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John Lennon, Yoko Ono

Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (LP)

Label: Secretly Canadian

Format: LP

Genre: Sound Art

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*2022 stock* 'The Lennon/Ono collaborative albums were a critical part of their take on celebrity coupledom. Their first two LPs carried the series title “Unfinished Music,” a conceptual gambit with deeper roots in the aesthetic of the Fluxus art movement than in that of the British Invasion. The first set to be issued, subtitled Two Virgins, was a sound-collage set reportedly produced during their first night together. The album’s name, and the full-frontal nudity of its cover, referenced the couple’s sense of innocence in approaching a new beginning—as well as the fact that the recording took place just prior to the consummation of their relationship.

As the product of a first date, Two Virgins is fascinating. As a sound artifact from the initial decade of Fluxus-inspired activity, it has plenty of competition. Casual clips of the couple’s conversations—mixed in alongside Lennon’s tape loops—blur the distinction between the private and the public-facing. This approach recalls efforts by some of Ono’s contemporaries, like Charlotte Moorman and Benjamin Patterson. But what makes Two Virgins distinct is the range of Ono’s voice. In the opening moments, she contributes some pure-tone humming, which sounds downright companionable amid Lennon’s meandering keyboard motifs and reverb tape-effects. Four-and-a-half-minutes in, Ono unleashes the first of her extended yelps, from the top of her range. Even if you know it’s coming, this sound always registers as shocking.' - Pitchfork

Details
Cat. number: SC 289LP
Year: 2016
Notes:
Side One length: 14:17 Side Two length: 14:42 Comes with download code for the album (MP3/320Kb), "Side One" and "Side Two" delivered as single tracks (segued). Incl. bonus track (previously unreleased): Remember Love (4:03) Some Albums also came with 24" x 24" Black & White poster of John & Yoko planting a tree and an 8" x 8 ' Booklet with 6 pages that includes a drawing by John and 4 Pages of pictures of John & Yoko