1970, a Year That Found All Former Beatles on The Charts at The Same Time
1970 was a year that found each of them on the Billboard charts.
What caused the break up? Who was the most successful in their first album as a solo performer? Let us find out.
The Break Up
The Beatles by the middle 60’s were getting tired of being The Beatles. According to Ringo in the book, The Beatles Anthology, it was John who first disappeared from the group. “…Paul was the workaholic or The Beatleholic. Because John lived close to each other in Weybridge we’d be hat his house or ours, and we’d be having a really lovely day, really smooth-and then the phone would ring and it would always be Paul saying, “I think we should get back to the studio, lads. We gotta do this.”-“Oh no no, I don’t want to. I want to be on holiday.”But Paul would kick us around and we would go back in. Ringo said the enthusiasm was gone.
There wasn’t just one reason they split, but a lot of contributing factors.
The first big event that happened was the death of their manager. Brian Epstein was the person who made the Beatles famous. The late 1960’s the group no longer wanted to perform in concert. Brian although he was left without as much do as he did before, was still the one the Beatles looked to for guidance. Brian’s death was a big shock to the group and it really started the fracture that was to come.
Next thing that contributed to the break up were legal conflicts. When money is in the picture things can get messy, and it certainly did within the group. Their business Apple had trouble, and Paul stated that the band going from musicians to businessmen was the main reason they broke up.
The Beatles now were each changing their vision of what they wanted in their music. Paul was into the pop sounds, while George Harrison was into Indian spirituality, and John was more introspective and experimental.
John Lennon was getting more into drugs, and he also got together with Yoko Ono. The bad thing was he insisted she be with him every second even in the recording studio. The bad thing besides that was he gave her artistic input and that didn’t sit well with the other band members.
John left the band first stating he wanted a divorce. Paul would soon follow leaving England and living in Scotland with his family. Paul was depressed over the band’s breakup and became depressed. He would soon create a solo album.
The last thing to cause the breakup of the group was the immergence of George Harrison as a songwriter. George had so many songs that Phil Spector suggested that he create a solo album just as the rest of the group had done.
George Harrison was the first Beatle to release a solo album. He began talking about making a solo album in 1969. It was only after Paul McCartney decided to leave the group did he realize that the Beatles had broken up for good. When Phil Spector listened to Georges compositions he said that he had endless songs to play and each one was better than the first the album called All Things Must Pass showed the listener just what George was all about. It was a large album 3 discs were in the album, and Phil Spector told George to release "My Sweet Lord" as the first single. It was the most pop sounding song on the album and the most commercial. George wasn’t sure because of the religious lyrics and the Hara Krishna lyrics as well. George needn’t have worried the song and the album were an immense success. The album was critically acclaimed upon its release and it remained a number one album throughout the world.
Some of the best songs on the album are "My Sweet Lord," "Wah, Wah", and "What is Life?" This album showed how he thrived being solo and finally showing the world how talented he was.
John Lennon and his wife Yoko came up with the album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. This album was considered one of Lennon’s best albums. It seems that John and Paul took the breakup of the Beatles hard even though they all were feeling discontented by the late 60’s. John and Yoko took primal therapy, and after the sessions John got inspiration for the solo album. John’s album was critically acclaimed, just as George’s album was. The only single released from the album is "Mother". It was a critically acclaimed album upon its release.
Next to release an album was Paul McCartney and the album was called McCartney. Paul McCartney played all the instruments on this album. Linda saw that Paul wasn’t taking the breakup of the Beatles very well, and suggested that he create an album. The album had a bit of unfinished songs on it which surprised both George Harrison and John Lennon. George stated in the website The Beatle’s Bible
"That Would Be Something" and "Maybe I'm Amazed". I think are great and everything else I think is fair, you know. It's quite good, but a little disappointing, but maybe I shouldn't be disappointed, it's best not to expect anything, then everything's a bonus. I think those two tracks are very good and the others just don't do anything for me. The arrangements for "Teddy Boy" and "Junk", with a little bit more arrangement could have sounded better. Me, Ringo and John, not only do we see each other, but we see so many musicians and other bands, maybe Paul does too. But I just get the impression that he doesn't. That he's so isolated from it, he's out on a limb. The only person he's got to tell him if the song's good or bad is Linda. In the Beatle days, if someone came in with a song that had a corny line and some of the others got a bit embarrassed by it, we'd say it!-George Harrison
John Lennon said, “I was surprised it was so poor. I expected just a little more, because if Paul and I are sort of disagreeing and I feel weak, I think he must feel strong. That's in an argument. Not that we've had much physical argument, I mean when we're talking - but you expect the opposition so-called. So I was just surprised. And I was glad, too. I suddenly got it all into perspective.”
The critics weren’t too crazy about the album. They felt it was underproduced and they didn’t like the unfinished songs on it. The strongest song on the album was "Maybe I’m Amazed".
Ringo Starr decided to record an album too. Ringo could not write songs. He asked George Martin to help him. The album came from a push by his fellow Beatles and his mom, who said that Ringo should create a solo album too. Ringos’ solo album was entitled Sentimental Journey. He decided to record an album of all his mom’s favourite songs . Ringo quoted as saying “I wondered, what shall I do with my life now that it's over? I was brought up with all those songs, you know, my family used to sing those songs, my mother and my dad, my aunties and uncles. They were my first musical influences on me. So I went to see George Martin and said: 'Let's do an album of standards, and to make it interesting we'll have all the arrangements done by different people.”
After the album’s release George Harrison said the album was a great album and really nice. John Lennon wasn’t as kind he said he was embarrassed by it. The critics were confused by it because he sang songs like, "Sentimental Journey" and "Night and Day". Ringo said the album was a great start to his solo career. It didn’t happen fast but it got it started.
Who Had The Best First Solo Album?
Which album was more successful?
It would appear the album All Things Must Pass is the most successful of the first solo albums released. It was the most critically acclaimed and it in various rock books among the best rock albums of all time.
Each album gave John, Paul, George, and even Ringo a chance to show more of their personality and talent. It gave them each a chance to record songs that was totally them. If the Beatles had remained together we may never have had a chance to hear great songs like, "What is Life by George", "Maybe I’m Amazed" by Paul, and "Imagine" by John Lennon. The Beatle members were so talented and they crafted wonderful albums as the Beatles. The most remarkable thing is how they continued the momentum as individuals, and created truly magical songs that stand out in their solo careers.
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