All eight of John Lennon’s post-Beatle albums—Plastic Ono Band (1970), Imagine (1971), Some Time In New York City (live, with Yoko Ono 1972), Mind Games (1973), Walls And Bridges (1974), Rock ’N’ Roll (1975), Double Fantasy (with Yoko Ono, 1980) and Milk And Honey (with Yoko Ono, released posthumously 1984)—have been beautifully packaged with a 60-page hardcover book that includes new liner notes, photos and facsimiles of John’s original hand-written lyrics and sketches. There’s testimonials from his two sons and widow. There’s an interactive aspect wherein the consumer can have access to John’s “online universe” that includes an access card and a code expiring in October of 2012. Most intriguing are the three bonus discs (making this an 11-CD set). It all comes in a big white box that simply says Lennon and looks pretty good on one’s CD shelf.
Bonus-wise, the five non-album singles and one non-album b-side have been digitally remastered. Then there are the 13 previously unreleased studio outtakes and home recordings where you get to hear the seeds of songs (similar in scope to the Beatles’ Anthology).
Swimming through all of this is like reliving one’s life, and experiencing all over again John’s Dylan-esque anger and righteous indignation that only being free from The Beatles could let him embrace. Is there a more wrenching emptying of the soul than “Cold Turkey”? Could any other artist have possibly attempted to face his/her demons more than in “God,” “Mother” or “Isolation”? Could there be any sadder song in the universe than “Beautiful Boy” knowing what ultimately befell the artist?