Solotude

Back in November, I posted about Imaginary Beatles Albums, playing the popular game of wondering what albums they’d have put out if they’d settled their differences and carried on.

I’ve added a one more imaginary playlist since then, a post-1974 playlist featuring releases up to 1980 and beyond. But as with all of them, it’s only all right.

But what if, wondered I, what if they had, in fact, split up after the white album? What would the first Beatles solo records have looked like? As it turns out, post-1968 Beatles solo records are very good indeed, much better than post-1969 imaginary Beatles releases.

First of all, with apologies, I haven’t bothered with Ringo, because the truth is that his first solo record would probably be more or less the same.

Second, some idle speculation. I’m assuming that a similar selection of songs is knocking around. I’m also assuming that with no Twickenham Studios debacle, no Klein, no disputes, and no stitch-ups, the relations between the band members would have remained cordial (perhaps after a short break). Which means they might all have occasionally guested on each others records. That said, I’m still allowing for the composition of some of the “needle” songs.

Let’s start with George. Unsurprisingly, his is a strong set.

  1. Something
  2. I Me Mine
  3. Wah-Wah
  4. My Sweet Lord
  5. What is Life
  6. Here Comes the Sun
  7. If Not For You
  8. For You Blue
  9. Old Brown Shoe
  10. I Live For You
  11. Isn’t it a Pity

Macca is more problematic. I really want to include a lot of the Abbey Road stuff because, objectively, The Long One is one of his greatest achievements. Of course, it doesn’t quite hang together without John’s contributions. But let’s assume it would be recorded like this, and would hold together. Somehow.

  1. Get Back
  2. Teddy Boy
  3. Maxwell’s Silver Hammer*
  4. Every Night
  5. Oh! Darling
  6. The Long and Winding Road†
  7. Junk
  8. Maybe I’m Amazed
  9. Let it Be
  10. You Never Give Me Your Money
  11. She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
  12. Golden Slumbers
  13. Carry that Weight
  14. The End
  15. Her Majesty

*Well. As previously noted, a lot of people dislike this one, but I don’t, and see it as an example of Paul’s gift for the vernacular.

† I’m assuming the Naked version

John Lennon was, in 1969, already the most solo Beatle. I haven’t included “Cold Turkey”, however, because I’ve always hated it. Also “Give Peace a Chance” is a bit rubbish so I don’t want it clogging up my iTunes. I was aiming for no more than 45 minutes, and unlike Macca, Lennon can’t manage that with more than 10 songs.

  1. Instant Karma!
  2. Come Together
  3. Mother
  4. Across the Universe
  5. I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  6. The Ballad of John and Yoko
  7. Remember
  8. Dig a Pony
  9. Working Class Hero
  10. God