Unfinished Music No.1: Two Virgins

 

UK Release Date 29 November 1968
UK Catalogue Number Apple SAPCOR 2
Weeks On UK Chart (to date) Failed to chart
Peak UK Chart Position
Lowest Matrix Numbers SAPCOR 2A-1 / SAPCOR 2B-1

 

Recorded over one night on 19 May 1968 and released in the UK on 29 November 1968 (11 November 1968 in the US) this album is made up of tape loops of various sound effects and instruments plus snippets of conversation between John and Yoko.

The big talking point, of course, was the cover, the pictures for which John took himself with a time delay camera. Because of the nature of the cover the only way it got to be distributed was by being placed in a brown paper bag and, even then, there were problems with printers refusing to print it, record shops refusing to stock it and the press refusing to accept adverts for it.

The nature of the album and the furore surrounding the cover lead to it not charting in the UK with only 5000 copies being pressed, though it did make number 124 in the US with sales of 25,000. Of the 5000 UK copies, a couple of hundred were pressed in mono, catalogue number APCOR 2, and were only available through mail order making them incredibly rare.

Details of the 4 copies I own are below

 

Original UK Stereo Press

The pictures below are of my original UK stereo press which is in close to mint condition. The catalogue number is Apple Sapcor 2/Track 613012 and the matrix numbers are SAPCOR 2A -1 and SAPCOR 2B -1. The Mothers/Stampers on side one are 1/T and on side two are 1/G P. The record is in practically perfect condition – pristine vinyl on both sides, with impeccable audio reproduction throughout. The labels are perfect and there are no signs of spindle marks whatsoever. The fully laminated sleeve is also in near perfect condition, the only slight blemishes being a very light record imprint on the front cover only, a  superficial crease to front cover (3 inches; at bottom right) and some minor laminate lift along the spine on front and back cover. It also has it’s original matt black inner which again is in excellent condition.

Estimated Value : £200 – £250

 

Unofficial 2011 Release (?)

I believe the copy below is an unofficial release from 2011 which, according to Discogs, is a “one-to-one replica (record and cover) of the original UK release”. The details on the label replicate the initial UK release whilst the matrix numbers are 613012 A and 613012 B. The cover is unlaminated and replicates the rare initial UK mono release where the writing is on the front and not the rear like the stereo release. It even has the matt black inner.

The record appears to be in very good to excellent condtion – no scratches but some very light scuffing – though I’ve not played it, whilst the cover is also excellent, just a little ringwear and some light reddish marks on the front. The black inner is also in very good shape.

Estimated Value : £15 – £20

 

2016 US Remastered Press

Released on 11 November 2016 this, along with Life With The Lions and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, is the first of eleven Yoko albums to be remastered and released by the Secretly Canadian label. It comes with a replica of the original cover, including the outer brown paper bag, a poster, an eight page booklet and a digital download card. The record is housed in a clear plastic inner. The record label, instead of showing an apple, shows a full grapefruit one side and sliced grapefruit on the other. My copy has SC289LP/CHIM34-A, 22378.1(2) and RKS STERLING etched on side one and SC289LP/CHIM34-B, 22378.2(2) and RKS STERLING etched on side two. The unplayed record and all packaging are in mint condition.

Estimated Value : £15 – £20

US Release (Bootleg)

I bought this copy from a record fair in the early 80’s for £5/10, not as an investment but as I was curious as to what is was all about! Silly me!

Though I’ve not played it since I bought it, and hence can’t remember how it played, the record appears to be in excellent condition – just some very light scuffing and the odd ultra light mark. It has the T-5001 catalogue number and matrix numbers T-5001-1 12796 on side one and T-5001-2 12796 X on side two. The cover is also in excellent condition – it has retained it’s whiteness incredibly well though does have some very light ringwear and a small crease at the top front. It also has it’s brown paper bag outer which can only be described as fair to good – whilst it has no writing on it, it is coming away on both sides and is really only head together by about 2 inches at the bottom. It comes with a plain white inner sleeve.

Surprisingly these versions, even though they are obviously unofficial, sell quite well on eBay!

Estimated Value : £20 – £30

 

 

 

 

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