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Old 11-05-2019, 08:42 PM
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If Beatles recorded in 1980.


If the Beatles recorded in 1980.lennon received or avoided Chapman could they of made a great album or made fools of themselves?
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:57 PM
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Of course it would've been great.
Now I don't think them touring or making movies again would've worked, though.

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Old 11-05-2019, 09:05 PM
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I'm not sure I understand all your question there, but I think that since they never made a bad album in their time together, they probably could have made another good one.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:16 PM
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They had all matured, both as songwriters and producers, so the 1980 version would have been better. The big difference would be that the songs would be more distinctly different - "all John" and "all Paul" compositions instead of the classic melange of Paul touches to a John song and vice versa.

Also, I think George would have demanded and gotten more of his songs on the album.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:19 PM
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Judging from their solo outings, they had each pretty much run out of good ideas by 1973 or so. So, I am not as optimistic as other posters.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:24 PM
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Also, I think George would have demanded and gotten more of his songs on the album.
That could only be a good thing in my opinion.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:27 PM
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How do you feel about the albums the Rolling Stones released in the '80s? Because I figure probably something like that.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:32 PM
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If the Beatles recorded in 1980.lennon received or avoided Chapman could they of made a great album or made fools of themselves?
Lennon & McCartney both made a lot of music (independently) around 1980. It was mostly sentimental easy-listening sellout schlock. Don't get me wrong, I like it for what it is, but McCartney never got any better after that. I don't think a partnership would have improved things much.

What really frustrates me is how Beatles plus Billy Preston were really a fresh and different band, and it died just as they were doing some interesting stuff. Sometimes I wonder, if John had lived to see rap really take off, would he have rediscovered his adventurous streak and done some interesting collaborations?
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:46 PM
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Well let's see what the guys were putting out this time:
Paul, "Back to the Egg" and "McCartney II". The first one a commercial and critical disappointment, the second did decently but isn't exactly considered a classic.
George, "Somewhere In England". His record company was so disappointed they had him redo much of the album. It sold well when released, but dropped off so quickly it didn't even go gold.
Ringo's wasn't even putting out records then but working on acting.
So John was the only guy with a thriving career, ironically enough. Doesn't strike me as very promising for guys who hadn't worked together in 10 years, and weren't exactly on the greatest terms even back then.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:06 AM
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They had all matured, both as songwriters and producers, so the 1980 version would have been better.
I respectfully disagree. By 1980, they were all around 40 years old, and were not writing or making music nearly as wonderful as when they were in their 20s. There are exceptions, of course, but I find the most compelling albums are made by musicians in their 20s.

Now, working together would have improved upon any of their solo work, but it wouldn't have been as good as the mid to late 60s stuff.

I don't think for a minute that they would have embarrassed themselves, but it would almost certainly have paled to what they did previously.

Regarding the other big 60s artists, I would say The Kinks were an exception. Their music around 1980 was very good, and an improvement to their mid- to late-70s stuff. But generally not the case with the Stones, the Who, Queen, etc.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:17 AM
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If they would and could work together, which would be a surprise considering their breakup, I think they would shine.

They were pioneers in recording and music styles. I think they would have traveled to the stars and beyond.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:25 AM
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I can imagine a Beatles/Michael Jackson collaboration that would have been so epic in its awfulness that it would be derided to this day and none of them would have been willing to even talk about it in an interview for the rest of their lives.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:21 PM
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If they had George Martin for their producer, yes. If they went back to Phil Spector, no.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:00 PM
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There's a little-known reunion album that was quickly shelved in December of 1979 called The Beatles Holiday Special. Bootlegs are available.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:07 PM
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Maybe they would have been like 1980 Bob Dylan, and embraced Jeeziz.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:12 PM
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According to the Beatles, Jesus would have embraced them.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:51 PM
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According to the Beatles, Jesus would have embraced them.
Out of fear, maybe. They're bigger than he is.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:49 AM
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My opinion: No. They were no longer a band. Isn't a band's average lifespan something like 7 months? They did pretty well, then. Could George Martin have assembled a listenable collection of tracks in 1980? Probably. Would the music sparkle? Probably not.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:03 AM
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I respectfully disagree. By 1980, they were all around 40 years old, and were not writing or making music nearly as wonderful as when they were in their 20s. There are exceptions, of course, but I find the most compelling albums are made by musicians in their 20s.
And Iíll disagree with that. They were making incredible music long into their careers compared to most bands. Also a huge factor regarding their writing is that they werenít competing for a spot on an LP. Mr Martin was very instrumental in choosing which songs made it to an album (or not). Without that incentive (and objective opinion) of course some less than stellar tracks got recorded on individual efforts.

But recording as a band, 80s stuff would have probably been amazing.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:08 AM
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All four Beatles were hitting serious diminishing returns by 1980. Imagine if someone else's name, other than John Lennon, had been on Double Fantasy, note for note and word-for-word the same? Lennon had taken five tears off to raise his son, and Double Fantasy was the best he could do, far from the peaks of "Imagine" or "Whatever Gets You Through the Night." Paul's artistic high point of the70s was probably Band On the Run, with hooky melodies and inside jokes we were never intended to get about Helen Wheels and Sailor Sam. Ringo's biggest solo successes for the decade were"It Don't Come Easy" and the schmaltzy covers of Goodnight Vienna. George Harrison, infamously the slow learner of the band, probably had the best career of the four of them at that point thanks to the witty and pioneering video for "Crackerbox Palace."

Everyone else was clamoring for a reunion, but I think their moment had passed. A comparison with the Stones, mentioned upthread, would be revealing. Quick, name 20 or 30 or 50 essential Rolling Stones songs, there are certainly that many. Now, how many of them were recorded in the 60s? The 70s? The 80s and beyond? Diminishing returns. They are essentially touring as a Rolling Stones tribute band. Rock and Roll is a young person's game and always has been. Let's go back out the bathroom window and let it be.

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Old 11-07-2019, 09:50 AM
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:35 AM
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My opinion: No. They were no longer a band. Isn't a band's average lifespan something like 7 months?
Successful bands? No.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:44 AM
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Furthermore, there have been plenty of examples of successful bands that went on hiatus, for a short or long time, so that their members could pursue other projects (solo work, other bands, spend time with family, get on or off drugs, pursue non-musical interests, etc.), but then got back together and made some more successful music. I think the Beatles, had they all lived long enough, could have done this too.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:08 AM
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All four Beatles were hitting serious diminishing returns by 1980.
While I reserve a dose of skepticism, I think you may be underestimating the important of how the Beatles impacted each other as a group. Their solo careers became the fluff of four people with nothing to prove and nobody telling them no.

There's a chance a record in 1980 would have been more bland fluff, but I think there's at least an equal chance that they would have find a balance of collaboration and competition that would have brought out much stronger material from all of them than we otherwise got.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:29 AM
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I can imagine a Beatles/Michael Jackson collaboration that would have been so epic in its awfulness that it would be derided to this day and none of them would have been willing to even talk about it in an interview for the rest of their lives.
I think there is no need to imagine if there is no heaven ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Say_Say_Say
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"Say Say Say" received mixed reviews from music critics. The lyrics were named the worst of 1983 by The Buffalo News's Anthony Violanti,[22] while the Lexington Herald-Leader stated in a review of Pipes of Peace that, aside from "Say Say Say" and "The Man", "McCartney waste[d] the rest of the album on bathos and whimsy".[23] The Los Angeles Times' Paul Grein also reviewed the McCartney album and opined that the singer had redeemed himself with the success of the "spunky" song "but plunged back into wimpdom with 'No More Lonely Nights'".[24] Journalist Whitney Pastorek compared the song to McCartney's 1982 duet with Stevie Wonder, "Ebony and Ivory". She asserted that "Say Say Say" was a better song, and had a better "though slightly more nonsensical" music video, adding that the song had no "heavy-handed social content".[25] Penn State's The Daily Collegian described the track as a good song, despite its ad nauseam broadcasts.[26]

Deseret News stated that the "pleading love song" had a "masterful, catchy hook".[10] In a Rolling Stone review, the track was described as an "amiable though vapid dance groove". The reviewer, Parke Puterbaugh, added that it was an "instantly hit-bound froth-funk that tends, after all, toward banality".[27] Music critic Nelson George stated that "Say Say Say" would not have "deserved the airplay it received without McCartney and Jackson".[28] Salon.com later described the song as a "sappy duet". The online magazine concluded that McCartney had become a "wimpy old fart".[29] Billboard listed "Say Say Say" as Michael Jackson's all-time biggest Hot 100 single.[30] In a 2007 article, a writer for the magazine Vibe listed "Say Say Say" as the 22nd greatest duet of all time. The writer commented that the song was "a true falsetto fantasy" and that it was "still thrilling to hear the sweet-voiced duo trade harmonies on the chorus".[31]
Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson - Say Say Say (Official Music Video HD)
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:40 AM
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A Beatles session would filter out the songs that are weak, indulgent, vapid or schmaltzy (to a large extent)

In 1979/80 McCartney was pretty strong if you cherry pick: for example "Coming Up", "Getting Closer", "Arrow Through Me".

Double Fantasy had several good songs.

For Harrison, "Blow Away", "All Those Years Ago"

I would expect a pretty good album, say, better than Let It Be but down a step or two from Abbey Road.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:43 AM
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"Froth-funk"???????
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:55 PM
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While I reserve a dose of skepticism, I think you may be underestimating the important of how the Beatles impacted each other as a group. Their solo careers became the fluff of four people with nothing to prove and nobody telling them no.

There's a chance a record in 1980 would have been more bland fluff, but I think there's at least an equal chance that they would have find a balance of collaboration and competition that would have brought out much stronger material from all of them than we otherwise got.
I dunno. Seems to me John and Ringo had better collaborations with Eric Clapton and Klaus Voorman from '68 onward than they had with each other or with the other Beatles. I may be underestimating their synergy towards the end, but they were able to fnd other, equally distinguished work partners with very little effort.
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Old 11-07-2019, 10:16 PM
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A Beatles session would filter out the songs that are weak, indulgent, vapid or schmaltzy (to a large extent)

In 1979/80 McCartney was pretty strong if you cherry pick: for example "Coming Up", "Getting Closer", "Arrow Through Me".

Double Fantasy had several good songs.
Double Fantasy released about 6 weeks before Lennon was murdered, and sales and reviews were pretty tepid before the tragedy. The best songs, "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Jealous Guy," were far from peak Lennon. And since the album was released on LP and cassette, it was physically difficult to skip Yoko's tracks, which most people listened to under duress.

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For Harrison, "Blow Away", "All Those Years Ago"
The OP posits a reality where John was never shot, which "All Those Years Ago" was recorded as a reaction to. It was a pretty tight song, though.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:21 AM
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Double Fantasy released about 6 weeks before Lennon was murdered, and sales and reviews were pretty tepid before the tragedy. The best songs, "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Jealous Guy," were far from peak Lennon. And since the album was released on LP and cassette, it was physically difficult to skip Yoko's tracks, which most people listened to under duress.


The OP posits a reality where John was never shot, which "All Those Years Ago" was recorded as a reaction to. It was a pretty tight song, though.
Double Fantasy had 50% Yoko songs, so it was doomed in terms of popular and critical reception. Hilights were (Just Like) Starting Over, Beautiful Boy, Woman. Jealous Guy was from 1971.

"All Those Years Ago" was written and originally recorded before the assassination and was re-written and re-recorded after it.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:22 AM
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The best songs, "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Jealous Guy," were far from peak Lennon.
"Jealous Guy" was from his 1971 album Imagine. If it sounds like it came from Double Fantasy, maybe that means his style hadn't changed that much.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:32 AM
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"Jealous Guy" was from his 1971 album Imagine. If it sounds like it came from Double Fantasy, maybe that means his style hadn't changed that much.
The music for "Jealous Guy" was composed in 1968, and it could have appeared on The Beatles' "White Album", with different lyrics, as "Child of Nature".
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:50 AM
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They had all matured, both as songwriters and producers, so the 1980 version would have been better. The big difference would be that the songs would be more distinctly different - "all John" and "all Paul" compositions instead of the classic melange of Paul touches to a John song and vice versa.

Also, I think George would have demanded and gotten more of his songs on the album.
I absolutely do not for an instant think a 1980 Beatles album would have been better than Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, or Abbey Road. The odds against that would have been a million to one.

It would have been a great album to be sure. Consider, though, that just a year later, 1981 was the year the Rolling Stones, a band of essentially comparable vintage, with members the same age, put out "Tattoo You." It's a terrific album, but no one seriously argues it's better than Sticky Fingers or Let It Bleed.

I would point out two critical things:

1. Almost all the best rock and pop artists of all time have had a peak that lasted five years or so, ten at the outside. They may last much longer, but almost never put out really innovative, great music all that long.

2. The Beatles were amazing in the 1960s because they were doing things no one else did. They did stuff BEFORE other bands did.

Consider, for instance, Supertramp, another British band. Supertramp made some great albums, and I'll say this straight up; if you could use a time machine to take Supertramp back to 1966, and had them release "Breakfast in America" before Sgt. Pepper came out, in exactly the form it was actually released in 1979, today a lot of people would strenuously argue that "Breakfast in America" was the greatest album ever made. The reason they don't today is because it wasn't made in 1966; it was made in 1979, and while still a magnificent album, it is still standing on the shoulders of giants and wasn't THAT innovative in the context of its time. Sgt. Pepper started progressive rock; Breakfast in America tidied it up into a perfect album, which is awesome, but it's just not as impressive an accomplishment.

Anything the imaginary Beatles make in 1980 will be like that; the likelihood the boys could have continued to be that much more innovative in their 40s is just next to nothing. They made excellent music individually but their stuff in the late 70s is objectively not anywhere near the Beatles.
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:00 AM
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Given that’s around that period a lot of rock bands were trying disco albums because they figured that is how things are now, I really don’t think a Disco Beatles album is something I’d want to hear.
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Old 11-08-2019, 10:51 AM
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Given thatís around that period a lot of rock bands were trying disco albums because they figured that is how things are now, I really donít think a Disco Beatles album is something Iíd want to hear.
You know, the biggest knock against the Beatles has always been that you can't dance to them...
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Old 11-08-2019, 11:57 AM
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Paul and Michael also collaborated on "The Girl Is Mine," the first single from Thriller, which is a solid effort that I personally enjoy (as I do "Say Say Say"). It was written principally by Michael. And there was "This Is the Man" from Pipes of Peace, which is not good at all.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:08 PM
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Double Fantasy released about 6 weeks before Lennon was murdered, and sales and reviews were pretty tepid before the tragedy. The best songs, "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Jealous Guy," were far from peak Lennon. And since the album was released on LP and cassette, it was physically difficult to skip Yoko's tracks, which most people listened to under duress.


The OP posits a reality where John was never shot, which "All Those Years Ago" was recorded as a reaction to. It was a pretty tight song, though.
Nitpick - "Jealous Guy" wasn't on Double Fantasy but was on Imagine. I agree with you on the Yoko tracks. Drove me batty having to listen to her screeching.

With "All Those Years Ago," George had already written the music, but the lyrics were tailored to account for the shooting. You're right -- it's a solid effort, and it included Paul and Ringo (and Linda and Denny Laine), giving us a taste of what may have been.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:33 PM
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There is a fairly strong argument that "Double Fantasy" is the worst album to ever win the Grammy for Best Album. Remember, they gave that award to Celine Dion one year, so that's saying a lot.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:17 PM
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I assumed from the thread title that the OP was asking what would have happened if they recorded in 1980--if they also were born 20 years later than they were. [A much more interesting question IMHO] I can definitely see them being punkers at first, quickly transitioning to Echo & the Bunnymen style postpunk.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:15 PM
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There's a little-known reunion album that was quickly shelved in December of 1979 called The Beatles Holiday Special. Bootlegs are available.
Not sure if I'm being whooshed here or something, but this must be really little-known
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:51 PM
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Not sure if I'm being whooshed here or something, but this must be really little-known
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Be...istmas_records

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In December 1982, two albums claiming to comprise a legitimate release of the Beatles' Christmas messages appeared on the US market. One of them, which contained the 1963Ė1966 recordings, was called Christmas Reflections, on a label called Desert Vibrations Heritage Series (HSRD-SP1). The other, with the recordings from 1967 to 1969, was called Happy Michaelmas and was on a label called The Adirondack Group (AG-8146).[40]

Less than a year later, on 29 September 1983, an entrepreneur announced that he was going to issue all seven messages on one record, which he planned to call John, Paul, George and Ringo.[38] The Beatles' representatives quickly sued, claiming copyright and trademark violations, and won in court.[41] As a result, the 1983 album was never released, and the two 1982 LPs were withdrawn.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:57 AM
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"OK, guys. Paul, you need to switch to 5-string and give us more of a funky beat. Ringo, let's get some action going on those drums. You're too laid-back. Also, we're bringing in Greg Hawke so we have some nifty keyboard riffs to fill in those dead spots. And remember...they've got to be able to dance to it."
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:50 PM
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Well let's see what the guys were putting out this time:
Paul, "Back to the Egg" and "McCartney II". The first one a commercial and critical disappointment, the second did decently but isn't exactly considered a classic.
If by 'doing decently' you mean hitting #1 on the UK album chart, #3 on the U.S. chart. And two years later he released 'Tug of War', which went to #1 on charts around the world and platinum in the U.S., and followed it a year later with 'Pipes of Peace', which wasn't my cup of tea but was a worldwide platinum smash.

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George, "Somewhere In England". His record company was so disappointed they had him redo much of the album. It sold well when released, but dropped off so quickly it didn't even go gold.
Well, that's a bit of cherry picking. Harrison released George Harrison just a year earlier, which went gold has was critically well received. And in 1987 he released Cloud Nine, which contained some of his best work, went platinum, and was his best-selling album since All Things Must Pass. He was far from washed up.

Those two albums, by the way, outsold John Lennon's most popular two albums by more than 2 million records.

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Ringo's wasn't even putting out records then but working on acting.
Ringo put out three albums between 1978 and 1981 - tied with Paul for most releases in that period.

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So John was the only guy with a thriving career, ironically enough.
That isn't even close to being true. Double Fantasy was the only album John put out in five years. It benefited critically and in sales from his death, but the 1980 John was barely working, isolated, living in an apartment in New York with Yoko and not doing much. All the other Beatles were recording, touring, making movies, and even working with each other on projects.

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Doesn't strike me as very promising for guys who hadn't worked together in 10 years, and weren't exactly on the greatest terms even back then.
Actually, they did work together. Ringo played on every other Beatle's albums at some point. Again, it was John Lennon who was the outlier, who never played with another Beatle after 1975. The rest of them continued playing together selectively right up until today. In fact all three played on Somewhere in England and Ringo's Stop and Smell the Roses in the 1980-1981 timeframe we are talking about.

John was the anti-social recluse who was barely making music. The rest of them were in the middle of thriving careers in 1980, and would have major successes for years to come.

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