The Classic Album at Midnight – The John Lennon Collection

The Classic Album at Midnight – The John Lennon Collection


Tonight (December 12th) on the world famous Classic Album at Midnight on Radio Nova we’re playing The John Lennon Collection.

The album is presented in full on vinyl with no commercials or interruptions, courtesy of The Record Hub.

The 1982 compilation album The John Lennon Collection was spawned by tragedy. On December 8th, 1980 Lennon was in the archway of his New York City residence The Archway when he was fatally shot by obsessive Beatles fan Mark David Chapman.

Lennon had encountered Chapman earlier the same evening and even signed a copy of his Double Fantasy album. What Lennon didn’t know was that the fan had been planning the murder of his idol for several months. After a recording session at the Record Plant, Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono returned to The Dakota, where Chapman lay in wait, shooting Lennon four times in his back. Rather than fleeing the scene, Chapman hung around and read JD Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, the book he claimed inspired him to carry out the murder. Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital.

Lennon’s death was met by unprecedented global mourning for a rock star, with three Beatles fans even taking their own lives. His passing led to a renewed interest in his solo work, with his most recent album, Double Fantasy, seeing huge sales after an initially muted reaction. In 1981 it was awarded the Grammy for Album of the Year.

This led to a demand for the release of an album celebrating Lennon’s solo career. Initially planned for a release by Christmas of 1981, the album was delayed due to the fact that his material was shared between two different record labels, EMI and Geffen.

After some legal wrangling Parlophone released The John Lennon Collection in the UK on November 1st, 1982 while in the US it was released by Geffen on November 8th.

The album is comprised of several tracks from Double Fantasy, along with most of Lennon’s hits and other songs from his 1971-75 EMI period.

The John Lennon Collection features 17 tracks. On Side A are Give Peace a Chance; Instant Karma!; Power to the People; Whatever Gets You thru the Night; #9 Dream; Mind Games; Love; and Happy Xmas (War Is Over). On Side B are Imagine; Jealous Guy; Stand by Me; (Just Like) Starting Over; Woman; I’m Losing You; Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy); Watching the Wheels; and Dear Yoko. On the US release, Happy Xmas (War Is Over) and Stand by Me were excluded.

The album reached number one in the UK but only peaked at number 33 in the US. In the UK it had sold over a million copies by its third week of release and claimed the Christmas number one spot. It was reissued in 1989 with the addition of two bonus tracks – Move Over Ms. L and Cold Turkey.

You can listen to The John Lennon Collection at midnight tonight on Radio Nova.