Wedding Album

 

UK Release Date 7 November 1969
UK Catalogue Number Apple SAPCOR 11
Weeks On UK Chart (to date) Failed to chart
Peak UK Chart Position
Lowest Matrix Numbers SAPCOR 11 A-1 / SAPCOR 11 B-1

 

The third and final release of experimental albums by John and Yoko was released on 7 November 1969 in the UK and 20 October 1969 in the US to commemerate their wedding in Gibraltar on 20 March 1969. It is credited to simply John and Yoko, their surnames do not appear anywhere on the sleeve or record. Like the previous 2 releases it did not chart in the UK but did manage number 178 in the US.

Side 1 of the album is 22 minutes of John and Yoko shouting out each others names in various ways whilst side 2 was recorded during their bed-in at the Amsterdam Hilton and mainly consists of interviews with reporters explaining their peace campaign. There are four “musical” interludes on this side, John singing “Goodbye Amsterdam Goodbye”, Yoko singing “Grow Your Hair”, John singing an a cappela version of “Good Night” from the White Album and them both singing “Bed Peace, Hair Peace”.

The initial release was a lavish affair in a box which contained the following:

The album housed in a laminated gatefold sleeve

A copy of the wedding certificate, stuck to the box lid

A double sided poster containing pictures of the wedding

A smaller fold out poster containing catoons of the wedding by John

A photo of a piece of wedding cake

A white PVC Bagism bag

An LP sized booklet of press cuttings

A bed-in postcard

A strip of passport sized photos

It’s been reported many times but I’ve got to finish off with the story of Richard Williams who was a reviewer for Melody Maker. Promo copies of the album were sent out on two discs, each disc containing one side of the album and one side of an engineer’s test signal. Williams reviewed the album as a double and reported that “”constant listening reveals a curious point: the pitch of the tones alters frequency, but only by microtones or, at most, a semitone. This oscillation produces an almost subliminal, uneven ‘beat’ which maintains interest. On a more basic level, you could have a ball by improvising your very own raga, plainsong, or even Gaelic mouth music against the drone.” Of course John thought this was wildly amusing and sent the following telegram to Williams:

DEAR RICHARD THANK YOU FOR YOUR FANTASTIC REVIEW ON OUR WEDDING ALBUM INCLUDING C-AND-D SIDES STOP WE ARE CONSIDERING IT FOR OUR NEXT RELEASE STOP MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT IN SAYING THAT THEY ARE THE BEST SIDES STOP WE BOTH FEEL THAT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME A CRITIC TOPPED THE ARTIST STOP WE ARE NOT JOKING STOP LOVE AND PEACE STOP JOHN AND YOKO LENNON

Details of my copy are below

Original UK Press

The pictures below are of my original UK box set which is in fabulous condition. The box itself has retained it’s whiteness and apart from a few creases, a couple of small tears and some edge bumps is one of the better ones I’ve seen. The wedding certificate is still glued to the inside lid and is unmarked. The box itself does have the US catalogue number SMAX-3361 on the side but looking around the internet I believe this is on a lot of the UK releases (see comments at the bottom of the page). The album itself, though not play tested, appears to be in excellent condition, just a few very light marks. The labels are perfect and there are only the smallest signs of spindle marks. The catalogue number is SAPCOR 11 and the matrix numbers are  SAPCOR 11 A-1 and SAPCOR 11 B-1. The Mothers/Stampers on side one are 1P and on side two are 1P. The fully laminated sleeve is in very good to excellent condition – there is a very small amount of laminate lift and some wear around the inside opening at both top and bottom. The plain white inner sleeve is in excellent shape. Everything else, as can be seen in the pictures below, is in wonderful condition, maybe the odd very light crease but no writing, staining or tears.

UPDATE, Dec 2016 – I’ve just watched one go on eBay, similar condition as mine with the US box etc, for £338 with 21 bids so I’ve upped the estimated value below.

Estimated Value : £300 – £350

 

4 Comments

  • Luiz Shalders says:

    Sorry my friend, my UK release has a UK box with just “John & Yoko Wedding Album” written on spine.
    Regards.

    • Newspapertaxi says:

      Thanks for your comment Luiz
      I’ve done a bit more digging on this and there’s a school of thought that the album was released in the US over 2 weeks before the UK as the boxes weren’t quite ready in the UK. This gave time for some boxes to be shipped from the US to be used for the UK release. What bears this out is that the wedding certificate pasted into the lid of a US box has “Printed by Delta Press Inc., New York” at the bottom of it whilst the certificate in UK releases has “Printed by Shenval Press, London and Harlow” at the bottom. You’ll see that mine, and a few others I’ve read about, has the UK certificate.
      I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who may know more
      Thanks

  • Mike says:

    great to find your blog site today. i was googling looking fro information about a wedding album i just got and it’s an odd one just like yours, with a US box , with a UK certificate pasted inside lid.

    Mine also has the cover exactly like yours, without inside flaps like most copies i have sen.,

    The card stock is also different to the US original vinyl and cassette box I have, which is interesting. At first I thought someone had swapped a damaged Uk box for a more easily available US box, but glad to know mine, like yours, is a legit variation that is not so well known.

    • Newspapertaxi says:

      Hi Mike
      Thanks for the comment – whilst I’d obviously have prefered a UK box with my set, the school of thought on these US boxes with UK certificates in is that they must have been released before the UK boxes making them the very first box sets issued in the UK.
      Cheers

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