Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Latest From Apple

According to Leon Russell, in the summer of 1972, George Harrison was going around with a mixtape (or maybe an acetate) that he had made, collecting the Beatles' post-Beatles solo material. It is rather tempting to imagine what such a record might have sounded like, what the Beatles' post-Abbey Road album would have been (and yes, I realize I'm not the first person to conjure this up).

First, I tried to put together a record up through the summer of '72, to mimick what George was playing for his friends - but it can't be done. You can't make a single coherent album out of all that. My first pass had 16 songs on it, but I had already cut "Beaucoups of Blues," had almost nothing from Plastic Ono Band (although a lot of that stuff doesn't translate to a Beatles context anyway), then realized I didn't even have "Cold Turkey."

So let's back up the date a little, to the summer of 1971, after Lennon has released Plastic Ono Band, but before Imagine. McCartney has released McCartney and Ram, Ringo has released a couple of covers albums and a handful of singles, and Harrison of course has put out All Things Must Pass.

But let's imagine they spent the first four months of 1971 back on Abbey Road, and they're coming out with the Beatles' Instant Karma! LP (although, given all the whining they were doing at the time, I'm tempted to call it Wah Wah). It might look a little something like this:

Side 1.
1. “Instant Karma!” (Lennon-McCartney)
2. “Maybe I’m Amazed” (Lennon-McCartney)
3. “Cold Turkey” (Lennon-McCartney)
4. “Wah Wah” (Harrison)
5. “It Don’t Come Easy” (Starkey-Harrison)
6. “Back Seat of My Car” (Lennon-McCartney)
7. “Mother” (Lennon-McCartney)
8. “What Is Life” (Harrison)

Side 2.
1. “My Sweet Lord” (Harrison)
2. “Another Day” (Lennon-McCartney)
3. “Beaucoups of Blues” (Buzz Rabin)
4. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (Lennon-McCartney)
5. “Working Class Hero” (Lennon-McCartney)
6. “Power to the People” (Lennon-McCartney)
7. “Isn’t It a Pity” (Harrison)

Pretty good record, eh? I'm really sorry I didn't have room for "Apple Scruffs," but I'm sure it'll be on the followup, 1972's Gimme Some Truth.


  1. That's really incredible. Well done.

  2. I should add that, much as I see how informative and creative that list is, I'm not sure I see a single there.

  3. The Beatles would not have released "My Sweet Lord" on a Beatles record. Collectively, they would have recognized the copying from "He's So Fine" and would want to AVOID any such controversy.