Although The Beatles never got back together, we can put them together with our playlists. Placing John, Paul, George and Ringo’s songs together makes for a more satisfying listening experience than playing their solo albums separately. And the most enjoyable way is album-style playlists. This is not an attempt to say what The Beatles would have done. Instead, each artist’s songs are spread across the timeline of all four of their solo careers. It’s a fun way to add more high-quality Beatles albums to your life.
(Each album list can be clicked to enlarge.)
These Beatles solo songs, mostly from 1970-71, form a strong album. Six of the tracks were hit singles. Placing their best solo songs together not only boosts the quality, it provides a variety of styles and voices that make listening more interesting. Each of these playlists includes a title (like Karma for this one), it gives a hint as to the basic timeline of each album and what it might include. There’s also a light attempt to provide a visual for each album. The photos on this one are all from 1970.
The first solo albums by Paul and George both hit #1 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart, and with his impressive second album, Imagine, John joined them at #1. Ringo’s self-titled and best album made it to #2, and he had multiple singles hit #1. Ringo was the only solo album that included appearances by all four Beatles. Side 2 of this fantasy album has a theme, and places related songs together. They include John’s bashing of Paul with “How Do You Sleep”, Paul’s answer, “Dear Friend”, John’s possible admission of jealousy of Paul, and George’s “Isn’t It A Pity” about “How we break each other’s hearts, and cause each other pain”. Fortunately, The Beatles eventually made peace with each other.
Here’s another collection of hits and great songs. Besides Paul McCartney’s #1 title song, it has George Harrison’s definitive version of Bob Dylan’s “If Not For You”, one of John Lennon’s most beautiful songs, “Oh My Love”, his #1 hit “Whatever Gets You Through The Night”, and Ringo’s fun #4 hit “Oh My My”.
This is a fun album. Each of the individual Beatles recorded early Rock & Roll songs during their solo careers. This album puts them together. Ringo kicks it off with his #1 version of “You’re Sixteen”. It’s nice to have him start a Beatles album for a change. There’s also his Top-10 hit “Only You”. Paul was just a natural at performing early Rock & Roll, so he has five tracks here. John’s songs are great too, but if you can, try to get the remixed versions, because his voice sounds so much better on those.
More great songs from some top-ranked albums, brought together in one Rock Show. If only we could have had these four talents come together in the late 70’s to play their songs for us at a show. Paul McCartney was the most prolific solo Beatle, and he provides most of the rocking on this album with “Rock Show”, “Helen Wheels”, “Junior’s Farm”, and “Letting Go”, plus the #1 hit “Listen To What The Man Said”. The somewhat less well known songs by the other three are excellent too, with “Nobody Loves You (WhenYou’re Down And Out)” and “Watching The Wheels” standouts.
More songs from #1 albums, including John Lennon’s Double Fantasy. This suggested playlist is stacked with many hits (two #1’s and multiple Top-10’s) in a wide variety of styles. There are a couple of album tracks from Paul McCartney that you might not know. “Summer’s Day Song” and “Love Awake” are segued together to make one track, because the two ballads are so closely linked by their themes. (You can listen to the track at the end of this article.) “Cloud 9” is the title track from George Harrison’s big comeback album that was produced by Jeff Lynne.
In the latter part of George Harrison’s career, he took time to look back at The Beatles with “When We Was Fab”. Near the same time, George gathered his A-list friends to form the Traveling Wilburys. Their first hit, “Handle With Care” is included. George’s “All Those Years Ago” sets the stage for Side 2. The song is a tribute to John…Ringo Starr’s “Never Without You” is a tribute to George…and Paul McCartney’s “Here Today” is his tribute to John. The two John Lennon songs “I’m Stepping Out” and “Borrowed Time” were released over three years after he died. Plus, he wrote “Grow Old With Me” (with Ringo in mind to record it), and Ringo does John proud with his version.
The final playlist of Beatles solo recordings is by Paul, George and Ringo. The photos on the mock album cover are from their last photo session before George passed away. “Heading For The Light” is an excellent solo-sounding song George recorded with The Traveling Wilburys. His other two songs, “Any Road” and “Run So Far” were released posthumously. Paul McCartney’s songs are mainly from one of his best albums, Flaming Pie. There is one John Lennon song, “Real Love”, which was a demo recording that was augmented by the other Beatles when Anthology 2 was released.
Whether you’re able to utilize these playlists or not, you can see how there could have been many more great Beatles albums. Wish these four musicians could have combined their best music for at least another decade.
Bonus: Thought you might like to hear “Summer’s Day/Love Awake”. The lyrics to the mostly instrumental “Summer’s Day Song” end with “For the world will soon be waking to a summer’s day”…and the next song starts with the words “Love awake.”, and ends with “It’s never too long before the summer comes again”, which wraps it all up. Paul McCartney plays the almost classical-style synthesizer instrumental and sings all the vocals for “Summer’s Day Song”. “Love Awake” picks up the tempo and has more of a Beatles’ sound. Here’s the track with the two songs put together.