John Lennon’s song “Imagine” is one of the most iconic and beloved songs of all time. It’s a song that speaks to the power of human imagination and the hope for a better future. Over the years, the song has been covered by countless artists, with some versions receiving more acclaim than others. However, there are a few versions of the song that fans absolutely hated.
Madonna is one of the most famous and successful pop stars of all time, known for her catchy hits and provocative image. In 1989, she decided to record a cover of “Imagine” for her album “Like a Prayer.” The song was released as a single and received a lot of attention, but not for the reasons Madonna was hoping for.
Fans were quick to criticize Madonna’s version of the song, saying that it lacked the sincerity and emotional depth of the original. Some fans even accused Madonna of exploiting Lennon’s legacy for her own gain, and accused her of not truly understanding the song’s message.
Canadian singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne is no stranger to covers, having released her own takes on popular songs throughout her career. However, her cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine” left many fans scratching their heads.
In 2011, Lavigne performed a stripped-down version of “Imagine” at a New York City event commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. While the song choice seemed appropriate for the occasion, many fans were quick to criticize Lavigne’s rendition.
Some fans took issue with Lavigne’s vocal performance, noting that her delivery lacked the emotional depth and nuance of Lennon’s original. Others criticized the arrangement, which stripped away the song’s iconic piano melody in favor of a simplistic acoustic guitar accompaniment.
The original credit for “Imagine” only included John Lennon as the writer, but he later acknowledged that the song should also be credited as a Lennon-Ono composition, as Yoko had contributed significantly to the lyrics and concept of the song. However, at the time, John admitted that he was more selfish and omitted to credit her. He compared his treatment of Yoko’s contributions to his work with David Bowie, saying that if he had written a song with Bowie, he would have credited both himself and Bowie.
In 2017, Yoko Ono finally received a writing credit for “Imagine,” which was a positive step. However, in 2018, she released a rendition of the song on her YouTube channel, and it was not well-received. Many people found her raw vocals to be jarring when combined with the polished soft rock sound of the original recording. Perhaps she would have been better off covering a different song, such as “Give Peace a Chance,” which would have better suited her style.
Gal Gadot and a group of other celebrities attempted to lift spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic by recording a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” However, the video received a largely negative response from the public, with many finding it tone-deaf and out of touch with the realities of the pandemic. Despite the good intentions behind the video, it was widely criticized, and Gal Gadot later expressed regret for her involvement in the project.