Imagine (John Lennon song)

  • "imagine"
    john lennon
    uk picture sleeve
    single by john lennon
    from the album imagine
    b-side
    • "it's so hard" (us)
    • "working class hero" (uk)
    released11 october 1971 (1971-10-11) (us)
    24 october 1975 (1975-10-24) (uk)[1]
    format7-inch
    recordedmay–july 1971
    studioascot sound studios, ascot
    record plant east, new york
    genre
    • soft rock
    • pop
    length3:03
    labelapple
    songwriter(s)
    • john lennon
    • yoko ono[2]
    producer(s)
    • john lennon
    • yoko ono
    • phil spector
    john lennon us singles chronology
    "power to the people"
    (1971)
    "imagine"
    (1971)
    "happy xmas (war is over)"
    (1971)
    john lennon uk singles chronology
    "stand by me"
    (1975)
    "imagine"
    (1975)
    "(just like) starting over"
    (1980)
    music video
    "imagine" on youtube

    "imagine" is a song by english rock musician john lennon from his 1971 album of the same name. the best-selling single of his solo career, its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisions of religion and nationality and to consider the possibility that the whole of humanity would live unattached to material possessions. shortly before his death, lennon said that much of the song's lyric and content came from his wife yoko ono, and in 2017, she received a co-writing credit with him.[2]

    lennon and ono co-produced the song with phil spector. recording began at lennon's home studio at tittenhurst park, england, in may 1971, with final overdubs taking place at the record plant, in new york city, during july. in october, lennon released "imagine" as a single in the united states, peaking at number three on the billboard hot 100. the song was first issued as a single in britain in 1975, to promote the compilation shaved fish, and reached number six on the uk singles chart that year. it later topped the chart following lennon's murder in 1980.

    bmi named "imagine" one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. in 1999, it was ranked number 30 on the riaa's list of the 365 "songs of the century", earned a grammy hall of fame award, and was inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame's "500 songs that shaped rock and roll". a 2002 uk survey conducted by the guinness world records british hit singles book named it the second best single of all time, while rolling stone ranked it number three in their 2004 list of "the 500 greatest songs of all time". since 2005, event organisers have played the song just before the new year's times square ball drops in new york city.

    by 2013, "imagine" had sold over 1.6 million copies in the uk. more than 200 artists have performed or covered the song, including madonna, stevie wonder, joan baez, lady gaga, elton john and diana ross. after "imagine" was featured at the 2012 summer olympics, the song re-entered the uk top 40, reaching number 18. in march 2020, in response to the unfolding coronavirus crisis, the actress gal gadot posted an informal but star-studded cover version of "imagine" on instagram.[3] the song remains controversial, as it had been since its release, over its request to imagine "no religion too".[4]

  • composition and writing
  • recording and commercial reception
  • film and re-releases
  • recognition and criticism
  • performances and cover versions
  • personnel
  • charts and certifications
  • see also
  • notes
  • references
  • bibliography
  • further reading
  • documentaries
  • external links

"Imagine"
John Lennon
UK picture sleeve
Single by John Lennon
from the album Imagine
B-side
Released11 October 1971 (1971-10-11) (US)
24 October 1975 (1975-10-24) (UK)[1]
Format7-inch
RecordedMay–July 1971
StudioAscot Sound Studios, Ascot
Record Plant East, New York
Genre
Length3:03
LabelApple
Songwriter(s)
  • John Lennon
  • Yoko Ono[2]
Producer(s)
John Lennon US singles chronology
"Power to the People"
(1971)
"Imagine"
(1971)
"Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"
(1971)
John Lennon UK singles chronology
"Stand by Me"
(1975)
"Imagine"
(1975)
"(Just Like) Starting Over"
(1980)
Music video
"Imagine" on YouTube

"Imagine" is a song by English rock musician John Lennon from his 1971 album of the same name. The best-selling single of his solo career, its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisions of religion and nationality and to consider the possibility that the whole of humanity would live unattached to material possessions. Shortly before his death, Lennon said that much of the song's lyric and content came from his wife Yoko Ono, and in 2017, she received a co-writing credit with him.[2]

Lennon and Ono co-produced the song with Phil Spector. Recording began at Lennon's home studio at Tittenhurst Park, England, in May 1971, with final overdubs taking place at the Record Plant, in New York City, during July. In October, Lennon released "Imagine" as a single in the United States, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was first issued as a single in Britain in 1975, to promote the compilation Shaved Fish, and reached number six on the UK Singles Chart that year. It later topped the chart following Lennon's murder in 1980.

BMI named "Imagine" one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century. In 1999, it was ranked number 30 on the RIAA's list of the 365 "Songs of the Century", earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll". A 2002 UK survey conducted by the Guinness World Records British Hit Singles Book named it the second best single of all time, while Rolling Stone ranked it number three in their 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". Since 2005, event organisers have played the song just before the New Year's Times Square Ball drops in New York City.

By 2013, "Imagine" had sold over 1.6 million copies in the UK. More than 200 artists have performed or covered the song, including Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Joan Baez, Lady Gaga, Elton John and Diana Ross. After "Imagine" was featured at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the song re-entered the UK Top 40, reaching number 18. In March 2020, in response to the unfolding coronavirus crisis, the actress Gal Gadot posted an informal but star-studded cover version of "Imagine" on Instagram.[3] The song remains controversial, as it had been since its release, over its request to imagine "no religion too".[4]