Yoko Ono: 'John Was The Shakespeare Of Our Age'

A slew of new Lennon releases are being released this week, including remastered solo albums, a box set and a hits collection.

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In honor of what would have been John Lennon's 70th birthday on Saturday, a slew of new Lennon releases are being released this week, including remastered solo albums, a box set and a hits collection. One of the most interesting releases is the stripped-down edition of Double Fantasy, which finds Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, and the album's original producer, Jack Douglas, bringing spare arrangements to songs like Woman and (Just Like) Starting Over. You know, in the '70s and '80s, around that time, the music world had a way of remixing things so the instruments were extremely big, strong, powerful, and they kind of buried the voice, Ono explained to Billboard.com. "And I used to say, Let's just push up John's voice a little,' and I couldn't do that as much as I wanted do. So this time, because it's Stripped Down,' we kind of dropped a few instruments and suddenly you hear John's voice and how he's singing, and his lyrics are very clear. When she listened to some of the stripped-down versions, Ono heard some new qualities in her late husband's vocal delivery. I didn't know that John was so good and unique not just unique, but the classical diction, she said. His diction was so perfect in a way that just that alone impresses you. It's almost like listening to a very professional actor doing Shakespeare. And of course you know the language is not Shakespeare, but I felt John was the Shakespeare of our age. In the interview, Ono said that she's not the curator of Lennon's work, but a protector of his recorded legacy. I was always a protector, I think, but especially after John's passing, she said. Before that, I was putting all my energy into the partnership we had and protecting John. John was the one who needed protection. John was the famous one out there. I was in the shadows, so I didn't need to have much protection. So I was doing that job, and when John left suddenly, I thought, What am I going to do? Where am I going to put this energy?' Of course I have my son [Sean], but that's a different story. There's a big, big, empty space there. Then I thought, OK, I can give my energy to John's fans that I gave John.' Thanks for the report to Bryan Wawzenek, Gibson.com.

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    musicman789
    jokeyramone wrote: if anyone agrees w/the headline,i give all of you a hearty,"**** ye."i hate lennon and the beatles.and yes,i have heard them.and thats why.
    it had to be said. I give you a huge thank you
    psykopoo
    What is this, the shithead hour? Why do we give Yoko a second of our time, she has never had anything worth saying.
    jokeyramone
    if anyone agrees w/the headline,i give all of you a hearty,"**** ye."i hate lennon and the beatles.and yes,i have heard them.and thats why.
    GasPipe
    Paul Simon is closer to the "Shakespeare" claim then John Lennon, in my opinion.
    Wakisazhi
    Eh, I know John was great and all but I'd have to disagree with that claim. Paul had a bit more of a more emotive voice imo compared to John. And if Yoko meant as far as writing goes I'd still say Paul was a bit better (though I preferred George's lyrics the most). They both wrote their fair share of classics though, no doubts there.