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Author Topic: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?  (Read 750 times)

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Casbah

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What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« on: October 12, 2014, 11:55:43 PM »

George Harrison was once asked what kind of music would the Beatles have created if they stayed together and his answer was the songs that they are all writing now individually.  While I think that's partly true there's obviously songs that would have been rejected. What songs would've fit the Beatles mold?

I'll give it a kickstart.

Whatever Gets You Through The Night - John Lennon. Great Lennon/McCartney double vocal, a perfect Ringo styled drum beat, Paul could have his way with that bass line and you could have John on piano and George on guitar or both play guitar and add a keyboard player. Keep the sax solo. Beatles would be using other musicians at this stage I believe.

RockShow - McCartney. Awesome showpiece for Beatles harmonies and a great rocker that John would enjoy playing. Harrison playing the slide parts would be fun to watch, lots of room for drum fills for Ringo. I realize the Beatles tend to be a lot cooler as collaborators than to write something as grandiose as RockShow which is an obvious attempt to create a rock anthem, but in latter day Beatles, I could see it working.

All Things Must Pass - Harrison. Sorry, I took the easy road here :)

It Don't Come Easy - Ringo. Eh, It's better than Don't Pass Me By!

Choices?
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Moogmodule

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 10:05:54 AM »

George Harrison was once asked what kind of music would the Beatles have created if they stayed together and his answer was the songs that they are all writing now individually.  While I think that's partly true there's obviously songs that would have been rejected. What songs would've fit the Beatles mold?

I'll give it a kickstart.

Whatever Gets You Through The Night - John Lennon. Great Lennon/McCartney double vocal, a perfect Ringo styled drum beat, Paul could have his way with that bass line and you could have John on piano and George on guitar or both play guitar and add a keyboard player. Keep the sax solo. Beatles would be using other musicians at this stage I believe.

RockShow - McCartney. Awesome showpiece for Beatles harmonies and a great rocker that John would enjoy playing. Harrison playing the slide parts would be fun to watch, lots of room for drum fills for Ringo. I realize the Beatles tend to be a lot cooler as collaborators than to write something as grandiose as RockShow which is an obvious attempt to create a rock anthem, but in latter day Beatles, I could see it working.

All Things Must Pass - Harrison. Sorry, I took the easy road here :)

It Don't Come Easy - Ringo. Eh, It's better than Don't Pass Me By!

Choices?

I tend to think all the Beatles solo stuff would have been improved by having the Beatles do it. Well. Most if not all. They had such good chemistry and worked do well together most of the time. Replacing them with technically superior session musos didn't always make for a better result IMO.

Don't Let Me Wait Too Long by George would have been nice to have done by the Beatles. It's a bit bland in the solo version but is a nice breezy poppy tune needing a bit more oomph.

Watching the Wheels by John would have sounded great harmonising with Paul

I'm less familiar with Ringo's oeuvre. Photograph would be an obvious one given it was half the Beatles anyway.

For Paul, Back Seat of My Car seems like a good potential Beatle track. Among many others.
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Kevin

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 05:35:53 PM »

I tend to think all the Beatles solo stuff would have been improved by having the Beatles do it. Well. Most if not all. They had such good chemistry and worked do well together most of the time. Replacing them with technically superior session musos didn't always make for a better result IMO.

Don't Let Me Wait Too Long by George would have been nice to have done by the Beatles. It's a bit bland in the solo version but is a nice breezy poppy tune needing a bit more oomph.

Watching the Wheels by John would have sounded great harmonising with Paul

I'm less familiar with Ringo's oeuvre. Photograph would be an obvious one given it was half the Beatles anyway.

For Paul, Back Seat of My Car seems like a good potential Beatle track. Among many others.

I agree. Take the best contempory solo songs, give them to JPG&R and hey ho you've got a perfectly good Beatles album.
Always maintained that it was the variety on offer on a Beatles album that made them so special, once you got sick of one you had another to take you along.
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tkitna

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 11:42:38 PM »

Lets see, one from each.

Paul - Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

John - Nobody Told Me

George - When We Was Fab

Ringo - Weight Of The World

nimrod

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2014, 12:16:29 AM »

All of them
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Mr Mustard

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2014, 12:31:39 AM »

Yeah there must be loads of numbers from each Beatle that could've been vamped up with a dose of additional fabs....

One that always springs to mind is "With A Little Luck" - those backing harmonies were tailor-made for John & George! "Band On The Run" is another which lends itself superbly to the prospect of Lennon, Harrison & Starr joining in.

And I'm sure Ringo would've relished getting to grips with the drumming on "Instant Karma!"

How about "What Is Life"? Terrific as it is, but with the other three on board: dynamite!!

Etc....etc.....etc.....
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2014, 03:11:25 AM »

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NotTheWalrus

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2015, 11:36:35 PM »

I'll go for three each.

Paul - Beware my Love, Letting Go, Figure of Eight
John - Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out), Goodnight Vienna (sung by Ringo), I'm Losing You
George - Cloud 9, Give Me Love, Dark Horse
Ringo - Oo wee, Wings (Ringo the 4th version), Oh My My
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KEROUAC

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2015, 11:29:02 AM »

I always thought Maybe I'm Amazed was almost indistinguishable from the Beatles sound.

I'd also add Love,  Oh My Love, Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, All Things Must Pass, Isn't it a Pity, You're Sixteen?
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blmeanie

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2015, 12:10:10 PM »

Instant karma would be cool with chorus harmonizing Beatles. 
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Dcazz

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2015, 12:33:36 PM »

Always thought Maybe I'm Amazed /Instant Karma would have been a smash double A side!
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2015, 04:25:15 PM »

All I'd ask is for the production values of the 50s and 60s.

'With A Little Luck', if written in 1968, would have made a great Beatles song, but in 1978 it just sounded over-produced and far too slick, and it would have sounded over-produced regardless of whether Wings or The Beatles had done it in 1978.
The 'All Things Must Pass' album had awful production, and that was only 1970!

The Beatles split up at just the right time......before the production values of the 1970s could ruin their songs.
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Kevin

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2015, 09:49:13 PM »

All I'd ask is for the production values of the 50s and 60s.


The 'All Things Must Pass' album had awful production, and that was only 1970!


Wow! IMO the production saves the album, managing to make the most out of some fairly mundane songwriting.
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2015, 04:30:45 PM »

I'm completely the opposite.
George's song writing c. '68/'69 was second to none, if he'd got Joe Boyd to produce a single LP, 33 minutes long, after 'Abbey Road' it would walk into any Top 50 album list. Alas, 'All Things Must Pass' struggles to get in a Top 500.
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Kevin

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 04:52:07 PM »

I'm completely the opposite.
George's song writing c. '68/'69 was second to none, if he'd got Joe Boyd to produce a single LP, 33 minutes long, after 'Abbey Road' it would walk into any Top 50 album list. Alas, 'All Things Must Pass' struggles to get in a Top 500.

Gosh. It tops my Beatles solo list. This and POB are the only solo albums I would advise as essential.bAnd both Spectre albums. I think the space he gives to George's album and the intimacy of Johns are quite outstanding.
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Mr Mustard

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2015, 12:09:21 AM »

Intriguing polarisation between obs and Kevin over ATMP. Two posters I hold in high regard and I can see merits in both opinions.

I agree with Kevin that the production lifts  ("saves" is a bit strong IMO) an otherwise unremarkable song collection; it could be pared down into a very good single LP but I  agree with obs that it's too overblown - in scale if not production - and overrated in its released form (although pronouncing its failure to dent a top 500 is again a bit severe in my view!).

I think I know where obs is coming from with the general observation about increasingly slick production values though. There can be a certain charm to some of the rougher, in-house production efforts of the 60s, although I don't think it always works. I like "Revolution" for example, but always thought the production was bloody awful! I think many 70s recordings retain a certain warmth, but by the 80s production was largely too sterile. Again though, I'd say there were exceptions: for example, 1982's "Avalon" by Roxy Music is a sumptuous album and the impeccably polished production is a huge factor in its favour as far as I'm concerned.

Biggest surprise for me though is Kev's ranking of ATMP as top of the solo Beatle releases, despite the "mundane" songwriting... must have a strikingly low opinion of their post-fabs output? Not impressed by Paul? Completely agree with POB by the way, but I'd at least have Band On The Run up there in the 'essentials' too - plus others, no doubt.
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Moogmodule

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 01:26:07 AM »

With Spectors production of ATMP, a bit like Let it Be, I think the stereotype of him overdoing the Wall of Sound is a bit unfair. Several songs like I'd have you Anytime, Run of the Mill and Apple Scruffs have appropriate lighter production. Ones that are more overblown aren't my favourites anyway. Like Let it Down and Awaiting on You All.

It is amazing how his production of POB was so opposite to his normal reputation. But I wondered how often he was at the sessions and coherent after reading the amusing stories of the frustrations George and John had to get him actually to work.
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Moogmodule

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2015, 02:38:52 AM »

Having a bit of a listen to ATMP during my lunch. I think Spectors bigger production was spot on for What is Life, which sounds great with that full punchy sound, and Wah Wah, which is basically a vocalised instrumental anyway and needs a big sound to carry off.

I recall George saying when he did the 2000 re mix that he thought there was too much echo. It's arguable but then again George wasn't that confident with his singing and at the time was probably fine with putting echo and other layers onto it.
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Kevin

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2015, 09:29:58 AM »

Biggest surprise for me though is Kev's ranking of ATMP as top of the solo Beatle releases, despite the "mundane" songwriting... must have a strikingly low opinion of their post-fabs output? Not impressed by Paul? Completely agree with POB by the way, but I'd at least have Band On The Run up there in the 'essentials' too - plus others, no doubt.

I just really really like it, and I'm not normally a George fan. Don't get me wrong, I really like Band On The Run and RAM, and Imagine is good and I have a real soft spot for Sometime in New York City. But ATMP trumps them.
Maybe it's the big sound and the scope of the thing. It has a real feel to it and somehow comes across more than just a collection of songs. It has an epic feel to it. I'm not sure that would have been achieved without Spectre. I need to think about this more.

Agree about 80's production. The music sounds cold. I was trying to explain it to someone a while ago when they asked me if I liked Prince. Said the songs were good but the music sounded "metally". You can tell it's gone through a machine. Sixties and seventies do sound warmer. But I'm no producer and a bit out of my depth here.
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Kevin

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Re: What Solo Material Do You Imagine As Beatles Songs?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2015, 12:32:36 PM »

Just listened to side 1 (on ear phones admittedly) Take Isn't It A Pity - not the most adventurous song, in fact bit of a George dirge. He does tend to write songs that drone a bit, without big verses or stand out refrains, more just repeating phrases. And he has chord changes that I sometimes find a it jarring. But Spectre makes it magnificent with a real soaring finale.
Maybe George Martin could have done the same - I hold him in the highest regard. I don't think Spectre could have made I Am The Walrus or Rain, where all the sounds distort into one to make that glourious swirl. And Martin had a real soft touch with arrangements - take the closing of Hey Jude, where a lesser man would have lain it on. But Martin does just enough, never more, to get the effect he wants. But Spectre does that wall of sound thing like no other - he can have so much going on but if you listen you can hear everything that's in there. And he manages to make so much space. Yes I have a hard on for Spectre. And George Martin. In the most histories of The Beatles, and music in general, producers tend to be mentioned as an after thought, or at best the icing on the cake. I think a true story would place them much higher in the hierachy.
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