Return to fantasy land
Thirty years to the day after Lennon’s death, Daragh Downes rounds up four guests to discuss John and Yoko’s a radical new remix commissioned by Ono
I taught John a guitar style that produced songs like Julia and Dear Prudence. And so this album is touching for me
Donovan joins The Ticket Album Club to judge the reworked final collaboration between John and Yoko, P5
THEY CALL it the retrospective illusion. You watch a smiling JFK arriving at Dallas Love Field airport and your mind’s eye fastforwards to the obscenities about to be captured on Abraham Zapruder’s Bell & Howell camera.
It’s no different with John and Yoko’s Double Fantasy. How can you hear him singing a lullaby to Sean, or her declaring that hard times are over, without your heart breaking at the deed of horror that lies just around the corner?
When Double Fantasy was originally released on November 17th, 1980, it met with a tepid reception. The general sense was that the ex-Beatle had traded in his mojo for the gentle joys of middle-aged domesticity. Fans wished him well but were aghast at the perceived drop in artistic temperature. Many blamed Ono, whose equal presence on the album especially rankled.
And then came December 8th. Four bullets from a deranged man’s revolver transformed the record from a subprime comeback effort to The Last Lennon Release – Ever. Songs such as Woman, (Just Like) Starting Over, and Watching the Wheels suddenly took on a devastating poignancy, even for those who hadn’t rated them first time around.