Yoko Ono To Receive Retroactive Songwriting Credit For Contributions To John Lennon Classic “Imagine”

 

Yoko Ono To Receive Retroactive Songwriting Credit For Contributions To John Lennon Classic “Imagine”

first_imgDecades after the release of John Lennon‘s iconic 1971 appeal for peace, “Imagine,” his then-partner Yoko Ono will receive a co-writing credit for her thematic contributions to the song. The decision was publicized at yesterday’s annual meeting of the National Music Publishers Association in New York” where Ono and her and John’s son, Sean Lennon, accepted the organization’s new “Centennial Song Award” on their late kin’s behalf. During the presentation, NMPA David Israelite screened a short video of John Lennon from 1980 in which he professes that Ono deserved a songwriting credit for the 1971 song. Israelite explained that the process was already in motion to make Ono an officially credited songwriter for the smash hit worldwide peace anthem.The song was ranked #3 in Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” and was named as on of the 100 most performed songs of the 20th century, being covered by countless musicians ever since its release. Following Lennon’s murder in 1980, a memorial to him was set up in New York’s Central Park across the street from The Dakota, the apartment in which he lived and outside of which he was tragically shot. The “Strawberry Fields” memorial is inscribed with a mosaic bearing the word “Imagine.”The clip played at the NMPA presentation was not the only instance where Lennon noted that he felt the song should be credited as a Lennon/Ono collaboration. In Lennon’s final interview before his death, given to BBC Radio on December 6th, 1980 (2 days before his murder on December 8th), he explicitly said as much. “[Imagine] should be credited as a Lennon-Ono song because a lot of it – the lyric and the concept – came from Yoko. But those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of Grapefruit, her book.” In a tone that suggests he was embarrassed at his earlier sexism, he says: “If it had been a male, you know – Harry Nilsson’s Old Dirt Road, it’s ‘Lennon-Nilsson’. But when we did [Imagine] I just put ‘Lennon’ because, you know, she’s just the wife and you don’t put her name on, right?” You can listen to the clip below (starts at 00:45:30):Of course, there will inevitably be a sub-sect of fans who will decry this decision, which comes more than 35 years after the former Beatle‘s death. Ono’s relationship with Lennon is seen by many as a catalyzing factor in the group’s deteriorating personal relationships in the late 60’s and eventual breakup in 1970. With the reverence many music historians hold for the Beatles’ historic catalogue, any change to the credits for this highly influential song is sure to rile up some die-hard fans.While we will likely hear some push-back from fans as the process goes further, the decision is clearly in line with Lennon’s wishes which, after several decades, seem to finally have been put in motion.[h/t – The Guardian]last_img

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