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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Findings Thus Far on the Solo Beatles' Releases of 1970

I feel like a kid who told the teacher I'd have the assignment done on time, and then doesn't. I originally intended to have published my thoughts on these early solo Beatles' releases, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I have not listened to all 6 albums yet. On the plus side though, I have listened to 3 out of the 6 of them. Here is what I have discovered thus far.
1. McCartney by Paul McCartney is a much more deeper album than I initially realized. Earlier this year, I read a fantastic book on McCartney's musical career during the 1970s called: Man on the Run. In it, author Tom Doyle discusses how McCartney was horribly depressed over the breakup of the Beatles while he recorded this album.

Boy was he correct. After reading the book and re-listening to this album, you can really pick up on McCartney's state of mind. I have been a McCartney fan for well over 20 years, but one of my "complaints" of his music is that you never really meet the "real" Paul McCartney. (One of the reasons why John Lennon is my favorite musician of all time, is he wrote music that utterly bears his soul on. You feel like you you meet the "real" John Lennon through his music. Warts and all. ) You don't get that personal connection with McCartney. There is always this veil that prevents you from seeing the real person.

However on McCartney, there is no veil. You get it all. The good, the bad. The warts, and all. It may be the most personal album Sir Paul has ever written. He takes you on a dark journey, that ultimately leads you to a light at the end of a tunnel, where he finds hope. I'm really grateful to have re-listened to this album, as I feel like I got a whole new appreciate for Paul McCartney's music. Which is a testament to his genius. The music can be over 45 years old, and you are still able to find new hidden jewels in them.
2. Sentimental Journey by Ringo Starr. In 1970 Ringo recorded two albums, the first being Sentimental Journey and the second being Beaucoups of Blues, which we will discuss next. Ringo did something pretty brave for his first solo releases which I feel he deserves more credit for. His first two solo albums are HUGE experiments.

First Sentimental Journey. It consists of 12 songs of old standards from the 1940s which literally had sentimental meaning for him. But the twist for the album was having each song arranged by a different producer/composer/artists. So some of the arrangers on this album include Sir George Martin, Quincy Jones, and Klaus Voormann. Hence each song has a unique feel to them. Yet they all sound familiar. Like a pleasant memory.

Sentimental Journey was never one of my favorite solo Beatles' albums but I must admit, just like with McCartney, I've found a whole new appreciation for it on this last listen. It's catchy, modern sounding, and a very solid debut for Ringo.
Next Beaucoups of Blues, Ringo's second solo release of 1970. While helping George Harrison record All Things Must Pass, Ringo took a short break to travel to Tennessee and record a country and western album. Which when you think about it, is a little weird. I mean, think about it.

The drummer of the biggest and greatest rock n' roll band ever, records a country and western album??? Isn't country and western music the complete opposite of rock n' roll? Yup. But let me tell you, it is a terrific album. And I'm saying this as a person who does not like country and western music.

This album of original songs written specifically for Ringo, showcases his voice like none other. As many musical critics have said before, Ringo's voice is a perfect fit for the country and western style, and you can really hear it on Beaucoups of Blues.

Well three down, three to go. And the final three are BIGGIES. George Harrison's masterpiece All Things Must Pass, The Beatles Let It Be, and John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. Which in my opinion is the angriest album EVER recorded. But to end this article out the correct way, I've embedded three hidden gem tracks from the aforementioned albums above. Enjoy!

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