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John Lennon's 70th saluted with remastered solo albums, box sets

June 29, 2010 |  2:15 pm

John Lennon-Yoko Ono 1973 
In commemoration of what would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday on Oct. 9, the ex-Beatle’s solo catalog will be reissued in remastered editions along with a newly stripped-down remix of his and Yoko Ono’s 1980 album, “Double Fantasy.”

In what sounds to be a similar approach taken to the 2003 version of the Beatles’ “Let It Be...Naked” that removed much of Phil Spector’s wall-of-sound production, “Double Fantasy Stripped Down” also eliminates much of the studio effects subsequently added to the basic tracks.

“ 'Double Fantasy Stripped Down’ really allows us to focus on John’s amazing vocals,” Ono said in a statement issued Tuesday.  “It was [while] 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” on Dec. 8, 1980.

It will be issued in a two-CD set, with the original album and the new mix. In addition, remastered versions of his other seven albums will be available individually and as part of an 11-CD “John Lennon Signature Box” set. Capitol and EMI also are issuing a four-CD box set “Gimme Some Truth” with thematically  linked songs on each disc, and a 15-song compilation “Power to the People: The Hits."

All will be issued as physical CDs and as digital tracks available for downloading as of Oct. 5 in North America, and Oct. 4 for the rest of the world. The announcement made no mention of bonus tracks accompanying the original albums, but the “Signature Box” set will include one disc of “rare and previously unreleased recordings” and another EP containing singles that weren’t originally included on his albums.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a news conference in New York City in 1973. Credit: Associated Press

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