Double Fantasy

Double Fantasy
Double Fantasy
Studio album by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Released 19 November 1980
Recorded The Hit Factory, NYC
4 August 1980 – late September 1980
Genre Rock
Length 45:05
48:07 (Stripped Down)
Label Geffen
Producer John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Jack Douglas
John Lennon chronology
Shaved Fish
Double Fantasy
The John Lennon Collection
Yoko Ono chronology
A Story
Double Fantasy
Season of Glass
Singles from Double Fantasy
  1. "(Just Like) Starting Over"
    Released: 24 October 1980
  2. "Woman"
    Released: 16 January 1981
  3. "Watching the Wheels"
    Released: 13 March 1981
Double Fantasy Stripped Down
Cover of the 2010 remix with stripped down production.
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link
Robert Christgau (A) link
Rolling Stone 5/5 stars (Reissue)[1]

Double Fantasy is an album released by John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, in 1980. Though initially poorly received, the album is notable for its association with Lennon's murder three weeks after its release, whereupon it become a worldwide commercial success, and went on to win the 1981 Album of the Year at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards.



Following the birth of his son Sean in 1975, Lennon had put his career on hold to raise him. After five years of little musical activity aside from recording the occasional demo in his apartment in New York, Lennon felt ready to resume work. He was quoted as saying that when making the album, his ambition was to "do something as good as "Heroes", the 1977 album by David Bowie.[2]

In the summer of 1980, Lennon made a sailing trip through treacherous waters from Newport, Rhode Island to Bermuda. Almost losing his life in that journey, he began to write new songs, occasionally reworking the earlier demos.[3] He stated that he was the most content he had ever felt in all his years and he celebrated this and the love for his family in the lyrics of his new work.[citation needed]

Ono also wrote many songs, inspired with new confidence after Lennon had stated that he believed that contemporary popular music such as the B-52's "Rock Lobster" bore similarities to Ono's earlier work.[4]

The couple decided to release their work on the same album, the first time they had done so since 1972's politically-charged Some Time in New York City. In stark contrast to that album, Double Fantasy (subtitled A Heart Play) was a collection of songs wherein husband and wife would conduct a musical dialogue. The album took its title from a species of freesia, seen in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, whose name Lennon regarded as a perfect description of his marriage to Ono.[5]


Ono approached producer Jack Douglas, with whom both Lennon and she had worked before, and gave him Lennon's demos to listen to. “My immediate impressions were that I was going to have a hard time making it better than the demos because there was such intimacy in the demos,” Douglas told Uncut's Chris Hunt in 2005.[3]

They produced dozens of songs, enough to fill Double Fantasy and a large part of a projected second album, Milk and Honey.

Douglas brought Rick Nielsen and Bun E. Carlos of the band Cheap Trick [6] to play on Lennon's "I'm Losing You" and Ono's "I'm Moving On", but were eventually re-recorded with the studio musicians. (The Cheap Trick version of "I'm Losing You" was included on the John Lennon Anthology collection released in 1998.[7])


Unimpressed with its cosy domesticity, critical reaction to the album was largely scathing—"a self-obsessed disaster" according to one reviewer.[8] However, three weeks after the album's release, Lennon was murdered and many of the poor reviews were withdrawn from publication.[4]

In the UK album charts, the album had peaked at #14 then slipped to #46[9] whilst in the US, the album had slowly risen to #11. Upon Lennon's murder, the album jumped to #1 in the US chart, where it stayed for eight weeks[10] and in the UK, it jumped to #2, where it remained for seven weeks before finally spending two weeks at #1.[9]

In 1982, Douglas, Lennon and Ono won the 1981 Album of the Year for Double Fantasy at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards. In 1989 the album was ranked #29 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s.[11]


In 2003, a copy of the album that Lennon had signed for his murderer only hours before his death was put on sale at a price of $525,000 (equivalent to $626,760 today).[12]

In 2010, a two-CD set called Double Fantasy Stripped Down, which included a newly remastered copy of the original album along with an alternative version of the album featuring simpler arrangements, was released.

Track listing


No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "(Just Like) Starting Over"   John Lennon 3:56
2. "Kiss Kiss Kiss"   Yoko Ono 2:41
3. "Cleanup Time"   Lennon 2:58
4. "Give Me Something"   Ono 1:35
5. "I'm Losing You"   Lennon 3:57
6. "I'm Moving On"   Ono 2:20
7. "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"   Lennon 4:02
8. "Watching the Wheels"   Lennon 3:35
9. "Yes, I'm Your Angel"   Ono 3:08
10. "Woman"   Lennon 3:22
11. "Beautiful Boys"   Ono 2:55
12. "Dear Yoko"   Lennon 2:34
13. "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him"   Ono 4:02
14. "Hard Times Are Over"   Ono 3:20

2000 re-issue bonus tracks

No. Title Writer(s) Length
15. "Help Me to Help Myself"   Lennon 2:37
16. "Walking on Thin Ice"   Ono 6:00
17. "Central Park Stroll" (Dialogue)   0:17

2010 Stripped Down mixes

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "(Just Like) Starting Over"   Lennon 4:24
2. "Kiss Kiss Kiss"   Ono 2:45
3. "Cleanup Time"   Lennon 3:56
4. "Give Me Something"   Ono 1:31
5. "I'm Losing You"   Lennon 4:26
6. "I'm Moving On"   Ono 2:28
7. "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)"   Lennon 3:50
8. "Watching the Wheels"   Lennon 3:32
9. "Yes, I'm Your Angel"   Ono 2:53
10. "Woman"   Lennon 3:45
11. "Beautiful Boys"   Ono 3:16
12. "Dear Yoko"   Lennon 3:03
13. "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him"   Ono 4:46
14. "Hard Times Are Over"   Ono 3:38


Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1982 Double Fantasy Album of the Year[13] Won
Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male[14] Nominated
"(Just Like) Starting Over" Record of the Year[14] Nominated


Chart positions

Chart (1980/81) Position
Australian Kent Music Report Chart[15] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[16] 1
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[17] 1
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[18] 4
French SNEP Albums Chart [19] 2
Italian Albums Chart[20] 6
Japanese Oricon LP Chart[21] 2
New Zealand Albums Chart [22] 1
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[23] 1
Swedish Albums Chart[24] 1
UK Albums Chart [9] 1
U.S. Billboard 200 [25] 1
West German Media Control Albums Chart [26] 2

Year-end charts

Chart (1980) Position
UK Albums Chart[27] 12
Chart (1981) Position
Australian Albums Chart[15] 1
Austrian Albums Chart[28] 2
Canadian Albums Chart[29] 3
Italian Albums Chart[20] 9
Japanese Albums Chart[30] 29
UK Albums Chart[27] 10
U.S. Billboard 200[31] 2

Certifications & Sales

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[32] Platinum 533,900[33]
Germany (BVMI)[34] Gold 250,000^
Japan (Oricon Charts) 306,470[35]
United Kingdom (BPI)[36] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[37] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  • David Tofani – horns.
  • Ronald Tooley – horns.
  • Tony Davillo – horn arrangements and musical associate.
  • Michelle Simpson, Cassandra Wooten, Cheryl Mason Jacks, Eric Troyer, Benny Cummings Singers, The Kings Temple Choir – background vocals.
  • Toshihiro Hamaya – production assistant.
  • Frederic Seaman – production assistant.
  • Julie Last – assistant engineer.
  • George Marino – original mastering and remastering.
  • Lee DeCarlo – engineer.
  • Jon Smith – assistant engineer.
  • Anthony Davilio – musical associate.
  • James A. Ball – assistant engineer.
  • Bob Gruen – photography.
  • Kishin Shinoyama – cover photo and photography.
  • Karla Merrifield – reissue art coordinator.
  • Nishi F Saimaru – photography.
  • David Spindel – photography.
  • Lilo Raymond – photography.
  • Christopher Whorf – artwork.
  • Bruce Replogle - publicist.


  1. ^ Sheffield, Rob (2010), p. 101. Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved on 2010-10-10.
  2. ^ Pegg, Nicholas (2000). The Complete David Bowie. pp. 307–309.
  3. ^ a b "Just Like Starting Over" by Chris Hunt, Uncut John Lennon Special, 2005
  4. ^ a b "Double Fantasy by John Lennon | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews". 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  5. ^ Clarke, John Jr.. Paste. Whatever gets you through the storm; 9 January 2007 [cited 10 May 2010].
  6. ^ Starting Over: The Making of John Lennon & Toko Ono's Double Fantasy, Ken Sharp 2010
  7. ^ ""The Recording of Double Fantasy"". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  8. ^ "The ballad of Paul and Yoko". Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  9. ^ a b c "John Lennon - Double Fantasy". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ " Rolling Stone Lists - Main Page". 2002-10-17. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  12. ^ "Lennon killer's signed LP on sale". BBC News. 2003-11-28. Retrieved 2011-09-09. 
  13. ^ "Past Winners Search". Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  14. ^ a b "Rock On The Net: 24th Annual Grammy Awards - 1982". Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  15. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0646119176. 
  16. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  17. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 34, No. 7, January 24 1981". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  18. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy" (in Dutch). Hung Medien, MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  19. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (in French). Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  20. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1981" (in Italian). Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  21. ^ a-ビートルズ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - The Beatles" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. a-ビートルズ. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  22. ^ " - John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy". Hung Medien, Recording Industry Association of New Zea Land. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  23. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy". Hung Medien, VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  24. ^ " John Lennon / Yoko Ono - Double Fantasy" (in Swedish). Hung Medien, Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  25. ^ "allmusic ((( Double Fantasy > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  26. ^ "Album Search: John Lennon" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  27. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  28. ^ " - Jahreshitparade 1981" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-04. 
  29. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums of 1981". RPM. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  30. ^ 1981年アルバム年間ヒットチャート "Japanese Year-End Albums Chart 1981" (in Japanese). Oricon. 1981年アルバム年間ヒットチャート. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  31. ^ "Year End Charts - Year-end Albums - The Billboard 200". Archived from the original on 2008-02-10. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  32. ^ "French album certifications – John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  33. ^ "Les Albums Platine". SNEP. Retrieved 2011-10-03. 
  34. ^ "German album certifications – John Lennon/Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  35. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4871310779. 
  36. ^ "British album certifications – John Lennon/Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Double Fantasy in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  37. ^ "American album certifications – Lennon, John & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

7. ^ Musicians listed in booklet for John Lennon Anthology for I'm Losing You

External links

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