More Great 2016 Reissues and Finds: David Fricke's Picks

Expanded classics, unearthed obscurities and other historical gems

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Yoko Ono, 'Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band'

Yoko Ono, 'Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band'

No matter how many times it is reissued, Ono's 1970 debut album – the sister blast to her husband's first post-Beatles release, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band – never sounds less than tomorrow, arriving early with an exhilarating vengeance. The savage primitivism of her all-star power trio – Lennon on guitar, bassist Klaus Voorman and an impressively game Ringo Starr on drums – against Ono's searing vocal anguish still qualifies as avant-garde, unprecedented and as yet unequaled in its physical extremes and emotional reach. There are bonus tracks here, as reissues demand – one is a longer version, by three harrowing minutes, of the opening firestorm "Why." But this is one instance in which the original artifact – with its anomalous 1968 performance of Ono with free-jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman and his trio, a direct link to her association in the early-Sixties Fluxus movement – needs no extra bait.

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