The disappointment of Imagine


Released September 9, 1971

EMI Records released a digital remaster of the 1971 album “Imagine” (by John Lennon) in 2010. The album contains the famous song “Imagine” which is used in the film “The Killing Fields”, but Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror is a better place to start if we want to change the world.

In terms of Imagine, the song was a hit. It’s about changing the world, if we could, but we could, if we got together and changed.

I used this song as a prayer to God once. John Lennon rejects traditional religion in the song it seemed, and I was talking to the God I knew from traditional religion at the time, but I was still talking to God who is bigger than anything and I was thinking wouldn’t it be great if it were possible that the world could change.

Yet perhaps I also found these more immense ideas unrelatable; it’s been so long since 1971 and the world might have gotten worse. The song by Michael Jackson, “Man in the Mirror” is more relatable as it put the change on the personal individual. One can change oneself.

In terms of the rest of Imagine, I could not relate to the album’s content mostly–but John Lennon does have a great knack for exposing the human condition on songs such as Crippled Inside and then inject a sense of hope with a semi-hopeful song, but which didn’t quote come off. With so much of the human condition evident one’s heart does go out.

However, I did enjoy reading the sleeve notes which gave the background to the album. It is always interesting reading an article which presents a subject fairly and soundly.

Reviewed by Peter Veugelaers.


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