John Lennon and Yoko Ono had recorded 22 songs in the studio during the sessions for Double Fantasy. A little over three years after his death, Ono issued the reheated leftovers as Milk and Honey, the first posthumous release of previously-unreleased material by Lennon.
Milk And Honey was released with a cover photograph almost identical to that of Double Fantasy, although this time in colour. The original concept was to have 200 heart-shaped photographs of the couple, but the idea was abandoned. By instead using an outtake from the Double Fantasy shoot, the effect was to present it as a sequel or companion piece, although the sound of the two albums is often starkly different.
The album was issued on Polydor, as Ono had fallen out with David Geffen, whose Geffen label had released Double Fantasy. However, the rights to Milk And Honey were later acquired by EMI, who issued subsequent pressings.
Milk And Honey sold less well than Double Fantasy had, but performed respectably. In the United Kingdom it peaked at number three upon its 23 January 1984 release, and in the United States reached 11.
In the UK it was also issued as a vinyl picture disc. The first pressing of 2,000 copies quickly sold out, and a further 1,000 were made. Some unauthorised coloured vinyl editions were also issued.
Upon its release in January 1984, Milk And Honey was the first album by any of The Beatles to be issued on compact disc. A remastered version in 2001 also added four bonus tracks, including an interview recorded on the day of Lennon’s death.
Also on this day...
- 2012: Abbey Road to offer studio time to wealthy hotel guests
- 1994: Paul McCartney’s speech at Lennon’s Hall Of Fame induction
- 1967: Recording: A Day In The Life
- 1964: Live: Olympia Theatre, Paris
- 1963: Live: Town Hall Ballroom, Whitchurch, Shropshire
- 1962: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Alexandra Hall, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.