Yoko Ono unveiled a delicate rendition of the John Lennon classic “Imagine” on what would’ve been the late musician’s 78th birthday. The track will appear on Ono’s upcoming album Warzone, which arrives October 19th via Chimera Music.
Ono’s version of “Imagine” boasts a sparse yet intricate arrangement, starting with a simple synth drone that swells steadily beneath the 85-year-old artist’s candid vocals. Halfway through the track, the drone slips away for a piano that twinkles beneath Ono’s voice, letting the song breathe in potent new way in its final moments.
“Imagine” originally appeared on Lennon’s 1971 album of the same name, and last year the National Music Publishers Association announced that Ono would finally be credited as a co-writer on the track. Lennon had admitted in interviews during the Eighties that he’d neglected to originally credit Ono because of “selfish” behavior.
“That should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it – the lyric and the concept – came from Yoko,” Lennon told the BBC in 1980. “But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution.”
Warzone marks Ono’s first solo album since 2013’s Take Me to the Land of Hell. The record finds the musician reimagining 13 songs she originally released between 1970 and 2009, using stripped-down arrangements to emphasize her vocals and lyrics. Over the past few weeks, Ono has released several other Warzone tracks including the title track, “Children Power,” “Women Power,” “Now Or Never” and “Where do We Go From Here.”