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.
(SC290 released: 11/11/16)