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Question on Quora: “If The Beatles had stayed together for two more years, which songs from their solo albums could have been on their last two albums and what could have been the names of the albums?

Answered Apr 2020
To still be together, Klein wouldn’t be on the scene, leaving Paul to continue to lead John, George & Ringo.

Paul decides to leave the Let It Be sessions in the vault so some songs could be polished up, removing the pressure to add fillers. Get Back would remain a single only release. Let It Be is released March 1970 as a prelude to the forthcoming album. On the release date of the new album, this is followed up with the single, My Sweet Lord.

July 1970, their follow up to Abbey Road, Stripped is released.

  1. Two of Us
  2. Mother
  3. Dig a Pony
  4. Maybe I’m Amazed
  5. I Me Mine
  6. Working Class Hero
  7. My Sweet Lord
  8. Across the Universe
  9. Every Night
  10. Look at Me
  11. All Things Must Pass (Anthology version)
  12. Junk
  13. I’ve Gotta Feeling
  14. Let It Be

From Let It Be: Two of Us, Dig a Pony, I Me Mine, Across the Universe, I’ve Gotta Feeling, Let It Be
From Plastic Ono Band: Mother, Working Class Hero, Look at Me
From McCartney: Maybe I’m Amazed, Every Night, Junk
From All Things Must Pass: My Sweet Lord, All Things Must Pass

Stripped is mostly acoustic. Self produced (no Spector treatment) with Geoff Emerick credited as engineer. Lennon moans there’s too many piano based McCartney ballads, so Long & Winding Road is put back in the can. They replace it with George’s All Things Must Pass which they notice is actually quite good.

(Note: Paul will finally release a version of Long and Winding Road 6 years later on the Wings at the Speed of Sound album. People think its about his recent mammoth US tour. He patiently explains that it’s not about life on the road. It was written in 1969. Besides he mostly flies private jet.)

After the success of the Stripped album, having mostly fulfilled their contractually obliged song quota, The Beatles take the rest of 1970 off.

In early 1971 Paul arrives in the studio to find George sobbing. When he asks if this is to do with Eric, he replies “Eh? What’s Eric done? No. It’s because you never like my songs and I try really hard to write good ones.’ To appease George and keep the band together, John and Paul agree to allow George to have 4 songs on all future Beatle albums.

A newly emboldened George then asks if the next single can also be one of his. Paul is unsure, but John says “If it will stop him moaning all the bloody time, let him”. So, released in March 1971, the next Beatles single is George’s What is Life. The gamble pays off and it goes Top 3, suggesting the group is set up for the next decade.

Unfortunately rumours then rapidly spread that The Beatles have gone along with Ringo’s idea of making a country Beatles album…

June 1971 Walking a Country Mile is released.

  1. Heart of the Country
  2. Crippled Inside
  3. I’d Have you Anytime
  4. Long-Haired Lady
  5. If Not for You
  6. Beaucoups of Blues
  7. Oh My Love
  8. Behind that Locked Door
  9. I Live for You
  10. Oh Yoko
  11. Uncle Albert/ Admiral Halsey
  12. Wine, Woman and Loud Happy Songs

From Imagine: Crippled Inside, Oh My Love, Oh Yoko
From Ram: Heart of the Country, Long-Haired Lady, Uncle Albert/ Admiral Halsey
From All Things Must Pass: I’d Have You Anytime, If Not for You, Behind that Locked Door, (I Live for You unreleased)
From Beaucoups of Blues: Title track, Wine, Women & Loud Happy Songs

Reception to Walking a Country Mile is mixed and it becomes their lowest selling album. With hindsight, releasing Ringo’s “Wine, Woman and Loud Happy Songs” as the only single, was probably a mistake. It reaches 28 in the charts.

With this, John decides to regain leadership of the band again, announcing Imagine will be the next single. Paul rejects this idea, saying it’s too preachy. John storms out and releases it as a solo single.

September 1971 Imagine goes to Number 1. Paul suffers a crisis of confidence but tries to keep The Beatles together as a trio and they release a new single called Give Ireland Back to the Irish. Turns out ‘message songs’ is not Paul’s strength. It does not sell well.

With the Beatle brand in tatters, George walks out, becoming guest guitarist on John’s first official solo album, Imagine. It includes the follow up single, Jealous Guy, which also goes to Number 1.

Harrison states at the time, “We should have ended The Beatles with Abbey Road. It felt like the right time, but Paul wanted money so he could do his Farmer McCartney thingy.”

In late 1971, Paul, Linda, Denny and Ringo form a new band called Wings. Ringo leaves after a couple of months during the tense ‘Wings Wildlife’ sessions and writes a song about the experience called Back off Boogaloo. Meantime, George’s first official solo album “Wah Wah” is near completion.