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The Beatles Album That Never Was


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#1 of 20 Jon_Are

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Posted January 28 2009 - 06:38 AM

Here’s how to play. Imagine the Beatles had not broken up in 1970, but remained together until Lennon was assassinated in 1980. Here’s the catch; during those ten years, they released only one album. Your job is to choose the songs for that album.

In order to follow a standardized, realistic format, here are the rules:

Choose somewhere around 13-16 songs for the album, each must have appeared on a Beatles solo album during the 70’s.

Pick 5-6 Lennon songs, 5-6 McCartneys, 2-3 Harrisons and, what the heck, throw one in there for Ringo to sing.

The Lennon, McCartney & Harrison songs must have been written by them, the Ringo selection need only to have appeared on one of his solo albums.

Also, consider the playing order in which the songs should appear.

Here is my B.A.T.N.W. (Beatles Album That Never Was):

1.Venus and Mars/Rock Show (McCartney)
2.My Sweet Lord (Harrison)
3.Maybe I’m Amazed (McCartney)
4.Woman (Lennon)
5.#9 Dream (Lennon)
6.Jet (McCartney)
7.Well Well Well (Lennon)
8.Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) (Harrison)
9.Instant Karma (Lennon)
10.Live and Let Die (McCartney)
11.Working Class Hero (Lennon)
12.It Don’t Come Easy (Starr)
13.Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (McCartney)
14.Isolation (Lennon)
15.Isn’t It a Pity (Harrison)
16.Band on the Run (McCartney)

Jon

Edit: Hmm...Looks pretty good. I think I'll burn it to a disc.

#2 of 20 Russell G

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Posted January 28 2009 - 09:33 AM

I'd play if I was aloud to fire Paul McCartney from the band, I'm pretty unfamiliar with his solo stuff. Posted Image

#3 of 20 WillG

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Posted January 28 2009 - 03:58 PM

Not to sully the spirt of the game, but I don't believe this is something that can really be done. The biggest component of the Beatles success was the songwriting team of Lennon/McCartney. I know that most of their songs was primarially written by one of the and the other would make suggestions and/or polish it. But they complimented each other. And of course, Harrison and Starr did the rest. Musically, they were a perfect unit, greater than the sum of their parts. And even when times got bad and one of them would walk out, the rest found that they really couldn't carry on without that member. AFAIC, there are very few solo Lennon or McCartney songs that reach Beatles caliber. To me, Harrison comes the closest, since he was not part of a songwriting "team" and a lot of his solo work was based on ideas he had while with the Beatles, but couldn't get on the album.

The closest you're likely to get to a Beatles album that "never was" are the songs that appeared on the Anthology albums that were never released prior.
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#4 of 20 Jon_Are

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Posted January 29 2009 - 01:24 AM

Well, Well, Well, Will...

The "Lennon/McCartney" songs, particularly toward the end of the Beatles existence, were almost entirely Lennon songs or McCartney songs; there was very little input, at least from what I've read, from the non-songwriter (perhaps a line of lyric or a suggestion of a slightly different intro, if that).

I do understand your point, though, especially with regard to George's songs.

But my intent was to generate a fun discussion, not debate how "true" it would be. Because honestly, I doubt the 'solo' songs would have been much different from what was released had the other guy (John/Paul) been part of the process.

Jon

#5 of 20 WillG

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Posted January 29 2009 - 02:51 AM

Quote:
The "Lennon/McCartney" songs, particularly toward the end of the Beatles existence, were almost entirely Lennon songs or McCartney songs; there was very little input, at least from what I've read, from the non-songwriter (perhaps a line of lyric or a suggestion of a slightly different intro, if that).

This is true, but there was still the group dynamic at play, even when things were at there worst with the "Let it Be" sessions. Paul wrote "Two of Us" which had a great John and Paul vocal harmony. For "Get Back" it was George who brought in Billy Preston who contributed with his keyboards. So even if, by then, the song writing itself was not a true collaborative process anymore the way the Beatles played together made up for that. And even so, the "Let It Be" albums is sort of the odd man out in the Beatles Discography because it was weakend by all the turmoil in the band at that time. The next album they made, Abbey Road, turned out alot better because they knew it was going to be the last album they were going to make and tensions settled down and made the process much more positive.
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#6 of 20 Jon_Are

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Posted January 29 2009 - 03:09 AM

I think we agree more than disagree.

"Let It Be" is viewed as such a failure. Funny thing is, I like it a lot (particularly the Naked version). I'd love for the film to be released on DVD.

On a side note, have you read the new Lennon biography?

Jon

#7 of 20 WillG

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Posted January 29 2009 - 05:01 AM

Quote:
Let It Be" is viewed as such a failure. Funny thing is, I like it a lot (particularly the Naked version).

I feel that the album is more of a failure in a figurative sense. I can't imagine how anyone could think it's a failure musically. That album alone gave some of the most beloved Beatles songs out there, "Get Back" "The Long and Winding Road" "Across the Universe" and of course the title track to name a few. It's true that the album might not have had the cohesive feel of the past albums and that there's some unnecessary filler, at the end of the day, all that really matters is the strength of the material, which "Let if Be" has plenty of. However, that album was made during the worst period of band relations, so it's understandable why some are not overly fond of it

Quote:
On a side note, have you read the new Lennon biography?

No, I don't really plan to as well. Truth be told, I never really cared much for Lennon (and that's putting it politely). Oh, the music is great, but I pretty much despise his character. I'm just finishing up the Bob Spitz book now and was really disgusted at many of Lennon's shenanagans. Yoko is often blamed for the Beatles breakup (and the book doesn't paint her in a very positive light) but I've changed my mind to think it really was John who was mostly to blame. He was the one who broke the cardnial rule of "No Outsiders in the studio" and brought in Yoko and refused to ever reign her in. The other half of the time, he was a drugged up zombie. Because he was tragically murdered, his legacy has been romaticized as the genius of the Beatles, I personally think it was Paul. In reality, John was often jealous and insecure when came to Paul. Paul is not without his faults either, his character was not always squeaky clean either and he was known to be very controlling and dictative during Let it Be (which was the cause of Harrison walking out for a few days) However, I do think Paul's position was a bit more forgivable since he was the only one really making the effort to keep the Beatles together after "The White Album"
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#8 of 20 thehank

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Posted February 01 2009 - 01:40 AM

Love the Beatles and I could drag this on for days, but I won't. Posted Image If you really analyze the Beatles for any length of time, they became Paul's band right after Revolver came out. It was Paul's idea for Sgt. Pepper and if you listen hard, it's really Paul's album from beginning to end. With a smattering of John and George thrown in as well.

That's not to say John's contribution's weren't great, because they certainly were. But by this time, he was already starting to get involved with Yoko and his relationship with Cynthia was over for all practical purposes. John's personal morals at the time were nonexistent, and was hardly the type of person who was a good role model. His relationship with Julian was horrible as well. Nonetheless, as a songwriter/musician, he was as good as McCartney, when he wanted to be. After the Beatles broke up, most of his solo material was mediocre, at best, while McCartney's was better, overall (at least from a commercial standpoint).

If John hadn't been murdered, I still don't believe they would have got back together because John still had bitterness towards Paul when he died. Perhaps later in the 80s or 90s, Lennon might have been warm to the idea, but I kinda doubt it.

And even if they had gotten back together, what would they have played? If you listen to the hours and hours of bootlegs of their "Let It Be" and "Abbey Road" sessions, they can't even play their old Beatles tunes without sounding like a horrible garage band. I'd prefer to remember them playing on the rooftop, Jan 30, 1969, flaws and all, as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of our time.

#9 of 20 WillG

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Posted February 01 2009 - 11:11 AM

Quote:
I still don't believe they would have got back together because John still had bitterness towards Paul when he died

I don't know about that so much. In the "Imagine: John Lennon" film there was an interview with him some year after the Beatles where he claimed that "the wounds had healed" and he seemed optimistic about the idea of the Beatles possibly reuniting at some point. Of course, by then he probably had mellowed out a bit. Back in the late Sixties, his constant drug use and Yoko's Svengali like hold over him was a huge problem. The thing was is that it was Paul (who wasn't perfect, but at least he was trying) that everyone was pissed at, when it seems to me that it was John who was virtually impossible to reign in.
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#10 of 20 paul_austin

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Posted February 01 2009 - 11:56 AM

I honestly think without Yoko's influence a reunion would have happened, supposedly John had talked alot about getting with the others when he was with May Pang (which of course was another game instigated by Yoko). We know Paul tried alot to keep the lines open. For me though the real kick in the ass was when Lourne Michaels came on SNL and did the skit about offering the Beatles money to appear John and PAul were actually watching it and only the idea of New York traffic diswayed them from showing up...lol. Holy crap imagine that
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#11 of 20 Jon_Are

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Posted February 04 2009 - 04:02 AM

I really doubt that a reunion would have ever happened. Sure, bad feelings wane over time, but John & Paul's relationship deteriorated so much that, from all accounts I've read, it was irreparable. Even the above-mentioned incident when they got together and watched SNL was extremely awkward as neither had much to say to each other. And I doubt that they needed the money a reunion would provide.

Every once in a while it occurs to me that there are only two Beatles still alive, and it blows my mind.

Jon

#12 of 20 Peter Neski

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Posted February 04 2009 - 05:38 AM

how can you leave out "Imagine"?? maybe you forgot,I would have done
in order ,and wouldn't have lelf out" Everynight" and "Too Many People"

#13 of 20 paul_austin

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Posted February 04 2009 - 07:12 AM

it was tense yes....but Yoko was still around. Johns relationship with Paul was a threat to Yoko, it meant she didnt have as much control over him. Had Yoko and John split up we might have that Beatles reunion (which could have never lived up to anyones expectations)
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#14 of 20 Sam Favate

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Posted February 05 2009 - 04:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by thehank
That's not to say John's contribution's weren't great, because they certainly were. But by this time, he was already starting to get involved with Yoko and his relationship with Cynthia was over for all practical purposes. John's personal morals at the time were nonexistent, and was hardly the type of person who was a good role model. His relationship with Julian was horrible as well. Nonetheless, as a songwriter/musician, he was as good as McCartney, when he wanted to be. After the Beatles broke up, most of his solo material was mediocre, at best, while McCartney's was better, overall (at least from a commercial standpoint).

Nonexistent personal morals? Come on. How can you possibly know that? At the time you are referencing, Lennon wrote Revolution, Give Peace a Chance, and many more that spoke volumes about his "personal morals." Just because you may not have approved of his lifestyle choices hardly means his morals were "nonexistent." And since when did rock and roll singers have to be good role models?

Lennon was brutally honest with the public about his life. One listen to Plastic Ono Band and you'll hear that.

Solo material was mediocre? Listen again to Plastic Ono, Imagine or Double Fantasy. Pick up Shaved Fish while you are at it. I'm not going to slam McCartney's output (because I think it was good too) but I will hold up Instant Karma to anything Paul, George or Ringo did.

Too bad; this could have been a fun, speculative topic.

I liked Jon's track list for a record. I've had a playlist for years I call "Beyond the Beatles" which alternates songs by all four and plays as if they made records into the 70s. (1973's "Ringo" is the closest you'll come to a collaboration; all four are on the record in some fashion.)

#15 of 20 Jon_Are

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Posted February 05 2009 - 05:50 AM

Quote:
how can you leave out "Imagine"?? maybe you forgot


Nope, I didn't forget. 'Imagine', to me, was always overrated; in fact, I'd place the entire Plastic Ono Band album above it. 'Imagine' is a simplistic, trite piece that sounds as if it took maybe a half hour to write. Cripes, he even rhymed 'one' with 'one'.

"Was it a millionaire who said, 'Imagine no possessions'?"
-Elvis Costello, 'The Other Side of Summer'


Jon

#16 of 20 paul_austin

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Posted February 05 2009 - 07:20 AM

it's funny to me that the "Imagine" album gets all the praise when to me "Plastic Ono" has always been superior. In fact Plastic Ono is the best solo John album. Folowed by Imagine and then double fantasy which is half great.
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#17 of 20 WillG

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Posted February 05 2009 - 09:24 AM

Quote:
Nonexistent personal morals? Come on. How can you possibly know that? At the time you are referencing, Lennon wrote Revolution, Give Peace a Chance, and many more that spoke volumes about his "personal morals."

Lennon and Ono were also known to be huge publicity whores. He might have wrote and even believed in the "Peace and Love" thing but alot of those stunts (bed ins, billboards etc.) were largely done with media attraction in mind.

Quote:
Just because you may not have approved of his lifestyle choices hardly means his morals were "nonexistent."

It's more that just lifestyle, the book I finished reading makes it pretty clear he was pretty self absorbed without much regard for anyone else, especially Cynthia and Julian, whom he constantly cheated on and pretty much ignored respectively. Who was rendered a virtual zombie though half of the 60s by LSD and Heroin. Who seemed to take joy in cutting people down for his own amusement, etc. Just because he wrote some good "Peace and Love" songs does not make him a upstanding character. I understand the guy had some demons and some childhood tradgedy, but he seems to me the kind of person who I would really detest if I had to spend much time with him.

It's kind of ironic how people will defend Lennon tooth and nail when he gave numerous examples of not being such a great guy, but people are ripping Christian Bale to shreds because of a single outburst caught on tape.

And I'm really not trying to trash Lennon. He was a great musical talent, but to me was lacking in character. It is very sad that he was killed just around the time he was embracing family life and being a father.
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#18 of 20 Jon_Are

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Posted February 05 2009 - 12:22 PM

Quote:
Lennon and Ono were also known to be huge publicity whores. He might have wrote and even believed in the "Peace and Love" thing but alot of those stunts (bed ins, billboards etc.) were largely done with media attraction in mind.

Of course they were.

But did he seek this attention because he was a 'publicity whore'? Or because this was his most effective strategy for spreading his genuine and well-intentioned message?

None of us can know the answer.

Jon

#19 of 20 Sam Favate

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Posted February 06 2009 - 12:39 AM

Not many "publicity whores" undertake an advertising campaign for peace. Lennon always said if he had to have celebrity status, he wanted to use it to promote things he cared about, like peace. He could have used it to promote himself and his records, and he did to a degree - but not to the degree he could have. (Paul sold more solo records than John in the 70s, for example.) He got married and knew there would be a lot of press coverage - reporters following him around - so he staged a bed-in and talked about peace.

I have to respect that kind of celebrity more than those - and there are plenty in rock and roll - who just become conspicuous consumers and hedonists.

There are lots of books on Lennon and the Beatles. All I will say is: Some are better than others.

#20 of 20 Blimpboy

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Posted February 06 2009 - 01:04 PM

There are two CD's from Japan that take all of the singles from 70-76 and put them out as two albums. After the Beatles vol.1 and 2. Same idea.


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