To celebrate what would have been John Lennon’s mother Julia’s 107th and Mother’s Day, the John Lennon Estate has released a newly updated video for “Mother” which has been completely reconstructed from the original photographs, beautifully remastered in 4K and upgraded with the stunning new “Ultimate Mix.”
“Mother” is the first track to be released from the forthcoming John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band-The Ultimate Collection, due April 16 via Capitol/UMe to celebrate 50 years of John’s transformational and influential masterpiece. The eight-disc super deluxe box set is an immersive, deep listening experience and in-depth exploration of what John described as “the best thing I’ve ever done.”
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Through the use of John’s personal photos, the new “Mother” video tells the story of John’s relationships with his mother and father figures with memories from his childhood and important moments in his life.
We see his mother Julia, father Alfred, his Aunt Mimi and Uncle George Smith who raised and housed him for most of his childhood and teens, and manager Brian Epstein. We also see John with his wife Yoko Ono Lennon (who he nicknamed “Mother” in 1980, five years after they had become parents with Sean).
Produced by Yoko Ono Lennon, directed and edited by Simon Hilton with 3D compositing by David Frearson, the video was first created in 2003 for the DVD release, “Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon,” and includes photographs by Bob Gruen, Stanley Parkes, Geoff Rhind, Robert Freeman, Jack Mitchell, Iain Macmillan, Paul Goresh, Joyce Ravid and many others.
When released in 1970, “Mother,” the stark and startling album opener of John Lennon’s first post-Beatles solo album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, signaled a change in John’s songwriting, away from third person narratives and towards a more autobiographical, confessional style.
Inspired by the primal scream psychotherapy he and wife Yoko Ono had been practicing with Dr. Arthur Janov, John, joined by the minimalist Plastic Ono Band – Ringo Starr on drums and Klaus Voormann on bass, and producer Phil Spector – addressed his parents abandoning him in his most honest and personal song to date. The legendary songwriter’s anguish was on full display for the first time.
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Released on December 11, 1970, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band followed three hit singles John released in 1969 after the breakup of The Beatles – “Give Peace A Chance,” “Cold Turkey,” and “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On),” three avant-garde recordings released with Yoko (Two Virgins, Life With The Lions, and Wedding Album) and the live concert album, Live Peace In Toronto 1969, recorded with the ever-evolving Plastic Ono Band, which for this legendary performance featured Eric Clapton, Klaus Voormann and Alan White.
50 years on, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is widely considered one of the best albums ever made. Most recently Rolling Stone, who also dubbed it #4 on their list of Best Albums of 1967-87, ranked the album #85 in their 2020 reassessment of The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time.
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – The Ultimate Collection continues the 50th anniversary celebration of this iconic album, which began in October 2020 with the release of the book, John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band for what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday.
John Lennon is arguably the greatest songwriter of his generation. Lennon has won seven Grammy Awards, including two Lifetime Achievement Awards, and two special BRIT Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Walk of Fame. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Lennon in the Top 5 of the magazine’s ‘100 Greatest Singers Of All Time’ list.