“Walking on Thin Ice” was released by Yoko Ono in1981. She and John Lennon finished 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.
This is the Cassette Single released in February of 1981.
The copy we have we bought in the Virgin MegaStore, Oxford St., London. Feb 1981.
Wikipedia cites the following, the original source is here.
“Lennon’s lead guitar work on the track, which he recorded on 4 December 1980, was his final creative act. He used his famous Beatles era 1958 Rickenbacker 325 to record all the guitar parts. This is the first time that he used the guitar on a studio recording since 1964/65. 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. 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. 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 was both a critical and commercial success.”
Promo 12″ / Cassingle
A. “Walking On Thin Ice” – 5:59
B1. “It Happened” – 5:08
B2. “Hard Times Are Over” – 3:26