"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture" - Frank Zappa or Elvis Costello
Dancing About Architecture
July 20, 2018, 01:20:40 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to SMF For Free
 
  Home Help Search Gallery Staff List Login Register  

The Solo Beatles

Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: The Solo Beatles  (Read 1108 times)
Saxman
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 81


View Profile
« on: July 12, 2010, 07:23:39 am »

No doubt there are probably some huge Beatles fans on this board, as the membership of the Chicago board has joined up here and some were fans.  What is you opinion of The Beatles as solo artists?  Who do you think was best or most consistent?  Let me know and then I'll weigh in.
Report Spam   Logged

Social Buttons

Perplexio
Administrator
Full Member
*****
Posts: 177


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 07:37:05 am »

No doubt there are probably some huge Beatles fans on this board, as the membership of the Chicago board has joined up here and some were fans.  What is you opinion of The Beatles as solo artists?  Who do you think was best or most consistent?  Let me know and then I'll weigh in.

I think individually they were all kind of hit or miss.  I really enjoy(ed) George's work, especially the stuff produced by Jeff Lynne.  Given Lynne's cited the Beatles as a big influence when he was in ELO, I think George was very smart in choosing him as a producer.  I think Lynne brought out the best in Harrison.

McCartney had a few things over the years I liked.  I owned Tripping the Live Fantastic on cassette and listened to it incessantly.  There were some great performances on that.... but I could never bring myself to purchase any of his studio albums.

With John, I picked up the John Lennon Collection on CD and I had Live in NYC on cassette back in the day.  I enjoyed both but haven't felt the need to delve any further.

I've never given Ringo's solo work much of a shot-- should I?  Am I missing out?  If so, what should I start with?
Report Spam   Logged
Perplexio
Administrator
Full Member
*****
Posts: 177


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 04:39:25 pm »

It's not a Beatles album but both George Harrison and Ringo Starr played on ELO's 2001 release Zoom.  Have you heard that one?  It's an interesting album... It's like Jeff Lynne was picking up right where he left off with ELO back in the 80s.  Listening to the album you'd almost forget that the previous 15 years or so had ever even happened.  In this particular case, that's not really a bad thing.

My only gripe about it is that Lynne released it as an ELO album.  Lynne was the only remaining member of the band in ELO.  I wish he'd just called a spade a spade and released it as a solo album. 

To me it sounded like a cross between George Harrison's Cloud 9 album and some of ELO's early-mid 80s material. 
Report Spam   Logged
CelticGal
Newbie
*
Posts: 26


Banjos, bon gos, bagpipes, brass - I like them all


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 05:24:17 pm »

It's not a Beatles album but both George Harrison and Ringo Starr played on ELO's 2001 release Zoom.  Have you heard that one?  It's an interesting album... It's like Jeff Lynne was picking up right where he left off with ELO back in the 80s.  Listening to the album you'd almost forget that the previous 15 years or so had ever even happened.  In this particular case, that's not really a bad thing.

My only gripe about it is that Lynne released it as an ELO album.  Lynne was the only remaining member of the band in ELO.  I wish he'd just called a spade a spade and released it as a solo album. 

To me it sounded like a cross between George Harrison's Cloud 9 album and some of ELO's early-mid 80s material. 

I love Zoom, and I really wish he had toured in support of it. Doesn't "Ordinary Dream" sound like a lost George Harrison track to you?
Report Spam   Logged

Becky
"If you get confused, listen to the music play."  - Robert Hunter
CelticGal
Newbie
*
Posts: 26


Banjos, bon gos, bagpipes, brass - I like them all


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 05:30:34 pm »

No doubt there are probably some huge Beatles fans on this board, as the membership of the Chicago board has joined up here and some were fans.  What is you opinion of The Beatles as solo artists?  Who do you think was best or most consistent?  Let me know and then I'll weigh in.

I'm one of those huge Beatles fans, and I'm just too young to remember the group, so my first exposure to all of them was as solo artists.

John: Great lyrics, if a little too political at times. "Working Class Hero" is one of his best lyrics even though it's really upsetting. Should have chosen his collaborators a little better (heh heh - does anyone like to listen to Yoko?). So much lost potential - what would he have done in the 80s?

George: Love, love, love All Things Must Pass, even with the too-long jam side. He introduced me to the dobro before I knew what it was. Where John got a little too political, George had the tendency to get a little too mystical. "This Song" is my favorite song of his nobody remembers.

Ringo: Ringo is Ringo; probably his best stuff was in the early 70s when George was helping him out. I love "It Don't Come Easy" and "Photograph" both of which were written by George.

Paul: Paul solo and with Wings was a lot like the little girl with the curl: When he was good, he was very very good, and when he was bad, he was horrid. Paul got away with an awful lot just because he was Paul; on the other hand, there are very few solo songs of his I don't like. "Let 'Em In" is one of his worst, but he makes up for it with "Another Day" and "Listen To What The Man Said" and "Mull of Kintyre" and "With a Little Luck" and "Girlfriend" and "Here Today" and "Take It Away" and "My Brave Face" and "The World Tonight," etc. etc. etc. Is Paul one of the greatest melody writers ever?
Report Spam   Logged

Becky
"If you get confused, listen to the music play."  - Robert Hunter
Hourman
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 58


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 05:40:19 pm »

Count me in as another one who loved Paul for his melodies...

I'm a Wings fan, even though I can't stand songs like "Let 'Em In" and "My Love"... I always found Uncle Albert/Admiral Hawsley to have a Beatles vibe to it.

I've always loved the live version of "Coming Up" as well.

Ringo is Ringo, as someone else said... he's there for fun, so enjoy his stuff like one would cotton candy. I have some cuts off is All Starr Band CDs from way back.

John was too political and many times far too depressing for my taste. He needed McCartney's silliness to sort of lighten his mood. I do have a fond spot for "Woman" and thought his son Julian sounded so much like John that if the Beatles ever reunited, Julian should have been the one to sing his dad's stuff.

George had a great sound that apparently Peter loved when he came up with "Gone Long Gone"... HOWEVER,  I would rather take a spiked poot to the eye than have to listen to "I've Got My Mind Set On You" one more time! (Weird Al -IIRC- had a great parody of the song with "This song is 12 words long").

But of course, the sum was always greater than the parts.. as was George Martin's production work.
Report Spam   Logged
CelticGal
Newbie
*
Posts: 26


Banjos, bon gos, bagpipes, brass - I like them all


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2010, 07:10:25 pm »

Count me in as another one who loved Paul for his melodies...

I'm a Wings fan, even though I can't stand songs like "Let 'Em In" and "My Love"... I always found Uncle Albert/Admiral Hawsley to have a Beatles vibe to it.

I've always loved the live version of "Coming Up" as well.

Ringo is Ringo, as someone else said... he's there for fun, so enjoy his stuff like one would cotton candy. I have some cuts off is All Starr Band CDs from way back.

John was too political and many times far too depressing for my taste. He needed McCartney's silliness to sort of lighten his mood. I do have a fond spot for "Woman" and thought his son Julian sounded so much like John that if the Beatles ever reunited, Julian should have been the one to sing his dad's stuff.

George had a great sound that apparently Peter loved when he came up with "Gone Long Gone"... HOWEVER,  I would rather take a spiked poot to the eye than have to listen to "I've Got My Mind Set On You" one more time! (Weird Al -IIRC- had a great parody of the song with "This song is 12 words long").

But of course, the sum was always greater than the parts.. as was George Martin's production work.

I'm pretty sure George Martin produced "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey." It's a good song, and also a good example of Paul putting song fragments together. "Band on the Run" and "Venus and Mars/Rockshow" are two others.

Julian should have had a longer career. What happened?
Report Spam   Logged

Becky
"If you get confused, listen to the music play."  - Robert Hunter
Charlie
Administrator
Jr. Member
*****
Posts: 61


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 07:36:08 am »

The #1 fan here of what is indisputably the World's most important and influential rock act ever.  (I'll let you decide if they were the best which is not the same thing).

The solo stuff:

John - When he was good (Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Double Fantasy, Milk & Honey) he was great.  However, he often was too bizarre for my taste, especially when he released outrageous stuff simply for the sake of being outrageous.  I often thought he was just trying to impress his avant garde princess.

Paul was like John - very inconsistent.  His bad stuff was putrid and it was the opposite of John's: childishly silly.  Just like the rest of you I feel "Let Em In," reeks as do all of the later Wings albums (Back to the Egg - UGH!)  It's hard to believe that the man who wrote the fabulous "Eleanor Rigby" could release so much junk.  His only good studio albums before 1997 are McCartney, Band On The Run, Venus and Mars, Tug Of War, and Flowers In The Dirt.  Since then, beginning with Flaming Pie, he has been much better.  He has either stopped smoking dope or matured because he's made a nice comeback in the new century.   Paul has some good live discs too but as far as studio albums go that's about it.

When inspired George was very, very good.  He made 3 great solo albums, especially the outstanding All Things Must Pass, the best solo disc by any Beatle.  Having learned his craft from two masters this album proved that by the time The Beatles broke up George was just as good as they were.  Cloud 9 and Brainwashed are also top notch.  The rest of his work was mediocre yet he never sank to the depths of Lennon & McCartney who both believed they could release any **** simply because ________ (fill in the blank).   BTW, If you haven't paid attention to most of George's Beatle stuff from Rubber Soul and beyond you're missing a lot.  His songs were far more hit than miss and they make you understand why he was so pissed at having to fight for space on The Beatles' albums.

Ringo always needs a good collaborator.  When he has one he does OK.  When he's left on his own he offers us very maudlin songs about his old band and his life back in Liverpool.  Most of them are too cute for their own good.  He is not a super-talented guy.  Ringo once admitted that he was the luckiest man in history for hooking up with the other three Beatles.  Believe it!  A good greatest hits package is all that you need.

For whatever the reason the whole was far, far, better than its parts.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2010, 07:10:32 pm by Charlie » Report Spam   Logged
Perplexio
Administrator
Full Member
*****
Posts: 177


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 07:54:52 am »

Julian should have had a longer career. What happened?

I think his career got stunted largely due to his father's shadow.  Unfortunately, due to his pedigree, his success often begged the question, Is he successful because he's that good in his own right or his he successful due to the novelty of his being John Lennon's son?

Personally, I thought he was talented enough in his own right.  I felt bad that his pedigree was as much a curse to him as a blessing (the talent he no doubt, in some small part inherited from his father).
Report Spam   Logged
Saxman
Jr. Member
**
Posts: 81


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 09:16:09 am »

I went back and re-listened to some things this week and I've taken a second/third pass at my solo Beatles evaluation - I'm one of those annoying people who find themselves in the "better together than apart" camp, although I think they probably broke up at the right time, before things REALLY went south:

John - definitely the best solo Beatle IMHO, although he could be wildly uneven, which even he himself admitted.  I agree with the idea he was often trying to be artsy and political to be edgy and avante garde, especially with the "Some Time In NYC" album, a record even he admitted was an almost total failure.  However, at least he was trying to make some statements and a lot of his lyrics are really deep, unlike Sir Paul.  "Plastic Ono Band" is brilliant, but one of the most depressing things every recorded (ditto with "Cold Turkey,"  a definite skip track/single). "Imagine" is quite good as are "Mind Games" and "Walls and Bridges."  "Rock and Roll" was something he had to crank out due to copping bits of a Chuck Berry song for "Come Together," but there are some decent covers here and there, especially "Stand By Me."  I think "Instant Karma" and "Power to the People" are absolutely magnificent singles. "Double Fantasy" and "Milk and Honey":  unlike a lot of fans, I think John had a clutch of excellent commercial and highly enjoyable tunes for those two albums.  Many critics said his 1980 stuff was crap and Yoko's was brilliant.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather listen to my cat whine than Yoko Ono "sing."  Right now I have the 2 CD "Working Class Hero" which collects most of the best stuff. 

Yoko recently announced remastered John albums and a boxed set like last year's Beatles box, a treasure which I own and love.  I have to look at the price and see if I think it's really worth it (or if one of the two new compilations are a better buy, since John could be inconsistent).

Paul - mostly bubblegum garbage.  I've heard all of his solo stuff and I'm not really impressed.  Without John helping/pushing/prodding, he's a chronic under-achiever.

George -  a few songs here and there, NOTHING Jeff Lynne produced.  Don't care for Lynne's "I make everyone sound just like ELO" motto.  Again, I can skip it all and be perfectly happy.

Ringo - ah, no one expected much from the lad, then came "It Don't Come Easy" and the "Ringo" album.  Suddenly he was the best-selling solo Beatle until the inevitable difficulty of repeating that success and too much drugs and booze (often in the company of John) in the mid-1970s stalled his career.  If you only want one album by Ringo, I guess I'd go with "Photograph: Best of."  Harmless, dumb fun, which is more than I can say for George and Paul.  DUCKS!

IMHO none were ever as good solo as they were when they were The Beatles, but to this day, John holds the greatest interest for me as a solo artist.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 08:19:09 am by Saxman » Report Spam   Logged
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy