Yoko Ono turns 79 today - Happy Birthday Yoko! The average person's knowledge of Yoko Ono's music is probably her half of 1980's 'Double Fantasy' album with John Lennon - but Yoko is now into her fifth decade of recording a wide range of musical styles. Unless you're a big fan like myself you may be rather surprised to know that for the last decade she's had a very successful run of dance/ club singles released - featuring remixes of earlier recordings by some of the world's top dj's and producers.
Now it may seem odd at first to think that a woman in her 70's is making house and electronic club hits, but she's always been recording cutting edge music. In fact her first recording with John Lennon was in 1968 with an album called 'Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins' - an album of experimental electronic music. So to celebrate her 79th birthday I shall feature some of my favorites from this new remix era - including her newest club single 'She Gets Down On Her Knees' which has just been released this month.
As a fan of Yoko Ono one thing that bothers me is how very much hate is unnecessarily thrown her way - when she's dedicated so much of her life to promoting peace. (http://imaginepeace.com/) It's mostly from people who foolishly try and blame her for breaking up the Beatles - and by those who don't appreciate or get her music or her art. She has all too often been the butt of weak jokes - in fact I just saw a movie trailer on tv for the new Reese Witherspoon vehicle which features a Yoko Ono joke in it - in the trailer! If that's supposed to be one of the funniest bits of the movie I hardly think it's going to be a blockbuster. In my opinion a Yoko Ono joke is the sign of a lazy uninspired comedy writer - they're seldom funny - usually just cheap shots capitalizing on the fact that her name is so recognizable within pop culture.
Naturally Yoko is well aware of this, and as a response to far too many lame 'Oh, no!' jokes Yoko decided to drop her first name for these remix projects - releasing them under the name 'ONO'. Since 2001 she has released 16 remix singles with every one charting on Billboard's Dance charts - with 11 of those reaching the top five - and nine of them have hit number one! This places her in the top 20 list of artists with the most number one dance hits in the United States - surpassing some other well known artists such as New Order, Kylie Minogue, and even Michael Jackson - and this sees her tied with Depeche Mode!
This first remix didn't hit number one, but it's one of my favorites by association. At the time of it's release I was dj'ing at a cool downtown Vancouver venue called DV8 Lounge - which sadly was recently leveled to expand a nearby park - which is still better than say, building a parking lot! I would also play visuals - trippy dvd compilations - and this song fit well with one that featured gorgeous scenery of the sky and bodies of water - and she references such things in the song.
'Will I' was originally a track from her 1995 album called 'Rising' and 'Will I/ 'Fly' was released as a remix single in 2003 - this is the 'Creamer & K Mix' by John Creamer and Stephane K... Enjoy!
'Walking On Thin Ice' is one of Yoko Ono's more successful solo singles - and it was also the song that she and John Lennon had just finished recording on the night he was fatally shot - on December 8th, 1980. It was subsequently released as a single at the end of January 1981 with the title listed on the cover as 'Walking On Thin Ice - For John'. This is one of ten remixes that were released as a single in 2003 - by artists such as the Pet Shop Boys, Danny Tenaglia and Felix Da Housecat. A lot of the remixes are really good but I particularly like the groove of this 'FKEK Vocal Mix' by Francois Kevorkian and Eric Kupper... Enjoy!
'Everyman Has A Woman Who Love Him' is a track from the 'Double Fantasy' album, which was released as a single in 2004 featuring 12 (!) remixes. It was retitled 'Everyman... Everywoman...' and the lyrics were changed to include gay and lesbian couples! This is the 'Passengerz Ono Mixshow' remix... Enjoy!
This is Ono's newest remix single - 'She Gets Down On Her Knees' - originally a track from her 1981 album 'Season Of Glass'. This is the 'Morel Mix'... Enjoy!
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