John Lennon & Yoko Ono's "Imagine" Turns 50

September 9th marks the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s classic song “Imagine,” and the album of the same name. Watch a video of the song's most poignant and well-known lyric projected on to equally iconic buildings and sites around the world.
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September 9th marks the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s classic song “Imagine,” and the album of the same name.

First released in 1971, the iconic track has become one of the most recognized and popular global anthems for peace and has been covered by more than 200 other artists including Neil Young, Madonna, Elton John and Lady Gaga. Most recently it was re-imagined by Hans Zimmer in the dazzling opening ceremony of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, watched by an audience of hundreds of millions.

In celebration of the song’s power and resonance on this 50th anniversary, the most poignant and well-known lyric from the track has been projected on to equally iconic buildings and sites around the world (see video below).

IMAGINE ALL THE PEOPLE LIVING LIFE IN PEACE” has appeared as a digital projection on the Houses of Parliament and St Paul’s Cathedral in London and on the Liver Building and the Museum of Liverpool in John’s home city.

It has also appeared on the Berlin Wall and on digital billboards in Times Square in New York and near the historic Nihonbashi bridge in Tokyo.

These projections echo a similar billboard campaign Yoko undertook 20 years ago when exactly the same wording was used in prominent sites around the world.

Yoko Ono Lennon said today; “John would have loved this. ‘Imagine’ embodied what we believed together at the time. We are still together now and we still believe this. The sentiment is just as important now as when it was written and released 50 years ago.”

ORDER IMAGINE The Ultimate Mixes HERE

Today, Yoko Ono Lennon, Sean Ono Lennon, Mercury Studios, Tim’s Twitter Listening Party, The Coda Collection, AXS TV, WDR/ARD, Hard Rock, Sage Gateshead, Music Venue Trust and Universal Music Group invite you to join us for a Global Party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of John & Yoko’s Imagine – the song, the album, the film.

“John and I were both artists and we were living together, so we inspired each other. The song ‘Imagine’ embodied what we believed together at the time. John and I met – he comes from the West and I come from the East – and still we are together. We have this oneness and ‘the whole world would eventually become one’ is the sense that we will all be very happy together. All these instructions are for people for how to spend eternity, because we have lots of time.”

– Yoko Ono Lennon

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“IMAGINE” FILM – WATCH PARTY

One of the first full-length conceptual music films, John & Yoko's “Imagine” (1971) contains all the songs from John’s Imagine album, four songs from Yoko's Fly album plus a few additional pieces. In 2018, under the supervision of Yoko Ono Lennon, the film was completely reassembled in HD from the original 16mm negative reels and cleaned and digitally restored frame-by-frame with the audio completely remixed in 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos by triple GRAMMY®-award winning engineer and mixer, Paul Hicks.

At 11:30 am PDT/2:30 pm EDT/7:30 pm BST, fans around the world are invited to watch the “Imagine”film together, either online or in person at participating venues as Yoko Ono Lennon, Mercury Studiosand partners including The Coda Collection, Hard Rock and Music Venue Trust make the film available to view for free.

Running simultaneously will be a Tim’s Twitter Listening Party – a ‘second screen’ deeper context experience on Twitter, with tweets of quotes, photos, multimedia and conversation, led by Yoko Ono Lennon, The Estates of John Lennon, guitarist George Harrison and keyboard player Nicky Hopkins; plus Sean Ono Lennon, bassist Klaus Voormann, drummer Alan White, guitarist Joey Molland, cameraman Nic Knowland, activist Tariq Ali, legendary broadcasters Dick Cavett, Michael Parkinson and Elliot Mintz, John & Yoko’s personal assistant Dan Richter, Ultimate Collection mixer/engineer Paul Hicks, Abbey Road Studios and Coda Collection editorial director Greg Kot with Master of Ceremonies Tim Burgess for Listening Party.

To join in on Twitter, follow @LISTENING_PARTY and use the hashtags #timstwitterlisteningparty and #IMAGINE50 to join the conversation.

Look out for updates on the @johnlennon & @yokoono Twitter feeds.

For those not on Twitter, the experience can be enjoyed by reading the tweets onscreen live at the bespoke Coda Collection page, or by watching a Replay afterwards, like this one for the launch of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band box set, earlier in the year.

WATCH THE FILM AT LIVE VENUES

Hard Rock will show the IMAGINE film throughout the day in select Hard Rock Cafes in North America and Europe. Check with your local Hard Rock Cafe for participation and viewing times.

In the UK, Sage Gateshead is excited to welcome people back to its phenomenal Sage One venue with a free Surround Sound screening of IMAGINE, timed to sync with the Twitter Listening Party. More info and tickets here.

Grassroots Music Venues all over the UK will be screening the film at 7:30pm for free, in collaboration with Music Venue Trust. Check your local music venue for details and look for the hashtag #IMAGINE50 on Twitter.

Confirmed venues include 33 Oldham St Manchester, The Bear Club Luton, Bristol Fringe, Cavendish Arms Stockwell, The Chambers Folkestone, Creature Sound Swansea, Fife Street Social Club Nuneaton, FortyFive Vinyl Café Micklegate, Heswall Hall Wirral, Hot Box Live Chelmsford, Night and Day Cafe Manchester, Pavilion Mid Wales, The Queens Hall Narberth, Retro Manchester, Rose and Monkey Manchester, The Sound Lounge, Snowcat Cinema Penarth Pier Pavilion, Temperance Leamington Spa, Three Wise Monkeys Colchester, The Trades Club Hebden Bridge, Upstairs at The Gather Ennerdale Bridge.

You can also host a screening at home and invite your friends and neighbours round.

WATCH THE FILM ONLINE

The Coda Collection, a unique streaming platform that delivers the most iconic music documentaries, concert films, and more, is proud to stream the “Imagine” film in the U.S. and the U.K. to empower even broader audiences to take part in this global special event. The Coda Collection is available exclusively via Amazon Prime Video Channels.

Audiences in the U.S. will be able to stream the “Imagine” film on The Coda Collection channel during and after the event with a free 7-day trial.

Audiences in the U.K. can stream the film on Amazon Prime at no additional charge during the event. Tweets from the Twitter Listening Party will also be available for anyone to follow live on a bespoke page at the Coda Collection website. To explore The Coda Collection, including other John Lennon & Yoko Ono films, visit codacollection.co

The film will also be available to view online in the USA for AXS TV subscribers (see below) and in the UK for Sky subscribers on NOWTV and the SkyGo App, and to rent or purchase globally from Apple TV, iTunes or Amazon Prime; or on Blu-Ray or DVD. To discover the best way to watch the film in your country, click here.

REPLAYS

For those who want to join in with the Party, but need to watch the film later in the day, all the tweets from the Listening Party will be collated and made available to replay at this link on the Tim's Twitter Listening Party website soon after the event finish time, so you can watch the film and enjoy the party replay at your leisure.

AFTERSHOW ON TWITTER SPACES

8:40 pm UK • 3:40 pm NYC • 1:40 pm LA • 4:40 am Tokyo

Immediately following the Tim’s Twitter Listening Party watch party, Sean Ono Lennon and BBC6 Music’s Chris Hawkins will host a special #IMAGINE50 Listening Party Aftershow with discussion and Q&A via Twitter Spaces at 1:40 pm LA/3:40 pm NYC/8:40 pm UK /4:40 am Tokyo. The audio-only event will include many of the contributors that made the album and film, including Klaus Voormann, Alan White, Nic Knowland, Dan Richter, Tariq Ali, Elliot Mintz, Simon Hilton and Paul Hicks.