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Friday, 18 January, 2002, 13:20 GMT
Yoko Ono back in the charts
Yoko Ono
Yoko's music has rarely attracted critical approval
Yoko Ono has hit the US charts again with a dance remix of a 30-year-old song.

Open Your Box has spent seven weeks on the US Club Play chart, according to Billboard magazine.

The song, first heard as the B-side of the 1971 John Lennon single Power To The People, reached 25 in the Billboard club chart after being remixed by The Orange Factory.

I was doing very musically intricate things - I thought it was comparable to someone like Schoenberg

Yoko Ono
Yoko's chart re-appearance marks another chapter in a long artistic career.

Best-known as Beatle John Lennon's widow, she has often been accused of breaking the band up.

It is less well-known that she had already established herself as a contemporary artists long before she first met John Lennon in November 1966.

They met when the Beatle went to see an exhibition of her work called Unfinished Paintings and Objects at the Indica Gallery in London.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono
John and Yoko staged peace "bed-ins" in 1969
Both Lennon and Ono were married to others at the time but by 1968 they had become inseparable.

Yoko contributed to some of John's solo albums and released records of her own, but her unconventional vocals proved off-putting for most listeners.

But she continued to produce paintings, sculpture and short films.

Aiming to express her radical feminism in art, Yoko shocked the public with acts such as inviting members of an audience to cut pieces from her clothing, opening an exhibition with a canvas to be stepped on and creating a film called Bottoms, featuring people's backsides.

In a 1999 interview with BBC Radio 3, Yoko explained the motive behind her work: "Art is a mind-game that we do to make our lives easier. If it isn't for that it becomes superfluous."

She said she involved herself in a wide range of activities for the challenge it gave her: "Once something is solid, it's dead. I just like to explore all sorts of different forms - no, explore is not even the word - enjoy.

"You don't want to limit yourself to a particular form."

Yoko Ono
Yoko at a naming ceremony for Liverpool's John Lennon airport
She also defended her famous bed-in for peace in an Amsterdam hotel with John: "We didn't think we were naive, we thought that we had it all figured out.

"Maybe we were naive but I think that's the kind of naivety that may be necessary in life."

She has always defended her approach to music, despite frequent criticism.

"I was doing very musically intricate things, in terms of rhythm and notation and how it moves.

"I thought it was comparable to someone like Schoenberg in terms of the structure of the music, and they didn't hear that at all. They just said 'Yoko's screaming!'"

A new chart hit might, in some small way, vindicate the standpoint Yoko expressed in the 1999 BBC interview: "I feel that my work is not in vain, that it does have a place in society, even though it may not be considered that it has a place in society - it doesn't matter."

See also:

30 Nov 01 | Music
George Harrison dies
06 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Yoko's anniversary peace call
20 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Yoko and Sir Paul get visual
03 Oct 00 | Americas
Yoko Ono: My fears
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