John Lennon’s 70th

Imagine what the world would be like today if John Lennon were still around. It isn’t hard to do. Lennon would have turned 70-years-old on Oct. 9, 2010 and to commemorate his life and work, a “stripped down” version of his 1980 album Double Fantasy was released.

Three weeks before Lennon was killed by Mark David Chapman outside his apartment building in New York City that fateful day in December 1980, Double Fantasy was originally released to the world by Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono. It became a commercial success, even though it was at first heavily criticized by reviewers for being too artsy and Ono influenced.

But after 30 years, it’s still an important record and the re-release, “stripped down” version contains the original re-mastered 1980 album along with an alternative remix of all 14 tracks, including some of Lennon’s classic songs (Just like) Starting Over, Woman and the loved ode to his son Sean: Beautiful Boy.

Double Fantasy Stripped Down is a welcomed edition to any Beatles-loving, John Lennon fan. And it’s exactly to cater to them that record label EMI delved into Lennon’s final work and removed backup vocals along with some instrumentation to create something fans will adore.

Any music lover can appreciate a re-mastered version of a John Lennon album, so to have Double Fantasy “stripped down” and re-released is something for everyone who appreciates his work with Ono.

For those celebrating the 70th anniversary of Lennon’s birth, an 11-disc box set and a new film is also coinciding with this occasion. Nowhere Boy (starring Aaron Johnson as Lennon) recaptures his earlier life and adolescence, leading up to the creation of Lennon into a pop music icon with The Beatles. He wasn’t just a jealous guy, but a working class hero to many.

Adam Bemma is a journalist, humanitarian, and media consultant based in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

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