One of John Lennon’s tender and intimate songs, “Look At Me” is a pensive self-analysis written by a man questioning his place in the world at a time when he was at his most influential but yearned for the simplicity of the personal connection.
Today, in advance of the upcoming John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 50th Anniversary box set scheduled for release April 23, the John Lennon Estate premieres a new video featuring never-before-seen 1968 footage of John and Yoko Ono at home in Surrey, England, accompanied by a stunningly clear new ‘Ultimate’ audio mix.
Lennon began writing “Look At Me” around the time of the White Album sessions. The song features gentle fingerpicked acoustic guitar that recall “Dear Prudence” and “Julia,” two songs that appear on the Beatles famed 1968 double album. This take was recorded at EMI Studios 2, 3 Abbey Road in October 1970.
“A couple of tracks, which one would suppose were written under therapy, like ‘Look At Me’, were written pre-Janov, about a year before therapy. But the theme was the same: ‘Look at me’, ‘Who am I?’, all that jazz. So that’s why I stuck it on that album. But actually it had come from beforehand.” – John Lennon
Filmed by camera operator William Wareing and his crew in June 1968, the video features black and white plus color footage “home movie” Standard 8 film placed side-by-side. The result is an intimate and private peek into the burgeoning love between Lennon and Ono set to a soundtrack of reflective uncertainty.
The footage was filmed between takes of John and Yoko’s experimental films “Film No. 5” (“Smile”) (conceived by Yoko) and “Two Virgins” (conceived by John and Yoko), which were released later that year.
Observant fans will notice key Beatles memorabilia and more: the drum skin from the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover (designed by Joe Ephgrave) and his psychedelic upright piano (painted by Marijke Koger and Simon Posthuma from Dutch design collective, The Fool), Lennon playing an acoustic guitar (quite possibly the guitar he used when he began writing “Look At Me”), the film crew setting up shots and Yoko dancing around the swimming pool.
The John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 50th Anniversary box set is a massive collection of the entire recording session that became Lennon’s first proper post-Beatles solo album. See here and here for our previous stories on the new box set.
The album is available in several different formats: a 14-track one CD ‘Ultimate Mixes’ version, a 2-CD Ultimate Mixes/Outtakes version, a 2-LP Ultimate Mixes/Outtakes version, Deluxe 6-CD edition and an Ultimate Collection spread over 6 CD’s and 2 Blu-Rays. This Super Deluxe Box Set contains over 11 hours of music: 159 tracks of High-Definition, Studio Quality 192kHz/24bit audio, including mixes in Stereo, 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos.
A fascinating 132-Page Book detailing the sessions, authorized by Yoko Ono Lennon, details the recording sessions and more. The same audio team that worked on 2018’s critically acclaimed Imagine – The Ultimate Collection, including triple GRAMMY®-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks and mixers/engineers Rob Stevens and Sam Gannon, oversaw the production of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band 50th Anniversary.
Pre-order and stream “Look At Me”: http://johnlennon.lnk.to/PlasticOnoBand2021
Watch the Unboxing Video below: