John Lennon’s “Imagine” is arguably one of the most iconic songs ever released. It’s played before every ball drop in NYC’s Time Square New Year’s Eve celebration since 2006. It was included in the closing ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics as well as the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. Its message of peace is one that will last forever. It’s been 48 years since the song was released and it still resonates with all generations all of these years later.
The song was recorded by Lennon with producer Phil Spector in a single session at his country estate, Tittenhurst Park.
The song was constructed by Lennon but was heavily influenced by his wife Yoko Ono. He admitted that “lyric and concept” were “straight out of Grapefruit,” a book of poetry by Ono. She was officially recognized as a co-writer and received a joint writing credit in 2017.
The song’s radical vision of idealism and peace immediately struck a chord with the world that was disillusioned with the Vietnam War.
It was released just over a year after the Beatles broke up and became a massive success. It’s easily the biggest song of Lennon’s solo career and widely considered one of the most influential songs of the 20th century.