Yoko Ono unveiled a daring and harrowing new version of her 1995 song “Warzone,” which will serve as the title track for her upcoming album. Warzone finds Ono reimagining 13 of her own songs originally released between 1970 and 2009. The record will arrive October 19th via Chimera Music.
The original version of “Warzone” (off Ono’s 1995 album Rising) is a blistering punk salvo where Ono howls over searing guitars and drums. The new version captures that same dissonance, only it’s presented as a sparse industrial stomp peppered with eerie synths, the cry of an elephant and sound effects that mimic gunfire. Ono delivers the song’s blunt lyrics – “Skin peeling/ Bones melting/ Hold your heart/ Hold your life” – as if she were reciting a poem, allowing her voice to peel off into the occasional wail.
In a statement, Ono spoke about the continued relevance of “Warzone,” saying, “The world is so messed up. Things are very difficult for everybody. It’s a warzone that we are living in. I like to create things in a new way. Every day things change.”
The rest of the songs on Warzone will be similarly stripped-down like the title-track, emphasizing Ono’s vocals and lyrics. Per a statement, “Here in this minimalist landscape the content of her message rings clear and unencumbered; sometimes somber warnings, sometimes uplifting encouragement, but her wisdom and fortitude are unflinchingly strong, her power having intensified with time and life experience.”
Ono will premiere a new track from Warzone every Tuesday via the website ImaginePeace.com. The track list boasts new versions of songs like “Now or Never,” “Woman Power,” “I Love All of Me” and “I Love You Earth.” The record will close with a reinterpretation of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” for which Ono finally received a co-writing credit last year.
Ono crafted Warzone with a variety of musicians including Thomas Bartlett, Marc Ribot, Kassa Overall, Nico Muhly, Caleb Burhans, Patti Kilroy, Laura Lutzke and Courtney Orlando. The album also credits several animals – who get third billing, ahead of several humans, on Ono’s website – such as, “Baboon, Crows, Elephant, Monkeys, Panther, Whale, Wolf.”
Warzone Track List
2. “Hell In Paradise”
3. “Now Or Never”
4. “Where Do We Go From Here”
5. “Woman Power”
6. “It’s Gonna Rain”
8. “Children Power”
9. “I Love All of Me”
10. “Teddy Bear”
11. “I’m Alive”
12. “I Love You Earth”