EMI to Release Lennon Collectors Set


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EMI Music will commemorate the 70th anniversary of John Lennon's birth Oct. 5 with a flight of new releases, including a stripped-down remix of the late ex-Beatle's bestselling album, a hits compilation, a themed four-CD box and a comprehensive 11-CD collectors set.

Overseen by Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, so-called “Gimme Some Truth" campaign (named after his 1971 song) kicks off with release of eight remastered solo studio titles.

Among these will be the remixed edition of “Double Fantasy," the 1980 album Lennon released after a five-year layoff from music. The pared-down version was mixed and produced by Ono and Jack Douglas, who co-produced the original album with Lennon. It will appear in a two-CD package, paired with the original mix.

Explaining the rationale for the new version, Ono said in a statement, “'Double Fantasy Stripped Down' really allows us to focus our attention on John's amazing vocals by stripping down some of the instrumentation the power of the songs shines through with an enhanced clarity."

The other titles to be re-released in remastered editions are “Plastic Ono Band" (1970), “Imagine" (1971), “Some Time in New York City" (1972), “Mind Games" (1973), “Walls and Bridges" (1974), “Rock 'n' Roll" (1975) and the posthumous “Milk and Honey" (1984).

Company will simultaneously issue “Power to the People: The Hits," a 15-track compilation that will be released in a single-disc edition and a so-called “Experience Edition" containing as yet unannounced additional content.

Two boxed collections also land Oct. 5. The 72-track “Gimme Some Truth" will survey Lennon's work in four themed discs: “Roots" (rock 'n' roll roots and influences), “Working Class Hero" (political songs), “Woman" (love songs) and “Borrowed Time" (life). Critic Anthony DeCurtis has penned new notes.

“The John Lennon Signature Box" compiles the eight studio albums (including the two-disc “Double Fantasy"), an album of rare and unreleased material and an EP of non-album singles. The set will include a limited edition Lennon art print and a hardbound book with new notes by DeCurtis.

New campaign is the first attempt to re-address the Lennon catalog in any depth since the release of “Lennon," a four-disc box of previously unreleased material, in 1998.

Flood of product from the Beatles camp will begin in August, when a new edition Paul McCartney's “Band On the Run" will kick off the re-release of McCartney's catalog under new deal with Concord Music Group.

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