Unfinished Music No.2 : Life With The Lions CD


Initial UK Release Date 9 June 1997
Initial UK Catalogue Number Rykodisc RCD 10412
Weeks On UK Chart (to date) Failed to chart
Peak UK Chart Position


This follow up to Two Virgins was initially released on 9 May 1969 in the UK and 26 May 1969 in the US and, like Two Virgins, it did not chart in the UK, selling only 5000 copies, whilst in the US it made number 174 selling around 60,000 copies.

Track 1, which was originally the whole of side 1 of the vinyl album, was recorded on 2 March 1969 before a live audience of 500 at Cambridge university and features Yoko wailing and John producing feedback from his guitar. Saxophonist John Tchicai and percussionist John Stevens join them towards the end. The rest of the tracks were recorded between 4 November 1968 and 25 November 1968 during Yoko’s stay at Queen Charlotte Hospital in Hammersmith and are made up of John and Yoko singing snippets of newspaper reports about themselves, a recording of their unborn child, 2 minutes of silence, 12 minutes of a radio being turned on and off though John can be heard making a phone call in the background, a short track with John strumming his guitar and Yoko singing and finally nine minutes of John making random noises on his guitar accompanied by Yoko wailing. The final 2 tracks, Song For John and Mulberry, are bonus tracks on the CD releases and were not on the original album.

The front cover photograph is of the couple in their hospital room whilst the rear is of them outside Marylebone Magistrates Court on 19 October 1968 following their arrest for hashish possession the previous day – something that would cause John problems with the US immigration authorities during the early seventies.

Life With The Lions received it’s initial official release on CD in the UK on 9 June 1997 and on 3 June 1997 in the US and, not surprisingly, failed to chart. It was issued on the Rykodisc label under catalogue number RCD 10412 and each copy had it’s own individual edition number, printed on a card inside the CD, and came in a green tinted case.

There was a further CD release on 11 November 2016. Along with Two Virgins and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, which were re released on the same day, it is the first of eleven Yoko albums to be remastered and released by the Secretly Canadian label. The track listing is the same as the earlier Rykodisc release.

I have both copies on CD as shown below

1997 Rykodisc Copy

The pictures below are of my Rykodisc copy. The card inside the case actually has no edition number printed at the bottom right where it should be (see pic). The case, all inserts and the disc are in excellent condition.

Estimated Value : £10 – £15


2016 Secretly Canadian Copy

The pictures below are my 2016 Secretly Canadian copy. It comes in a gatefold digipak with a sixteen page booklet of pictures and a replica of the original albums inner sleeve. Being brand new everything is in immaculate condition.

Estimated Value : £10



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