John Lennon Catalog Gets Sonic Upgrade

Yoko Ono honors Lennon's 70th birthday with reissues of eight solo albums, including stripped back version of 'Double Fantasy'

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To mark what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday this October, Yoko Ono and EMI will reissue eight of Lennon's solo records, plus a greatest hits collection and a four-disc anthology titled Gimme Some Truth. The reissues and compilations, each digitally remastered from the original mixes, will hit stores on October 5th (four days before Lennon's 70th birthday) and will also be available for download through all major digital retailers.

Unique to the Lennon reissues is a new "stripped down" mix of his final album Double Fantasy. Like the Beatles Let It Be…Naked, Double Fantasy Stripped cuts down on the instrumental embellishments of the production to give the music a more raw and intimate feel. "[It] really allows us to focus our attention on John’s amazing vocals," Ono said in a statement. "Technology has advanced so much that, conversely, I wanted to use new techniques to really frame these amazing songs and John's voice as simply as possible. It was whilst working on the new version of this album that I was hit hardest emotionally, as this was the last album John released before his passing." Ono collaborated with original co-producer Jack Douglas on the new version of Double Fantasy.

In addition to the reissue of the eight albums — John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Some Time In New York City, Mind Games, Walls and Bridges, Rock 'n' Roll, Double Fantasy Stripped Down/Double Fantasy and the posthumous release Milk and Honey — an 11-disc collection called John Lennon Signature Box will feature all of the solo albums plus an EP of Lennon's non-album singles and a bonus disc of rare and previously unreleased recordings. The set will come with a collectible limited edition art print and a hardbound book with rare photos, poetry, artwork and new liner notes, which were written by Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis. Like the recent Beatles' reissues, each album will be housed in a digi-sleeve that mirrors its original packaging.

Ono is also planning commemorative events to coincide with Lennon's 70th birthday; details will be announced soon at John Lennon's official website.