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Music

Yoko Ono's favourite album by The Beatles

@josephtaysom

To this day, Yoko Ono remains an unfair target for many Beatles fans who incorrectly blame her for the band’s demise despite, of course, the bundles of evidence that prove otherwise. Ono is an integral part of Beatles history, and, here, we explore her favourite album by the group.

When she met John Lennon in 1966, Yoko Ono was still technically married to American jazz musician Anthony Cox who fathered her daughter, Kyoko Chan Cox, in 1963. However, they had been long separated, with Ono focusing on her artwork while he became the sole custodian of their child, who he’d prevent her from seeing until the ’90s.

Ono was making waves in the art world and headed to London for an exhibition titled ‘Unfinished Paintings and Objects’, a project which ultimately led her to Lennon. The Beatle arrived at the gallery one evening because he was friends with art dealer John Dunbar who, at the time, was married to Marianne Faithfull, and the Beatle had heard intriguing things about Ono’s art. 

Initially, Lennon was bemused by her work, but they hit it off, and their long-distance love affair had been sparked. From then on, Ono played an influential role as Lennon’s muse and eventual collaborator, and they remained life partners until his very tragic end.

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Admittedly, Ono’s career suffered due to being inextricably linked to one of the world’s most famous musicians. With this in mind, she’s often hesitant to speak about The Beatles because of the unsavoury opinions held about her influence on Lennon, instead wanting to be recognised in her own light. 

However, in 2016, while speaking to US Weekly for the publication’s ’25 Things You Don’t Know About Me’ column, Yoko finally lifted the lid on her favourite album by The Fab Four. “I don’t know if people will hate me for saying this, but I always preferred The White Album to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” Ono revealed. “Don’t get me wrong, I love Pepper’s too,” she added.

Ono is not the only one who shares this opinion, and Lennon also believed their 1968 effort was the zenith of their career. Speaking with Rolling Stone, he explained: “I always preferred it to all the other albums, including Pepper, because I thought the music was better. The Pepper myth is bigger, but the music on the White Album is far superior, I think.”

In another interview, Lennon suggested that Paul McCartney never liked The White Album because the band members were given free rein to work on their own material rather than working in tandem as a group. “[Paul] wanted it to be more a group thing, which really means more Paul. So he never liked that album,” he scathingly said.

Furthermore, The White Album was also the first album by the group that Yoko had been around for during the recording process. One suspects on top of the album being a masterpiece, it also represents a reminder of those special halcyon days of their relationship. 

Stream the record below.