The super deluxe edition boasts 159 tracks — 87 of which have never been released — across six CDs and two Blu-ray discs. The project was overseen by Ono, using the same audio team that worked on the 2018 Imagine box set (engineers Paul Hicks, Rob Stevens, and Sam Gannon). The announcement is accompanied by a new mix of “Mother,” which you can hear above.
The collection contains unreleased demos, rehearsals, outtakes, jams, and studio conversations. It includes 14 “ultimate mixes” with songs in 5.1 surround sound and 14 raw studio mixes of the tracks without Phil Spector’s production — eliminating tape delays, effects, and reverbs. The “elements” mixes isolate and present aspects from the multitrack recordings to offer deeper levels of detail, while the “Evolution Documentary” traces each song’s genesis from demo to finished work with instructions, rehearsals, studio banter, and more.
The super deluxe version also includes a 132-page book detailing the songs with new and archival interviews, as well as a poster of “War is over! (If you want it) Love and Peace from John & Yoko,” and two postcards. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is also paired down to smaller editions, from a single CD to a two-LP set (tracklist below), the latter of which is pressed on 180-gram vinyl and released with an eight-page booklet.
“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 book’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 reissue follows the book John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band, as well as the box set Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Mixes — released on what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday. It was produced by Sean Ono Lennon, who spoke about his father’s solo work with Rolling Stone last fall.
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection 2LP Tracklist
Side A: The Ultimate Mixes
2. Hold On
3. I Found Out
4. Working Class Hero 5. Isolation
Side B: The Ultimate Boxes
3. Well Well Well
4. Look At Me
6. My Mummy’s Dead
Side C: The Ultimate Mixes/Outtakes
1. Mother/Take 61
2. Hold On/Take 2
3. I Found Out/Take 1
4. Working Class Hero/Take 1 5. Isolation/Take 23
Side D: The Ultimate Mixes/Outtakes
1. Remember/Rehearsal 1 2. Love/Take 8
3. Well Well Well/Take 2
4. Look At Me/Take 2
5. God/Take 27
6. My Mummy’s Dead/Take 2