GIMME SOME TRUTH. 36 ‘Ultimate Mixes’ Rock John Lennon 80th Birthday

John Lennon on the roof of the Apple offices, 3 Savile Row, London, 22 April 1969. From the silver, gold and monochrome poster included in GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES.

Celebrating and released worldwide on October 9, 2020, to coincide with what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES. is a suite of new collections featuring three dozen of Lennon’s most vital and best-loved solo recordings completely remixed from scratch, as detailed in a news release on the collections’ official webpage.

Executive Producer Yoko Ono Lennon (Lennon’s widow) and Producer Sean Ono Lennon (his second son, who celebrated his 45th birthday on October 9) hand-picked the 36 songs.

Multi-Grammy Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks, who also helmed the mixes for 2018’s universally acclaimed “Imagine – The Ultimate Collection” series, mixed and engineered the tracks, assisted by engineer Sam Gannon, who also worked on that release.

Hicks and Gannon remixed the 36 tracks using brand-new transfers from the original multi-tracks, cleaned up to the highest possible sonic quality.

After weeks of painstaking preparation, the final mixes and effects were completed using only vintage analog equipment and effects at Henson Recording Studios on La Brea in Los Angeles (formerly A&M Studios, where Lennon had recorded some of his “Rock ‘n’ Roll” album with Phil Spector producing).

Yoko Ono, John Lennon, Phil Spector, and the right arm of engineer Roy Cicala, mixing at The Record Plant, 321 W. 44th St., New York, 31 October 1971. Photo:

Alex Wharton then mastered the tracks in analog at Abbey Road Studios to ensure the most authentic sound quality possible.

GIMME SOME TRUTH. – titled after Lennon’s 1971 excoriating rebuke of deceptive politicians, hypocrisy and war, a sentiment as relevant as ever – will be available in a variety of formats, including as a Deluxe Edition box set offering the new Ultimate Mixes on two CDs alongside a Blu-ray audio disc containing the tracks in studio-quality 24-bit/96 kHz HD stereo, immersive 5.1 Surround Sound and Dolby Atmos.

GIMME SOME TRUTH. has also been released as a 19-track single CD, a 2-LP vinyl pressing, a 36-track 2-CD package, and a 4-LP box set.

John Lennon: GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES. Out October 9, 2020, celebrating what would have been his 80th birthday. Photo:

Several digital versions are available for download and streaming including in 24 bit/96 kHz audio and hi-res Dolby Atmos.

The vinyl was cut by mastering engineer Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios.

The Deluxe Edition and 4-LP box set formats include a GIMME SOME TRUTH. bumper sticker, a two-sided poster of Lennon printed in black & white with silver and gold metallics, and two postcards, one of which is a replica of Lennon’s letter to the Queen of England in 1969 when he returned his MBE in “protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigerian-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and Cold Turkey slipping down the charts.”

The 2-LP and 2-CD editions also include the poster and all versions will come with a booklet filled with photos and the MBE letter.

The GIMME SOME TRUTH. front cover features a rarely seen striking black & white profile portrait of Lennon, taken on the day he returned his MBE.

truth gimme some truth
The front cover of “John Lennon: GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES.” Out October 9, 2020, celebrating what would have been Lennon’s 80th birthday. Photo:

The album cover, CD and LP booklets and typographic artworks were designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, who created the covers for David Bowie’s albums “Heathen,” “Reality” and “The Next Day” and won a Grammy for the packaging of Bowie’s “Black Star” album.

“John was a brilliant man with a great sense of humour and understanding,” Ono Lennon writes in the preface of the book included in the Deluxe Edition. “He believed in being truthful and that the power of the people will change the world. And it will. All of us have the responsibility to visualize a better world for ourselves and our children. The truth is what we create. It’s in our hands.”

The 124-page book was designed and edited by Simon Hilton, the compilation producer and production manager of the “Ultimate Collection” series.

The book tells the stories behind all 36 songs in John & Yoko’s words and the words of those who worked alongside them, through archival and brand-new interviews, accompanied by hundreds of previously unseen photographs, Polaroids, movie still frames, letters, lyric sheets, tape boxes, artworks and memorabilia from the Lennon-Ono archives.


GIMME SOME TRUTH. traces the arc of Lennon’s post-Beatles life and career, bringing together songs from all of his revered solo albums including “John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band” (1970), “Imagine” (1971), “Some Time In New York City” (1972), “Mind Games” (1973), “Walls and Bridges (1974),” “Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975),” “Double Fantasy” (1980) and 1984’s posthumous “Milk and Honey.”

The collection is bookended with Lennon’s early non-album singles, kicking off with the one-two punch of “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On),” Lennon’s exuberant exhortation about the karmic forces of action/reaction and equality (“we all shine on like the moon and the stars and the sun”) and the electrifying addiction-themed “Cold Turkey,” culminating with the holiday classic “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” and the anti-war protest anthem “Give Peace a Chance,” with its ubiquitous, titular call to action: “All we are saying is Give Peace a Chance.”

Tracklist for John Lennon: GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES. Out October 9, 2020, celebrating what would have been his 80th birthday. Photo:

Sequenced in chronological order by the album they were released on, the songs on the 36-track version include all of Lennon’s biggest hits and showcase his thoughts, beliefs and convictions about everything from peace (“Imagine,” “Give Peace a Chance,” “Happy Xmas (War is Over)”), religion (“God”), politics (“Power to the People,” “Working Class Hero”), lying politicians (“Gimme Some Truth”), racism (“Angela”), equality (“Woman”), love and marriage (“Love,” “Oh Yoko!,” “Dear Yoko’,” “Mind Games,” “Out the Blue,” “Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him,” “Grow Old With Me”), fatherhood (“Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”), loneliness (“Isolation”) and much more.

Some of the many other highlights include the sonically sumptuous “Jealous Guy” and “#9 Dream,” the acerbic “How Do You Sleep?,” the breezy, carefree “Watching the Wheels,” a rollicking live recording of “Come Together” (a song he had originally recorded with The Beatles), the rapturous Elton John collaboration “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” and the jubilant, bittersweet “I’m Stepping Out.”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 1969. Photo: Ethan Russell/

‘It’s About John’

As Paul Hicks details in the Deluxe Edition book: “Yoko is very keen that in making the ‘Ultimate Mixes’ series, we achieve three things: remain faithful and respectful to the originals, ensure that the sound is generally sonically clearer overall, and increase the clarity of John’s vocals.

“‘It’s about John,’ she says,” Hicks continues. “And she is right.

“His voice brings the biggest emotional impact to the songs,” he said. “The combination of remixing from all the original first-generation multitrack sources and finishing in analog has brought a whole new level of magic, warmth and clarity to the sound, along with a more detailed dynamic range and sound stage, and we really hope you enjoy the results.”

When listened to in sequence, GIMME SOME TRUTH. THE ULTIMATE MIXES. plays both like one of the greatest-ever live Lennon concerts and an emotional telling of his post-Beatles decade, from falling in love with and marrying Yoko in the late ’60s to the band’s breakup in 1970 to his peace activism, personal soul-searching, inspiration, celebration, confusion, reunion, fatherhood, his five-year break from music (1975-1980) while raising Sean, and his triumphant return into the ‘80s with two new albums.

“I’m sick and tired of hearing things from
uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things by
neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth.”


John Lennon has won seven Grammy Awards including two Lifetime Achievement Awards, five BRIT Awards including two for Outstanding Contribution to Music, 21 NME Awards, and 15 Ivor Novello Awards.

Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2008, Rolling Stone ranked Lennon in the Top 5 of the magazine’s “100 Greatest Singers Of All Time” list.

Read the complete press release here.


Grammy nominee Stephen K. Peeples was the original, award-winning producer of “The Lost Lennon Tapes” radio series for Westwood One from 1988-1990, and writer/producer of hundreds of WW1 programs in the preceding five years. • He earned a Grammy nomination as co-producer of the “Monterey International Pop Festival” box set with Lou Adler and Geoff Gans (Rhino/MIPF, 1992). • Peeples was raised by career newspaper journalists and music-lovers in Miami and Los Angeles. His first music industry gig was as an Associate Editor at Cash Box magazine in Hollywood in 1975. He went on to be a Media Relations-PR executive for Capitol Records (1977-1980), Elektra/Asylum Records (1980-1983) and Rhino Entertainment (1992-1998). • Moving online, he was Rhino’s first web editor (1996-1998), then elevated to content editor of Warner Music Group websites (1998-2001). • Based in the Santa Clarita Valley just north of L.A., Peeples was the award-winning Online Editor for The Signal newspaper’s website from 2007-2011, and wrote-hosted-co-produced SCVTV’s WAVE-nominated “House Blend” local music TV show from 2010-2015 (archived online and still airing in reruns). • The Santa Clarita journalist is now a News Editor at SCVTV’s, SVP/New Media for Rare Cool Stuff Unltd. and developing a biography of notorious Texas Artlaw Boyd Elder. • For more info and original stories, visit exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews, subscribe to Peeples’ YouTube channel.

Article: GIMME SOME TRUTH. 36 ‘Ultimate Mixes’ Rock John Lennon 80th Birthday
Author: Stephen K. Peeples
Category: News and Reviews
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