You Remember THESE GUYS?
I am a lifelong fan of The Beatles. Recently I had a BRILLIANT IDEA – why don’t I resurrect The Beatles by determining exactly which “solo” songs WOULD HAVE made the next Beatles album after “Abbey Road!” It would be as if they NEVER BROKE UP!
Keep On Walking!
Yep, there were only a few words to describe my brainstorm –
In fact, it was SO brilliant that it had been done many, many, MANY times before! And frankly, I’d rather let the experts do all of the work – take the hundreds of post-Beatles music and look at what could have been!!
OK, as a “Beatlemaniac”, I love every single thing they ever produced – yes, even “Octopus’s Garden”! As brilliant as every Beatles album is, even after their acrimonious split in 1970, each artist pursued solo music, creating some of the greatest songs of the 70’s and beyond!
So What IF They Kept Making Music Together?
And now a GREAT new book imagines the world of a Beatles who NEVER broke up!
“Still The Greatest – The Essential Songs Of The Beatles’ Solo Careers” by Andrew Grant Jackson
Kudos for this superb book, which imagines ALL of the post-Beatles work as potential Beatles work, and how those albums would have sounded, using all of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s solo work.
Twelve albums total – with one a double album, the year they would have been released, what was on them AND WHY. A brilliant effort! Let’s go!
In this creative history of the solo careers of John, Paul, George, and Ringo, Jackson re-imagines the artists’ individual output into “fantasy albums” that could have been put out had the Fab Four remained an intact group—“The Beatles Albums That Should Have Been”.
Nearly 200 songs have been cherry-picked, with extensive information offered, such as musicians, chart history, story behind the creation of the song, and the meaning of the lyrics. The chummy tone and the sheer subjectiveness make this unsuitable as a reference work but loads of fun for Beatles fans.
Here is the official video of John singing what would have been, without a doubt, the first single off of the imagined Beatles album from 1970 called: “Year One”
Instant Karma’s gonna get you,
Gonna knock you right on the head,
You better get yourself together,
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead,
What in the world you thinking of,
Laughing in the face of love,
What on earth you tryin’ to do,
It’s up to you, yeah you.
“Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)” is a song written by John Lennon, released as a single in 1970 on Apple Records. It is the third solo single issued by Lennon, and it peaked at #3 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 singles charts in the US, #2 on Canada’s Singles Chart and #5 on the UK Singles Chart. The song’s first appearance on album was the 1975 compilation Shaved Fish. In the US, the song peaked at #3 as The Beatles’ single “Let It Be” was rising to #1. While both songs competed for position in the Top 3, the Beatles officially announced their dissolution.
And here was your second single: the gorgeous ballad from Paul off of his McCartney solo album, and here is a recent live version, just as timeless as ever:
Every night I just wanna go out, get out of my head
Every day I don’t want to get up, get out of my bed
Every night I want to play out
And every day I want to do ooh ooh oh oh
But tonight I just want to stay in
And be with you,
And be with you.
14 Tracks To An Album!
I really love this book. It takes a very historically accurate look at the music of The Beatles.
Just like every Beatles album released in England in the 1960’s, the book allots 14 tracks for each release: and divvies them up as The Beatles did as a group – a certain number of songs from John and Paul, a few from George, and the single Ringo track. It is fascinating to see what great songs were left off his list! Back to the album!
This great song would also be on the album. According to Peter Brown in his book “The Love You Make”, the song was written in a “creative outburst” following Lennon and Ono going “cold turkey” from their brief heroin addictions. Brown also states that Lennon presented the song to Paul McCartney as a potential single by The Beatles, but was refused and released it as a Plastic Ono Band single with sole writing credits to him.
Not in the book, but a fascinating story about “Mary Jane!”
“What’s the New Mary Jane” is a song written by John Lennon (but credited to Lennon–McCartney) and performed by The Beatles. It was recorded in 1968 for the album The Beatles (“The White Album”), but was not used.
After the release of The White Album, Lennon was still adamant to see the song released. So on November 26, 1969, he and wife Yoko Ono recorded further overdubs with plans for it to be issued as a single by Plastic Ono Band alongside another unreleased song at the time, “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)”, which was eventually issued as the B-side of the Beatles’ “Let It Be” single in 1970. But when the other Beatles heard of John’s plans to release a Beatle track under his own band’s name the single was pulled.
Maybe I’m Amazed
Without a doubt, the masterpiece on this album would have been McCartney’s…this is, without a doubt, one of his greatest songs ever…
McCartney wrote the song in 1969, just before The Beatles’ break-up. He credited his wife Linda with helping him get through the difficult time. Although most of his debut solo album was recorded at his farm in Scotland, McCartney recorded “Maybe I’m Amazed” entirely in EMI’s Number Two studio in Abbey Road in London, where he was mixing “Every Night”. He played all the instruments: guitars, piano, organ and drums.
And there was more to this brilliant release than just John and Paul.
“My Sweet Lord” is probably George’s first real masterpiece, released in November 1970 on his multi-platinum triple album “All Things Must Pass”. “My Sweet Lord” topped charts worldwide and was the biggest-selling single of 1971 in Britain. The song was originally given to fellow Apple Records artist Billy Preston to record and was released on Preston’s Encouraging Words album, two months before Harrison’s version appeared.
Here is a beautiful live version:
There are many more songs for that next Beatles album, and a dozen more after that…get the book to see them all!
Of course everyone will have an opinion, and so do I: here is a song that isn’t included in the book, but a song I think MIGHT have been saved for The Beatles – because Paul’s commercial instincts might have been fueled by hearing John’s great work:
Come And Get It
This was a hit for the group Badfinger, who recorded on The Beatles’ apple label. Paul actually wrote the song:
If you want it, here it is
Come and get it m-m-m!
Make your mind up fast
If you want it anytime I can give it
But you better hurry ’cause it may not last
McCartney recorded a solo demo of the song on July 24, 1969, when he arrived early for an Abbey Road session. He sang the double-tracked lead vocal and played all the instruments: he sang and played piano on the first take, sang again and played maracas on the first overdub, drums came third and bass guitar was added last. It took less than an hour to finish. It was officially released in 1996 on The Beatles Anthology 3 and issued under The Beatles’ name, even though McCartney was the only Beatle performing on the record.
So there you have it, a partial look at what The Beatles MIGHT have done – thanks to a great new book, and of course, brilliant solo work!
Here are two other posts about the Beatles you might be interested in:
The story of Macca’s masterpiece “RAM”, and his cat fight with John:
You Never Give Ne Your Money!
And then there is this: a look at the terrific book about the band’s legal struggles after they broke up:
Todd Rundgren’s John Lennon Catfight!
And finally, here is the story of John’s feud with Todd Rundgren, and how Mark David Chapman stalked both of them:
And what about these crazy movies that used Beatles music! Click for the worst choice ever made by the Fab Four!
Yes, click that story to see The Bee Gees and GEORGE BURNS dancing to “Sgt. Peppers” – you’ve been warned!!!
Thanks to Andrew Grant Jackson for a great book about the Beatles, and to the Fab Four for creating timeless music!