John Lennon Gets 80th Birthday Present Gimme Some Truth. The Ultimate Mixes Box Set

Capitol/UMe releases on October 9th, 2020 a multi-format 36 track John Lennon box executive co-produced by Yoko Ono Lennon and Sean Ono Lennon featuring "remixed from scratch" versions, in a process that the press release describes thusly: "...using brand new transfers of the original multi-tracks, cleaned up to the highest possible sonic quality. After weeks of painstaking preparation, the final mixes and effects were completed using only vintage analog equipment and effects at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and then mastered in analog at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton in order to ensure the most beautiful and authentic sound quality possible."

Yes, that leaves open a few questions but if the work done here by Paul Hicks, who a few years ago did the Imagine – The Ultimate Collection box set, is as good as that, this one should be a worthwhile addition to the John Lennon recorded legacy.

(From the press release): "The 124-page book included in the Deluxe Edition has been designed and edited by Simon Hilton, the Compilation Producer and Production Manager of the Ultimate Collection series. The book tells the story of all thirty-six songs in John & Yoko’s words and the words of those who worked alongside them, through archival and brand-new interviews, accompanied by hundreds of previously unseen photographs, Polaroids, movie still frames, letters, lyric sheets, tape boxes, artworks and memorabilia from the Lennon-Ono archives.

"GIMME SOME TRUTH. will also be released as a 19-track CD or 2LP, a 36-track 2CD or 4 LP, and several digital versions for download and streaming including in 24 bit/96 kHz audio and hi-res Dolby Atmos. The vinyl was cut by mastering engineer Alex Wharton at Abbey Road Studios.

Pre-order here. You can also stream here "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)".

"The Deluxe Edition and 4LP formats will include a GIMME SOME TRUTH. bumper sticker, a two-sided poster of Lennon printed in black and white with silver and gold metallics, and two postcards, one of which is a replica of Lennon’s letter to the Queen of England in 1969 when he returned his MBE in “protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigerian-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and Cold Turkey slipping down the charts.” The 2LP and 2CD will also include the poster and all versions will come with a booklet filled with photos and the MBE letter.

"The album cover features a rarely-seen striking black and white profile portrait of John Lennon, taken on the day John returned his MBE. The album cover, CD and LP booklets and typographic artworks were designed by Jonathan Barnbrook who created the covers for David Bowie’s albums Heathen, Reality and The Next Day and won a GRAMMY® Award for the packaging of Bowie’sBlack Star album".

The songs are sequenced in chronological order by the albums in which they first appeared, the concept being a showcase for Lennon's biggest hits as well as his political and philosophical thoughts, which, like the stock market, rise and fall in significance and importance. Today Lennon's idealistic stock is up (though some songs remain as didactic and insufferable as when first released and I bet in hindsight JL would agree!), while his musical portfolio has never varied from all-time highs (editor's opinion).

Here's the 4 LP Box Set format:


LP 1
1. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
2. Cold Turkey
3. Working Class Hero
4. Isolation
5. Love

LP 1
6. God
7. Power To The People
8. Imagine
9. Jealous Guy

LP 2
10. Gimme Some Truth
11. Oh My Love
12. How Do You Sleep?
13. Oh Yoko!
14. Angela

LP 2
15. Come Together (live)
16. Mind Games
17. Out The Blue
18. I Know (I Know)

LP 3
19. Whatever Gets You Thru The Night
20. Bless You
21. #9 Dream
22. Steel And Glass
23. Stand By Me

LP 3
24. Angel Baby
25. (Just Like) Starting Over
26. I'm Losing You
27. Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)
28. Watching the Wheels

LP 4
29. Woman
30. Dear Yoko
31. Every Man Has A Woman Who Loves Him
32. Nobody Told Me

LP 4
33. I'm Stepping Out
34. Grow Old with Me
35. Give Peace a Chance
36. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

MalachiLui's picture

i'll have a report on the "instant karma" remix 7" in a short bit.

Anton D's picture

I am luke warm on Lennon, at best. (If Malachi said that, the nattering nabobs of negativity would have their pyloric sphincters slam shut.)

But, I think his version of Stand By Me is superlative.

Instant Karma is OK, too.

If MF thinks the sound warrants it, I will jump just for those few 'good' songs.

MalachiLui's picture

i didn't say this in my "instant karma" 7" review, but i find lennon's solo highlights to be amazing but bogged down by a shit ton of filler. he's one of the only artists i'd actually purchase a compilation of. i'll probably buy the 2LP 'gimme some truth' when it appears in the 50% off bargain bins, but maybe it's a better idea to save that money to buy a "pop 2" vinyl lol

Johnnyjajohnny's picture

Fremer, can you please give me a yes or no answer to whether or not you will accept my $1000 hi-res vs. CD-resolution challenge, whether in the stated form or a modified form?
You didn't give me a proper answer in the Tom Petty thread either.
Before answering yes or no, please read the detailed outlining of the challenge in the C-Block thread so it's clear how the challenge will be, as I'm not trying to trick you in any way :-).
If you won't accept the challenge in the stated form how would the challenge have to look like for you to accept it?
I can suggest some changes that you might like, although I find that the stated challenge was already very fair.

John Atkinson's picture
Johnnyjajohnny wrote:
Fremer, can you please give me a yes or no answer to whether or not you will accept my $1000 hi-res vs. CD-resolution challenge, whether in the stated form or a modified form?

I guess you missed Joshua Reiss's 2016 AES paper on this subject: From the paper: "Results showed a small but statistically significant ability of test subjects to discriminate high resolution content, and this effect increased dramatically when test subjects received extensive training."

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Johnnyjajohnny's picture

No, I didn't miss that paper, but that paper wasn't the subject at all. I challenged Fremer, and put up money for the bet, and he still hasn't given me a proper yes or no answer.
It's not about papers that others have done, but about doing the test that I proposed Fremer. That's all.

John Atkinson's picture
Johnnyjajohnny wrote:
No, I didn't miss that paper, but that paper wasn't the subject at all.

I don't understand. Your challenge was for Michael Fremer to show that he could hear the difference between hi-rez and CD-quality files. This paper shows that when all things are equal, there is indeed an audible difference. Nothing left to prove.

Johnnyjajohnny wrote:
I challenged Fremer, and put up money for the bet, and he still hasn't given me a proper yes or no answer.

But why does Michael have to prove this to you? With all due respect, it seems to me that you're simply trolling him.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Johnnyjajohnny's picture

John, I didn't ask you, I asked Fremer. I didn't ask for links to papers or to tests that Fremer didn't participate in, nor did I ask for stories or anecdotes or claims or a change of subject. I asked Fremer for a simple yes or no answer to the two following questions:
1: Will you accept my challenge, whether in the stated form or in a modified form, or not?
2: If you won't accept my specific challenge, how would such a challenge have to look like for you to accept it?
As I stated, I'm perfectly willing to talk about the details and change certain things so that everyone is happy, since this challenge is made in good spirits, and I have no intentions of tricking anyone. I would be very happy to do a video chat where we talk about the challenge, so Fremer can also get a sense of how I am as a person and what my intentions are, and where all his questions can be answered, so he doesn't assume that I'm trying to trick him :-). As stated in the C-block thread, only when we agree about everything, and Fremer has done some training to become comfortable with Foobar's ABX tool and he can see that it works, will the actual challenge commence.
But I still haven't received a proper response. And it was a yes or no question. It should be simple to answer yes or no.

ChrisS's picture

...has to answer to you.

Johnnyjajohnny's picture

Especially not you since no one asked you.

ChrisS's picture one is compelled to answer.

ChrisS's picture

No one.

Michael Fremer's picture
But I enjoy your agitated state. I did take a CD vs. hi-rez test back in 2014 run by Scott Wilkinson. I did better than chance and got one I.D. wrong. I'm not perfect. CD sound sucks. 16bit 44.1K is horse and buggy digital. In fact I just pulled out some well regarded CDs to play on the dCS Vivaldi One I bought just to hear....and yes, the sound was "not bad" but after a short spell became thoroughly unpleasant. No wonder you like them. You are equally unpleasant.
Johnnyjajohnny's picture

Nothing but insults and stories, and still no "yes" or "no", Fremer. I'm not upset - I just want an answer to a simple question.
But since you refuse to give me a proper answer, I think I can surmise from your last comment that your answer to my question of whether or not you accept my challenge is "no".
You know, it was a yes or no question already in the C-Lock thread, and back then you also answered with a story instead of just answering yes or no. Same thing in the Tom Petty thread. It could have ended already in the C-Lock thread with a simple "no".
So can you then at least respond with a simple answer to the other question which was how such a challenge would have to look like for you to accept it...?

What if I raise the stakes?

1: We bet $1000 on the hi-res vs. CD specs test.
2: Then we also bet $1000 on one of your other frequent claims, which is that digitization audibly changes the signal, so what we'll do is a so-called loop-back test, meaning we'll run a signal out of my Topping D50s DAC into my Focusrite Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ADC, meaning going digital>analogue>digital, thereby testing your claim that digitization audibly changes the sounds.
3: Lastly, we'll bet $500 on mp3 320 kbps (encoded with LAME) vs. wave. A lower amount since this should be an easier test.

And then here's a change to my original challenge, which you might like: I'll let you choose all the music for all three parts of the challenge itself (I'll provide music for the training, which is just for you to familiarize yourself with the testing, so it will be music that's super easy to pass, and it won't affect the actual challenge itself), so you can choose hi-res recordings that you've done of your favourite vinyl records if you like, or you can choose recordings that were originally fully digital (it's completely up to you).
Then we start a video call, you send the music to me by WeTransfer, I save the files in a folder with a name of your choosing and with file names of your choice (so you know there's no cheating involved), and I check that everything is okay. You watch me do the conversion and recordings and I save them with file names of your choice. I then send them to you, and when everything is ready we start the actual test. All of this you will have in writing and on video.

That's $2500 you can win or lose. It's nothing to you, but it's almost a full month's salary to me. You might think I'm crazy, but I'm completely serious about this, and as I've said before I'm doing this in a positive spirit, as I'm neither Arny Krueger or Stanley Lipshitz, nor am I their apprentice although you think I might be :-).

What do you say? That's a yes or no again. Please give me a clear answer this time.

ChrisS's picture wash my car.

ChrisS's picture


Johnnyjajohnny's picture

And I'll pay you $0 to kiss my ass and eat shit.

ChrisS's picture mow my lawn?

Polite answers only, please.

Johnnyjajohnny's picture

No thanks.

King Of Dirk's picture

Would you accept a cash payment to log off and never return? I'd be willing to go as high as tree-fiddy.

Mdnicke2's picture

So I’m a bit confused. Is this a AAA release or has digital’s murky fingers intruded into the chain?

Grant M's picture

It's in the press release: "the final mixes and effects were completed using only vintage analog equipment and effects at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and then mastered in analog at Abbey Road Studios by Alex Wharton in order to ensure the most beautiful and authentic sound quality possible"

Michael Fremer's picture
The process was: analog multitracks converted to hi rez digital, cleaned up, returned to analog domain for analog mixing to..tape? More digital? Probably hi-rez digital mix used for LPs.
Critter's picture

We know that the Ultimate Mix of "Instant Karma" is not AAA. The John Lennon Instagram posted the following:

Here’s the first of the new Ultimate Mixes - INSTANT KARMA! ⁣

First, we had all the original multitrack source tapes re-transferred at Abbey Road by Matthew Cocker. Paul Hicks and Sam Gannon then painstakingly digitally cleaned up all the individual tracks to achieve the best possible sonic clarity. Paul Hicks remixed the track at Henson Studios using all their original vintage analogue equipment and effects to get that really authentic, warm and beautiful sound. After which, Alex Wharton put it through the analogue mastering suite at Abbey Road to give it some compression and EQ while still preserving all that warmth and analogue loveliness. Finally we synced the audio with this Top of The Pops performance of John and Yoko with the Plastic Ono Band! Enjoy!

Keen Observer's picture

I have a "DDD" CD of CCR's Chronicle made in what was then W. Germany by PolyGram.