In honor of Kimberly Chun's cover story this week on Yoko Ono, the time is right to post some Yoko moments here and there when the time is right. What better place to start than "Why," a 1970 Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band track that has been hugely influential, both instrumentally and vocally. (A good game: name the people and bands it has influenced, and times it has been sampled.) It still sounds futuristic today.
That's probably part of the reason why YouTube responses to it can be so hateful. Yoko does her thing. Thank god -- I can't tell you how many times I've felt exactly like what she sings here. It must have been brutally exhausting to wail like this. Try for even a few seconds and you feel like your vocal cords have been shredded. Very primal scream therapy-era, with no bad Werner Erhard aftertaste.