The Beatles: The Solo Years

All you need are high-priced lawyers to sort out those messy divorces and royalty payments. Not to mention Micheal Jackson owning your old band's songs.

Strongest album: John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band
Must to avoid: Paul McCartney's Give My Regards To Broad Street

So you've just been downsized from the most important and biggest-selling brand name in musical history. What's an upwardly mobile young popstar (I still say 30 is young!) going to do for an encore? Marry Yoko Ono? Shift a trillion units peddling silly love songs, at the loss of all artistic credibility? Become a "recovered alcoholic" and come to the realization that you really should have pursued a career as a country singer after all (heck, in Nashville you wouldn't have that pesky problem of having to write your own songs!). Endure Eric Clapton releasing an entire album about how he's got the hots for your wife? And then you get sued for ripping off "He's So Fine"! On the bright side, George, at least you didn't get shot by some lunatic.

My collection of Beatles solo albums is far from complete; somehow I'm just not that interested in spending half an hour absorbing Ringo's 1983 Canadian-only release, you know? Let's face it, 90% of the post-Beatles solo material is crap. All four of the fabs had their moments, though, mostly delivered early in their solo careers. Herein are reviews of the handful of solo albums I do happen to own.

George Harrison: All Things Must Pass (1970) ****

As the sidekick to Paul and John who only got to place two or so songs per album, Harrison had built up a lot of unused material in his catalog. Most of those songs were released on his first and best solo album, a three-album monolith produced by Phil Spector. Spector's production is appropriately cavernous and gothic in fitting with the ego-driven, feverish desire on Harrison's part to make a grand, sweeping monument to prove that he was an artist of major stature. Much of the material is flat-out brilliant, music of rare majesty and power, infused with a deeply felt spirituality. "What Is Life"; "Beware Of Darkness"; the throwaway "Apple Scruffs"; a collaboration with Bob Dylan, "If Not For You"; and others of its ilk are all classic creations, and would have fit fine on any Beatles album. However, over the course of a triple album, Harrison's lack of stylistic and emotional variety becomes wearying, making the album sound monotonous. Worse, the final third is the infamous "Apple Jam", a series of instrumentals that are practically useless. The hit was "My Sweet Lord", for which Harrison was successfully sued for plagariazing the Chiffons' "He's So Fine". An intriguing album marred somewhat by its grandiose excesses.

Reader Comments

Justyn Dillingham,

Certainly a great album, but they could have left that stupid third disc off and released it all on one CD without too many complaints. Harrison grew bland after this, with a few notable exceptions, but his later Beatles work and this album prove he was once among the Sixties' most underrated and individual songwriters. Much like Syd Barrett - hey, any chance you'll review him soon?

Eric Einhorn,

All Things Must Pass wasn't George's first album - it was actually his third. He wrote the soundtrack for a movie called Wonderwall and released it on an album by that name. It is a combination of Indian music and short instrumental rock songs. While it's not really much like anything else George did (except for Love You To, Within You Without You, etc), it's well worth tracking down if you can get it cheap - I still find it both soothing and entertaining.

George's second album was called Electronic Sound, and it was basically him playing with his new Moog. It got nowhere at all, and it probably sucks (I haven't heard it).

Other than that, I agree with your review - great album, but they should've left off the last third (except for "It's Johnny's Birthday", which kicks ass!)

George Harrison (1979) **

George released a number of albums in the '70s that sold well and that nobody has any reason to care about today. It's not hard to see why the public snapped this piece of product up - out of all the ex-Beatles, Harrison's solo work goes down the easiest. However, it's also the least substantial, unless Ringo counts. Harrison offers pleasant-on-the-ears soft rock with vague self-help lyrics containing quasi-mystical overtones, and plays his attractive, relentlessly professional and accomplished guitar, except when he's foolishly being drowned out by synthesizers on the opening track (even an ex-Beatle has to keep up to date. Think this disco fad will last?). The huge gaffe here is "Here Comes The Moon" - bad in theory to write a cousin to your third or fourth best Beatles song, and even worse in practice when the song consists mainly of the title being repeated endlessly as a mantra. The hit was "Blow Away" and it's catchily melodic, but like the rest you won't remember it when it's over. The other halfway memorable tune is "Faster", about Harrison's passion for car racing, where his heart apparently lay at this point - he certainly can't get much interest out of his music.

George Harrison: Cloud Nine (1987)

I've had this for a couple of months but I've never bothered to sit through it more than twice. It's typical Harrison: pleasant but dull. This was his big comeback, spawning the annoying hit "Got My Mind Set On You," and the nostalgiac "When We Was Fab." I promise to give this a couple more listens and then review it.

John Lennon: Plastic Ono Band (1970) *****

Easily the best album by any ex-Beatle, this is a landmark release of emotional honesty and intensity. Under the tutelage of primal scream therapist Art Janov, John pours out all the pain of his damaged childhood into one long, epic howl. Produced by Phil Spector, who displays a highly unusual sense of restraint by achieving a spare, almost bone-dry sound that puts the focus squarely on John's words and voice without any distractions. John famously dismisses Dylan, Elvis, Jesus, and the Beatles in "God", as a man simply trying to get on with his life without the baggage of his past in the world's biggest pop group. He only partially succeeds, but that's only because erasing memories of the moptop days is an impossible task; what Lennon succeeds at unconditionally is presenting himself as a human being, flawed and fucked up like the rest of us. The harder numbers haven't aged well, but the biting "Working Class Hero" is as relevant today as in 1970. "Mother" tears out this wrenching sob of a scream out John's throat; "Look At Me" keeps circling in on itself and the question, "What am I supposed to do?" "Love" offers some hope, but the record ends with the chilling "My Mummy's Dead", a brief ditty set to the tune of "Three Blind Mice" and self-consciously made to sound tossed off in the basement.

Reader Comments

Justyn Dillingham,

Definitely a classic in every way. I believe this might have been the first of those confessional, spill-it-all albums - you know, Blood on the Tracks, Tonight's The Night, that kind of things. Unless Pet Sounds counts. This must have been a huge influence on Kurt Cobain; no wonder Lennon and the Beatles are so hip in today's alternative crowd. (And I'm not just talking about Oasis.)

John Lennon: Imagine (1971) ***1/2

John's most popular solo album, with a clearly more commercial sound and songs. The naive title track is perhaps John's most beloved tune, though for such a utopian outlook it starts off oddly - "Imagine there's no heaven". "Jealous Guy" is the other hit here, and it follows in the vulnerable, soul-baring mode of Plastic Ono Band, if slightly softened. "Gimme Some Truth" delivers some blistering political indignation, while "Oh Yoko" is delightful folk-pop. However, the attack on Paul, "How Do You Sleep?" is just plain nasty, and the overorchestrated strings on "How?" and several other tracks will put you to sleep. For every good track, there's a subpar one, but despite its inconsistencies, it's an enjoyable release.

Reader Comments

Justyn Dillingham,

I'd give it another half star, myself; "How Do You Sleep" is nasty, all right, but enjoyable in the way those really cruel Dylan songs used to be. The main problem with the album is that the overall sound is too soft: Spector could have let some of the rawness of those performances come through on "Gimme Some Truth," in particular.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy (1980) ***

After a five year layoff raising Sean Lennon and baking bread, John returned to action with some tunes that proved he wasn't washed up. Unfortunately, only half of these songs are John's; the other half are Yoko's, who hadn't learned at this point in time how to write and sing pop songs, which proves disastrous. Only the new-wavey club cut "Kiss Kiss" is worthwhile out of Yoko's contributions. As for John's songs, "Watching The Wheels" and "Beatiful Boy" are classic, "Dear Yoko" and "I'm Losing You" slight filler, "Woman" and "(Just Like) Starting Over" pleasantly tuneful but bland and overly commercial pop songs. It would have been good to hear an entire album of new Lennon songs (most of which ended up on the posthumous Milk And Honey, another split Lennon/Ono album); as is, it's unsatisfying.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono: Milk and Honey (1984) ***

A posthumous collection of outtakes from the Double Fantasy sessions; as with that album, half of the dozen songs are John's, and the other six are Yoko's, unfortunately. Why Lennon didn't release an entire album of his own songs during his comeback attempt is understandable given his desire for he and Yoko to be seen as an equal partnership, but still amounts to an unfortunate lapse in taste. Love makes one blind, doesn't it - or at least deaf. At least Yoko was marginally more talented than Linda. The single was "Nobody Told Me," a catchy rolling number in Lennon's psuedo-Dylan mode, and it's as good as anything off Double Fantasy. The other five don't leap out immediately, but are high quality album tracks that would have shored up Double Fantasy immensely. They're all light, Fats Domino-rolling piano based ditties, except for the poignant ballad "Grow Old With Me," that could have been a huge hit if John had time to polish it properly. It's too bad that Yoko has to demonstrate once again that she can't write songs; the only memorable melody, "Let Me Count the Ways," is just a ripoff of some old Protestant hymn (can't remember which one, most of'em all sound the same anyway). A fine companion piece to Double Fantasy; maybe someday someone will do us a favor and release all the Lennon songs on both albums on one disc. Or hey, you can do the same by recording them all on one tape - makes for a great side of C-90!

Reader Comments

Joe Melodie

An album when you hear it you say what could of been! The John songs anyway. The only time I'm gratefull to Yoko for releasing something by John that was close to finished not outtakes or parts of songs like she's done since raping his memory. At least these songs don't shame him like other crap yoko's put out since. The songs, I Don't Want To Face It could of been a classic great vocals and a wonderfull guitar solo at the end is that John or a session player? Nobody Told Me another great song really catchy to sing to, this song was finshed a month before he was killed I read somewhere, Borrowed Time is great also a Police like song creepy lyrics since you know what happened. Stepping Out is also a good great melodie the lyrics are funny, the final songs by John Grow Old with me could of been a number 1 maybe it needed some strings in the background I love it haunting song to, a lot of these songs are like a procession or something really. And then we have Yoko's songs which are awful her lyrics melodies are okay but her singing? She said she had classical lessons where? Any singer with training should sound okay right? The only track that is decent is Let Me Count The Ways for the piano and melodie not her singing, she wanted her songs out she should of put them on her own records she ruined Double Fantasy and this album and some of john's other lp's with her excuse for songs. She's a good manager of John's money That is the only thing she's done. There is a way to avoid her and not throw yourself out the window, program your cd player and listen to John's songs as a great ep for this album and his other albums, It's out of print but I found it on cd and I'm in heaven. It's worth the search just for these songs. Anyway a lost album could of been great, by the way that waste of life who is up for parole in 2000 If they ever put him in the chair can I pull the switch please.

John Lennon: Collection (1982) ****1/2

Everything you need from Lennon's solo years, with only one song overlapping with Plastic Ono Band. Basically it contains all of John's songs from Double Fantasy added on to the now-deleted 1975 singles collection Shaved Fish. I haven't heard the albums that contain "Mind Games" or "#9 Dream", but I can tell you that those are two of John's very best songs, particularly the gorgeous dreamy nonsense of the latter. The political chants masquerading as songs "Give Peace A Chance" and "Power To The People" frankly annoy me, but are forces of nature and have their uses at rallies and such. Myself, I prefer the disco "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" and the corrosive guitar stomp "Cold Turkey", a harrowing tale of heroin addiction.

Paul McCartney: McCartney (1970) ***

Paul's solo career has proved disappointing, to say the least; only a handful of his singles can stand up to the best of his work with the Beatles, and a great deal of his solo work is simply drivel. On his first solo album, Paul plays all the instruments in a one-man display of skill and craftsmanship. It's all very pleasant, but frustatingly insubstantial. The homemade instrumentals aren't anything I actively want to pay attention to, but are okay in the background, while the pop songs are fragmentary and seemingly dashed off at the last minute. There is one big production number veers off from the demo-like approach of the rest of the material, "Maybe I'm Amazed". "Every Night" is another strong pop song, and "Teddy Boy" and a couple of others have their pleasures. It's okay, but on the whole the album sounds half-finished. Still, half of New Zealand seems intent on recreating the vibe of this record.

Paul McCartney: Ram (1971)***1/2

If there's a proto-typical McCartney album, his second album is it: charming tunefullness and neato studio tricks slavered over frustratingly lightweight piffles, exemplified by the single "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey". McCartney achieves the aural equivalent of Alice In Wonderland: entertaining meaningless nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless. He even sabatoges the album's strongest melody, "Long Haired Lady" with annoying voice-overs courtesy Linda McCartney. He's come a long way down from the Beatles, but even then there were warning signs ("Maxwell's Silver Hammer") - except now he doesn't have John to nudge him competitively into creating "Hey Jude" to go along with the bouncy little jingles he's a natural at. C'mon, the lyrics he wrote with the Beatles weren't that much more meaningful than the ones he pens here about his three-legged dog that can still run and asking his wife to come on and eat at home. Musically he's still running strong, as evidenced most strongly by "Uncle Albert" and the rocker "Smile On"; solo McCartney has no great ambitions, and if you come in with those lowered expectations, then some his work is quite delightfully silly, disposable pop. It's just that the Beatles were more than silly, disposable pop (most of the time). If anyone else had released this album, it would have recieved a very warm reception, but expectations were much higher for an ex-Beatle. My grade reflects what I would have given had anyone else released this; dock a half star if you're going to compare it to the Beatles.

Reader Comments

Justyn Dillingham,

When's McCartney's with the Beatles, I love him; alone, he's usually too soft for me. This album is typical: great melodies all over the place, and he's in great voice, but I mean, do you prefer the McCartney of "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" or of "Hey Jude"? This album has ALL of the former and NONE of the latter; it's like Paul completely rejected his serious, brilliant compositional side in favor of...that other side. Even his debut, for all the abundance of aimlessness (hey, alliteration! nifty!), had "Maybe I'm Amazed." This is as good as silly, meaningless pop just short of actual brilliance gets, I guess.

Paul McCartney: Band On the Run (1973) ****

By most all accounts I've heard or read, his best solo album. Recorded in Nigeria, whose influence only shows up on the Afro-soul intro of "Mamunia," Paul acts like typical lightweight Paul, only this time out more consistently that usual. The first three songs are the peaks: the title track, perhaps solo McCartney's finest single; "Jet," a heavy synth-pounder that proves to naysayers that yes, the cute Beatle can rock (as if "Helter Skelter" had left any doubt); and "Bluebird," which I don't like as much as "Blackbird," because I heard "Blackbird," first (they're practically the same song). It's all solid (except for the generic rocker, "Helen Wheels," which a lot of folks like but not I - recycled Chuck Berry melodies are not McCartney's reason for existence), if not up to the level of his Beatles work. I dig the audio collage at the end of the song about Picasso (tuneful pop whimsy is McCartney's reason for existence), and the rollicking piano rocker, "1985," ends the album on a high note (actually, the album ends with a snatch of "Band On the Run"). Nothing groundbreaking or revelatory, just very high quality entertainment.

Reader Comments

Ben Greenstein,

Personally, I don't see how you can rate this a whole half star above "Sgt. Pepper," but that's just me. And about 80,000 other Beatles fans. Probably more than that, actually.

This album is way overrated. "Jet," "Mrs. Vandebilt," and the title track are fantastic, but the rest is either just okay or completely lame. The worst offender, I agree with you, is "Helen Wheels." That's a terrible song! How can so many people like it? Beats me. I also don't see how you can say that "Bluebird" (one of the better songs) is similar to "Blackbird" - they don't sound anything alike!

I expected to like this a lot, but it's just not that good. He even tries to do a reprise at the end, and fails miserably. Don't even bother buying it - the best two songs can be found on "All The Best."

Wings: Wings At The Speed Of Sound (1976) **1/2

What was he thinking? One of the worst things to ever happen to Paul (and the rest of the world) was the breakup of the Beatles. He missed the comradeship and competition of a real working band, and tried his best to create a facsmile of the Beatles. As expected, Wings were hardly the Beatles, and McCartney's sincere attempt to make the band a democracy, with each member sharing the songwriting equally, was a failure. That said, some of it's not bad, even if the two catchiest highlights are unsurprisingly McCartney's: the sprightly single, "Let'Em In," and the melodically winning but conceptually irritating "Silly Love Songs." The other members of Wings are competent enough to put together a handful of decent, thoroughly professional but unremarkable examples of mid-'70s pop songcraft, particularly "Must Do Something About It," and "Wino Junko." However, the pleasant moments are undermined by some pure drivel: all of the rest of McCartney's tunes are tripe, though the real nadir is Linda McCartney's "Cook of the House." And don't let the title fool you: the only song with any real speedy energy is the psuedo-metal "Beware My Love"; overall the vibe is very mellow, with every song blandly midtempo and soft.

Paul McCartney: London Town (1978) ***

You know, if I keep buying all these cheap copies of boring Macca solo albums, I'm going to have to set up an entire page just for him. This one's typical of '70s McCartney - not a particular low nor high, lots of filler, a few worthwhile tunes, immaculately crafted and tuneful yet so lightweight you wonder why you bothered. It's noticably better than Speed of Sound because Paul is writing all the tunes. The hit single was "With A Little Luck," Paul at his dippy cutesyiest, but there are several other stronger tracks. "Cafe On the Left Bank" even has coherent and somewhat (I said somewhat, and this is relative to the rest of Paul's career) interesting lyrics. And there's only one truly horrible track, the album closer "Morse Moose and the Grey Moose," a grating generically new wavish number (add the worst elements of punk and disco) that goes on forever at six minutes. "Famous Groupies," is the weird little ditty most everybody remembers that makes this album notable, and I like the melodic strength of "I'm Carrying" and "Backwards Traveller" (which unfortunately bogs down into a dull instrumental, "Cufflinks"). I don't much care for the faux Gene Vincent of "Name and Address," and "Girlfriend," pretty much defines catchily silly fluff. But that describes most of Paul's solo career, doesn't it?

Paul McCartney: Tug Of War (1982) ***

McCartney's first album recorded after Lennon's death, it contains two explicit tributes to him, the title track and "Here Today". It also contains a duet with Stevie Wonder, "Ebony And Ivory", that some people find icky but I don't have any real problem with, and another with Carl Perkins, "Get It". The single "Take It Away" is exciting, rolling pop and one of Paul's best solo songs. However, while this album on the whole is well-crafted, professional, and lacks any truly cringe-worthy moments, there's not a whole lot to get excited about; it's basically yuppie music. If you're a fan of Paul, this is one of his better efforts, but the rest of us can do without it with no harm done.

Reader Comments

Justyn Dillingham,

Here Paul pulls himself together and delivers a good, solid album, though there's really not as much to be found here as on Band On The Run, his best album, or the more recent Flaming Pie. It does have "Here Today" and my personal favorite McCartney solo song, "Wanderlust," though.

Paul McCartney: Give My Regards To Broad Street (1984) *

That's right, one freakin' star, wanna make somethin' of it? The soundtrack to a movie I've never seen and never intend on seeing (the plot supposedly revolves around Paul searching for his missing tapes), there are two new songs: the pleasant, if slick and Hall & Oates-style ballad "No More Lonely Nights", and "Not Such A Bad Boy" which isn't memorable at all. The rest consists of remakes of Beatles and solo McCartney hits, some huge ("Yesterday"), some not ("Ballroom Dancing"?!). Needless to say, the remakes aren't as good as the originals, and McCartney only pours salt in the wound by reprising the sole good original not once but twice (and closes the album with a horrid disco version). "Silly Love Songs" shows up twice, too, perhaps as a middle finger to fans - who said Paul was the "sweet" one? Would John have spit on the memory of the Beatles like Paul does here? So what you end up with is one decent single padded out with completely redundant older songs better heard elsewhere. In other words, only McCartney completists have any possible use for this piece of product.

Paul McCartney: Press To Play (1986) *1/2

This isn't an unlistenable album, it's just that there's no reason to listen to it. Even at his worst, McCartney possesses the amazing technical facility to craft music that goes down easy and is kind of okay if your ears aren't paying attention. The problem is, after pressing to play all the way through, you won't remember what you've just heard. I dare you to play this once or thrice, go to bed, and then try singing any of these tunes the next morning. The low point is "Angry" - John Lennon he's not, and he looks foolhardy trying to be. Soft, blurry, sturdy little melodies that meander out of focus, this is Macca's menopausal muzak.

Paul McCartney: All The Best (1987) **1/2

Not quite. Any album that contains the likes of "My Love" and "Silly Love Songs" has some serious problems in the listenability department, and unfortunately this captures McCartney at his drippiest and shallowest. Yes, "Band On The Run", "Jet", "Live and Let Die" and a few others are classics, but for every pleasurable tune there's one that makes me want to cringe. You're better off purchasing Wings' Greatest Hits. So sad how the mighty have fallen!

Paul McCartney: Off the Ground (1993)

You too can easily purchase a cheap cassette copy for a dollar, just I like I did. Still not sure if my money was well spent...must give another listen.

Reader Comments

George Starostin,

Disagree STRONGLY with almost EVERYTHING here. First of all, a genius is a thing that never passes away completely. Yes, I agree that three geniuses making one album together is a better thing than three geniuses making three albums separately. But do not forget the fact that the later Beatles' albums were actually nothing more than a group of solo efforts interspersed with each other. So the only difference between late Beatles albums and (especially early) Beatles stuff is that there was no 'selection' in the latter case, and this makes the percent of throwaway material somewhat higher, but that is no reason to discard the strong material.

Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" is an absolute classic, like about twenty "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Somethings" collected together - there's nothing to complain about, except that wretched third jam disc. His later work was rather lightweight, but I still prefer it to almost everything around that time. As for "Cloud 9", you just need to take a couple more listens; it's his strongest work since the 1973 "Living In The Material World". Anyway, picking at least a hits compilation wouldn't be at all unnecessary for you, if you're so annoyed by the original LPs.

John's "Double Fantasy" is blatangly mistaken for a commercial album. Everybody knows for certain that John never wrote commercial music. If he did, please explain to me what are these "Two Virgins" doing on the racks? Do you call that commercial, too? The fact is that he just didn't care whether the music suits the public taste or not: when it did (like with "Imagine"), he was called commercial; when it didn't, he was being called boring and unimaginative. The only disc you don't need at all is the political statement "Sometime In New York City". The others vary in quality, but all are acceptable.

McCartney is underrated by everybody as the 'sweet one'. If only people would take their time and listen to the music element that underlies "Silly Love Songs".. but nah, they discard it without even looking, just because everybody says it's 'sweet'. You like "Band On The Run" and haven't even heard "Venus and Mars" or "Back To The Egg" - how can you say his work is "drivel"? Come on now, "let's face it - 90% of the ex-Beatles stuff is crap"? You're just enormously biased towards this period, that's all, being probably fed up on the ideas of 'dinasourism' (God how I hate this idiotic word!!) The first crappy album for any of the Beatles (not counting John's STINYC) appeared in 1983, being Paul's "Pipes of Peace". If you don't have most of their 70's stuff - your musical knowledge is simply incomplete.

Micheal P. McGrath,

I enjoyed reading your reviews and I agree with some and disagree with other points....for whatever it's worth, here is my own perceptions of Solo Beatles output, which I do have in its entirety in CD format (yes, even Ringo...although I waited till his stuff hit the low end of the discount bins: and, unsurprisingly, it did...)

1. Let me start off with George Harrison...I agree with you...his stuff goes down the easiest...there is a certain style and signature to his music which at it's best can turn out some interesting materiel...although some of it can become a Harrison fan, I recognize this and just because I like most of his stuff doesn't mean everyone else will...the best George materiel can be found on All Things Must Pass, where he had a huge backlog of materiel from the Beatles days...Living in the Materiel World, his next album, is a step down but more digestible as it is a single will find some gems on there like "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long"...but the overall tone gets too preachy...the next album, Dark Horse, is two steps down with few memorable tunes although many George fans love this album...although some of the materiel had potential George's voice is shot...many have called it Dark Hoarse...I've grown to appreciate it over the years but that is more due to the fact that I'm a starving Harrison fan, desperately wanting to hear a new album...the next album Extra Texture is a step above Dark Horse...George's voice is back to normal and some of the songs are interesting but you can tell his All Things Must Pass glories are over...then George's life picks up, and under his own label George has his next album 33 1/3, which will take repeated listenings to appreciate...his next self titled album is a beautiful coherent collection...some of the lesser known tunes like Your Love Is Forever & Sweet Touch are exquisite, although not totally commercial....Somewhere in England is George most dismissable Dark Horse release, although it has his John Lennon tribute All Those Years Ago...his next album Gone Troppo was a commercial failure but it is full of deep melodic tunes which invoke tropic's an album that grows that grows extremely richer with repeated listenings...Cloud Nine was the crowning achievement of George's Dark Horse releases and an unexpected bestseller that benefited from lowered expectations...there is not a single weak track on this album...the tunes are all upbeat, optimistic and one of the best solo songs When We Was Fab is on there...definitely worth getting...afterwards there was a Best of Dark Horse hits package which featured some new tunes and show George moving into some interesting directions with his music...Cheer Down and Poor Little Girl just make one yearn for a whole new studio album...then comes the best solo Beatles live album ever called Live in Japan in which George backed by Clapton plays a repetoir of songs that span his whole career...the '80s ended with George as the most commercially successful ex-Beatle.

2.Paul McCartney started off with McCartney, an album which I think although not well recieved by critics has aged well...I found the comment about half of New Zealand trying to recreate the feel of this album extremely interesting...would that be a reference to Neil Finn of Crowded House, who does seem to be trying to recreate the homemade atmosphere of this first solo effort from Paul...Ram is another album which is more polished than the real substance, just alot of songs that grow richer with repeated listenings...Wild Life is a weak album altogether...and sounds like a garage band put it together quickly...Red Rose Speedway is a definite dip...totally forgettable...Band on the Run is said to be Paul's best...I don't think is a good album but not his best...Venus and Mars follows the same Band on the Run pattern, very much a sequel...Wings at the Speed of Sound...extremely forgettable, I have to agree...alot of drivel from Paul and sentimental slush too!

Wings Over America may have been a great live album for its does nothing for me...London Town has some melodic charm..."I'm Carrying" is a haunting tune that should have shared better company...Back to the Egg to me is a solid Wings album and I enjoy it alot better than Band on the Run...the only problem is that Paul has alot of good materiel which he pads out with filler...for every two albums he puts out, he could have put out one solid effort...without John keeping him in check, Paul's work suffers the most...McCartney II has some redeeming moments...Waterfalls being one of them...Tug of War was an overall improvement///a great Paul album...listen to his tribute to John, "Here Today"...much more moving than Yesterday by far...Pipes of Peace is a poor followup...Give My Regard to Broadstreet...I agree...if I were Paul, I would burn every copy of this album and the accompanying should never have happened!!! Press To Play has some interesting melodic twists...nothing more...Paul is sinking fast here...then perhaps scared by George's Cloud Nine comeback, he puts out a solid effort called Flowers in the Dirt...this is Paul at his best...the styles are varying, the tunes rich...the Elvis Costello colloborations helped! Off the Ground is a step down...then followed several live albums including an Unplugged...the world yawned by the time he came out with his best live album...Paul Is Live...then after the Anthology, Flaming Pie came out and redeemed him totally...just a great album...his colloborations with Jeff Lynne of ELO proved fruitful...and a great comeback!!!

3. Ringo's albums are merely fun but completely dismissable...the low points being Bad Boy and the high point being his recent releases Vertical Man and Time Takes Time...he has also put out the second best live album,'s called Storytellers...and it is a real treat! Then of course we cannot ignore Ringo's high point in the 70's with his self titled album which had contributions by all the is an overly polished effort but has quite a few gems and memorable tunes.

4. John's materiel is the one with the most substance...I agree Plastic Ono Band is a austere gloomy album full of raw raging spirit...Imagine is a more polished effort, solid as well, with a gem such as Oh My Love...hear John rage against Paul in How Do You Sleep...all the rest of the albums were steps down...Sometime in NYC is terrible, Mind Games recovers, but it is weak....Walls and Bridges has been aclaimed but I'm not fond of it....9 Dream is great....Whatever Gets You Thru the Night did not deserve hit status at all...Rock'n'Roll is an album ruined by Phil Spector's Wall of Sound...listen to the versions on the Lennon anthology which are great! Double Fantasy and Milk and Honey are only half good albums...sorry Yoko...I just don't see your voice...although she did have some interesting ideas in Kiss Kiss Kiss....I think if John were still living we would have great music from him, probably some of his best but we would have a great deal more of Yoko tunes as well...a mixed blessing.

Well in a nutshell that's my opinion...hasta la vista.

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