YOKO ONO Reissue Project – Part 2
3 Albums: FLY, Approximately Infinite Universe & Feeling The Space
Out on July 14th, available for preorder NOW
First, you get the Bar Band from Hell of “Midsummer New York” to kick things off. It’s about the last thing you’d expect from Ono coming off Plastic Ono Band. But here you are, listening to Ono channeling Elvis.Why am I all of a sudden bopping along to it? At 16-minute-plus, the tranced-out, motorik-inspired boogie “Mind Train” is rough-and-ready for your next basement get down. Movement and perspiration required. Then, we have the absolutely gutting blues of “Don’t Worry, Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking For Her Hand in The Snow).” Full of ache and raw emotion, the song is a love note, a plea for forgiveness, to her estranged daughter Kyoko shot across the universe on a flaming arrow. Ono follows this stampede of emotion with the self-referential torch song “Mrs. Lennon,” a wounded song that gets right into the Universal Loneliness. And so here you are. You’re devastated. You’re exhausted. You’re exhilarated. And you’re only 1/4 of the way up the mountain that is Fly. Dig deep, traveler, it’s worth the climb.
1. Midsummer New York
2. Mind Train
3. Mind Holes
4. Don’t Worry Kyoko (Mummy’s Only Looking For A Hand In The Snow)
5. Mrs. Lennon
7. Toilet Piece / Unknown
8. O’Wind (Body Is The Scar Of Your Mind)
10. Don’t Count The Waves
13. Telephone Piece
14. Between The Takes
15. Will You Touch Me?
16. The Path
17. Head Play (Medley: You/Airmale/Fly)
Approximately Infinite Universe
Meanwhile, on a sonic level, Ono ups the ante on the more centered rock-n-roll sounds she approached with 1971’s Fly. The album is one of the most traditional-sounding rock chapters in Ono’s sprawling catalogue. There are moments here that absolutely rival Jersey legends the E Street Band, though of course Ono’s vision leads her band down darker, more mystical paths than the E Street Band ever dared tread. Approximately Infinite Universe is an essential and progressive piece of Ono’s output, both in the advancements she made as a songwriter/conceptualist, and as a solidified statement of her staunch feminist role within the very male-dominated mainstream rock ghetto of the mid-1970’s.
1. Yang Yang
2. Death Of Samantha
3. I Want My Love To Rest Tonight
4. What Did I Do!
5. Have You Seen A Horizon Lately
6. Approximately Infinite Universe
7. Peter The Dealer
8. Song For John
9. Catman (The Rosies Are Coming)
10. What A Bastard The World Is
11. Waiting For The Sunrise
12. I Felt Like Smashing My Face In A Clear Glass Window
13. Winter Song
14. Kite Song
15. What A Mess
16. Shiranakatta (I Didn’t Know)
17. Air Talk
18. I Have A Woman Inside My Soul
19. Move On Fast
20. Now Or Never
21. Is Winter Here To Stay?
22. Looking Over From My Hotel Window
Feeling The Space
Feeling the Space was recorded during the time when the avant-garde visionary artist became estranged from her rock-star husband John Lennon. He plays only briefly on the album (billed as Johnny O’cean); she produced and wrote all the songs. The result is a definitive soundtrack/document of the era of consciousness raising and of radical critique of the family structure. Yoko and company deliver this hard message soft rock style, or as soft as Yoko could get. Yoko was on the front lines of the women’s liberation movement. Dedicated “to the sisters who died in pain and sorrow and those who are now in prisons and in mental hospitals for being unable to survive in the male society,” it’s an emotional exploration of the psychological toll of oppression.
1. Growing Pain
2. Yellow Girl (Stand By For Life)
3. Coffin Car
4. Woman Of Salem
5. Run, Run, Run
6. If Only
7. A Thousand Times Yes
8. Straight Talk
9. Angry YoungWoman
10. She Hits Back
11. Woman Power
13. “I Learned To Stutter” / Coffin Car (Live)
14. Potbelly Rocker
15. It’s Been Very Hard
17. Left Turn’s The Right Turn
19. Mildred,Mildred (Demo)
Recent Releases & Re-releases
Yoko Ono – The first 3 of 11 classic album remasters (Two Virgins, Life With The Lions & Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band) on Secretly Canadian.
Read: ★★★★★ Rolling Stone, 1971 original review by Lester Bangs, ★★★★★ Rolling Stone, 2016 & Pitchfork, 2016.