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Beatles solo albums - the best ones and your favorites
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13 September 2014
4.04am
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Ahhh Girl
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Yellow and blue make green. The three threads I have brought together to form this thread started out with the premise that they would discuss EITHER the best solo album from each Beatle OR each poster's favorite solo album. However, each of the threads began criss-crossing "favorite" and "best". So since that is the inclination, let's have one thread where people can list either or both. In your post you can say if you are telling us what and why you picked the album to be the best one from that Beatle, or you can tell us your favorite one, or you can do both. You may list your one overall favorite (or one you think is the best). You may list your favorite solo album from each of The Beatles...or which one you think is the best one from each of them.

Thread 1 --> posts 2-90 / title Favorite solo album
Thread 2 --> posts 91-120 / title What is each of The Beatles best solo album
Thread 3 --> posts 121-181 / title Best albums of the solo years

The following people thank Ahhh Girl for this post:

meanmistermustard
3 July 2009
2.31pm
Sgt. Pepper
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What's your favorite out of all the Beatles' solo albums? Mine is Paul's Back To The Egg.

5 August 2009
6.17pm
BillyShears
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John Lennon-Sometime in New York City

Ringo Starr- RINGO

George Harrison- All Things Must Pass

Paul McCartney-Wings At The Speed Of Sound

23 September 2009
1.14pm
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Joe
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Wow - I didn't think anyone really rated STINYC. I've had it on vinyl for years, but haven't been tempted to dust it down. I heard The Luck Of The Irish recently and Yoko's awful voice, and the dreadful lyrics about leprechauns put me off. That the album was the follow-up to Imagine beggars belief.

My favourite Beatles solo album is probably Plastic Ono Band, though these days I'm more likely to put All Things Must Pass On. I must get some more of George's CDs - that's the only one I have. Can anyone suggest a next step?

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27 September 2009
7.01am
aBeatlesSong
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i would have to say plastic ono band.

i remember when i first heard the song "my mommys dead," i damn near cried.

11 October 2009
2.23am
Barry Cappi
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Joe said:

Wow - I didn't think anyone really rated STINYC. I've had it on vinyl for years, but haven't been tempted to dust it down. I heard The Luck Of The Irish recently and Yoko's awful voice, and the dreadful lyrics about leprechauns put me off. That the album was the follow-up to Imagine beggars belief.

My favourite Beatles solo album is probably Plastic Ono Band, though these days I'm more likely to put All Things Must Pass On. I must get some more of George's CDs - that's the only one I have. Can anyone suggest a next step?


Most of Some Time in NYC is unlistenable to my ears although there are a couple of top quality songs on there - Woman Is The Nigger Of The World & New York City. Sunday Bloody Sunday is thunderous (PLAY LOUD!) with a great vocal from Lennon as he spits out the naive, ill-informed, anti-British & anti-Protestant lyrics with contempt & great guitar & sax from the Elephants. Spector's production on this song & WITNOTW is great too. I love Well (with Zappa) on the live album too & Cold Turkey at the Lyceum is good as long as you fade it out after about 3.30. So, maybe about 15-20 mins of good stuff.

Lennon was severely (& to me deservedly) trashed for this album which marked the end of his militant political phase.

To me, John's best LP is Imagine although I listen to Mind Games more these days. The sound on the vinyl LP was muddy but the remastered CD is so much better.

George's output is variable too - I've got them all. Probably the most accessible is Cloud Nine & Brainwashed both with smooth Jeff Lynne production. The Traveling Wilburys first LP is essential too!

12 October 2009
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Joe
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Cool - thanks for the tips. I'd forgotten about Well - that is a good song. I don't remember Sunday Bloody Sunday at all, though. It's probably about 15 years since I last heard the album.

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7 November 2009
1.28am
RubberSoul
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I can't just pick one!

John- Double Fantasy

Paul- Band On The Run

George- All Things Must Pass

Ringo- Ringo

10 December 2009
2.46pm
Amphion
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To be honest, My favorite album by any of the ex-beatles, is actually one which has no original songs on it. That is John Lennon's 'Rock and Roll.' I first played this album on the morning of New Years Day 1979. There was snow outside, so the milk (which in them days was delivered by a milk man) was frozen in its bottle.

 I recently heard this album again for the first time in many years, and its the only one of John's albums that doesn't haunt me. Imagine, of course, is great, and was recorded in England, but after that John headed state side to live and ultimately die. I feel that John tried to hard to live up to the Guru type character that he had earned in the early seventies. His music took something of a back seat. I liked McCartney's 'Band On The Run' and also owned 'Red Rose Speedway' and 'At the speed of sound', but to quote Lynal Hutts, 'I got Paul McCartney out of Wings, to which Homer Simpson replies, "You idiot, he was the best one." That kind of some's up Paul's solo career for me. I do own George's All Thing Must Pass, which I was playing the other day. 'Isn't it a pity' being as good a song as any of the fab four would produce throughout their solo years. As for Ringo, nothing I'm afraid.Cool

10 December 2009
8.05pm
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mjb
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John - Mind Games........just

Paul - Band On The Run (one of THE best albums EVER!)

George - Living in the Material World

Ringo - RINGO

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
10 December 2009
9.15pm
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Alissa
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John: Imagine & Walls And Bridges

Paul: Tie between Ram & Tug Of War

George: Tie between All Things Must Pass & George Harrison

Ringo: Ringo

All are probably subject to change (except Paul's, I honestly think those are two of the best albums I have ever heard, EVER, even competing with my favourite Beatles albums)- everytime I hear a new album, I usually add it to the favourites list! Or, I have phases with certain albums. 

Everyone seems to think John's solo work was so fantastic, but I really can't seem to get into it. It's a shame, because he ismy favourite Beatle and all, but can someone recommend a few favourite songs of his that are extremely spectacular? I don't know, I think Paul's solo stuff trumps his, which for me, is tough to admit, seeing as how much I admire John and care for him. Embarassed

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
10 December 2009
9.57pm
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skye
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Actually, I was going to ask this too. Right now, all I have is a Wings Greatest Hits cd and a hand full individual songs from John and George. That Everday Chemistry which is supposed to be a missing Beatles album is the most I've heard of the other three besides Paul. Am I better off getting the greatest hits cds and working my way back?

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
11 December 2009
12.25am
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mjb
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Well if someone said to me give me five of John Lennon's best ever songs that weren't played much (so that excludes Imagine, Mind Games, Starting Over etc) then I'd go for:

Oh My Love

Aisumasen (I'm Sorry)

Watching The Wheels

God

I Know (I Know)

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
11 December 2009
12.29am
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mjb
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skye said:Actually, I was going to ask this too. Right now, all I have is a Wings Greatest Hits cd and a hand full individual songs from John and George. That Everday Chemistry which is supposed to be a missing Beatles album is the most I've heard of the other three besides Paul. Am I better off getting the greatest hits cds and working my way back?


Skye - George's albums are a must! Do work your way through them as they contain some of the most beautiful songs you'll ever hear. He never made a bad album in my opinion.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
11 December 2009
11.33am
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Joe
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With regards to John's solo stuff, I'd recommend the Imagine and Plastic Ono Band albums without reservation. They're stuffed full of great songs, but after that the muse seemed to have mostly left him (some people rate Walls And Bridges and Double Fantasy, but I don't think they're nearly as good).

Some great songs, though not a definitive list:

Instant Karma (single)
Cold Turkey (single)
Jealous Guy
Gimme Some Truth
God
Isolation
How Do You Sleep??
You Can't Catch Me
Love
Woman Is The Nigger Of The World (that Phil Spector production is wonderful)
(Just Like) Starting Over
Side one of Live Peace In Toronto (the Lennon songs and rock 'n' roll classics)

I think a major reason that John's solo stuff was (often) so good was his boldness in completely rejecting what the public might have expected from him. Would any other major artist of his standing have released a single like Cold Turkey, or a first solo album as raw and confessional as Plastic Ono Band? Of course, this theory often doesn't stand up - I wouldn't recommend Two Virgins or any of the other avant-garde stuff to anyone but the most obsessive fan.

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12 December 2009
8.42pm
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skye
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mjb, Joe: Thanks for the recommendations. It looks like like I need to buy some cds!

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
14 December 2009
5.29pm
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Von Bontee
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This'll probably be a most unpopular opinion, but I honestly find YOKO's "Plastic Ono Band" album to be more arresting and interesting than any solo album by any ex-Beatle proper! (John's noise-guitar on "Why" and "Why Not" is particularly revelatory.) Yoko's "Fly" and "Approximately Infinite Universe" "albums are pretty good too, if not as solid as "Ram" or "Band On The Run" or John's own "POB", my three favourite albums by a former Beatle. 

Aside from those three, I've missed substantial chunks of John & Paul's solo catalog, much of which I find pretty spotty. Never heard any Ringo albums, and my George knowledge is confined to "All Things Must Pass" and, oddly enough, "Wonderwall" and "Electronic Sound".  I guess I just don't put too high a value on their solo careers. The Beatles are probably my favourite my all-time favourite band, but I really think it was a case of the sum-of-the-parts being greater than the whole.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
14 December 2009
5.47pm
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Joe
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I pretty much agree with your solo years assessment. My knowledge of most of their stuff isn't great, apart from Lennon's, which is strange given that I know The Beatles' music inside out and back to front.

Here in the UK (and elsewhere, though I think not in the US) we've got a great streaming service called Spotify, which allows people to search and stream an absolute ton of music. I think almost everything by Paul McCartney is on there, and a sizeable chunck of Ringo's stuff, though only the odd track by George and John (and some latterday Yoko which I find surprisingly listenable). I've been reliving Ram lately - I love Back Seat Of My Car, it's like the Abbey Road medley in miniature.

I've never heard YO/POB. I must track down a copy. I think I was always put off by Yoko's contribution to the Rock n Roll Circus and Toronto Festival appearances, and presumed the album was her chattering and yelping all the way through. Daft really, as it's the same line-up of musicians as JL/POB, which is one of my all-time favourite records.

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15 December 2009
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Von Bontee
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Yeah, well the difference is Yoko's yelping, obviously! Which, if you have no tolerance for, probably would ruin YO/POB for you, unless you have vocal-removing software.  http://www.beatlesbible.com/wp...../', 'sf-wink', '1');" src="/wp/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-wink.gif" alt="Wink" />  But Lennon/Voormann/Starr really made one powerful trio. 

I've heard of Spotify! It's the wave of the future, isn't it?

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
15 December 2009
2.16am
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skye
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Von Bontee said:

Yeah, well the difference is Yoko's yelping, obviously! Which, if you have no tolerance for, probably would ruin YO/POB for you, unless you have vocal-removing software.  http://www.beatlesbible.com/wp...../', 'sf-wink', '1');" src="http://www.beatlesbible.com/wp/wp-content/forum-smileys/sf-wink.gif" alt="Wink" />  But Lennon/Voormann/Starr really made one powerful trio.


If it's in stereo, it shouldn't be too hard to edit it out. Key word: shouldn't. Is there a particular offender you're thinking of?

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
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