John Lennon 9 LP Box Set Available Today (amended post)

In this case, UMe is forthcoming:

"John Lennon's eight solo studio albums, remastered from their original analogue masters, have been newly cut to vinyl from 96k digital files for Lennon, a new 9LP boxed collection on heavyweight, 180-gram vinyl with faithfully replicated original album art. John Lennon is one of the world's most celebrated songwriters and performers of all time. Lennon has been posthumously honored with a Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY® Award and two special BRIT Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Music, and he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.".

Sean Magee cut at Abbey Road from the 96/24 files and Optimal pressed the records. The albums will be available individually starting in August.

There are eight studio albums but nine LPs because of record #3.:

1. John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970)
2. Imagine (1971)
3. Some Time In New York City [2LP] (1972)
4. Mind Games (1973)
5. Walls and Bridges (1974)
6. Rock n Roll (1975)
7. Double Fantasy (1980)
8. Milk and Honey (1984)

I have an original U.K. Lennon box set issued by EMI shortly after John Lennon's murder (JLB8) but even though the first solo album in the set has an "HTM" (Harry T. Moss) in the lead out groove area, the sound is weak compared to an original U.K. first pressing. The sound is similar to the not particularly well-done graphics. Can you tell which is the original and which is the reissue (I'm sure you can)?

The night Lennon was assassinated I was having dinner at a friend's house with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. That's another story!

rakalm's picture

I believe they are counting the slabs of wax. NYC was a double LP that includes the Zappa Jam if I remember correctly. Hey, I believe I solved the 45rpm mystery that Dylan is holding on his last LP. Looks like Walk the Line to me. I spotted it right away. I am hesitant about this set. Maybe 4 really interest me and I already have some of the originals. My MAXI Single Imagine backed with Working Class Hero is one of my treasures. I also have a T shirt from his art show in Syracuse 1971 and went to both shows in 1972 at Madison Square (One to One concert).

azmoon's picture

I envy you for attending those shows. Which one was better in your eyes (and ears)? I have read the "rehearsal" was better.

rakalm's picture

See my reply below.

swansong123's picture

Sometime is a double LP, so that would be the ninth disc.

swansong123's picture

I ordered this set then pulled the order off because I was hoping for all analog. I own all these records but they are originals and have been played hard over the years so I really had hopes that this box would be a chance to hear really clean new pressings.

Jay's picture

The chance would be a fine thing, if I remember correctly the Lennon estate wouldn't even licence the original analogue tapes to Mobile Fidelity. I suppose there are some in the industry who would like to re-write history and convince people that the later re-mixes and digital re-masters were actually how the music sounded to those who heard it when it was fresh and new. Those with original pressings know better.

wao62's picture

And why isn't 'Two Virgins' included?! But seriously, at some point I hope it will make financial sense to master these direct from the original master tapes. Like the Roxy Music box set...another missed opportunity.

rakalm's picture

By far, the night show was better. The show included Stevie Wonder, Sha Na Na, and Roberta Flack (she only showed up for the night show). Somebody, (a bank on some other business) handed out these metal tambourines at the night show. Everyone was playing along by the end of the show. I don't have the tambourine any more, lost somewhere along the way. I also have a Fly poster from his Syracuse art show. It opened on his 31st birthday October 9th. He was there and I got to see him though glass about 8 feet away checking out one of this art pieces. He really looked great in a Glen Plaid suit. The ONE to ONE was on a Wednesday, I believe August 30th in 1972. I still have my ticket stubs. The day show was only 2/3 full. I bought that ticket the day before the show at the window. The other I was in line for right when the tickets went on sale. Much easier to get than my Concert for Bangladesh ticket.

Grant M's picture

This review says their copy has "one major-league blunder" on Rock & Roll: on Side A, “Sweet Little Sixteen” appears twice in row, while the “You Can’t Catch Me” track is missing completely. WTF?

Michael Fremer's picture
Can produce that kind of screw-up!
Grant M's picture

They help you make your mistakes much faster!

azmoon's picture

or the story. Wish I had seen him play. I did see them in a limo in Sept. 1964 after the Boston concert. They slowed down the car, put the light on and waved to us. We lived on the Air Force Base in Bedford Mass. which is where they flew in and out of for that show. It was a great thrill for sure. Thanks again.

PeterPani's picture

I wonder, when the sell-people will learn that any digital step in the mastering chain cost them thousands of potential buyers.

steveoxf's picture

I have caught wind of remastering of Hendrix at Ladyland (okay, that is like trying to remaster the bible but still).
If you want the details/story email me and I will send them on.
I figured you get enough emails already so didn't just launch one at you, instead I posted on the most appropriate looking topic.


Jay's picture

Personally speaking, I'm tired of an industry that tries to sell the myth that 24/96K digital, as good as it is, is the equal of high speed analogue tape.

Michael Fremer's picture
What really needs to be said is that 96k/24 bit digitization of analog tape is NOT TRANSPARENT to the source! Rather, the A/D converter and D/A converter impose a sonic stamp that once heard cannot be ignored. Every A/D and D/A converter has a SOUND. It's true that so do tape records, and the entire analog chain for that matter, BUT the A/D, D/A process is a MEAT GRINDER compared to analog electronics differences...
Jay's picture

True Mikey, but what I've often wondered is why in the case where the original pressings of an LP are so well regarded the companies don't simply go back to the original lacquers and make new stampers from them rather than go to the trouble and expense of a re-mastering project. Is this even possible? I doubt I'm the only one who would love to see Porkie Prime Cuts re-issued on the best modern vinyl.

Michael Fremer's picture
That's impossible. Original metal parts maybe, but original lacquers are difficult to re-use once plated... and crazy as it seems, not everyone saves the metal parts...
rakalm's picture

Hope you get to review this. I am curious. Seeking out a few originals to add to my collection may be the best bet. I did find a POB (cutout though) at a yard sale just recently for $2. The cover isn't great but sounds quite nice overall. Got a very good copy of R&R for $5. That's a real good copy, I was surprised. Look forward to your listening review if you do one. I can get this at a good price but if it sounds like the CD, why bother? My Maxi Imagine single really sounds superb.

mauidj's picture

First this. Really, what is the point other than cashing in on the vinyl resurgence while completely negating the reason for buying vinyl in the first place. AAA is the ONLY reason I invest in new vinyl . Might as well buy the CD's. No wonder non audiophiles are confused! The music business is operating as usual. CASH is king. Damn the rest.

Michael Fremer's picture
vinyl cut from 96/24 should and usually does sound superior to CDs and of course to vinyl sourced from CDs
Grant M's picture

Just curious if you're going to post a review (or video)that compares these new versions to some originals. There doesn't seem to be a lot of informed opinion out there yet, i'd be very interested in what you think before I order the set. We need a thumbs up or down from you Mikey!

mauidj's picture

I look forward to your review especially if you include your usual very detailed history of the pressings and releases. I need some originals but will wait for your words before heading to eBay ;-)

dobyblue's picture

Getting someone like Magee who is perfectly capable of doing amazing AAA cuts to just work from someone else's 24/96 transfers is truly baffling. What a missed opportunity to have had the community scream "yes" with the same excitement as the AAA mono Beatles release.

Pass! Thanks for the tip UMe.

madfloyd's picture

I would love to hear the dinner story!

DJ Huk's picture

I, like many Americans, was watching Monday Night Football when Howard Cosell made the announcement about Lennon's murder. I'll never forget it.

wim's picture

"Analog" pressings from 24/96 files? Doesn't that make them big black CD's that can only be played on a record player?

It's All About the Music's picture

If the original analog files are converted to 96/24 PCM and then re-converted to analog in order to press even high quality vinyl, then why bother to purchase & listen to the vinyl?

If the analog & digital sections of your music system are roughly equivalent in quality, why not just play the PCM files?

Is there some advantage to vinyl playback that makes vinyl better - even under those circumstances?

It's All About the Music's picture

The last line should have read,

"Is there some advantage to vinyl playback that makes vinyl better under those circumstances?"

Otherwise, I almost always think analog playback is ultimately the best possible sound.

firedog55's picture

In a case like this I would buy the DVD or 24-96 download. That essentially gives you the digital "master" that was the source of the vinyl.

geoffpiano's picture

Mikey, looking forward to your review of how these records actually sound. I currently have three of the 8... An original Australian pressing of POB, the most recent pressing of Imagine and the SUPERB (in my opinion) UK "millennium edition" pressing of WAB. Given that Sometime In New York City and even Mind Games are hardly indispensable musically, this set would want to sound pretty damned good to be worthwhile...

SG's picture

The second side was not great , Ono doing her thing But a great version of cold turkey on the first . Eric Clapton on guitar and I loved the calender that came with the album

Kirby's picture

It's been three months now since this article was posted. I was hoping you may have heard how these lps sound. I know you cant review every release as im sure your not supplied copies of everything from manufacturers and suppliers and cant be expected to buy every one for our benefit. So im going to take the plunge and buy just a copy of "Some Time In New York City" as I have a lp copy of all the rest in one form or another but not this one.I'll post what I think of the sound but have nothing to compare it too Come to think of it I do have a 80s copy of Shaved Fish which will be AAA, I can compare "Woman is the Nigger of the World" far from org. but not digi.