No one understood the gaps between commercial music and experiment more than Yoko Ono (New York art) and her collaborator John Lennon (world-famous pop star). Their first record together, Two Virgins (5⁄10), released in ’68, is still far from easy listening, being tape collage, random sounds and the first appearance of Yoko’s from-nowhere stormy squall.
On their second collaboration, Life With The Lions (5⁄10) – recorded at a time when, in the midst of mass media hatred, Yoko One lost her baby – there’s anger and sadness in the emotion (the self-explanatory Baby’s Heartbeat is almost impossible to listen to), and there’s also a rage that’s absent from the contemporaneous Beatle single The Ballad Of John And Yoko.
By the time of 1970’s Plastic Ono Band (7⁄10), Ono and Lennon were creating a more conventional sound but it was still largely unacceptable to many. But this record set the template for avant-garde rock ever after, with its screams, jagged riffs and confrontational lyrics.