Today (October 10) marks what would have been John Lennon’s 78th birthday. To celebrate the occasion, Lennon's widow and once 'Bed-In for Peace' partner Yoko Ono has released a stripped back, minimalist cover of the classic hit 'Imagine'.
The stripped back version is taken from Yoko Ono’s forthcoming album ‘Warzone’ which is set for release on October 19. The album was earlier previewed by the grim title track in July, which opened with a plethora of war sounds including elephant trumpets, sirens, and machine guns. After 50 years in the music industry, 'Warzone' marks Yoko Ono's twenty-first studio album and serves as a follow-up to 2013’s 'Take Me to the Land of Hell.' On 'Warpaint', Ono revisits 13 songs from her past work from 1970-2009 and "re-imagines" them.
The cover of 'Imagine' also marks the first time Ono has recorded the song while being able to claim writing credit, which she finally won in 2017, 46 years after Lennon first made 'Imagine' a global anthem for peace. As Pitchfork points out, last year, the National Music Publishers Association announced that Ono would receive a songwriting credit on the 1971 John Lennon classic due to “her influence and inspiration” on its creation.
Speaking about the new track, Ono explained: “‘Imagine’ was the only one I was totally nervous about, because everyone in the world knows about it and I could be criticized, but I thought it was very important to do it and my nervousness must be secondary.”
“John and I created a lot together and he would be very happy that I did it,” the 85-year-old singer added.
Listen to the single below:
Ono's new single features production from Thomas “Doveman” Bartlett, who's also helming St. Vincent's reimagined rendition of 'MASSEDUCTION', titled 'MassEducation'. It's also accompanied by an animated lyric video drawn by Ono herself and animated by Jonny Sanders.
Check out the full tracklisting and album art for Yoko Ono's 'Warzone' below:
02. Hell In Paradise
03. Now Or Never
04. Where Do We Go From Here
05. Woman Power
06. It’s Gonna Rain
08. Children Power
09. I Love All of Me
10. Teddy Bear
11. I’m Alive
12. I Love You Earth