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Arts

Yoko Ono's big scream still echoes, and surprises

Reissue of Japanese artist's early recordings contains the seeds of an unwittingly influential sound

Yoko Ono performs onstage in Japan in 1974. For all the negative criticism her first solo album attracted decades ago, its influence can be heard in later rock music styles ranging from punk to new wave to grunge. (Getty Images)

TOKYO -- It was a scream heard round the world -- a revolutionary roar that, half a century ago, ripped through the divergent worlds of avant-garde art and rock music.

The source of that big sound was Yoko Ono, a small-framed Japanese woman who had become Beatle John Lennon's partner in art-making and in life, shaking up the creative fields the two of them represented and, over time, becoming an influential bridge between Eastern and Western sensibilities in the emerging global pop culture of the late 1960s and the 1970s.

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