Join Date: Oct 25, 2002
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Re: What if the Beatles had made one more album.
This would be the Beatles story, if they were to stay together.
It is October 1st, 1971, and the Beatles are in New York City at the start of their world tour of 24 venues, ending on December 31st of the year in London.
The Beatles play:
New York City
The tour lasts 3 months, allowing the band to get from city to city with ease and comfort. They play roughly 20 songs at each concert, before coming back out for 2 encores of 3 songs each. The encores usually consist of "Hey Jude," "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "Let It Be," and "Something." On December 31st, 1971, they play in Wembley Stadium in front of a sold-out mass of fans. The final encore: "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," "Hey Jude," and "The End." Midnight strikes as the final chord dies out, and the celebration to begin 1972 is underway.
Speculation was that the band would call it quits after the tour was over, and it seemed to look that way at first, with John recording some solo material in demos: "Imagine," "How," and "Oh Yoko!" Paul slammed these rumours and said that the band would begin work on a new album in March.
In February, however, John Lennon released a single of his own...
February 1972: “Imagine” (Lennon)/“Oh Yoko!”(Lennon) Released
"Imagine" and "Oh Yoko" are in their normal forms here, with the A-Side garnering a US #18 position and a UK #2 spot. Lennon did release "Instant Karma!" as a single two years before, so this wasn't much of a surprise. In fact, George called it "a welcome change."
During the tour, and in the two months following, the four band members got to writing more songs. Paul, as usual, had a plethora of new songs. In March, they all came together yet again for an album recording. The band wanted each and every song to be at least tried out in the sessions, which made for some interesting music. As the sessions went on, it became apparent that the new album may have a release in July or August. Thus, in May, the first Beatles single in a full year was released.
May 1972: “Another Day” (McCartney)/“Let It Down” (Harrison) Released
The A-Side is Paul at his pop best. It's light FM style pop but it would be enhanced by a more raw Harrison guitar lick. John would also add some weird background noises like a train chug. "Let It Down" would be de-Spectorized and would instead build on the surging guitars of Paul, George, and John, and an organ piece from old friend Billy Preston.
"Another Day" would hit #1 in the US and #3 in the UK, just missing out.
July 1972: "Tomorrow" LP Released
After months of going over numerous new songs, the Beatles finally decide a perfect 13 for their new LP. The title of the album reflects the band's ideals of moving forward, as well as being the title of one of the album tracks.
--- LP “Tomorrow” ---
1. Smile Away (McCartney) – 4:01
- Much like Revolver and Please Please Me, this album opens up with "a 1,2,3,4!" and the gritty guitars start. This song would benefit from John's snideness, as he yells obscenities in the break towards the end where Paul does a DJ impression. George Martin would also contribute with a synthesizer to add creepiness to the song. A great rocker and opener.
2. How? (Lennon) – 3:45
- "How?" changes dramatically as a Beatles song, with a guitar rif opening the song, before both John and Paul sing the verse. John sings "oh no" by himself. George's slide lead plays answer to John and Paul's lyric, a la what he wanted for "Hey Jude." The orchestra is subbed by George and Paul on the lead and rhythm. The song isn't as sad as a result, and instead takes on a tone of "Two Of Us." A nice change of pace leading into the next song.
3. Dear Boy (McCartney) – 2:14
- Not much changes for this song- only the backup singers being George and John, and an added acoustic guitar section for George, with John on bass. It remains a light, old-fashioned song that contrasts nicely with the next tune.
4. Monkberry Moon Delight (McCartney) – 5:25
- Pounding piano playing by Paul and John's use of a referee's whistle, among others, come in handy for this rollicking track. Ringo pounds hard on the drums for this one, as Paul downright screams his vocals beligerently. John's innovations of a whistle, a lead pipe, and a cowbell on the song stand out and make this song quite recognizable.
5. Behind That Locked Door (Harrison) – 3:05
- Paul and John add background vocals, Paul nicely places a killer bassline in, and John keeps the rhythm steady. Add a touch of Ringo with whispering drums, and the track is that much better. A sweet song that surely relieves the listener after "Monkberry."
6. I Don't Wanna Be A Soldier Mama (Lennon) – 6:08
- Things then kick into high gear. Eric Clapton makes a guest appearance to add fuel to the fire, and the guitars go all out on this Lennon epic. Paul contributes some vocal to add oomph to John's vocal, and also puts in an even better bassline. The brass is out and in comes a proto-metal roar of a Clapton axe. George and Eric wail here, easily doing the job to close out the side.
1. Tomorrow (McCartney) – 3:27
- The title track and a perfect opening for side 2. This is another Paul song with throwback qualities, but George's slide guitar adds an interesting new dimension.
2. Gimme Some Truth (Lennon) - 3:16
- A daze intro fades into the repeating guitar rif of this Lennon rocker. Paul's bassline again kicks, and George again comes through with a better lead. The echo is non-existant here, and the band sounds tight and in control. A great song.
3. Jealous Guy (Lennon) – 4:14
- The song that was originated during the "Get Back" sessions becomes reality. A beautiful background choir-like vocal is done by Paul and George, while George Martin puts in place a four piece orchestra, like "Yesterday." A gorgeous song.
4. Heart Of The Country (McCartney) – 2:22
- A smile folk song by Paul, but an added slide guitar by George makes things that much better. John takes the acoustic rhythm and motors along with the song. Simple yet much more effective.
5. Wah-Wah (Harrison) – 5:35
- A hard rocker from George which is enhanced by a Paul and John backup of "wah-wah!" at the points of the song where such the verse occurs, and by a great filler guitar from John in spots. The brass stays in the song.
6. Crippled Inside (Lennon) – 3:49
- For "Crippled Inside," Paul again joins John for the vocal. George brings forth another surging guitar rif, and Ringo shows mastery drumwork. A standard blues song with the Beatles touch.
7. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (McCartney) – 4:50
- The mini-suite closes the album with a sweeping tone. The first part of the song is light, with the orchestra remaining in place. Then John becomes the vocal, "...but we haven't done a bloody thing all day..." The bridge is standard, before exploding into Admiral Halsey, where George's guitar comes out and Ringo's drums are accentuated. The song, as a Beatle song, would sound much louder and raucous. The very end, with the fade out and the "oooohs" give way to laughter and merriment. A happy and fitting closer.
Simply put, Tomorrow is a more balanced effort from the Fab Four. "Jealous Guy," "Wah Wah," and "Smile Away" are the highlights, with many underrated gems also included. It would be on par with Revolver, but with a more rock oriented sound, like Let It Be.
Tomorrow would hit number 1 and stay there for some time, most likely into September. A new Beatles single would appear in August, after the time of the album's release.
August 1972: “Too Many People” (McCartney)/“It's So Hard” (Lennon) Released
"Too Many People" is the Beatles at their pop finest. McCartney's song features great vocals, a dictating bassline, and more George electric. The B-Side is John again in his state of anguish. It's a rock song with a tight Beatle sound to it.
“Too Many People" would make the ascention to #1 in England, but in the US, it would hit #6.
October 1972: “Isn't It A Pity” (Harrison)/“Backseat Of My Car” (McCartney) Released
A double A-side, George's song is the "ode" to "Hey Jude" and is just as beautiful. The second song, Paul's "Backseat" is a mini-suite, getting an advantage from John, Ringo, and George's influences.
"Isn't It A Pity" hits #1 in the US and #21 in the UK. Meanwhile, on its own gas, "Backseat" goes to #11 in the UK.
The band decides to take some time off to concentrate on their own, personal lives. Paul works on some new songs, very raw for what they are, but keeps them on hold. George starts to write new songs, and John the same. Ringo finally decides to craft some new songs as well, with help from each Beatle.
It is now October 1972, but how long will it take for the Beatles to come together again?
Time will tell...