Secretly Canadian is honored to partner with Chimera Music on releasing Yoko Ono’s musical output from 1968 to 1985. Comprised of eleven studio albums, the reissue project’s focus is to painstakingly reconstruct the original vinyl packaging, to thoroughly excavate and appropriately curate the treasure-laden archives of never-before-seen photos and ephemera, and to re-master the audio, all for the purpose of creating the definitive editions of this timeless work. In addition to making the vinyl available for the first time in decades, each album will also be available digitally for the first time ever.
Secretly Canadian and Chimera Music couldn’t be more proud to be a part of re-introducing Yoko Ono’s seminal work.
The first batch to be reissued will be 1968’s Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins, 1969’s Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions, and 1970’s Plastic Ono Band, all out Nov. 11th via Secretly Canadian and Chimera Music, with more to come in 2017.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins
Turns out the very sound of falling in love is just as abstract, subjective and loopy as the concept itself. Yoko Ono and John Lennon are two of history’s greatest lovers, and Two Virgins is the musique concrète fever dream document of the pair falling in love in real time. The album is a curious and amazing suite recorded over one weekend in Spring 1968 at Lennon’s Kenwood home: Distant conversations; comedic role playing and footsteps; laughter, birdcalls and plunking piano lines; silly songs and space; tape delay stretching shrieks, bass rumbles and moans to the moon and back again. It’s two young people attempting to weird one another out, attempting to make one another laugh, falling deeply into one another. John mucks around with delay and loops while Yoko exercises her expressionist vocalizations. The smoke and wine is nearly audible. Secretly Canadian’s reissue also includes “Remember Love,” which did not appear on the original release.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions
If Two Virgins is the ecstatic first kiss shared between two of pop culture’s greatest lovers, then Life with the Lions is the sound of the pair validating their love as something impenetrable and timeless. It’s when we, the listener, begin to fully understand that the scope of their recording efforts was much more than a recording collaboration, and something closer to a performative documentary, a declaration of “Our life and our love is our art — every nitty, gritty part of it.” The collection begins with a more straightforward — at least in terms of explaining what it is — piece of improvised music, edited down from live performance at Cambridge University’s Lady Mitchell Hall in March 1969. The entirety of Side B was recorded in a patient suite at London’s Queen Charlotte Hospital where Ono was admitted with pregnancy complications and ultimately lost a child, John Ono Lennon II. The album cover photo was taken in the suite, with Ono in her hospital bed and Lennon in a sleeping bag made up on the floor next to her, both of them looking exhausted from the process. Secretly Canadian’s reissue also includes Ono’s “Song for John” and “Mulberry,” which did not appear on the original release.
Yoko Ono – Plastic Ono Band
This long-overdue vinyl reissue of Yoko Ono’s seminal, but massively under-appreciated Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band has all the makings of a classic rock nostalgia trip: Ono, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann and free-jazz legend Ornette Coleman. All the pieces are here to stir up a dangerous amount of nostalgia. But once the needle drops, the record achieves something exactly perpendicular to nostalgia. Released in 1970, the album not only influenced the approach of other musicians for decades, it also sounds absolutely modern 45 years out, eternally fresh despite the forward march of time. Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band not only predicted the intersection of the avant-garde and rock that would take place in the second half of that decade, the album would sound right at home at where that intersection is happening today. Secretly Canadian’s reissue also includes four additional songs – “Open Your Box,” “Something More Abstract,” “Why (Extended Version),” and “The South Wind” – that did not appear on the original release.
YOKO ONO Discography to be Re-Issued
Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins (1968) (out 11/11)
Unfinished Music No. 2: Life with the Lions (1969) (out 11/11)
Plastic Ono Band (1970) (out 11/11)
Approximately Infinite Universe (1973)
Feeling the Space (1973)
A Story (recorded in 1974, released as part of Ono Box in 1992)
Season of Glass (1981)
It’s Alright (I See Rainbows) (1982)
Unfinished Music No. 3: Wedding Album (1969)