To mark what would have been the 107th birthday of John Lennon’s mother Julia, the 2003 video tied to the Lennon song “Mother” has been reconstructed and remastered in 4K with the “Ultimate Mix” from the upcoming John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band reissue.
The visual — produced by Yoko Ono for the 2003 DVD Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon — features classic images of Lennon alongside rare photographs from his childhood and adolescence, including the parental figures in his life: His mother Julia, father Alfred, his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George Smith who raised Lennon for most of his childhood and teens, and Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
“I’m writing this now because it’s the way I feel,” Lennon once said of the “Mother.” “I used to say I wouldn’t be singing ‘She Loves You’ when I was 30, but I didn’t know I’d be singing about my mother. It’s just what came out of my mouth when I tried to write songs. I was doing therapy and going through my life and so I wrote about the most important things that happened in my life. Just like any artist.”
The remastered video is accompanied by the “Ultimate Mix” of “Mother” culled from the massive John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band reissue; among the 87 never-before-heard recordings are 14 “Ultimate Mixes” of the album’s tracks that strip off producer Phil Spector’s effects, tape delays, and reverbs.
“With the Plastic Ono Band albums, John and I liked the idea of this really raw, basic, truthful reality that we were going to be giving to the world,” Ono writes in the reissue’s preface. “We were influencing other artists, giving them courage, giving dignity to a certain style of vulnerability and strength that was not accepted in society at the time. It was a revolution for a Beatle to say, ‘Listen: I’m human, I’m real.’ It took a lot of courage for him to do it.”
The John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band reissue arrives April 16th.