Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
Yoko Ono POB.jpg
Studio album by
Released11 December 1970 (1970-12-11)
Recorded10 October – 6 November 1970
"AOS" February 1968
StudioAbbey Road and Royal Albert Hall, London
ProducerYoko Ono, John Lennon
Yoko Ono chronology
Live Peace in Toronto 1969
(with The Plastic Ono Band)

Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band

Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band is the debut studio album by Japanese artist and musician Yoko Ono, released on Apple Records in December 1970. It was released simultaneously with her husband's album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Backed by the Plastic Ono Band and, on one track, the Ornette Coleman Quartet, it followed the release of three experimental albums with Lennon and a live album from the 1969 version of the Plastic Ono Band. In the United States, it peaked at number 182 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.


With the exception of "AOS", a 1968 recording, Ono's album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios during the same September–October 1970 sessions that produced the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album.[2][3] Also recorded at this time was "Between the Takes", which was released on the 1998 CD reissue of Ono's Fly album.[2] "Greenfield Morning I Pushed an Empty Baby Carriage All Over the City" was based on a sample from a tape of George Harrison playing sitar and a Ringo Starr drum break with an added echo effect[4] plus Ono's vocals with a lyric referencing a miscarriage.[5] Ono's vocalisations on tracks such as "Why" and "Why Not" mixed hetai, a Japanese vocal technique from kabuki theatre, with modern rock 'n roll and raw aggression influenced by the then-popular primal therapy that Lennon and Ono had been undertaking. According to Ono, the recording engineers were in the habit of turning off the recording equipment when she began to perform – which is why, at the end of "Why", Lennon can be heard asking "Were you gettin' that?"[4]

On 29 February 1968, Ono appeared onstage at London's Royal Albert Hall with Ornette Coleman and his jazz group. The performance and their afternoon rehearsal were both recorded; "AOS" was recorded during this rehearsal and included on the album, the only track not featuring the Plastic Ono Band as it existed for the December Ono and Lennon albums. Describing how she met Coleman, Ono has stated:

Ornette was already very, very established and famous and respected guy as a musician. And I met him in Paris. The way I met was, I was doing a show and after the show, somebody said, Oh, Ornette Coleman is here and he would like to – okay. Well, hello. Thank you for coming. That kind of thing. And he was saying, Well, okay. So he said that he was going to go and do a concert in Albert Hall and would I come and do it with him because he thought it was kind of interesting what I do.[6]

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
Rolling StonePositive[8]

Initially on Apple Records, through EMI, Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band was released to considerable critical disdain in 1970, at a time when Ono was being widely blamed for disbanding The Beatles. Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band only hit the lower reaches of the album chart in the United States, failing to chart in the United Kingdom altogether.[3] Notable exceptions were the estimations of Billboard who called it 'visionary' and critic Lester Bangs who supported it in Rolling Stone. More recently, the album has been credited with having an influence on musicians grossly disproportionate to its sales and visibility, akin to that of The Velvet Underground.[10][11] David Browne of Entertainment Weekly has credited the album with "launching a hundred or more female alternative rockers, like Kate Pierson & Cindy Wilson of the B-52s to current thrashers like L7 and Courtney Love of Hole".

The covers of Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band and John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band albums are nearly identical. Lennon pointed out the difference in their 1980 Playboy interview: "in Yoko's, she's leaning back on me; in mine, I'm leaning on her". The photos were taken with a cheap Instamatic camera on the grounds of Tittenhurst Park (their home at the time) by actor Daniel Richter, who is best known for playing Moon-Watcher, the head apeman in the 1968 science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. At the time, Richter lived with Lennon and Ono and worked as their assistant.

The album was reissued on compact disc by Rykodisc in 1997 with three bonus tracks from the era.[12] An "LP replica" special edition was issued by V2 Records in Japan in 2007,[13] and it was reissued again on LP, compact disc, and digital download by Secretly Canadian on November 11, 2016, with bonus tracks and rare photos.

The title and lyrics to "Greenfield Morning" derive from Ono's 1964 book Grapefruit. An edited version of "Open Your Box" appeared as the B-side to the UK issue of Lennon's single "Power to the People".

Track listing

All songs written by Yoko Ono.

Original release

Side one

  1. "Why" – 5:37
  2. "Why Not" – 9:55
  3. "Greenfield Morning I Pushed an Empty Baby Carriage All Over the City" – 5:38

Side two

  1. "AOS" – 7:06
  2. "Touch Me" – 4:37
  3. "Paper Shoes" – 7:26

1997 reissue

Tracks 1–6 per the 1970 release, with the following bonus tracks:

  1. "Open Your Box" (alternate version) – 7:35
  2. "Something More Abstract" – 0:44
  3. "The South Wind" – 16:38

2016 reissue

Tracks 1–6 per the 1970 release, with the following bonus tracks:

  1. "Open Your Box" (alternate version) – 7:35
  2. "Something More Abstract" – 0:44
  3. "Why" (extended version) – 8:41
  4. "The South Wind" – 16:38


Technical personnel[3]


Chart performance of Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
Chart (1970) Peak
US Billboard 200[15] 182 3

Release history

Release history of Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band
Country Date Format Label Catalog
United States 11 December 1970[16] LP Apple SW 3373[17]
Cassette 4XW 3373[18]
8-Track 8XW 3373[19]
United Kingdom LP SAPCOR 17[17]
Japan (Promo) 1970 LP (Red)[20] AP-80175[21]
Japan 13 January 1971 LP
United States 20 May 1997[22] CD Rykodisc RCD 10414[12]
United Kingdom 1997
Japan VACK-5370[23]
24 January 2007 Rykodisc, Apple VACK-1308[13]
United States & Europe 11 November 2016 LP Secretly Canadian, Chimera Music SC281/CHIM20[24]
LP (Clear)[25]
Japan 7 December 2016 CD Sony Records International SICX-73[27]
22 February 2017 LP (Clear) SIJP-33[28]


  1. ^ Hoskins, Zachary (26 July 2017). "Yoko Ono's Fly, Approximately Infinite Universe, and Feeling the Space, Reissued and Reevaluated". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b Badman, Keith (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970-2001. London: Omnibus Press. p. 14. ISBN 9780711983076.
  3. ^ a b c Irvin, Jim, ed. (2009). The Mojo Collection the Ultimate Music Companion. Edinburgh: Canongate. p. 228. ISBN 9781847676436.
  4. ^ a b "Yoko Ono & Sean Lennon Interview". Spinning On Air. 12 May 2012. WNYC.
  5. ^ Blaney, John (2005). John Lennon: Listen to This Book (illustrated ed.). [S.l.]: Paper Jukebox. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-9544528-1-0.
  6. ^ "Live: Yoko Ono and Ornette Coleman, Royal Albert Hall, London". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  7. ^ Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band at AllMusic
  8. ^ Bangs, Lester (4 March 1971). "Yoko Ono and Plastic Ono Band | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  9. ^ Walls, Seth Colter (5 December 2016). "Yoko Ono / John Lennon: Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins / Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With the Lions / Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band". Pitchfork. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  10. ^ Adam Mason PopMatters website retrieved 28 July 2020.
  11. ^ The Spill Magazine retrieved 28 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b "Yoko Ono / The Plastic Ono Band - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  13. ^ a b "Yoko Ono / The Plastic Ono Band - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  14. ^ Spizer, Bruce (2005). The Beatles Solo on Apple Records. New Orleans, LA: 498 Productions. p. 343. ISBN 0-9662649-5-9.
  15. ^ "Yoko Ono Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  16. ^ Onobox (liner notes). Yoko Ono. Rykodisc. 1992. RCD 10224/29.((cite AV media notes)): CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  17. ^ a b "Yoko Ono - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  18. ^ "Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  19. ^ "Yoko Ono - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  20. ^ "Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  21. ^ "Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  22. ^ Kaufman, Gil (19 February 1997). "Ready Or Not: Yoko Ono Albums To Be Reissued". MTV News.
  23. ^ "Yoko Ono - Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  24. ^ "Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band - Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  25. ^ "Yoko Ono - Plastic Ono Band - LP". Rough Trade.
  26. ^ "Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band - Plastic Ono Band". Discogs.
  27. ^ "Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band Yoko Ono CD Album". CDJapan.
  28. ^ "Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band [Limited Release] Yoko Ono Vinyl (LP)". CDJapan.