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Walking On Thin Ice:Yoko Ono

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"Walking on Thin Ice" is a song by Yoko Ono, released in 1981. She and John Lennon concluded the recording of the song on December 8, 1980. It was upon their return from the recording studio to The Dakota (their home in New York City) that Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman. Lennon was clutching a tape of a final mix when he was shot.

The song was both a critical and commercial success.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Background

Background[edit]Edit

Lennon's lead guitar work on the track, which he recorded on 8 December 1980, was his final creative act. At the end of January 1981, "Walking on Thin Ice" was released as a single and became Ono's first chart success, peaking at number 58 in the US and gaining major club/underground airplay. The single was released in February 1981 in the UK and reached number 35 on the chart. The critical reception was favorable: NME rated it in the best tracks of year 1981 at number 10.[1] The lyrics talk of the unpredictability of life and death — of "throwing the dice in the air" — and reach the conclusion, "when our hearts return to ashes, it will be just a story....". On the version included on 1992's Onobox, a new intro was added, where John Lennon can be heard remarking "I think you just cut your first number one, Yoko."

The B-side, "It Happened," was a slower, mellow track about acceptance - from Ono's vaults that was originally recorded for A Story and had already seen limited release in Japan as the B-side to "Yume O Moto", but was remixed for inclusion on the single.[2] Much like the A-side, the lyrics have a new haunting quality given Lennon's murder: "It happened at a time of my life/When I least expected... And I know there's no return, no way". In the essay on the back of the single, Ono talks about how Lennon picked out this track from her old tapes and marked it as a hit. She said "No way!" to which he responded "I'll make it a hit". He was murdered hours later.

The song is also included on the experimental compilation album called Disco Not Disco (2000). In 2003, riding on the success of several Ono club remixes including "Open Your Box" and "Kiss Kiss Kiss", "Walking on Thin Ice" was released as a maxi-single with remixes by dance artists including the Pet Shop BoysDanny Tenaglia and Felix Da Housecat. It met with incredible success, spending many weeks on the US dance chart before reaching number one, beating Madonna and Justin Timberlake. In the UK, it reached number 35 on the chart, exactly the same position as the original reached in 1981.

Track listings[edit]Edit

1981[edit]Edit

Promo 7" single
  • A. "Walking On Thin Ice" (EDIT) - 3:23
  • B. "Walking On Thin Ice" (Long Version) - 5:58
7" / 12" single
  • A. "Walking On Thin Ice" - 5:59
  • B. "It Happened" - 5:08
Promo 12" / Cassingle
  • A. "Walking On Thin Ice" - 5:59
  • B1. "It Happened" - 5:08
  • B2. "Hard Times Are Over" - 3:26

2003[edit]Edit

CD Maxi
  1. Pet Shop Boys Radio Mix - 4:09
  2. Danny Tenaglia Walked Across the Lake Mix - 12:40
  3. Pet Shop Boys Electro Mix - 6:37
  4. Felix da Housecat's Tribute Mix - 5:29
  5. Pet Shop Boys Extended Dance Mix - 7:58
  6. Rui da Silva's Kismet Mix - 10:42
  7. Peter Rauhofer Electro Mix - 6:08
  8. Orange Factory Radio Mix - 3:54
  9. FKEK Vocal Mix - 9:55
  10. Peter Rauhofer Chill Mix - 4:58
2x12" single
  1. Danny Tenaglia Walked Across the Lake Mix - 12:40
  2. Peter Rauhofer Future Mix - 10:07
  3. Pet Shop Boys Electro Mix - 6:37
  4. Pet Shop Boys Extended Dance Mix - 7:58
  5. Rui da Silva's Kismet Mix - 10:42
  6. FKEK Hard As Ice Dub - 8:35
  7. Orange Factory "Larry" Dub - 6:20
  8. Orange Factory Yoko-pella - :34
UK 12" single
  1. Danny Tenaglia Walked Across the Lake Mix - 12:40
  2. Pet Shop Boys Electro Mix - 6:37
US 12" single
  1. Danny Tenaglia Dub - 9:07
  2. Felix da Housecat's Tribute Mix - 5:29
  3. FKEK Vocal Mix - 9:55
UK CD promo
  1. Pet Shop Boys Electro Mix Edit
  2. Felix Da Housecat Tribute Mix Edit
iTunes single
  1. Pet Shop Boys Radio Mix - 4:09
  2. Danny Tenaglia Walked Across the Lake Mix - 12:40
  3. Pet Shop Boys Electro Mix - 6:37
  4. Felix da Housecat's Tribute Mix - 5:29
  5. Pet Shop Boys Extended Dance Mix - 7:58
  6. Rui da Silva's Kismet Mix - 10:42
  7. Peter Rauhofer Electro Mix - 6:08
  8. Orange Factory Radio Mix - 3:54
  9. FKEK Vocal Mix - 9:55
  10. Peter Rauhofer Chill Mix - 4:58
  11. Peter Rauhofer Future Mix - 10:07
  12. FKEK Hard As Ice Dub - 8:35
  13. Orange Factory "Larry" Dub - 6:20
  14. Orange Factory Yoko-pella - :34
  15. Danny Tenaglia Dub - 9:07

2007[edit]Edit

  1. "Walking On Thin Ice" (with Jason Pierce of Spiritualized) - 5:07
  2. "Toyboat" (with Antony of Antony and the Johnsons and Hahn Rowe) - 4:24

2013[edit]Edit

  1. Dave Aude House Club Mix - 6:35
  2. Dave Aude House Instrumental - 6:35
  3. Dave Aude House Dub - 6:12
  4. Dave Aude House Mixshow - 5:23
  5. Dave Aude House Radio Edit - 3:48
  6. Dave Aude Electro Disco Club Mix - 6:32
  7. Dave Aude Electro Disco Instrumental - 6:32
  8. Dave Aude Electro Disco Dub - 5:47
  9. Dave Aude Electro Disco Radio Edit - 4:16
  10. Emjae Vocal Mix - 5:04
  11. Emjae Dub - 5:31
  12. Ralphi Rosario Club Mix - 7:52
  13. Ralphi Rosario Dub - 7:23
  14. Ralphi Rosario Radio Edit - 3:50
  15. R3hab Vocal Mix - 4:06
  16. R3hab Instrumental - 4:06
  17. R3hab Dub - 4:06
  18. Superchumbo Club Mix - 8:13
  19. Superchumbo Dub - 8:11
  20. Morel Hot Sauce Mix - 5:35
  21. Morel Hot Sauce Dub - 5:38
  22. Tedd Patterson Club Mix - 6:58
  23. Tedd Patterson Instrumental - 6:58
  24. Tedd Patterson Dub - 6:58
  25. Danny Tenaglia's Maestro Version - 2:47
  26. Danny Tenaglia's Give Ice A Chance Mix - 9:50
  27. Danny Tenaglia's Grand Ballroom Mix - 12:34
  28. Danny Tenaglia & Sebastian Dub - 7:45

Music videos[edit]Edit

Yoko Ono herself directed a music video for "Walking on Thin Ice" which was released in February 1981. In 2003 Mike Mills and Arya Senboutaraj (one half of the directing duo Rainbows & Vampires) directed an animated black and white video featuring the "Pet Shop Boys Electro Mix Edit" of the song.

Covers[edit]Edit

Charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1981) Peak

position

New Zealand (RIANZ)[4] 48
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[4] 6
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[5] 35
US Hot 100 (Billboard) 58
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[6] 13
Chart (2003) Peak

position

UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[5] 35
US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[6] 1
US Hot Dance Singles Sales (Billboard)[6] 5
Chart (2013) Peak

position

US Hot Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[6] 1

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