Julian Lennon never expected to release another album until a former business manager sent him boxes of tapes with music he recorded decades earlier.
The finding kicked off a multiyear journey in which Lennon — son of former Beatles member John Lennon — updated several of those songs and recorded new ones, culminating in his first album in over a decade, “Jude.”
“It’s a body of work that spans 30 to 40 years, that I think does take you on a journey,” Lennon told the Daily News.
“I’m happy this came together, because I’m happy that these songs didn’t just fall to the wayside.”
“Jude” is the seventh studio album by Lennon, featuring 11 songs that he says explore “the wars within and the wars that we see on the outside.”
The album’s title is similarly personal. Paul McCartney famously wrote the 1968 hit “Hey Jude” to comfort a young Julian during his parents’ separation. Lennon, 59, says naming the album “Jude” helped him embrace his identity.
“My original name was John Charles Julian Lennon,” Lennon said. “It bothered me for years, because everybody knew me as Julian. Mom always, from the get-go, called me Julian to differentiate both of us as a child. I’d always had quite a few issues, whether it was airport security with my passports or identification papers. I’d always get rather interesting remarks, year after year, having the name John Lennon.”
He legally changed his name to Julian Charles John Lennon in 2020, around when the album was gaining momentum.
“This is a collection of songs from 30-plus years ago till now, so it’s a collection of me, really, since I was named Jude way back when,” he said. “It just felt right, and felt appropriate. I wanted to be in the position of finally sort of owning the name, and just saying, ‘Yep, I’m Jude.’ “
The Liverpool-born Lennon says the album examines the importance of appreciating love and the time we have. He was relieved the old recordings were in good shape and usable.
“We brought up some of the stuff in the studio, and I was actually blown away that songs like ‘Every Little Moment’ sounded like we recorded them last week, really,” he said. “It was just a question of updating some of the production on a couple of the songs, putting some real drums instead of drum machines, which we loved to use a little too much in the late ‘80s and ‘90s.”