US album release: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono

9.00am, Monday 11 November 1968 (45 years ago)

Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono was released in the US as Apple T 5001 on this day.

Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins - John Lennon and Yoko OnoThe album had been recorded on 19 May 1968 at Kenwood, Lennon’s former home in Weybridge.

Two Virgins featured the following tracks, although the avant-garde nature of the recordings often made them indistinct: Two Virgins No. 1; Together; Two Virgins (numbers 2-6); Two Virgins; Hushabye Hushabye; Two Virgins (numbers 7-10).

Although the audio content of the record was somewhat less than listener-friendly, it was the cover artwork that caused the most offence. It featured a full-frontal nude photograph of Lennon and Ono. Capitol Records refused to release it, fearing that the Bible Belt in the southern states would react negatively.

It was picked up by Tetragrammaton, a small label previously known for spoken word releases. Tetragrammaton issued Two Virgins in a brown paper sleeve, with a cutaway through which Lennon and Ono’s faces could be seen.

Quantities of the album were seized in several US jurisdictions, including 30,000 copies in New Jersey. Nonetheless, it managed to reach number 124 in the US charts.

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