ONO – DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE – Forgive Me My Love is out now on the iTunes Music Store: http://bit.ly/ONO-FMML
The first track from ONO – YES I’M A WITCH TOO
Being a pioneer the art-rock movement, it only made sense for Yoko Ono to release a collaborative album with some of the genre’s most notable figures of the early 21st century. 2007’s Yes, I’m A Witch called for 16 selected artists to rifle through Ono’s voluminous back catalogue of recordings and pick a song with which to add their own contributions, whether instrumental, vocal or both.
Nearly every artist just built on Ono’s intact vocals, starting with Hank Shocklee dressing up “Witch Shocktronica Intro” to sound like a Japanese video game soundtrack from the not-too-distant future before Peaches rebuilds “Kiss Kiss Kiss” with sequenced handclaps and synthesizers sounding like Ono invented electroclash back in 1980. Chan Marshall turns “Revelations” into a spare piano dirge with sublime backing vocal accompaniment before The Polyphonic Spree embeds “You and I” with their signature stamp of upbeat hooray-for-everything sunshine pop.
Conversely, Spiritualized’s Jason Pierce exaggerates the sullen tones of “Walking On Thin Ice” with Mo Tucker-inspired, cymbal-free rhythm as guitar feedback squeals, drones and howls.
Few women in the history of rock & roll have stirred as much controversy as Yoko Ono. Although her romance with John Lennon was hardly the only factor straining the relationships between the individual Beatles, she made a convenient scapegoat for the group’s breakup, and was repeatedly raked over the coals in the media for the influence she held over Lennon, both in his life and his music.
Ono’s own work as an artist and musician didn’t mitigate the public’s enmity toward her; to the average man on the street, her avant-garde conceptual art seemed bizarre and ridiculous, and her highly experimental rock & roll (which often spotlighted her primal vocals) was simply too abrasive to tolerate. That view wasn’t necessarily universal (or true), and in fact the merits of her work are still hotly debated. Regardless of individual opinion, Ono has left a lasting legacy; she was an undeniably seminal figure in the history of performance art, and elements of her music prefigured the arty sides of punk and new wave (whether she was a direct influence is still debated, although the B-52’s did admit to drawing from her early records).
Moreover, between Lennon’s assassination and the myriad drubbings she’s taken in the press and the court of public opinion, an alternate portrait of Ono as a strong, uncompromising survivor has emerged in more recent years. Although her link with John Lennon will always be foremost in the public’s mind.
Look forward to more from us on this release, our review and exclusive coverage of new material to be released in the coming months.
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