John Lennon / Imagine Ultimate
Kudos to Mrs. Lennon for unlocking the Imagine vault wherein we hear not only John in his un-Spectorized natural habitat, but the remarkable ensemble playing of Hari, Sir Winston, Alan White, Nicky Hopkins, and the inimitable Klaus Voormann, among others. Sans the flatulent Flux Fiddlers and excessive knob twiddling, the raw studio mixes reveal remarkable grooves and riveting interplay at every turn. Even on the jam-oriented tracks, Klaus was perfect. Had Lennon toured and recorded with this outfit, he’d have been a reborn artist at the center of ‘70s singer-songwriter movement. Or maybe this was all that was left in him. We’ll never know. Certainly, Mind Games and Walls & Bridges, had their moments, but this was Lennon at his solo best.