Isaac Kaplan

"Is it any wonder I've got too much time on my hands?"

Monday, August 14, 2006

Top 5 Beatles Solo Albums

My cousin used to be a big classic rock fan, before he sold all of his CDs. He had every Beatles solo album out there, even some of the Ringo stuff, but no Rubber Soul, no Abbey Road, no White Album. Why would such a big fan of John and Paul skip their best material? Because the solo albums were cheaper, my cousin reasoned. I guess that might've worked for him, but as for me, I'd rather have one Beatles album than 3 Paul albums.

But in case you want to follow my cousin's lead and pick up some Beatles solo stuff, here's my pick for top 5 Beatles solo album.

#5) George Harrison, Cloud Nine - George tries mixing his sound with the 80's, and it works really well. Forget the most famous song from the album, "Got My Mind Set On You," which I don't even like that much. There's so much good stuff on here, and the nice thing is that George is much more approachable when he tries doing the 80's than when he does the Indian stuff. The arrangements clearly sound dated (especially on "If That's What It Takes"), but the album is still solid.
Listen to: "Cloud Nine" "When We Was Fab" "Devil's Radio"

#4) Paul McCartney and Wings, Band On The Run - Most of Paul's solo stuff is crap, but this is as close as he ever got to his performance with the Beatles. The title track especially feels like a Beatles song, with that slow start and the suddenly rocky ending. Most of Paul's solo stuff sounds either like he's trying to do too much or that he doesn't give a darn. This album sounds just right.
Listen to: "Jet" "Let Me Roll It" "Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five"

#3) George Harrison, George Harrison - You won't hear any of the songs from this 1979 release on the radio, but this is some of George's best material. The album might be George's wussiest album, but it brings out the best of his softer stuff. Plus, his guitar playing is still top-notch here. The only low point is "Here Comes The Moon," which doesn't even come close to its counterpart.
Listen to: "Love Comes To Everyone" "Blow Away" "Not Guilty"

#2) George, All Things Must Pass - Also known as the best double album ever. And even though there are a ton of songs on here, almost all of them are home runs. The Spector wall of sound is kind of annoying at times, and you kind of wonder what this would sound like without a lot of his shtick (how long till "All Things Must Pass... Naked"?). But nonetheless, this is a classic.
Listen to: "If Not For You" "Hear Me Lord" "My Sweet Lord" "Isn't It a Pity" "Wah Wah"

#1) John Lennon, Imagine - I've always thought of Lennon's material as hit-or-miss. You can have a song like "In My Life" or "Dear Prudence," and then a dud like "Because" or "Revolution 9." But with the exception of "I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier," everything on here works. I'm also sick of the title track, but "Jealous Guy" is my favorite John song ever, including his stuff with the Beatles. The songs are much better than the stuff on his Plastic Ono Band album, which was simply too raw for my tastes. But this piano-based album is excellent, and is easily Lennon's best solo work.
Listen to: "How?" "Oh My Love" "Oh Yoko" "Crippled Inside" "Gimme Some Truth"

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

No love for Lennon's Double Fantasy?

1:57 PM  
Anonymous sil said...

Agreed. Jealous Guy is a great song

4:35 PM  

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