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Author Topic: The Beatles As Solo Artists  (Read 130 times)

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Kangaroo Kev

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The Beatles As Solo Artists
« on: October 14, 2014, 11:07:24 PM »

In your honest opinion, and looking at all the solo albums made,  how do they stack up against recognised singer/sonwriters

Im talking people like Neil Young Bob Dylan Cat Stevens or your particular favourite
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Moogmodule

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Re: The Beatles As Solo Artists
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2014, 12:45:30 AM »

An interesting question Kev. While it comes down to opinion, I actually tried recently to evaluate this somewhat objectively one rainy weekend when I had too much time on my hands.

My premise was, if the Beatles had never existed, and all we had was the solo careers of the main three, how would they be viewed today compared to other artists of the era.

I started by looking at single chart success in the US from 70 to 79. Looking at Number 1s, Top 10s, top 40 etc it showed that Paul was up there with Elton John and Stevie Wonder as a successful solo artist in that era. John and George had similar success to artists such as Paul Simon, James Taylor, Cat Stevens and Eric Clapton.

Below them in terms of single chart success were other  artists such a Don McLean and Carly Simon

So looking from that angle, John and George would have been significant artists of the era and still be remembered today as such. Paul would be considered a superstar.

I haven't looked at album success yet.  That analysis awaits another rainy day. As an indication though, George I think went US top 10 with all his solo albums until Thirty Three and a Third (which got to No 11) in 1976. And returned to the top ten with George Harrison in 78. Pretty decent success by any definition. 

This of course has nothing to do with critical acclaim. But in terms of how we might remember them today based on their 70s careers it's a bit of a pointer.
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: The Beatles As Solo Artists
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2014, 01:37:56 AM »

But the impossible to answer question is

Would they have had that success if they had not been Beatles ?

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Hello Goodbye

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Re: The Beatles As Solo Artists
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2014, 02:23:23 AM »

But the impossible to answer question is

Would they have had that success if they had not been Beatles ?

When, Kev?  In the 1960s or the 1970s?

I think Paul might have had some success as a solo artist in the early 1960s.  John too, to a slightly lesser extent.  He would have surpassed Paul in the late 60s when psychedelia was the rage.

In the 1970s, Paul would have made it easily.  Just the way he did it with Wings.

But it didn't happen that way at all.  We'll never know.
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: The Beatles As Solo Artists
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2014, 02:32:33 AM »

When, Kev?  In the 1960s or the 1970s?

I think Paul might have had some success as a solo artist in the early 1960s.  John too, to a slightly lesser extent.  He would have surpassed Paul in the late 60s when psychedelia was the rage.

In the 1970s, Paul would have made it easily.  Just the way he did it with Wings.

But it didn't happen that way at all.  We'll never know.

No Baz Im talking about the solo albums they made after The Beatles

How do they compare to other singer/songwriters of the day
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Re: The Beatles As Solo Artists
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2014, 02:54:09 AM »

I see, Kev.  Paul would have been most successful as a solo artist even if he didn't have a Beatle past.  He knew how to appeal to whatever audience he wanted to.  And he appealed to teenyboppers the best.  As he aged, he could still be successful rolling out his oldies and come up with some love songs aimed specifically at his contemporaries.

I think he proved it well in his long solo recording and touring career.  An amazing and talented artist for sure!
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Moogmodule

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Re: The Beatles As Solo Artists
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2014, 04:24:48 AM »

But the impossible to answer question is

Would they have had that success if they had not been Beatles ?

Since it's impossible to answer I didn't try to answer that  ;)

I certainly find the best of the three's solo material up there with the other singer songwriters of the day. As patchy as his albums were I'm more than happy to do a playlist of George solo material as I am of Dylan or other artists. 

The big issue with the Beatles as solo artists is that it didn't compare with their Beatle output. Even george who was clearly ascending as the Beatles finished could never top Something and Here Comes the Sun.



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