This take is awesome  8) Well, Paul sounds here indeed very passionate with a strong voice. Hmm... still, I don't think it's quite the same as John. Paul's outlet is much more enthousiastic and high-spirited, unlike John.
Snoopy

Yes, I agree. 

For Paul this was a major outburst!    ;D
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Snoopy66 on March 01, 2013, 10:27:10 PM
Yes, I agree. 

For Paul this was a major outburst!    ;D
Yeah, Paul was too self-controlled for big outbursts  :laugh:

Snoopy
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on March 02, 2013, 04:17:11 AM
I mean there's RAM right and it sounds all coy and poppy and dopey. It's good don't get me wrong. But I don't think there's a single song as good as nearly all that's on here.

And when the f*** are you going to do George?

Hurry the f*** up.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on March 02, 2013, 11:59:42 AM
A night in with the Beatles solo:
It's 8pm, I'm having a drink, want something upbeat, something to make me happy, something to dance to...On comes Band On The Run. "The rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun.." Right on Paul.
It's 11.00pm and the drink is kicking in. The joy is passing. I want something reflective but not morose. Something to ponder. On goes All Things Must Pass. "What is life?" What indeed George. What indeed.
2am. Hammered. Feeling sorry for myself. Don't want happiness. Want to wallow. Bring on Plastic Ono Band. "Mother, you left me, I didn't leave you..." Why? Whhhyyyyy?
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Ovi on March 02, 2013, 12:47:19 PM
 ha2ha Hilarious post, Kevin. I suppose you don't remember running naked in the street at 4am with a boombox on your shoulder that had 'Ringorama' blasting out of its speakers?
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on March 02, 2013, 04:56:11 PM
A night in with the Beatles solo:
It's 8pm, I'm having a drink, want something upbeat, something to make me happy, something to dance to...On comes Band On The Run. "The rain exploded with a mighty crash as we fell into the sun.." Right on Paul.
It's 11.00pm and the drink is kicking in. The joy is passing. I want something reflective but not morose. Something to ponder. On goes All Things Must Pass. "What is life?" What indeed George. What indeed.
2am. Hammered. Feeling sorry for myself. Don't want happiness. Want to wallow. Bring on Plastic Ono Band. "Mother, you left me, I didn't leave you..." Why? Whhhyyyyy?


(http://www.freesmileys.org/smileys/smiley-laughing001.gif)
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Yeshelloitsmehereagain on March 02, 2013, 09:31:34 PM
I did.
His state of mind really does seem to influence the music he makes, and I would find it hard to discuss one without the other.
I find McCartney completely the opposite. I find it impossible to find anything of the real man in most of his music. Is he depressed? Is he happy? Who knows. His state of mind appears irrelevant to say Band On The Run. It's another reason I think he is such a cold fish. (not that I think this makes his music any better or any worse. Just different from Lennons.) Conversley, I don't know how I could talk about POB without discussing Lennons head at the time. This makes him very interesting.
They really are chalk and cheese.
Can we do STINYC now please?

I don't think you can ever take out what was going on in there personal lives at the time, the music is a mere demonstration of that, you can't really do one without the other.

That is also not to say the songs can't say something about yourself and your life either, there are a number of Beatle/solo songs that mean something other personal to me than to whatever feeling the artist was expressing at the time.

I mean Paul was alot more abstract because his feelings were alot more ambiguous anyway perhaps? But through the bouncy stoned haze of smoke the occasional line said a great deal about how he was feeling. Entire songs were maybe less so. But I mean Maybe I'm Amazed wouldn't sound out of place on Plastic Ono Band if it was John singing lead.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on March 04, 2013, 04:23:03 PM
IMAGINE

1.   Imagine – Probably John’s most famous song and one of the most famous songs ever actually. It conveys the message that people would get along better if there wasn’t any conflicts. It has a great piano sound and the his voice sounds good. The strings are nice throughout. Drums from Alan White are straight forward and don’t sound too bad. I’m petty and admit that it bothers me that John says to imagine there’s no heaven or religion. I know what he’s saying but that still bothers me. Oh well, moving on. It’s a good song, but I’ll be honest and just flat out say that I’m sick to death of it and rarely, if ever, listen to it. I’ve just heard it a million times and always change the channel or skip it if it comes on.

2.   Crippled Inside – Starts off with a pretty cool electric guitar plucking and then goes into a nice beer barrel saloon type piano line with some crisp sounding drums. Slide guitar throughout. Country sounding slide guitar solo. George? Don’t know off the top of my head. I like the song and I’ll be honest and admit I really didn’t listen to the lyrics, but John’s voice sounds good. I like the beat and the song in general. Good one.

3.   Jealous Guy – I think this is my favorite John solo song. I have always loved it. John sings this with a kind of draw that’s awesome. The piano sounds good again and I like the bass. The strings are a tad heavy, but they don’t bother me. The drums are muddy though. I guess you cant have everything. The whistling at the 2:10 mark is kind of blah, but the strings sound great here and the build up at 2:35 is incredible. What a song. Love, love, love it.

4.   Its So Hard – Straight blues beat with a crappy sounding, distorted guitar to start us off. John’s voice has an effect on it throughout. I don’t care for the sax playing much. Sounds sloppy. I like the piano addition at the .32 mark. The synth at the 1:30 mark is wild. I actually like it here. The song in general isn’t that good to me, and there’s better blues to be heard if that’s your poison.

5.   I Don’t Want To Be A Soldier Mama. I Don’t Want To Die – Some groovy piano playing with some slide guitar. Too much hi hat splashes. I don’t know. It feels like John is whining into the mike when he’s singing this. That’s probably his intent, but it gets on my nerves after awhile. Speaking of that, the song is way too long and doesn’t really do anything. At the 2:45 mark the high pitched sax comes in and reminds me of Yoko, so its not going to be a winner to my ears. I don’t care for this.

6.   Gimme Some Truth – I kind of like the beat and music to this song, but John’s complaining kind of grates on me. Would have a been a perfect song for POB in my opinion. Sounds like George again on the guitar. Did he even play on this record? I’ll have to check. The production kind of took a step backwards on this song too. Muddy. I know that doesn’t bother some people, but it’s a big pet peeve for me. Overall, its an alright song that I can handle.

7.   Oh My Love – A slow tune that has a decent guitar sound and some nice piano playing. It’s a nice enough song and its short, but its not something I would ever go back to or look for. Not much else to say really.

8.   How Do You Sleep? – I like this one. I really dig the beginning with the strings warming up and so forth. I don’t care if he’s bashing Paul or not, but his voice sounds good here. The strings, guitar, and drums all sound pretty good. It drives and I like that. Another good slide guitar solo. Good song, but it might be a little long for some.

9.   How? – String heavy song with John asking questions throughout. Drums are muddy again. The singing and lyrics are weak in some spots. Not my cup of tea. This is a typical John song. When I say that, I mean that it sounds like a half dozen of other tunes he put out. One of my criticism’s for Johns stuff is that a ton of his songs sounds the same to me. Maybe that’s just my ears though.

10.   Oh Yoko – Nice toe tapper here. Refreshing to me because it’s a happy song if nothing else. The acoustic is cool and the constant off beat bass drum is cool. The piano playing is good as usual. John’s vocals are alright. He doesn’t do anything fancy, but it sounds good. Nice song, but its painfully long.


Well, I do have to admit that I actually enjoyed listening to this album. Its been a long time. The only word I can come up with to describe how much more I like this effort then POB is “INFINITE”. The overall production is better here and John just seemed to enjoy this one more. Not a lot of grudges if you get my drift. Decent effort. A ton of strings, but they never sounded out of place except for maybe 'How?'. I'm anxious for the next one.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on March 05, 2013, 01:50:03 AM
Imagine

Conversations used to come to a halt when this song came on the radio in late 1971.  The war in Viet Nam had escalated and spilled over into Cambodia and Laos.  Friday television news programs ended with an honor roll for the dead and that segment lengthened every week.

Imagine was an anthem; a beautiful song written by John which rightly took its place amongst other notable anti-war songs.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on March 05, 2013, 01:59:49 AM
Todd, have another listen to Imagine.  Listen to what happens 15 seconds into the song.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on March 05, 2013, 02:07:06 AM
Todd, have another listen to Imagine.  Listen to what happens 15 seconds into the song.

I'm at work right now, but what are you referring too?

It was George on the guitar. Hmmm. Never bothered to look that up before. Was surprised to see Jim Keltner and Jim Gordon playing the drums on some tracks. For some reason, I thought Alan White played on all of it. Cool stuff.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on March 05, 2013, 02:09:38 AM
When you're at home, then.  I'll let you find out for yourself.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on March 06, 2013, 10:36:55 PM
When you're at home, then.  I'll let you find out for yourself.


Clue me in Barry. What am I listening for? All I hear is John saying the words that turns me off in the first place.
(http://www.anchoredbygrace.com/smileys/nixweiss.gif)
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Dcazz on March 08, 2013, 03:55:23 AM
I think I agree with tkitna on every aspect of his review. We definatly agree on Imagine. I saw a video documentary years ago that showed George playing slide on this album so I'd say it was him.

Having revisited both The Plastic Ono band and Imagine albums recently I get the feeling that they fit into a similar catagory (though totally different in content) as Rubber Soul and Revolver as being extensions of the same album only obviously these two are from Johns solo career. Similar themes are found in both records only with Imagine Johns outlook seems to have changed and at more times is looking outward and forward. I enjoyed most of this record and I agree with someone that it probably is John's best solo album.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hello Goodbye on March 08, 2013, 04:04:15 AM
Clue me in Barry. What am I listening for? All I hear is John saying the words that turns me off in the first place.
([url]http://www.anchoredbygrace.com/smileys/nixweiss.gif[/url])


Todd, when I listened to Imagine on the LP for the first time, I thought I mistakingly bought a MONO album.  Fifteen seconds into the song, it changed to full stereo.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Dcazz on March 08, 2013, 04:28:55 PM
http://youtu.be/4mprAKT27C0 (http://youtu.be/4mprAKT27C0)

I think this is the right one!
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on March 09, 2013, 01:30:38 AM
Todd, when I listened to Imagine on the LP for the first time, I thought I mistakingly bought a MONO album.  Fifteen seconds into the song, it changed to full stereo.

I didnt pick that up, but I wasnt listening for it either. Now i'm intrigued. I only have cd versions of the album and song though so it could be different. Thanks for pointing that out.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on March 11, 2013, 03:47:14 AM
The song "Imagine" is usually misunderstood by religious people. When John proposes us to imagine that there's no heaven or hell he's not saying that they don't exist (beyond his own belief), he's saying that we shouldn't be moved by an after-death prize or punishment, we should be good to our brothers because that's good for itself, and good actions bring a prize on their own. When John imagines no religion he's talking about the source of fear and war, not about its message, which is actually the same message he's preaching in this song. John is just telling us to live for today because we should try to make heaven on earth, even though that's not possible, in part because of that fake religious people that do the opposite of what religion says. In fact, the message of "Imagine" is much more Christian than what many self-called Christians preach with their acts.

"Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." (James 3:18)
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: tkitna on March 11, 2013, 05:11:50 AM
he's saying that we shouldn't be moved by an after-death prize or punishment,

I feel thats wrong and thats all the more reason why we shouldnt imagine that there's no heaven or hell. I know what point John was trying to make, but I feel the song could have worked just as easily if people imagined and believed in them also. We should be moved by our existence after life. The price is too big not to. Thats as far as i'll go and again, its nothing more then my opinion and beliefs.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on March 11, 2013, 12:44:17 PM
I feel thats wrong and thats all the more reason why we shouldnt imagine that there's no heaven or hell. I know what point John was trying to make, but I feel the song could have worked just as easily if people imagined and believed in them also. We should be moved by our existence after life. The price is too big not to. Thats as far as i'll go and again, its nothing more then my opinion and beliefs.

I respect your opinion and share your belief. However, "imagine" is not the same than "believe", it's just a supposition. If we don't care about trying to make a better world in this life because there's a heaven waiting for us, then we're not really acting as true believers, because the fruits of salvation should be manifested in this life too. I do believe and know that there's a heaven and a hell, but I love Jesus's message so much that I would act the same way if that prize and that punishment would not exist. What I really mean (and I think John meant) is that we shouldn't be moved by fear, we should be moved by love, as good actions carry their own prize and sins carry their own punishment. We start living heaven or hell here, in this life. So I see heaven and hell more as a consequence than as a reason of the way I act.

"Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us." (1 John 4:17-19)
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Ovi on March 11, 2013, 06:21:27 PM
Not a religious person at all, but I think Hombre expressed his thoughts very well and I agree with his interpretation of the song, especially this:

The song "Imagine" is usually misunderstood by religious people. When John proposes us to imagine that there's no heaven or hell he's not saying that they don't exist (beyond his own belief), he's saying that we shouldn't be moved by an after-death prize or punishment, we should be good to our brothers because that's good for itself, and good actions bring a prize on their own. When John imagines no religion he's talking about the source of fear and war, not about its message, which is actually the same message he's preaching in this song.

Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on March 15, 2013, 05:25:53 PM
The song "Imagine" is usually misunderstood by religious people. When John proposes us to imagine that there's no heaven or hell he's not saying that they don't exist (beyond his own belief), he's saying that we shouldn't be moved by an after-death prize or punishment, we should be good to our brothers because that's good for itself, and good actions bring a prize on their own. When John imagines no religion he's talking about the source of fear and war, not about its message, which is actually the same message he's preaching in this song. John is just telling us to live for today because we should try to make heaven on earth, even though that's not possible, in part because of that fake religious people that do the opposite of what religion says. In fact, the message of "Imagine" is much more Christian than what many self-called Christians preach with their acts.

"Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." (James 3:18)

Really? Surely what you meant to say was that "what I think John meant was...."
because surely it's just as likely that he meant what he said - that a world without religion may be a better place.
Now I'm not saying my interpretation is any more valid than yours. It just amazes me when folk manage to turn wishful thinking into fact, or pass off opinion as a truth.
There must be some Lennon quotes out there to give us some hint as to what was in his head at the time.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on March 15, 2013, 07:08:29 PM
Really? Surely what you meant to say was that "what I think John meant was...."
because surely it's just as likely that he meant what he said - that a world without religion may be a better place.
Now I'm not saying my interpretation is any more valid than yours. It just amazes me when folk manage to turn wishful thinking into fact, or pass off opinion as a truth.
There must be some Lennon quotes out there to give us some hint as to what was in his head at the time.

Actually that's my interpretation of the song. It really doesn't matter what John meant. But I guess that John thought that the world would be better without religion as a source of fear and war, not as a source of a message of love. In fact, the world dreamed by John in the song looks a lot like the Sermon of the Mount preached by Jesus Christ: don't worry about tomorrow ("living for today"); give a hand to whom needs it ("sharing all the world"); love the enemies ("living life in peace").
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on March 15, 2013, 07:12:12 PM
Actually that's my interpretation of the song.

That's all I wanted to hear. Thank you.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on March 15, 2013, 07:14:17 PM
That's all I wanted to hear. Thank you.

You're welcome. Any interpretation is valid anyway.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Kevin on March 15, 2013, 07:32:28 PM
You're welcome. Any interpretation is valid anyway.

Even Charles Manson's?
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on March 15, 2013, 11:19:46 PM
Even Charles Manson's?

At least it was valid for himself, though surely I don't agree with him, as you may not agree with me or I would not agree with you.

Anyway, I think my interpretation is still quite straight, because the problem of religion is not the teachings but the religious people who do the opposite of what they supposedly believe. Even Jesus talk about those pharisees who acted that way. John is not preaching something new actually, but I like the message.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on April 08, 2016, 05:52:32 PM
I've found an interesting John's quote about his famous song "Imagine":

Quote
Dick Gregory gave Yoko and me a little hind of prayer book. It is in the Christian idiom, but you can apply it anywhere. It is the concept of positive prayer. If you want to get a car, get the car keys. Get it? "Imagine" is saying that. If you can imagine a world at peace, with no denominations of religion - not without religion but without this my-God-is-bigger-than-your-God thing - then it can be true.

This is in agreement with my interpretation of the song, that it's not against the true essence of religion, but against religion as source of fear and war.

Anyway, I still think that any interpretation is valid for each person who believes in it. Some people think that it's an anti-religion song; I just think it's a pro-peace & love song, and actually that's what true religion is about.
Title: Re: Microscope: Imagine
Post by: stevie on April 08, 2016, 09:37:31 PM
Gimme Some Truth is my fave John song! That and maybe #9 Dream. I love the raw sound of GST (OMG never realised that before lol) and John's hammering lyrics. George's solo is pretty cool.