John Lennon’s Gimme Some Truth, an extensive 4-disc compilation album, was released in 2010. Is the Autumn 2020 version an anniversary re-release? Has the music industry got to the stage where it just reissues compilations every ten years? No, not quite. This version actually celebrates Lennon’s 80th birthday (he was born on the 9th October 1940) and it’s more sober than the one from ten years ago.
We find 36 songs that embody Lennon’s work - 36 candles that have lit up the lives of several generations. From Instant Karma and Angela to Power To The People, God and (of course) Imagine, all the classics are there. There are no unreleased tracks, the real novelty comes from the sound. Taken from The Beatles’ catalogue, these songs have been heavily reworked, remixed, rearranged and remastered.
The sound is undoubtedly fuller, brighter and more precise. Die-hard fans might be annoyed (and perhaps rightly so) by this post-mortem facelift. Why change a sound to which we have always been accustomed, and which bears witness to such an era? But look past this and you’ll see a whole new world – one with more colours and expression. Everyone will at least agree on one thing: Lennon’s sentimental, troubled and political songs are still as relevant today as they were forty-five years ago.