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

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Front Page -

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.

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