'John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky'
(John Lennon, Yoko Ono, et al/ Blu-ray / NR / 2019 / Eagle Vision)
Overview: In 1971 John Lennon's most successful album lmagine was released. The title track has become one of the most iconic Lennon songs.
The underlying message of the song and the album however was one of radical engagement and is as relevant today as ever.
This film reveals the depth of the creative collaboration between John and Yoko and examines how the art, politics and music of the pair are intrinsically entwined.
Blu-ray Verdict: Being a HUGE Beatles and therefore John Lennon fan for the longest of years, it's been whispered that Yoko always said she had a lot of never-before-seen footage of John tucked away somewhere nobody would ever find them.
Well, this is it here, proudly displayed within the quite magnificent and certainly wholly eye opening "new" documentary 'John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky.'
As we all know by now, John Lennon's Imagine album was his first record after the Beatles break-up. Recorded at his home studio, a process that was, thankfully recorded on film, we can all now get to see a musician at his peak no having gone solo and needing to strive to bring forth a hammer blow of an album.
Remastered as 1080i HD what we have here is a magnificently captured moment in time where recording an album meant a different kind of team work. For this time he only had Yoko alongside him, but that was clearly all he needed.
Inclusive of a few musician and men-from-the-business pop up interviews, this is, and without a shadow of a doubt, a man at his peak. And whereas the fellow musicians were happy just to heap praise on Lennon, for me it was far more interesting to hear the stories from the engineers and studio staff that were around during Lennon's recording process.
And for us mere mortals peeking over his shoulder as he writes, plays piano, scribbles, plays guitar, then scribbles some more, we get to hear how now know songs originally started.
Funnily enough it also poses a strong case for the quite clearly seen positive influence that his wife Yoko had on him around that time (and, perhaps throughout their entire relationship, who truly knows?).
The film goes a long way to persuasively suggest that the album was very much a product of their shared life, although once it was completed they abandoned their English country home forever.
In conclusion, 'John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky' [Blu-ray] is a very distinctly human overview of a musical and lyrical genius. These clips given up by Yoko were obviously cherished memories that she had held close to her heart for oh so long, but has now decided to lovingly share with the world.
And so, I will close by thanking her for having opened her heart, and that place where they had been so secretly secured down the years, and for sharing with us these precious visual memories of the great John Lennon. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and 1080i HD and comes with the Special Features of:
How Do You Sleep? (Takes 5&6, Raw Studio Mix)
Oh My Love (Raw Studio Mix)
Oh Yoko! (Bahamas, 1969)
Conversation with Curt Claudio