People love to off handily dismiss the solo work of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison and say that they were no good after The Beatles. And while it is true that they never quite reached the same level as The Beatles (but who has?) they really did release a number of great albums after “the greatest band of all time.”
In this article I highlight five such albums that I recommend you give an honest listen to. Are any of these albums a match for Revolver, The White Album, or Abbey Road? No, not in my opinion. But not many albums are in that league! While these albums may not be true classics, they are (in some cases) very close to that status.
Paul McCartney – McCartney (1970) – I love this album. I love it’s “homemade DIY” charm. It sounds like a great singer/songwriter/musician just recording for the fun of it rather than to really please anyone in particular. Some people see that as unfocused. I see it as charming. I think if a mostly unknown artist had recorded this same album it’d be considered a real “gem” by hipsters but since it’s Paul McCartney it’s too often overlooked.
John Lennon – Mind Games (1973) – A lot of people have heard the title track but I think the rest of the album is mostly unknown to people until they hear it. This makes it quite a “revelatory” experience to a Beatles fan in my opinion. It’s a good album and works really well as an album (rather than just a collection of songs.)
George Harrison – All Things Must Pass (1970) – This one was a huge revelation as showed what a prolific songwriter George was He had a lot of songs built up from his time with The Beatles that he wasn’t able to get onto Beatles albums thus this triple album came into being (the 3rd LP being instrumental jams.) Unfortunately he never came close to matching this album the rest of his career, in my opinion.
Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full (2007) – A lot of people were disappointed by this one in comparison with Chaos & Creation… and I can understand that, but it’s really a completely different side of Paul. Chaos… was the disciplined Paul. This is the “do anything he damn well pleases” Paul. I find both Paul’s charming and I think this is a pretty great album.
John Lennon/Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy (1980) – The quality of Lennon’s songs on his final album before his untimely death shows that Lennon still had some great music left in him. Sure these were probably Lennon’s most purely “pop” songs he had recorded during his solo career but they weren’t fluffy pop. These were (and are) great songs.
These are just five post Beatles albums that I chose out of the many that I appreciate, please do not think that this list is any way a “complete” list of all of the best post Beatles albums. It is definitely not!
Stephen Stills and Judy Collins
50 years ago, singer-songwriter Stephen Stills met singer-songwriter Judy Collins, known for her piercing ocean blue eyes. Their tumultuous love affair would later be immortalized by Stills with his composition Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, performed by Crosby, Stills & Nash on their landmark debut. Both artists would go gone to shape modern music with visionary approaches, but Stills and Collins short fiery union remains a transformative era for the two artists. This summer, the two icons of folk will celebrate the golden anniversary of their formative time together. Their joint summer tour marks the first time ever Stills and Collins have been onstage together. For this once in a lifetime experience, the two music legends will pull from their rich catalogs, debut songs from their upcoming album, due out Summer of 2017, and share warm and intimate stories from their journeys and the1960s folk and Laurel Canyon scenes they helped build. Stills and Collins met in 1967 and dated for two years. Stills wrote and demoed his legendary love song to Collins right after he left Buffalo Springfield, before he joined CSN. Suite: Judy Blue Eyes is a five-section romantic epic brimming with heartfelt sincerity. The song has been ranked #418 in Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time Poll. Stills is known for his work with Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and his solo work. In addition to Suite: Judy Blue Eyes, Still is best known for the hits For What Its Worth by Buffalo Springfield and Love The One Youre With from his solo debut, Stephen Stills. Hes a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and ranked #28 in Rolling Stone Magazines The 100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time. He also has the added distinction of being the first artist to be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame twice in one night (for his work with CSN and Buffalo Springfield). Collins is known for her eclectic palette as a solo artist, melding folk, rock, classical, and jazz into a singular aesthetic. Shes earned five Grammy nominations including one in 2017 and one Grammy win. Outside of music, Collins has published two memoirs, one novel, and, in 1975, was nominated for an Academy Award for the documentary Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman. Collins is also a lifelong activist.