Never-before-seen footage of John Lennon recording “How Do You Sleep?” – the infamous song that mocks former bandmate Paul McCartney – has been released.
The recently revealed video is a teaser, released by Universal Music in anticipation of the Imagine: The Ultimate Collection reissue, due out October 5th.
Recorded at Lennon’s Ascot sound studio in 1971 – a year after McCartney applied to have the Beatles legally dissolved – the video is from the collection’s ‘Raw Studio Mixes’ disc which features recordings with “no reverb [reverberations] or echo, no effects, no strings, just live, unvarnished and raw [performances].”
At the time of the recording the Beatles had broken up and the relationship between Lennon and McCartney had devolved into outright enmity with the former songwriting partners taking very public swipes at each other.
“Imagine you are at the Lennon’s home, Tittenhurst Park in Ascot, England,” reads the official description on YouTube. “It’s night. It’s the last week in May in 1971 and you are their special guest, sat in a chair in the very center of the their recording studio, Ascot Sound Studios. John Lennon is sat in front of you, teaching the musicians one of his latest compositions. He is talking and singing and playing the same wood-finish Epiphone Casino electric guitar he played on ‘Revolution’. A bearded George Harrison is in front of you, to the right, playing electric slide on John’s pale blue Fender Strat.”
Imagine:The Ultimate Collection is a six-disc box set that will feature a previously unheard demo of Lennon’s most well-known and best-selling single, “Imagine” as well as 140 remastered tracks and interviews with the former Beatle and his wife. The compilation was overseen by Ono who also wrote the preface to the 120-page book included in the box set. She writes, “Imagine was created with immense love and concern for the children of the world. I hope you enjoy it.”