May 27, 1971 was a Thursday. Phil Spector, the fox of pop who passed away a few months ago, he approached the song with skillful craft but also with respect. “I always thought it was like the national anthem,” the legendary New York producer would say years later. A recording studio had been set up in Tittenhurst Park, near Ascot, the dream residence where John Lennon he had moved in with Yoko Ono and where the couple lived a couple of years before moving to America, that America from which Lennon would never return to England. In that magnificent residence, a sort of Downton Abbey with parks and a pond that would later become the home of Ringo Starr, Lennon worked in Ascot Sound Studios recording his new album. THE Beatles had officially disbanded for a year now, Lennon’s first – excellent – solo album, which went down in history as the album of the “primary scream”, because it was inspired by the theories of the American psychologist Arthur Janov, had been received quite well. But now the former Beatle wanted to try something different. And that Thursday he entered the recording studio with a couple of trusted musicians, Spector and Yoko Ono, to record what would become his most successful song, a song that in fame and glory would surpass even his successes with the Beatles ( what Paul McCartney never did in his grand solo career). The song was “Imagine”, it was recorded in one day, that May day fifty years ago. Except for the strings, which were overwritten on July 4th at the Record Plant in New York City. The world would have known that song that became an icon of the twentieth century only in October when the self-titled album was released, obtaining an extraordinary success with the public, the greatest success ever achieved by Lennon after the Beatles.
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