Yoko Ono has spent more than half of her 85 years as the recipient of unwarranted, unjustified, and unimaginable sexism and racism, because she has erroneously been dubbed the woman who ”broke up” The Beatles. It’s a ludicrous, ignorant suggestion, considering the dynamic of the band was already broken well before she entered into the picture. She has never fully been recognized for being the talented and innovative artist that she is, but it must give her some satisfaction that now, in the twilight of her life, she is receiving the critical due she rightly deserves.
For her forthcoming album Warzone, Mrs. Lennon has revisited her back catalogue and reinterpreted a handful of her recordings. One notable number is her take on her husband’s classic, “Imagine,” a song she inspired and helped co-write that until recently has never been properly credited. Her take is dark and haunting, the sound of someone who knows they are at the end of the road of their life’s journey, and they are wondering about a future world they will never get to see. Her voice cracks, the sadness palpable, it sounds less like a hymn for a hopeful tomorrow and more like a solemn final request from one’s deathbed. It is powerful and moving in a way neither she nor John could ever have imagined.