"Yang Yang"
Yang Yang cover.jpg
Single by Yoko Ono
from the album Approximately Infinite Universe
A-side"Death of Samantha"
Released26 February 1973 (US)
4 May 1973 (UK)
Songwriter(s)Yoko Ono
Producer(s)John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono singles chronology
"Now or Never"
"Yang Yang"
"Woman Power"
"Yang Yang"
YokoOno YangYang.JPG
Single by Yoko Ono
GenreRock, dance
LabelParlophone Records
Songwriter(s)Yoko Ono
Producer(s)John Lennon, Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono singles chronology
"Kiss Kiss Kiss"
"Yang Yang"
"Walking on Thin Ice"

"Yang Yang" is a song by Yoko Ono, originally released in 1973 on the album Approximately Infinite Universe, and on the B-side to "Death of Samantha". The song was later included on Ono's compilation albums Walking on Thin Ice and Onobox. In 2002, as part of the ongoing ONO remix project, the track was re-released and reached #17 on the US dance charts, nearly 30 years after original release.

Themes explored

The song's titular character, a powerful man who talks to "his world" and to himself by telephone, abuses both the women (whom he "owns") and the men (sending them "pebbles and stones") in his charge. The lyrics deal with feminism, the emotional distance and cruelty sometimes shown by men, and the dehumanizing of both sexes.

Later critical reception

Pitchfork Media's Jess Harvell stated, "On Orange Factory's 'Down and Dirty' remix of 'Yang Yang', Ono is vocodered into a Troutman-esque gremlin and blurred into an anonymous orgasmic sigh over a brutally functional garage bounce."[1] Dan Rapper, in his review of Open Your Box for PopMatters, opined that the Orange Factory remix "is turned into a straight vocoder-style Ministry of Sound track, its squelching electro already somehow tired-sounding."[2]

Track listing

  1. "Yang Yang" (Peter Rauhofer Ying Mix) – 7:36
  2. "Yang Yang" (Orange Factory Down & Dirty Mix) – 8:05
  3. "Yang Yang" (Peter Rauhofer Yang Mix) – 9:05
  4. "Yang Yang" (Orange Factory Pump Mix) – 10:28
  5. "Yang Yang" (Peter Rauhofer Yang Dub) – 6:35
  6. "Yang Yang" (Orange Factory Down & Dirty Dub) – 6:29


Chart (2002) Peak
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[4] 17
US Hot Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[4] 24

Anika cover

"Yang Yang"
Anika Yang Yang.jpg
Single by Anika
from the album Anika
Released13 September 2010
GenrePsychedelic rock, dub, disco, funk
LabelStones Throw Records
Songwriter(s)Yoko Ono
Producer(s)Geoff Barrow, Beak
Anika singles chronology
"Yang Yang"
"No One's There"
Music video
"Yang Yang" on YouTube

"Yang Yang" was covered by Anika and released as the lead single from her debut album Anika in September 2010. The song was offered as the "Free MP3 of the Day" on Spinner. On her choice to cover the song for her album, Anika explained, "I loved the way the words sounded and as an ex-politics student and political journalist, I thought the song would make a great cover. Yoko Ono is renowned for her political views but I think there was a dark side to the lyrics that the original version had not fully explored."[5]

Critical reception

Heather Phares from Allmusic described the song as a "fantastic anti-pop single, with klaxon-like synths providing the hook and a bassline so strutting it could have been stolen from a blaxploitation soundtrack."[6] John Doran, in his review for NME, commented, "Just when you thought the post-punk genre had been strip-mined for all potential inspiration, along comes Anika."[7]

Drowned in Sound included Anika's cover of "Yang Yang" on its list Singles of the Year 2010.[8]

Music video

The music video for Yang Yang was directed by John Minton, who had previously directed music videos for Portishead, Robert Plant, and Amusement Parks on Fire.[9] Shots of cartoon UFOs, Wall Street trading floors, Ronald McDonald, the film Monty Python's Life of Brian, the animated short The Skeleton Dance, and the Earth as seen from outer space are shown throughout the video.[10]

Track listing

  1. "Yang Yang" – 2:55
  2. "End of the World" – 2:58


  1. ^ Jess, Harvell (30 April 2007). "Pitchfork: Album Reviews: Yoko Ono: Open Your Box". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  2. ^ Raper, Dan (3 April 2007). "Yoko Ono: Open Your Box < PopMatters". PopMatters. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  3. ^ "Yang Yang – Single by Yoko Ono". iTunes Store US. Apple Inc. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Yoko Ono - Charts & Awards - Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
  5. ^ Mike, Spinella (18 December 2010). "Anika, 'Yang Yang' -- Free MP3 of the Day Exclusive - Spinner". Spinner. AOL. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  6. ^ Phares, Heather (2010). "Anika - Anika". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  7. ^ Doran, John (17 January 2010). "NME Track Reviews - 10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week - REM, CEO, Puro Instinct - NME.COM". NME. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  8. ^ Roby, Wendy (21 December 2010). "Singles of the Year 2010: Part the Second, A TOP 50!". Drowned in Sound. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Anika - Yang Yang". Antville. 13 September 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
  10. ^ "PlayGround - Anika". PlayGround. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2011.
  11. ^ "Yang Yang / End of the World – Single by Anika". iTunes Store Ireland. Apple Inc. Retrieved 10 August 2011.