Intimate, never-before-seen 8mm film footage of John Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon captured at home in 1968 has been paired together with the brand-new Ultimate Mix of “Look At Me” for a thrilling new video. Filmed by camera operator William Wareing and his crew, the video features black and white and color footage on “home movie” Standard 8 film filmed between takes of John and Yoko’s films, “Film No. 5” (“Smile”) (conceived by Yoko) and “Two Virgins” (conceived by John and Yoko). The unearthed film reels from the Lennono archives are presented here for the first time, with the black and white and color footage side-by-side, accompanied by the stunning new mix of “Look At Me,” which is also available to stream.
In the video, released today in 4K via the John Lennon Estate, we get a glimpse into the life of John & Yoko and behind-the-scenes of their film making. We see John playing acoustic guitar in between takes, his drum skin from the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover (designed by Joe Ephgrave) and his psychedelic upright piano (painted by Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma from Dutch design collective, The Fool), the film crew setting up shots, Yoko dancing around the swimming pool while John plays his steel string and a peek into their domestic life and the undeniable connection that bound them together.
“Look At Me” is the second track to be released from the forthcoming John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band-The Ultimate Collection, due April 23 via Capitol/UMe to celebrate 50 years of John’s transformational and influential masterpiece. The eight-disc super deluxe box set is an immersive, deep listening experience and in-depth exploration of what John described as “the best thing I’ve ever done.” Fully authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon, who oversaw the production and creative direction, and from the same audio team that worked on 2018’s critically acclaimed Imagine – The Ultimate Collection, including triple GRAMMY®-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks and mixers/engineers Rob Stevens and Sam Gannon, the Ultimate Collection puts listeners in the center of the studio and explores the album’s 1970 recording sessions at EMI Studios 2 & 3, Abbey Road along with John’s post-Beatles singles, “Give Peace A Chance,” “Cold Turkey” and “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On).” From inception to the final master, the sessions are explored through scores of unreleased and rare demos, rehearsals, outtakes, jams and studio conversations, revealing how these beloved songs came to be. Everything in this expansive box set has been newly mixed from scratch from brand new 192kHz/24bit hi-res transfers. In addition to the various new mixes, the set boasts 87 never-before-heard recordings.
This historical, remixed and remastered collection features 159 tracks across six CDs and two Blu-ray audio discs for more than 11 engrossing hours of music and includes two postcards (“Who Are The Plastic Ono Band?” and “You Are The Plastic Ono Band”) a “War Is Over!” poster and a comprehensive 132-page hardback book with lyrics, rare photos, tape box images, memorabilia and extensive notes. Designed and edited by Simon Hilton, the Compilation Producer and Production Manager of the Ultimate Collection series, the book tells the story behind each of the songs and the making of the album in John & Yoko’s words and the words of those who worked alongside them, through archival and brand new interviews.
Yoko writes in the preface of the book: “With the Plastic Ono Band albums, John and I liked the idea of this really raw, basic, truthful reality that we were going to be giving to the world. We were influencing other artists, giving them courage, giving dignity to a certain style of vulnerability and strength that was not accepted in society at the time. It was a revolution for a Beatle to say, ‘Listen: I’m human, I’m real.’ It took a lot of courage for him to do it.”
This truly unique expanded edition includes the lively improvised jams John and the band would play between takes, belying the intense subject matter of the album, and the full live recording session of Yoko’s companion LP, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, which for the first time presents the songs in their full, unedited lengths and speed, and includes three unreleased improvisations.
Similar to the previous Ultimate Collection, the set offers a variety of new listening experiences that are at once immersive and intimate, ranging from the brand new Ultimate Mixes of the timeless album, which put John’s vocals front and center and sonically upgrade the sound, to the Elements Mixes, which isolate and bring forth certain elements from the multitrack recordings to reveal even deeper levels of detail and clarity, and the Raw Studio Mixes, which allows listeners to experience the moment John and the Plastic Ono Band recorded each song, mixed raw and live without effects, tape delays or reverbs. The Evolutionary Documentary is a unique track-by-track audio montage that details the evolution of each song from demo to master recording via instructions, rehearsals, recordings, multitrack exploration and studio chatter. The Blu-rays present an array of listening options including high-definition, studio quality 192kHz/24bit audio in stereo and enveloping 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos mixes.
Plastic Ono Band will also be released in concurrent multiple physical and digital configurations, including as a 1CD that includes the Ultimate Mixes of the original album and the three non-album singles and as an expanded 2CD or 2LP version that adds a disc of outtakes of each song.