This column usually presents semi-obscure or forgotten songs that should have been hits. “Walking on Thin Ice” is different, because if you’re the kind of person with an obsessive enough interest in music to read a site like Popdose, then you’re certainly very familiar with “Walking on Thin Ice,” the best known song by rock’s biggest villain. But this catchy, haunting little piece of post-disco bears examination 30 years on, as it holds up as one of the brainier, darker, and weirder songs from a genre noted for its cheese and disposability.
“Walking on Thin Ice” was released as a single just a few weeks after the shocking murder of John Lennon, Ono’s husband and the song’s co-producer. (He also provided the crazy-weird guitar hooks for what was one of the last songs he ever worked on.) Despite the international mourning period for Lennon, the song couldn’t reach higher than #58 on the Hot 100, the only song Ono ever charted there. Such is the lingering, undying hatred for Ono for “breaking up the Beatles.” (She didn’t, of course. You know it. I know it. Evolve.)
However, the song was eventually redeemed, sort of. A remix of the song went to #1 on the Dance chart in 2003.