Today saw the release in the UK of Wedding Album, the third installment of John and Yoko’s series of experimental albums. And I can feel my eyes begin to glaze over as I type those words. I’ve paid my dues the in course of writing this blog, but my devotion to duty does not extend to listening to “a 22-minute recording of Lennon and Ono crying, whispering, speaking and screaming each others’ names, at varying volumes and tempos, over the sound of their heartbeats.” (I was going to embed it here, just in case anyone was interested, but the code is not working; and maybe that’s for the best.)

Nor do I especially care to investigate the B-side, which is called “Amsterdam” and consists of  “interviews given by Lennon and Ono, explaining their campaigns for peace, and discussions with each other… interspersed with the sounds of seagulls, industrial noises, traffic, children playing and sitars.” Supposedly John does a short a cappella version of “Good Night” in there somewhere, and that might be worth hearing, but I just can’t do it. Does that make me a bad Beatleologist? Well, so be it; there are only so many hours in the day, only so many days in the life.

But some of the details surrounding Wedding Album are interesting. Says The Beatles Bible:

Unusually for the time, Apple released Wedding Album as a lavish box set. It included a reproduction of the marriage certificate, a 16-page booklet of press cuttings labelled “The Press,” a picture of a slice of wedding cake, a poster of black-and-white photos taken on their wedding day, a “Hair Peace/Bed Peace” postcard, a PVC bag labelled “Bagism,” and a strip of four passport photographs of the happy couple.

And you can only really sit back and marvel at the sheer gall it takes to do something like that. I suppose it’s not impossible to imagine a universe in which people are interested in such a thing, but this is not the one. (It did nonetheless crack the top 200 in the U.S., a testament to the still-powerful pull of anything Beatles-related).

It all seems part of John’s systematic campaign during this period to destroy whatever good will the public might feel toward him for his years of Beatledom. I suppose it’s admirable in some perverse way, as if he wanted to clear away all the detritus of the Sixties in preparation for the new decade. But he wasn’t quite done yet.

Also released today, David Bowie’s second album — again self-titled, showing a remarkable but not surprising lack of imagination on the part of his record company. (It would later be retitled Man of Words, Man of Music, and then re-retitled Space Oddity.) Note to record buyers: Spend your money on this one.

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