Revisiting John Lennon’s solo career on vinyl just got a lot easier. Eight of Lennon’s solo records make up a new career-spanning 9 LP box set of vinyl, entitled simply Lennon. The box set will be released on June 9th, while the albums will be available individually on August 21st.
Each record has been remastered from John Lennon’s original analog mixes, cut to 180-gram vinyl and packaged in reproductions of each album’s original artwork. The remastering took place at Abbey Road Studios in London as well as New York’s Avatar Studios, and was done under the guidance of Yoko Ono and a team of engineers led by Allan Rouse.
The news should be welcome for Beatles nuts, and fans of Lennon’s rich collection of solo work — especially considering most of the albums (aside from Imagine and Rock ‘n Roll) are currently unavailable on vinyl. Included in the box set are John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Some Time in New York City, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges, Rock ‘n Roll, Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey. The mixes were previously available on the 2010 John Lennon Signature Box CD set — but the move to vinyl is something a bit more special.
According to Rolling Stone, the remastering process was emotional for Ono. “I thought it was going to be fine — listening to John’s songs has been a routine thing for me for the last 30 years,” she said. “But this time, maybe because I listened to all of them, it was very hard, emotionally hard. ‘I’m Losing You’ — that really hit me.”
One of the most revered songwriters in modern history, Lennon was relatively prolific after parting from his longtime songwriting partner in Paul McCartney when The Beatles called it quits in 1970. The rock legend recorded a pace of nearly an album a year, until his untimely death in 1980.
While his later albums didn’t reach the same stratospheric heights of The Beatles (what has?), singles like “Instant Karma!,” “Imagine,” “Power to the People,” “Mind Games,” and “Woman” remain classic additions to the modern pop/rock canon. Rolling Stone has recognized Lennon as the 5th greatest singer of all-time, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.