Monday, January 5, 2015

The Beatles That Never Were: Part 1

I have often wondered what would've happened had the Beatles not broken up in 1970. Sifting through my records, CDs and MP3s of solo Beatles albums, I thought it might be fun to create imaginary Beatles albums using the best and most "beatlesque" tracks from each members' early solo output. This has been done before and will be done again to varying results, but I thought it would be fun to post the tracklists and imaginary history behind these albums. For this first post, I will focus on the year 1970.

In doing this project, I set a few rules for myself:

1) Imaginary album lengths must be consistent with the era--usually LPs didn't exceed 50 minutes, so I have tried to keep the albums under 47 minutes (approximate length of Abbey Road)

2 I've tried to keep a roughly equal number of Paul and John songs, as was usually standard with Beatles albums. George songs are alotted less space, and Ringo might be lucky to have one song per album.

3. I have imagined the albums as two LP sides. This made it a bit more challenging to come up with good tracklists/running orders, but also more fun.

Suppose that, after the release of the less-than-stellar Let It Be, the Beatles decide to put aside their differences and focus on the music. What results is the album We All Shine On, and here is the tracklist:

Side A

Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
Every Night
If Not For You
Teddy Boy
Working Class Hero
Hot as Sun/Glasses (instrumental)

Side B

Oo You
Well Well Well
Beware Of Darkness
Maybe I'm Amazed

In this alternate timeline, this is the first true Beatles record released in the 1970s (Let It Be having been mostly recorded before Abbey Road). The album receives generally positive reviews, with many critics hailing it as a shorter cousin of the White Album due to the diverse range of songs and the personal and introspective nature of much of the lyrical content.


1 - any Lennon compliation
2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 13 - McCartney (1970)
4, 6, 9, 11 - Plastic Ono Band (1970)
3, 12 - All Things Must Pass (1970)