“If the Beatles hadn’t broken up, what would their 1970s albums have sounded like?” asks David L. Ulin in the 2009 music issue of the Believer. “I’ve been asking myself this question off and on since I was a teenager.” There’s no answer, of course, so he invented one.
Any invented record has to make sense as a Beatles album, to reflect the amalgam the band was, the formulas on which they relied. For all their innovations, the Beatles were formulaic as well, building albums that had a standard architecture (one or two songs from George, a balance of John and Paul, and a quick dash of Ringo). You can’t forget that when considering what they might have done.
After taking readers on a tour of post-breakup Beatle solo albums, Ulin fashions four hypothetical Beatles albums. Here’s one:
Too Many People
Crippled Inside (John)
It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo, cowritten with George)
Teddy Boy (Paul)
All Things Must Pass (George)
Another Day (Paul)
Too Many People (Paul)
Jealous Guy (John)
Gimme Some Truth (John)
Awaiting on You All (George)
Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (Paul)
Monkberry Moon Delight (Paul)
We needed to hear this hypothetical blockbuster, so we brought it to life over at imeem. Enjoy: