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Some classic rock musicians deserve more love from fans. Yoko Ono’s songs are often stereotyped as being avant-garde and awful. Some of them are avant-garde and brilliant. “Walking on Thin Ice” is her most popular single and even that song never received its dues.

Yoko Ono’s most famous solo song paved the way for Madonna and others

Yoko has a huge musical legacy because she collaborated with John Lennon on perfect songs like “Imagine” and because she had an incredible solo career. “Walking on Thin Ice” is the only solo track from Yoko to hit the Billboard Hot 100. It’s haunting and incredible. As a musician, Yoko is polarizing because of her forceful vocal performances. In “Walking on Thin Ice,” her singing is breathy and unsure. It fits with the song’s theme of insecurity.

The tune’s new wave beat is even better. It’s dark, sexy, and danceable at the same time. “Walking on Thin Ice” could be seen as a precursor to a lot of 1980s dance music. Considering the track came out in 1981, it was ahead of the curve. Depeche Mode, New Order, the Queen of Pop herself, Madonna, all owe a debt of gratitude to “Walking on Thin Ice.”

John Lennon predicted the song would hit No. 1

During a 2013 interview with Songfacts, Yoko gave fans insight into her songwriting process. “All depends,” she said. “Sometimes the music comes first and sometimes the lyrics. Most of the time, both lyrics and the music and its treatment come at the same time.”

The singer discussed how “Walking on Thin Ice” came to her. “It’s a song that came to me music notes and lyrics together,” she said. “John immediately thought it would be my first No. 1. Well, it didn’t happen right away, but he was right.”

“Walking on Thin Ice” did not become a No. 1 hit single on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100. It only ever hit No. 58 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 10 weeks. However, a set of remixes from 2013 became a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart.


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Why Yoko Ono initially didn’t want anyone to remix ‘Walking on Thin Ice’

During a 2008 interview posted to her website, Yoko said she initially turned down any offers to remix the song for a very specific reason. “It wasn’t me who went around saying ‘Why don’t you do ‘Walking on Thin Ice?”” she said. “‘Walking on Thin Ice’ I think was a certainty, it was a natural for this kind of thing. There were many bands that kept asking me if it was alright for them to remix it. That was going on from 1981 and I kept saying no, because I was kind of hung up on the fact that John remixed it with me and everything. It was just kind of one-sided stuff.”

As time went on, she became more open to the idea of letting other groups remix it. Dance songs are made to be redone and it would be a real shame for a new wave classic like “Walking on Thin Ice” to remain the same forever.

Yoko is often ignored as a musician. While “Walking on Thin Ice” had a bit of a moment to shine, it deserves more time in the spotlight.