John Lennon/Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy Stripped Down

John Lennon/Yoko Ono
Double Fantasy Stripped Down
(Capitol/EMI)

In celebration of what would have been his 70th birthday, Yoko Ono released remasters of many of John Lennon’s solo albums; including the amazingDouble Fantasy.

A true bonus for fans, Ono worked with original producer Jack Douglas to remix their final record. Taking an approach very similar to what McCartney did with Let It Be – Naked, Ono and Douglas stripped away the trappings of late ’70s recording methods, pushed up the vocals and restored the album to a more pure state.

It’s wonderful.

Gone are the special effects and the over-the-top backups and fillers. Present are fresh and intimate takes on classic tracks such as “(Just Like) Starting Over,” “Kiss Kiss Kiss,” “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy),” and “Watching the Wheels”. In recent years it’s become pretty well-documented that Lennon was an innocent and had an insecurity about himself which wasn’t always detectable in his public persona. With Stripped Down, you can hear it in his voice, especially on “Woman.”

Upon listening, you’ll be hard put to not have a greater appreciation of Lennon’s work and also a renewed sense of loss for what might have been. The original album (also included in this package) was intended to kick start Lennon’s career after a five-year hiatus spent caring for his son Sean. It surely would have too, but all that turned to speculation with his murder just three weeks after its release.