John Lennon/Yoko Ono - Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions LP


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Label: Secretly Canadian

Our Review:

The most radical of provocative sound/art statements from John Lennon and Yoko Ono wouldn't arrive until the release of Unfinished Music Vol. 2: Life With The Lions. Opening side one is the sidelong "Cambridge 1969," a barrage of feed-backing guitar squalls and Ono's primal scream vocalizations that towers with a majestic enduring intensity on the same par as Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music. Ono hadn't quite explored the long-form scream performance on tape before and "Cambridge 1969" set the stage for later works with The Plastic Ono Band.

The second side is even stranger if somewhat less intense. "No Bed For Beatle John" is a spoke-sung lullaby intoned by Yoko in a dadaist sound poetry vein describing Lennon's day to day activities as reported by the media, followed by field recordings of baby's heartbeats when Yoko was pregnant with Sean Lennon, an extended silent piece, and finally "Radio Play," a sound piece likely made with what sounds like a guitar cable being pushed in and out of a loud amp, or a radio dial oscillating between fields of static. Perhaps not so much a musical statement, as a concrete document of the resultant process of an undefined mutual engagement inspired by John Cage, Guy De Bord, and Fluxus aesthetics, the Unfinished Music series still remain as heartily curious documents of the uprooting of standard conventions of just about any kind.