After the Beatles

It’s Sunday, and quite a lazy one, so maybe you’d like to watch a video or three. I’ve been thinking about the Beatles quite a bit recently. I suppose they’re always bouncing around my mind somewhere. I think most people would agree they all did their best work when they were together in the ’60s, but lest anyone is under the impression that they dried up after the split, here are videos by three of them to dispel that myth. As for Ringo, he is as creative now as he ever was. (I hope that was tactful). And he’s in Paul’s video playing the drums in that way of his.

I find “Love” one of John Lennon’s most attractive songs, probably because it’s so unassuming, arguably uncharacteristically so. “Imagine” often strikes me as trite, but songs like this one, with its tenderness and lyrical simplicity, remind me what Lennon was about in his later years. “Peace and love,” as Ringo likes to say (and if you liked that, please watch this). This video uses a rather crackly transfer of the recording. I’m posting it because I like crackly recordings (and because YouTube won’t let me embed the other ones).

George was always my favourite Beatle. I like quiet people. What a cheering song this is, and not just because of that second in the video where George smiles and you feel he is smiling at you personally, or because of the bizarre range of animals he appears with. I still miss him.

Ah, Paul. He may not be the finest poet in the world, but he knows what to do with a circle of fifths. And who can resist a song containing the lyric:

You and me together, nothing feels so good,
Even if I get a medal from my local neighbourhood.

Priceless.

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15 Responses to “After the Beatles”

  1. Josie Says:

    Ah, I enjoyed the Ringo videos immensely. Good old George, too. One of my favourite Beatles songs is Within You Without You.

  2. Gareth Says:

    Do you know The Inner Light? I think maybe that’s my favourite of his Indian-influenced songs from the Beatles era.

  3. weboffear Says:

    Yes, Love’s a wonderful song. I also enjoy Isolation (the song, not the feeling). And it was a lovely smile from George, you were right. Glad to see the Tidyman’s test in use towards the end of Paul’s video. If only there’d been a carpet present.

  4. Gareth Says:

    I believe if you play it backwards you can hear Ringo shouting “This is England, not America!”

  5. Pete Says:

    The Lennon song makes me feel I should probably give more of his later work a listen. But perhaps, as you say, quite uncharacteristic alongside Give Peace a Chance and other Ono music. Crackliness is enjoyable – have you heard any or many of Nick Drake’s home recordings? I’d like to think that they’re wonderful partly for the resemblance to our own early tape recordings.

    Since your recent mention of In My Life (and its mention on FB by another – I forget which came first), I’ve been singing it all over the place, and it has come to soundtrack the week’s farewells to undergrad friends.

  6. Josie Says:

    No I don’t know that… will have to check it out. Thanks!

  7. Gareth Says:

    I can’t stand the incessant stuff like Give Peace a Chance or Power to the People, but at least those songs don’t sound over-produced, which I suspect may be a problem with a lot of the songs all four ex-Beatles have released over the years. I’m totally oblivious to Nick Drake, which is obviously something I need to sort out. If what he did is anything like as good as Tiverton 1995, I’m in for a treat.

  8. Pete Says:

    He was in the year above Chris de Burgh at Marlborough, and suffice to say, they were cut from the same cloth. Perhaps literally, but without question musically. You have clearly been missing a great deal.

  9. Evie Says:

    George was my favourite Beatle too, and Lennon my least favourite. Love is nice for its simplicity, but the lyrics are as fatuous and meaningless as those of Imagine. I *loved* Blow Away when it came out, but it sounds a bit lame now! Still lovely to see George, always, and a fun video.

    Nick Drake is a god. I can make some discs for you if you like! Five Leaves Left is one of the best albums ever made by anyone – possibly my favourite non-Dylan album.

  10. Gareth Says:

    I think the advantage a song like Love has over Imagine is that there’s no feeling of being preached to. The overall impression I get from Love is of sweetness, whereas Imagine feels crass because it’s trying to tell me how to make a difference. But in terms of profundity, they’re on a similar level 🙂

    There are lots of George’s solo songs that I love very much in spite of a dim feeling that they’re perhaps not quite in the top rank – Blow Away, Love Comes to Everyone, All Those Years Ago, When We Was Fab. He’s a man who inspires so much affection, and an astonishingly good songwriter at his best (Something, Here Comes the Sun, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, I Want to Tell You, and so on).

    Thanks for the Drake offer, but I now have Spotify and so have no excuse not to perform my own immediate investigations. (I believe Spotify is now available free to anyone, albeit with certain restrictions – you don’t have to wait for a friend to invite you).

  11. Evie Says:

    I’m sure you’re right about ‘Love’ – it certainly doesn’t preach, but it’s the kind of song I can imagine people getting all swoony about, as though it’s really meaningful, but it isn’t. I wonder why he went so smushy and lost that surreal quality he had with the Beatles. I don’t mind a bit of sentimentality – even Bob is not above that – but this song still to me seems to be trying to be more profound than it actually is.

    George is very easy to love, isn’t he – always seemed a gentle soul, I think, and could be both thoughtful and fun. Something and While My Guitar are two of my favourite Beatles tracks (but then so are about 64 other songs, that never really works!). He was the core of the Traveling Wilburys too, who I also love.

    Five Leaves Left – I tell ya, you won’t regret it.

  12. Gareth Says:

    I’ll be sure to report back!

  13. MikeAlx Says:

    Hmmm, I’m not a fan of ‘Love’ – a bit cringingly sincere, and for my taste, the cadence at the end of the 4th line comes too soon. I tend to prefer darker Lennon – “Working Class Hero” and “Jealous Guy” would be my picks from his post-Beatles output.

    Paul I prefer as a bassist rather than songwriter (at least, post-Beatles – he did write Eleanor Rigby!). I just don’t get on with his twee whimsicality and music-hall style. But he played a mean bass on a couple of Elvis Costello tracks, most notably “Veronica”, which he co-wrote.

    George was just a great guitarist – the opposite of the egotistical lead-guitarist stereotype, he never played a note that didn’t earn its place. Just listen to “While my guitar gently weeps” – absolutely perfect!

    Unsurprisingly, none of them really achieved anything comparable to the Beatles’ output in their solo careers. When I watched the brilliant Bootleg Beatles play through most of the repertoire last December, what really struck me was what an astonishing body of work they produced in such a short space of time. Less than 10 years in which they produced all those great songs, and progressed from “Love Me Do” to stuff like Pepper and Revolver. Really an incredible journey!

  14. MikeAlx Says:

    Possibly my favourite Lennon song: Julia –

  15. Gareth Says:

    Peace and love to Ringo on his 70th birthday today.

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