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

Just over two weeks after its US release, Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono was issued in the United Kingdom.

The album had the catalogue number Apple SAPCOR 2. Its tracklisting was the same as the US version: ‘Two Virgins No. 1’; ‘Together’; ‘Two Virgins (numbers 2-6)’; ‘Two Virgins’; ‘Hushabye Hushabye’; ‘Two Virgins (numbers 7-10)’. The tracks had been recorded on 3 May 1968 at Kenwood, Lennon’s former home in Weybridge.

Unfinished Music No 1: Two Virgins – John Lennon and Yoko OnoThe release of Two Virgins had been delayed for some months due to anticipated controversy over the cover photograph, which featured a full-frontal nude photograph of Lennon and Ono.

The album was the second long-player released by Apple Records, after George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music was issued in the UK on 1 November.

Actually, the first record that would have been out on Apple would been Two Virgins if they hadn’t held it up. They stalled and they said this, that and the other. Being naive in lots of ways, I had no idea I was going to get slagging from the immediate family. I thought maybe somebody out there will say something, but I was making a statement. It was as good as a song, it was better, you couldn’t say it better – pictures speak louder than words. There it was: beautiful statement.
John Lennon, 1974

Two Virgins was distributed by Track Records in the UK, after EMI refused to handle it. They did, however, master and press the record, for which they charged their standard fee.

Two Virgins was a big fight. It was held up for nine months. Joseph Lockwood was a nice, nice guy; but he sat down on a big table at the top of EMI with John and Yoko and told me he will do everything he can to help us, because we explained what it meant and why we were doing it. And he got me to sign him one – he’s got a signed edition of the very first one. Then, when we tried to put it out, he sent a personal note to everybody saying: ‘Don’t print it. Don’t put it out.’ So we couldn’t get the cover printed anywhere.
John Lennon, 1980
Last updated: 9 December 2022
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  1. odomec Wednesday 5 June 2019

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