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John Lennon‘s son, Sean Ono Lennon, discussed his father’s album Imagine. Sean said one of the producers of the album didn’t get enough credit. Subsequently, Sean discussed why this was the case.

The Beatles' John Lennon wearing a "People for Peace" patch during the 'Imagine' era
The Beatles’ John Lennon | Ron Howard/Redferns

John Lennon’s son said 1 of the songs from ‘Imagine’ is sexy and mean

During a 2020 interview with Rolling Stone, Sean discussed a handful of his father’s solo tracks. One of them was “How Do You Sleep?” from the album Imagine. Sean opined “How Do You Sleep?” was a sexy song with mean lyrics.

Sean discussed Yoko Ono‘s role in the creation of “How Do You Sleep?” “[The alternate take] proves, I should mention, that my mom did produce Imagine,” he said. “She was a producer. Obviously there’s been a great reckoning for women having been discredited over the years, but I think this is a perfect, obvious one that there’s no debate about.” For context, Yoko, John, and Phil Spector are all credited producers on Imagine.

What John Lennon’s son says to listeners who don’t like his mother’s music

Sean discussed fan reaction to Imagine. “People used to say, ‘Oh, yeah. Yoko didn’t produce Imagine, listen to her music,'” he recalled. “But if you see the film of them making that record, my dad asked her between every take. He’s like, “What do you think, Yoko?” And she whispers, like, ‘This is too loud.'”

Sean put Imagine in the context of his mother’s music. “I know my mom,” he said. “She has an opinion about everything. People say they hate her music. And I say, ‘Look, that’s fine. But do you like Imagine? Because she made that record.'” 

Sean said sexism stopped Yoko from receiving credit for producing Imagine. “I think people assumed because she was avant-garde and because she was a woman that she didn’t really do it,” Sean added. He said no one would have questioned Yoko’s role in crafting the album if she was a man.


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How ‘Imagine’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

Imagine became one of John’s biggest albums in the United States. It topped the Billboard 200 for one of its 47 weeks on the chart. The album’s title track peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the chart for nine weeks.

Imagine was even more popular in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, it was No. 1 for two of its 101 weeks on the chart. It was John’s only solo studio album to reach the No. 1 position in the U.K. 

Some of the album’s songs became hits in the U.K. Upon its first release, “Imagine” was No. 1 for four of its 42 weeks on the chart. It was subsequently released as a double A-side with “Jealous Guy.” Then, it hit No. 45 and stayed on the chart for five weeks.

Yoko helped make Imagine a classic album even if she didn’t get enough credit.