Rare footage shows the magical moment John Lennon first heard 'Imagine' playback

Written by Henrik Rothen

Oct.17 - 2023 12:23 PM CET

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube
Rare footage shows the magical moment John Lennon first heard 'Imagine' playback.

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A video that surfaced two weeks ago has captured a moment in music history that's as poignant as it is magical. The clip from 1971 shows Beatles legend John Lennon listening to the playback of "Imagine," a song that would later become the best-selling single of his solo career.

The moment of realization

About 24 seconds into the video, Lennon swivels in his chair and breaks into a broad smile. Could this have been the instant he realized he had created a masterpiece? The clip captures the raw emotion and perhaps even the self-awareness of an artist hearing his future hit for the first time.

Watch the rare footage below

"Imagine" was released in 1971 as part of the album of the same name. The song has since become one of Lennon's most iconic solo works. Its lyrics call for a world where people can live in peace and harmony. Lennon himself described the song as "anti-religion, anti-nationalistic, anti-capitalistic, and anti-conventional."

He believed its political message could be more easily digested when "sugar-coated" in melody.

The lasting impact of 'Imagine'

The song's message of peace and unity resonates as strongly today as it did when it was first released. It has been covered by numerous artists and is often played at events that call for unity and understanding among people.

The video provides a rare glimpse into a moment that would shape music history. It's a touching reminder of Lennon's immense talent and the timeless appeal of his music.

As one watches the clip, it's hard not to wonder what was going through Lennon's mind during those precious seconds. Was he aware of the impact "Imagine" would have?