John Lennon’s Imagine album: 2018 reissue campaign, explained

Six-disc audio box • Imagine film restored for cinema • Three editions of Imagine John Yoko book • Gimme Some Truth doc back on blu-ray/DVD

John Lennon's Imagine album: 2018 reissue plans, explained

A reissue of John Lennon‘s 1971 Imagine album has long been rumoured for 2018, but is it actually happening and is there anything else going on? Let SDE explain…

Imagine was Lennon’s second studio album, released in the Autumn of 1971. While many fans prefer the raw primal intensity of 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band there’s no doubting the quality of its follow-up, which like its predecessor was co-produced by Phil Spector. Imagine‘s ten tracks include the title track (indisputably Lennon’s best known song outside The Beatles), How Do You Sleep? (his scathing attack on Paul McCartney, which features George Harrison on guitar) and Jealous Guy, a song Roxy Music took to number one after Lennon was murdered in December 1980.

There have been a number of versions/variations of Imagine over the years. A Quad mix of Imagine was issued around the time of release, it was first put out on CD in 1987 and there have been plenty of vinyl reissues over the years (including EMI100 Centenuary Edition, Mobile Fidelity etc.). Yoko Ono supervised a stereo remix of the album that was issued on CD in 2000 and then ditched that idea in 2010, reverting to a remastered version of ‘John’s Mix’ for when most of Lennon’s back catalogue was reissued for the John at 70 campaign.

A blu-ray audio was issued in 2014 (standard mix, no extras), as was a Japanese SACD with vinyl replica packaging. The nearest we have got to any kind of super deluxe edition was the 2011 Record Store Day box set which included the album on vinyl and a bonus 8-track EP of previously released sessions (originally featured 1998’s John Lennon Anthology).

Phew! So what is happening in 2018? Let’s get straight to the good news, it has now been officially confirmed that there will be an Imagine six-disc audio box set (“The Ultimate Deep Listening Experience”). The news was broken on the John Lennon’s twitter feed (and other social channels) yesterday. This was effectively a tease, since we were offered little detail but promised more on Thursday 23 August. The video below promotes the forthcoming announcement and gives us a preview of a version of Oh My Love.

Although we don’t know anything officially, some details were inadvertently published for a short time yesterday, before being pulled. This new Imagine box set is expected to include 140 tracks (!) and consist of four CDs and two blu-ray audios. Expect raw studio mixes, the Quad mix, outtakes and audio montages that track each song from demo to finished product (sounds not dissimilar to Peter Gabriel’s So DNA demo disc) and more. There should be some separate vinyl too, but no vinyl in the box.

Screenshot of the teaser from the John Lennon website

So what else is happening? Well, don’t expect the Imagine audio box to have a great big hardcover book, because as has been previously announced on SDE, a separate book project is running alongside the audio box. Imagine John Yoko is a 320-page hardcover tome which promises the ‘definitive inside story’ of the making of the Lennon’s 1971 album. It will feature 80 percent exclusive, hitherto-unpublished archive photos.

There are THREE editions of this book. A standard edition and two collector’s editions. The Collector’s Edition has 176 extra pages with expanded and additional chapters,
150 extra illustrations and massive gatefold pullout panoramas. It’s boxed, clothbound, comes with a numbered print and is limited to 2,000 worldwide.

A Collector’s Edition SIGNED by Yoko Ono is the third variant. This is limited to a TINY quantity of just 300 copies worldwide (150 for the US and 150 for the UK).

Anything else? Of course! Imagine, the film, has been restored & remixed for cinema audiences and is showing around the world from 17 September 2018. It will have ‘additional cinema-exclusive extras’ and will be shown in Dolby Atmos in selected theatres.

Eagle Rock will then (in October) issue the Imagine film and the Gimme Some Truth: The Making of John Lennon’s Imagine Album documentary on blu-ray and DVD, restored and enhanced, with 5.1 surround sound.

There are currently no pre-orders available for anything, except the books. The SIGNED Collector’s Edition is going to be mega-rare and despite the fact that they are still taking pre-orders, I think Amazon’s ability to fulfil signed orders will be limited. Even the non-signed Collector’s Edition is limited to just 1000 in the UK and 1000 in the USA.

If you are genuinely interested in a SIGNED edition I can tell you that SDE has been in talks with the UK publishers, Thames & Hudson, and we have secured a VERY small number of signed copies, which will go up on the SDE shop in the near future. Subscribe to the SDE newsletter to stay in touch with the news on this!

More on everything John Lennon and Imagine when we get it. The audio box set is expected to be released in October; maybe the 12th, which is the nearest Friday to John’s birthday (9 October). The books are scheduled for the 9th, although the signed may come later on 30 October 2018.

Compare prices and pre-order

Lennon, John

Imagine John Yoko standard edition


Compare prices and pre-order

John Lennon

Imagine John Yoko collectors edition


Compare prices and pre-order

Lennon, John

Imagine John Yoko signed collectors edition

Shop Price gbp Stock
Amazon usa   1999.99

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Just to let you know, having ordered the signed book from Amazon Canada months ago, they just informed me that they cannot fulfil my order and it has been cancelled.
Not impressed.


It’s onsite now (Signed edition) at The Book Depository @ £375, you can use Quidco to get an extra 5% cash back


Sorry up to 5%, I got a fiver cash back on Quidco. Takes a while to get it back though!


Make sure it’s the Thames & Hudson edition with ISBN 9780500022658 (£375) as they also sell the U.S version Grand Central Publishing ISBN 9781538715796 which is cheaper(£340.49) but I would imagine it will have charges added when shipped. Not 100% sure on that though.


Hi Paul,
I have just been told by Hive.co.uk that the publisher has decided to remove sales of the signed version as they don’t want any wholesalers or big companies like Amazon to take the sales of the book. Hives have removed the pre-order due to being a wholesaler but I had a look at your Amazon link and the Canada site still has it up for pre-order, could you get any more info ? : )


Hi Paul,
At the time I enquired with Hive.co.uk they had six pre-ordered, they also mentioned that the signature is to a bookplate. They have now taken the signed book down from their website. I have tried to see if anywhere else has it for sale in the UK and only found Rough Trade (Pre-order Sold Out). Amazon so far haven’t stated that it will not be sold through them, but going on the communication about the signed Alice in Chains CD that I just ordered I be surprised if they did. I will get in touch with the publisher to see if they are redistributing the book elsewhere. Cheers,

Dave Idmarx

I am very interested in the signed book, but have been away for the past few days. Are there any left to order?


Paul, your links to Amazon in the different countries all offer the signed book, sometimes very cheap – at a price acceptable to me,
“Signed by Yoko” is probably cheaper than with this book.

As Joe has already written I am also very skeptical, I have ordered at Amazon.de and now missing “signed” in the main description, it is mentioned only in the additional text.
The publisher is
  “Grand Central Publishing, Circulation: Signed Collecto (October 30, 2018)”
is that OK?
Because here is another offer on Amazon for 590 € (!!!)


from the publisher you mentioned (THAMES & HUDSON).
What is right?


Last night I ordered the signed edition from Amazon.ca, then emailed customer service to check that it definitely was the signed version and not a mistake in the listing.

They said:


I understand your concern in this regard.

I’ve checked our records and confirm that, it is a limited edition and it is a signed copy.

I hope this information helps.”

Thought I’d pass this on. It came to CDN$ 439.67, approximately £262. It’ll be interesting to see if they can fulfil the order – I wonder what their allocation is.

Mathew Lauren

I missed the fine print, under the countdown clock. This comment suggests to me, a new (5.1 or ATMOS) mix will be included (“Imagine” and Ascot Sessions like you’ve never heard) via Blu-ray Audio. If so, one can only hope one of the USUAL SUSPECTS was used to surround-remix. Considering the price point, I can’t imagine, this isn’t the case!

Ken Evans

The reason I ask “which Imagine film” is because the film that John and Yoko made at the time of the album was on VHS for a while but I haven’t seen it in at least 25 years and I haven’t been aware of it being available at all. I sure hope that’s the film they’re putting out. Odd thing, lots of walking in the woods.

Jarmo Keranen

Will there be a Superhyperduper version in 2021 when Imagine is 50 years old? I’m gonna wait 3 more years and see what happens then!

Rodolfo MArtin

Yesterday I was driving while listening to my ipod in shuffle mode, when Imagine (Take 1) from the Lennon Anthology Box (from 1998) started playing. For a second I dreamt of an Imagine box set. Next thing I did when I got at home, I found your article in. That first take of Imagine, that I did not remember having paid much attention in the past, does not have the signature piano riff (only some strings, maybe a keyoboard but not the piano). I hope rarities like that one populate this new release. Even Walls and Bridges is my favorite Lennon album (probably because it was the first one that I bought myself and also because it has too many catchy songs), I want to listen to what Yoko One has curated. I am really interested process of an album (how it happened from home demos to final takes). Not really interested in new mixes but I understand that others are. Long life to box sets! Very existed to read more on Wednesday!

Ken Evans

Which Imagine film is being reissued? The 1971 film John and Yoko made or the 1988 bio doc?

David M



I don’t understand all the ‘This is just an easy way for Yoko to rake in a bit of cash’ comments.
I’m not a Beatles/Lennon collector myself, but let’s be honest – if things like this existed and never saw the light of day, you ‘d be moaning that Yoko was keeping it all to herself and not thinking of the fans!


I totally agree. In the nearly 38 years since his murder, I would say he has been the artist treated like a ‘cash cow’ the least. Certainly no comparison between him and the David Bowie reissue machine and many, many others.


Quite right. Yoko has done a brilliant job curating the Lennon/Ono catalogue and legacy.


Daryl, such is the internet. where everyone can show how superior their minds are….

someone can offer a million quid to every world citizen and the complaints would roll….


Quad mix???
John must turn in his grave…


Hm, surprised.


If you will indulge me for a moment:

On a (loosely) related matter – I’m sure glad I’m not in the shops in May 1970 and having to choose between buying The Beatles new LP “Let It Be” in standard edition or the “SDE” Box set with the book.
Mortgage/Food/etc or SDE?

Chris Squires

Ah, the joys of disposable income, something my 77 year old mum reminds me frequently that they never had.

In a way it was good though as when you decided to invest in an album, you dissected every single inch, note and crevice of it.


As I’m sure you know, there wasn’t a choice!

The Golden Age Of _ _ _ _ _ _ ' _

I wish I’d have been in the shops in May 1970 and the Let It Be SDE was in front of me, in fact several dozen copies!


At the time, as a 14 year old, 59/11d rather than 39/11d didn’t seem such a good deal. Although with the benefit of hindsight…..!

Paul Spurgeon

The standard book at £22.75 now looks like phenomenal value to me


I am wondering how old 70s Quadro mixes are released on Blu-ray. Is it technically 5.1 with the center and subwoofer left empty?


Was that release issued in the 1970s? And if so, how? On tape? Or on two LPs that you had to play simultaneously (joking!)?


Interesting!! I had no idea this existed.

Paul Soper

This looks great, and i’m Pleased that it appears vinyl won’t be included in the box, unlike the upcoming Kinks release.

I’m very tempted by the signed book edition. Yoko is 85 – if you’ve ever been interested in getting an item signed by her, now may well be your final chance.


I have pre ordered a signed book but in two minds about it. A bit disappointed its just a bookplate though.


Final chance!!! Blimey Paul, do you know something we don’t?

Craig Hedges

Just read on another website, who are usually reliable, that this release of Imagine will come out on the Geffen Label. This is the label that John and Yoko signed to in 1980 for the release of Double Fantasy. I’m getting dizzy with all this label swapping!

Also while you’re all reading the books, watching the Blu rays and DVDs and listening to the Box set, find time to go to Liverpool and visit the FREE!!! John and Yoko exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool. Amazing to see Johns New York City T-shirt for real and listen to Imagine whilst looking out over the Mersey.

Ann Coates

Totally agree regarding the exhibition – LOTS of authentic Lennon stuff on display: army shirt, their white wedding outfits, guitars, The Daily Howl, original lyrics (Watching The Wheels: “You’re no longer ON the game” – lol) etc.


“Just read on another website, who are usually reliable, that this release of Imagine will come out on the Geffen Label. This is the label that John and Yoko signed to in 1980 for the release of Double Fantasy. I’m getting dizzy with all this label swapping!”

Not surprising, though, since Universal acquired EMI a few years ago, and Geffen has been the imprint used for a lot of reissues.

Alan B

Today’s CDs and vinyl are “made in the EU” and the copy you buy in the UK, France, Germany etc is the same unlike the old days where you had different releases in each country (different record labels, sleeves, tracks etc – which made collecting more fun and varied).

Paul, with Brexit coming next year do you how it will affect our CD and vinyl releases? Will prices go up or down depending where they are manufactured if tariffs are imposed? Will we see the return of UK manufactured editions only which may differ to their EU counterparts? It must be being discussed within the industry but I’m not aware of anything public coming out.

The Dark Age Of Brexit

I expect that the Euro editions of CDs/LPs will be the same all through Europe after Brexit and that of course includes the U.K. I doubt there will be UK only editions for say a McCartney, Radiohead, Madonna album. Obviously there will be UK only releases for lesser known artists.

Regarding duty/tariffs we already pay 20% VAT on CDs/LPs/Box Sets throughout the EU. The current rate of VAT on all imports from outside the EU is 20% on all imports over £15 including shipping into the U.K. This means that if you buy an LP from Amazon Germany after Brexit for £12 including shipping the real cost could be £9.60. This is because the LP would not be eligible for U.K. VAT and EU VAT should not be applicable to the U.K. This to me is the only good thing I have discovered* about the disaster named Brexit.

*Disclaimer: I could be wrong!


Not so bothered about the book and to be honest I already have a large collection of Imagine album outtakes so not really in the market for this at the moment. I will however go an see Imagine: the film on its re-release in cinemas on September 18th.
Is there any news concerning phase 3 of Yokos reissues which should include The Wedding Album


I e-mailed Seriously Canadian about this a few months ago but got no reply, but they are now almost a year overdue.


Those of us who live in the land of Amazon’s estranged and sparsely stocked sibling (Australia), can join me drinking the Kool-Aid here at $552 Dollarydoos.


I have no idea how many they are getting.


@Eric, after checking that Australian link you posted, it appears that they are trying to sell the standard book [not the collector’s edition, and certainly not a signed one], and their pricing is most extraordinary.
Amazon UK is around AU$40, and they’re asking AU$550 with a claim of RRP of AU$995, or am I missing something?


Limited editions are made to be more expensive, even when the extra content does not completely justify the additional cost. It’s a way to segment the market and take more money from those willing to pay more and don’t mind the usual high price. But in this case what I’d like is to have the chance to buy a regular version of the book with all content on the limited edition with no special addons at a reasonable price. A better version of the low price edition at a higher cost (in this case about GBP 30-40).


Paul, this is what happens when you open a door anyone can walk through. Thanks, whatever you decide.
Now, is there any update on the release of the White Album box?

peter chrisp

Not long after Sergeant Peppers anniversary edition The White Album was already on the radar looking at November 2018?


Kevin, a few months ago I read that Ringo had signed a deal with (if I remember correctly) Concord Bicycle Music – who handle George’s re-issues – to oversee his archive recordings (basically everything he’s done from Beaucoup of Blues and Sentimental Journey onwards), so some re-issues might bee coming eventually.

Kevin Wollenweber

Ooh, this is another something that I’m looking forward to, even though I bought the box set around the entire John Lennon solo catalog on Apple. I’ll be checking for the more in-depth article on the box’s entire content. I must inquire as to what happened to Ringo, though. All Beatles’ solo materials have been well documented with expansive reissue campaigns except for Ringo. I’d love to see expanded editions of Ringo’s Apple solo albums as I’ve found some of these hard to find. Is it possible that Ringo has decided that such re-imersions are unnecessary? Just wondering; not complaining.


I’ve heard the Quad mix of Imagine (from back in the day) and it’s not really that good. John loved his mono and when he supervised the Quad mix, he wasn’t too adventurous in using the rear channels. He did better with Walls and Bridges. I wonder what the two Blu-ray discs will have? It would be nice if one of them had the Imagine/Gimme some truth specials, so I don’t have to go out and buy them on their own. As they both have 5.1 mixes, I just might have to.

Craig Braelow

I bought 2 box sets from the vigotone co years ago will there be anything new that has not been bootlegged already I already have the quad mix

The Golden Age Of _ _ _ _ _ _ ' _

The Imagine/Gimme Some Truth films will NOT be in the 4xCD 2xBluray box set. The Bluray content on the box set discs will be mostly AUDIO; 5: 1 and Quad and much more audio. I have read somewhere that there may be some visual content on these Blurays.

I have seen Imagine/Gimme Some Truth 2018 edition(s) on Amazon US on Bluray on what seemed to be the same disc available for pre-order. This item was not there the last time I looked. So it could be that both films come together (see what I did there) in one package on 1 or maybe 2 discs. Then again they may be separate releases but as I say not on the Imagine box.


I’ll get the box set if I can stretch to it, waiting with interest. I do quite fancy the book, but knowing that there is an expanded version that I can’t afford puts me off buying the slimmer volume. How important are these extra pages and chapters? Is the cheap version edited or incomplete? Will I not get the whole story? I wonder if I might just leave it, sit back, relax and enjoy the fresh gust of socialism on SDE while it lasts. Mmmm… fragrant.

Leonardo Lotti

Reading some specific comments on this thread, I am starting to wonder if Mark David Chapman has actually started reading SDE and making written contributions to the blog!

David M

You really don’t need to mention that guy here.


So none of you have heard of Genesis Publications before? 300 quid doesn’t get you much there.

Marshall Gooch

I love SDE, really I do. But I get tired of people bitching and moaning about “rip offs” and “cash grabs” et al. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE MONEY, YOU DON’T HAVE TO. Unless you can supply me with a selfie of you with a gun to your head.

Yani P

Great point and totally agree..

I think it is useful when people critique boxsets with the good and the bad – I find it useful when people share their expertise of missing mixes, versions etc.

But to just say its a ripoff – or its vinyl does just get very boring to read to be honest..everyone has a right to spend their money as they wish – personally I treat a lot of the things I buy in the same way you would trat a piece of art…you dont price up the canvas, paint and frame….you put your own value on the complete article in question and make a personal decision on whether to purchase it..


In addition to this and hte White Album and Pau’s new record, haven’t I heard rumors of two McCartney Archives boxes hitting the market this year also? I had better find that Second mortgage application!!


Chris Squires – you speak so much sense – very much enjoy reading your comments on this blog! I find myself ALWAYS agreeing with you, yet unable to put it in such fine word :-)


Imagine no possessions… except my record collection.


Lol. Awesome. Too funny and ironic! Oh, my god that’s good! :)


Signed by Yoko ? Oh no !



Paul Spurgeon

Imagine that


Signed by Yoko may drop the value of the item if unopened.


I’m a heretic and i dont like the Beatles. I dont own a single album . But i do like John Lennon and i must say im waiting for this release


“There does seem to be a prevailing whiff of socialism breezing through this site on occasion. As if artists aren’t allowed to make any money and if *I* can’t afford it, it is instantly a rip off”

What the hell does that have to do with socialism?

Shaun McLaughlin

John Lennon remains a cash cow for Yoko Ono to milk every now and then – and over the years there have been a lot of nows.

Craig Hedges

These will be the first releases that will have the new writing credit for the song imagine as Lennon/Ono.


can’t help but wonder what John would have made of it all…


Who will sign the box? Yoko?


The postman who delivers to Abbey Road Studios every day will sign the box so it will be genuine and in keeping with EMI and the local area around the studios.


This is all well and good, but no mention of the new Clapton “Happy Xmas”, with an Eric drawn cover ?

Arrival of Imagine is the first part of my Christmas wish/heck I will just buy it now, along with Bob14, More Blood More Tracks and The White Album

Salutations from Detroit where there is a bit of a fuss about Aretha. Those interested in the life and times of Ms Franklin should search The Detroit Free Press for a more complete image rather than the PrincessDiana syndrome.

Steven Roberts

Nice to see the quad mix get a mention – but haven’t some of these tracks also been mixed into 5.1 (for the Lennon Legend DVD)?

Martin Stacey

I have never tried this album and I do love music released the year I was born, that is always a good excuse.


Looks nice. Though can I be the first to point out that in my own humble opinion, it’s not actually a very good album. The sound of Lennon crowing about no possessions from an apartment with a specially air conditioned room for their fur coats sticks in the throat a little. Though, I suppose, as Lennon himself said “it’s only a bloody song.”

David M

He had that apartment a few years later. Anyway the clue is in the name of the song.


So we have to “Imagine” but he doesn’t. Right.


Pithy and cogent, Brian. Nice.


Yes I agree. John’s jealousy toward Paul during that post Beatles period bordered on obsessive. I loved John’s contributions to the Beatles, but his actions afterward reeked of insincere social agendas. All of those declarations about social injustice as he wore those fur coats and motored around in luxury cars. In the meantime all Paul did was make those “silly” love songs that people adored. Other than the song imagine, I don’t really see anything of interest here for me unless there is a new 5.1 mix.


Has it ever been ever different Walker? Look at Bono. Tax dodging, lectures the world on the poor and needy, tells leaders they need to spend more of the finite and precious public money on aid, and yet he sits on a personal fortune that may be closing in on a billion dollars. I think this is precisely what the word hypocrisy was made for :)


U2 have vanished up their own hype. Used to be my favorite band, not really sure who they are anymore. Would love to see a tour where they go back to just being four guys on a stage making music, without all the spectacle.

Peter Stevens

Agree with Brian….I always thought it was a very poor album…..one of many from John dare I say!


Although I do love the ‘Imagine’ album, ‘John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band’ is far superior as far as I am concerned….

John Cronnolley

It wouldn’t surprise me if there is some edited version of the film turning up on BBC2 or BBC4 as it would seem there is some sort of deal between eagle rock and the Beeb when it comes to new documentaries

They did it for George Harrison so it is possible something similar will occur


BBC4 are very good at devoting entire Friday or Saturday evenings to artists who have a deluxe box set about to be released. I do wonder how it works – does, for example, Peter Gabriel bung the BBC a few grand for the promotion or do the BBC do it out of the goodness of its heart?

Choba b CCCP

Of all three autumn releases I’m less interested in this one. The Beatles go first, then McCartney. Yoko’s gonna wait.


….Different levels of reading ability too. It’s all there. What a fantastically vital release. I’m getting the pop-up version, because I’m illiterate.


Useful summary. It’s going to be an expensive Autumn for Beatle and individual Beatle fans – really not sure why these releases can’t be staggered rather squeezed into three months. There’s little for years and then Imagine – book/boxset/film, the McCartney solo album with deluxe version due and then no doubt the White album boxset.

Geert De Wilde

When I pre-orderd the deluxe book on Amazon weeks ago, it was just over £90.00. I hope they are going to honour that!


Luckily I’m not a Lennon fan, the variations on the book especially sound like a big rip-off. If there’ll be a standard CD remaster I might get it, though.

Ann Coates

To be fair Paul, I can see why paolo might use that term: people who can only afford the cheaper book might feel ‘ripped off’ when it is advertised as “the ‘definitive inside story’” – how can it be when there’s another edition with nearly 200 pages more!


Sorry Paul, but I can’t agree with you. The prices are hiked because these are strictly Limited Editions. However, there is no reason to have so few copies made. This is what is inflating the price. They could easily print twice as many copies and sell them, given it’s Lennon. So yes, it’s a rip-off.


Not a Beatles or Lennon collector or aficionado myself, but I wouldn’t call it a rip-off as such – more of an easy way for Yoko Ono and the publishers to rake in some extra cash. I suspect the signed editions will cost more than a lot of the coffee tables they’re carefully positioned on!


It’s not uncommon in the art book industry for publishers to add an extra 16 or 24 pages into a higher quality binding and market the edition as a limited (often signed) collectable at twice the price of the regular edition.

Others will do a limited edition including a print or photograph (production cost: minimal) at a still higher multiple, depending on the prominence of the artist.

So, this edition featuring 176 additional pages — virtually a second book — and a slipcase doesn’t seem out of line.

Assuming the book is nicely produced, the pricing of the popular, non-collectable edition seems quite reasonable. And if it is a hit, I would not be surprised to see a bargain version in US chain bookstores in a year or two.

Chris Squires

However…. It’s no difference to any other industry. If this is a rip-off then so is absolutely everything else on the planet.

Want a reversing camera on your car – that’ll be £700 extra.
Want sprinkles on your ice cream – that’ll be an extra 30p
Want a reflective coating on your windows to keep you cool – that’ll be an extra £1,000

There does seem to be a prevailing whiff of socialism breezing through this site on occasion. As if artists aren’t allowed to make any money and if *I* can’t afford it, it is instantly a rip off. There has to be perceived value, if someone signs something they will have an idea of what their signature is worth. If Yoko thinks hers is worth a couple of hundred Dollars she will find out very shortly whether it is. If speculators buy a copy and it turns out they’ve been sold a pup well they will have to wear it too.

Every thread has someone wheezing and whining that this specific thing is not directly aimed at them as they can’t afford it (sometimes even if it is £15 3CD set). Well without being too harsh, tough tit. This is super deluxe edition. There is always going to be an element of the overblown, the unattainable, otherwise we should all be on cheapaschips.com or bogstandardsinglecdedition.com. Nearly every SDE has a smaller, 1CD or 2CD edition that gives highlights for those who do not want or can’t stretch to the bigger version. It’s no different with cars.


The comparison to the car industry is on somewhat thin ice….. Even Porsche, the absolute kings of niche segmentation of product lines and monetisation of options and limited editions DON’T charge 6x the price of the standard car for the top of the range model or any limited editions! There is a huge difference in specification, performance and exclusivity between a base 911 Carrera and the top end GT2 RS, yet the latter is much less than 3 times the entry model cost. The ltd quantity and extra 170 pages of a book justifies a 600% increase? Really? I think ripoff may be in order in the case of the middle product here. With Yoko’s signature on it, well that may be of value to justify the signed edition cost.


Whilst there’s truth in this, the parallel is not completely fair. The work being re-presented here is of a man who has been dead for nearly 38 years and consists of material he generated at the time but either did not release or did not intend for release. Given that the core content has already paid for itself thousands of times over and that the beneficiaries are not the people who created the material, a moral issue *does* arise. This is not the work of a struggling musician trying to monetize their work in a digital world that makes this increasing difficult; this is, however lovingly it may be prepared and presented, raiding a dead man’s bin.

The deluxes and price-points serve a different purpose here; to reinforce a perceived importance – this, we are being told, is a Very Important Work, one which merits a £150 book and a huge box set and, therefore, a similar cultural status (even if it it’s actually a very problematic album, highlighting not only how insular and out-of-touch Lennon had become but also how his adoration of Ono as an ersatz-maternal figure had almost infantilised his writing).

We shall find out next week exactly what we’re being offered here but I suspect we’re more likely to be in Roxy Music territory than Kinks. See y’all Thursday for the announcement.

Lee Taylor

What monster charges extra for sprinkles?


No, not “socialism”, just rampant capitalism. There is no reason for these items to be so limited. Simple. They’re limited SPECIFICALLY TO INCREASE THEIR “VALUE” – AND THEREFORE COST TO THE CONSUMER.

Apparently to speak out about it makes you a crazy lefty. Wake up!


Yes, can’t agree on a practice to make extra content limited edition AND 6 times the price, especially when it is just a single book.


Bit of minefield going with that argument though Paul….. The deluxe book doesn’t have to be 6 x the price of the standard edition, they consciously chose it to be so knowing all but fairly wealthy people will be able to obtain it unless they forego life essentials, which would perhaps not be the case if it was only say twice the price? In days gone by before rampant capitalism took hold it may well have been would just twice the price?

We are entering the same debate as when recently an infamous nasty young business owner in the US (now in jail I believe) put up the price of a critical drug by a multiple when he bought the business who developed it, citing exactly the same economic argument… ‘ You don’t have a right to this commercially produced product in a market economy, but if you want it this is the price you have to pay…. Pay it, or otherwise accept that you will be ill’. Now, not comparing a trite book with a life saving drug, but it does highlight the unanswerable dilemmas of capitalism and market economics.


Not silly at all Paul. Just pointing out the extremes of your ‘anything is ok’ attitude to pricing in free markets. I am not a socialist. But a concept of good value is being lost. Historically business was based on a foundation of ‘fare and reasonable profit’.

The music industry as it declines is cashing in on loyalty to an extreme not fare or reasonable.

Mister Stick

Wow, what a toasty discussion. Well, of course the limited expanded edition of the book is going to be a lot more than the simple version. It’s worth an eyebrow raise when you see it costs ten times as much in some countries to get the deluxe release with Yoko’s signature… Until you remember that she remains a world renowned visual artist.

Yoko’s pieces may not be everyone’s plate of cabbage, but in the modern art world (especially the NYC sector), to the right crowd, she’s a titan, one of the last of an era that boasted similar controversial artists like Warhol, Sol LeWitt, and Keith Haring. As such, you could argue that every time she puts pen to paper, she is creating something, not just signing it. Maybe that’s a little stretch in a search to validate that price, but it is the well-to-do art collector who will seek the autographed rarer version, more than the music collector or average Beatles fan. And in those circles, possession comes at a greater price. The expense is expected, frankly.

Think about this, too: What if John were still here and signing these? He was famous for quick drawings of his own face, or his with Yoko, accompanying his signature. Imagine (sorry) what THOSE could fetch today? What if every book had a unique John Winston Ono Lennon doodle included? Staggers the mind, right?

Kindly, the comparison of this sort of unnecessary luxury art item to the evil pharmacrimes of the venal monster Martin Shkreli is so off-point as to make us wonder if the writer can see the target he is aiming for. Let’s not foul these pages with that name again, please.

Imagine is a terrific, honest, adult record that never gets old. Getting deeper into it could be really rewarding, whether with ear or eye. But if any one of these products doesn’t fit your pocket, there is still the record as issued, as Lennon wanted us to hear it. Surely, that must be 90% of the enjoyment on its own.

Thanks for the soapbox, Paul.


Exactly. This is how it should be done and there are rumours that the WA50 may be similar in terms of choices. I only want the audio on CD, so am hoping that the price of the six disc version is reasonable, given that there is possibly no substantial book or video content included.

Michael Fortin

I read (before it was taken down) that there would be a two disc and one disc version as well. There’s a price point for everyone.