I just finished an advance copy of the new book “Starting Over: The Making Of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy,” by Ken Sharp.
If you just picked up your set of remasters, this is the perfect book to read right now.
Its an “oral history” of the making of the album (and John’s last days). The narrative is comprised, almost entirely, of quotes from the people who worked on the record: primarily musicians, producers, engineers and other studio personnel, who were all recently interviewed by author Ken Sharp. He rounds it out with quotes from Yoko, from an interview he conducted with her, and significant quotes from John himself, taken from (detailed) third-party sources.
Obviously its a great companion to Double Fantasy, Stripped Down. There is a song by song section you can follow along with, but even just for the feeling of being there while the album is being made.
The thing that really sticks with you is how happy John was at the time. Through everyone’s accounts of his moods, day in day out, and their interactions with him, it is clear that John had finally found a comfortable place with who and where he was in his life. The capper is the excitement and joy he felt with Walking on Thin Ice, and Yoko having finally recorded something that he felt would gain her the individual success and recognition he obviously so badly wanted for her. (And, of course, that he was a fan of Christopher Cross!)
The book comes out next week…you can pre-order at the link above or through Amazon….