John Lennon: His Moving, Lovely & Meaningful 'Lost Song'

Sunday, June 30, 2024

It is perfectly fine that John Lennon’s 1973 album, Mind Games, will be released July 12, 2024, in six (count ’em—six) different mixes—including a “super deluxe box” priced at a mind-blowing $1,350 that is limited to 1,000 copies, but…

Why re-re-re-release a 50-year-old second-tier Lennon album (except for the title track, and “Intuition” and “Meat City,” in this writer’s opinion), when an album or two of entirely new Lennon songs could be issued instead?

What? New Lennon songs? Yes.

Artificial intelligence “demixing” technology now enables all of Lennon’s home tapes from the ’70s to be upgraded to studio quality, or close to it, as was demonstrated by “the last Beatles song,” as Paul McCartney dubbed the Lennon composition “Now and Then,” released in November 2023. The terrible quality home cassette of “Now and Then” (abandoned as the proposed third reunion Beatles track in 1995) was AI-stripped of electronic buzz, echoey piano and background TV noise, leaving Lennon’s vocal pristine and beautiful.

This is not to suggest that all the home tapes simply be AI-improved and released. It is to say that these demos, usually done with nothing more than a handheld recorder, now invite completion with full arrangements, musicians, harmony vocals, bells and whistles.

The cache of tapes, made mostly during Lennon’s so-called “house husband” years from 1975 to 1980, are legendary. Many were aired on The Lost Lennon Tapes radio series in the ’80s, and have turned up on bootlegs. There are complete songs, partial songs, early versions of works later finished very differently. There are ballads (“That’s the Way the World Is”), anthems (“Gone From This Place”), jokes (the biting “Serve Yourself” parody of Bob Dylan—released on the Lennon “Signature” boxed set), complete songs (“She’s a Friend of Dorothy,” “You Saved My Soul,” “One of the Boys,” many others).

Source: Rip Rense/


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