Monday, April 26, 2010


If you keep coming back here to read and/or re-read the story, thank you. If you check in now and then hoping for new posts or updates, I'm sorry. I look at this site as a story or novel in audio form. I finished the story and moved on (although I'm still working on a proper Anthology 4). I have not abandoned the site. I still respond to comments and update links when needed. I also will correct any grammar issues I find that I missed the first time around and generally tidy up a bit. So feel free to leave a comment or say hi.

I also have not given up on my little hobby here. My focus has just broadened some. Inspired by other Fantasy Album Constructors I have been posting some of my non-Beatles (and some Beatles) constructions at my other blog What If Misc. I've managed so far to post weekly and will continue to do so until the ideas stop.

Thanks for listening/reading

Download Status

I have taken all of the links and consolidated them on the Download page above. Easier to update when needed. Get them while they last.


In order to create a believable scenario wherein the Beatles did not break up in April 1970 and would allow believable 70s Beatles albums to be constructed from the solo albums, I have created an alternate time line that diverges from our reality at the time of the White album which becomes four solo albums and re-converges around 1981. In this time line the Beatles continue to record together as a group as well as solo throughout most of the 70s. This site examines these albums and the affects they had on the solo output of the individual band members.

Each album description is divided into two or three sections. The first section gives the back-story to the album and the track list. The second section describes any editing done to each song and the source of the song if it came from an unofficial source. The third section when applicable rates the Beatles Believability Index (BBI) of the album as a Beatles project and cites any songs that strengthen that believability. Please feel free to comment and give your own BBI ratings.

What this is not

This is not an attempt to recompile every solo song onto a Beatles album. These are not collections of my favorite solo songs masquerading as Beatles albums. This is an honest attempt to construct believable Beatles albums from the available solo material.

I did not speculate how an album release may have charted or what songs may have been used as singles beyond those that were already released as solo singles (which stay solo singles in most cases). I also refrained from trying to second guess the Fabs themselves as to how a song might have differed due to actual collaboration.

I used my own preferences and reasoning for the material included on these compilations. Due to personal tastes, if you decide to play this game on your own, your results may vary.


I'm sure many reading this will be thinking "What's the point?" among other comments. And while I enjoy each of these compilations, when it comes to loading them on my mp3 player I prefer the White Album to the '68 solo albums or I just leave Ringo's album off. I also load the official solo albums rather than the reconstructed albums. I do load the 70s Beatles albums and the Lennon & McCartney album because it's nice to hear the lads playing together even if it is an illusion.

What this means is that this is in no way an attempt to rewrite history in a way that I feel it should have happened. It is only an exercise in which the goal was to take what we have and create a believable alternative chain of events and how it affected their musical output. I am in no way dissatisfied with what we have and how things really happened. Not always happy when you are aware of the many close calls and could have happens that did occur, especially between '73 and '77. I'm sure you've heard some of the stories.

You can view this blog three ways. The first way is to just read it straight through. The second is to just read the backstory by clicking the link on the right or by clicking here. The third is to just view the fantasy albums by again clicking on the link on the right or by clicking here.

There is a list of similar projects listed on the right side of this page.

I did this for fun and enjoyed it every step of the way. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I did creating them. I have used many pictures that I have found around the internet. If you recognize a picture as your own work and wish to have it removed or give you credit (I forget where I get these things), send me a message and I will. All album final artwork are my own efforts but again, some pictures may have come from somewhere else.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Wonderwall [George]
John Lennon [John]
Paul McCartney [Paul]
George Harrison [George]
Ringo Starr [Ringo]
Two Virgins [John]
-Non-LP Singles/EPs-
Lady Madonna b/w The Inner Light
Hey Jude b/w Revolution
The Beatles EP (Hey Jude/Revolution/While My Guitar Gently Weeps/Don't Pass Me By)

Beatlemania has faded, the summer of love is a year past and the Beatles have returned from India where they went looking for enlightenment. They came back from the trip with a new outlook on life in general and their careers specifically. John, Paul and George wrote so many songs while at Rishi Kesh that they realized they could not fit them all on a single LP. So they met at George's home studio in Esher to record some demos and discuss what to do.

George especially voiced concern that given his two to three song allotment per album, he would never be able to exhaust his growing back catalog. After much discussion they soon came to the conclusion that the band was at a crossroad.

It was decided to enter the studio and begin recording all the songs they had, not for a Beatles album but solo albums. They utilized each other as well as friends for the basic tracks but each member was in charge of his own album. There was no questioning each others vision although each remained open to constructive criticism and suggestions which led to the occasional collaborations. George Martin served as an executive producer, guiding each project along and doing orchestral arrangements when called upon.

They also agreed to contribute one song each to a group EP. This EP would include songs from the recent single and two more songs. The four songs would be "Hey Jude", "Revolution", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Don't Pass Me By". Both John and George would include alternate versions of their contributions on their own albums.

Ringo in the meantime, realizing that he had the chance to record an album of his own, but not having any original material, approached George Martin with an idea. He compiled a list of his favorite old standards with suggestions from friends and family, and gave it to George Martin to commission arrangements and orchestrate. While John, Paul and George's were busy with their projects, George Martin and Ringo were able to slip in sessions over a ten day period for his album.

The albums were released close together with similar artwork and named simply using their names for the titles. They were also the first Beatles product to be released on their new label Apple.

1968 - The Beatles [EP]

A group EP released to coincide with the four solo albums. This was done to let the fans know that the group was not breaking up, just pursuing temporary solo projects. John and George both include alternate versions of their songs on their LPs.

Hey Jude
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Don't Pass Me By

Reality Notes:

A straight compilation of the Hey Jude single plus a song by George and a song by Ringo from The White Album. All original versions as released.


5 - Well it is them.

1968 - John Lennon

Recording for the four solo albums was scheduled to begin simultaneously. This was done to allow the basic backing tracks for the more complex songs to be started before the overdub process was begun.

Of the four John relied more on the others help in the shaping of his songs. Only two songs feature no other Beatles. Julia was a solo acoustic effort and Yer Blues features Kieth Richards (bass), Eric Clapton (guitar) and Mitch Mitchell (drums). The result is an album that sounds more like a Beatles album than a solo John Lennon album.

1. Dear Prudence
2. Glass Onion
3. Sexy Sadie
4. I'm So Tired
5. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
6. Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey
7. Cry Baby Cry
8. Julia

9. Revolution 1
10. Yer Blues
11. What's the New Mary Jane
12. Happiness is a Warm Gun
13. Revolution 9
14. What's the New Mary Jane [Reprise]

Reality Notes:

  • Track 1 - used an alternate mix that is very close to the album version but does not have the jet noise from Back in the USSR covering the beginning intro.
  • Track 2 - used the alternate mix found on Anthology 3. This is an earlier mix done while George Martin was not present. When John played this mix for George M, Martin suggested adding some strings. This version does not have those strings which give it a rawer feel, but does have some sound effects loops at the end of the song .
  • Track 3 - used the Anthology 3 version with no edits but the official version is just as good.
  • Track 10 - I cheated a little on this one. I used the Rock and Roll Circus version featuring Eric Clapton (guitar), Kieth Richards (bass) and Mitch Mitchell (drums) which was recorded on Dec. 11, long after the release of the album. We could say that one or all of them stopped by the studio to help with the original recording which is why they appear together in the film. This version doesn't sound too different from the album version so the main reason for using it was to give John some guest stars on the album. My version comes from the Utlra Rare Trax Vol 4 bootleg.
  • Track 11 - there are two White album era mixes of this song, one that clocks in at over 6 minutes and another that is trimmed down to just over 3. I used the longer mix which sounds better but cut it at about 3:30 right in the middle of a freakout section so no special fadeouts were needed. This makes the track just slightly longer that the shorter mix.
  • Track 14 - At the end I added 2 edit pieces to close the album as an unlisted track. It starts with a reprise of What's the New Mary Jane taken from the Esher demo where John is giggling during the vocal then finishes with John exclaiming loudly "Yes sir, that's my baby!".

Due to the fact that John's songs tend to be longer, keeping the running time at a reasonable length was not easy. I did manage to keep it down to just under 46 and a half minutes which is within vinyl limits. The album also splits nicely between Julia and Revolution 1 for vinyl purposes.

There was far less editing involved when compared to Paul's album. Due to space limitations Across The Universe still goes unreleased which is fine because we wouldn't want to have to mess with Let It Be. Also, Child of Nature from the Esher demos is not used which again, is okay because the song it turned into, Jealous Guy, is much better anyway.

Goodnight was dropped but will not go unused. This song was written for Ringo to sing And was heavily orchestrated by George Martin. This will be added to Ringo's Sentimental Journey album which has been moved up to be used as his 1968 solo album.

One of the surprises was how the single album format made Revolution 9 a little more listenable. I never hated this piece but more often than not, the skip button was pressed. In my test listens I never felt the need to skip it.

1968 - Paul McCartney

Like John, Paul utilized the others for much of the basic tracks that that appeared on his album. Unlike John, once those basic tracks were done he often took a DIY approach to finishing his songs. Two songs (Blackbird and Junk) are complete solo efforts and a few others only feature one or two of the others. Paul also covered a much wider range of styles than John or George. The end result is surprisingly cohesive and personal.

1. Los Paranoias
2. Birthday
3. Why Don't We Do It In The Road
4. Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
5. Blackbird
6. Back In The USSR
7. Rocky Raccoon
8. I Will

9. Honey Pie
10. Helter Skelter
11. Junk
12. Wild Honey Pie
13. Martha My Dear
14. Mother Nature's Son
15. The Way You Look Tonight

Reality Notes:

  • Track 1 - although a mix is available on Anthology 3, it is very short. The full take can be found on the bootleg Turn Me On Dead Man-The John Barrett Tapes and is several minutes long. I used this take but I did some minor editing to take out some repetitive ad-libs then faded it out early to make the track 1:25 long.
  • Track 3 - I edited the first 30 seconds of the Esher demo onto the front of the album version extending it to 2:10.
  • Track 4 - I used the version that I think can be found on Anthology 3 but I used a mix found on Ultra Rare Tracks Vol 3. The version found on The Beatles (AKA The White Album) is a remake recorded a day or two after this version.
  • Track 5 - Tough call on this one as most takes available sound almost the same. I went with the take found on Anthology 3 which sounds just like the album version with minor differences in the guitar and does not have the bird sounds but the album version would have been just as good. And to be honest I kind of miss the bird sounds.
  • Track 6 - used the album version but had to fade the jet noise at the end which on the album runs into Dear Prudence.
  • Track 10 - Album version but preceded it with the "When I was i robber..." dialog that precedes an earlier take of Hey Jude found on Anthology 3. I also left off the "Blisters on my fingers" ending and saved that for later.
  • Track 11 - I edited together the two versions found on McCartney released in 1970. I did this by taking the first 30 seconds of the instrumental version and cutting it just before the electric guitar starts and put that at the front of the vocal version then before the fade out I put the rest of the instrumental version on the end and started fading that out after about 30 seconds. This extends the song to 3:05.
  • Track 15 - this is a fragment from the I Will session where Paul combines elements from this song and I Will, I then segue this into Can You Take Me Back from the same session utilizing a fuller version found on the John Barrett Tapes bootleg starting it at the same place as the album version but letting it go on a little longer before fading. I then tacked on the Helter Skelter "Blisters on my fingers" ending to the end.

The challenge in creating this disc was stretching it out to reasonable length. I did this by editing multiple takes together and digging up unreleased songs to flesh it out to just over 37 minutes long.

1968 - George Harrison

As John and Paul grew more involved with overdubs on their own projects they had less and less time to give to George for his backing tracks. As a result George turned to his friends outside the fabs to help complete his album. Almost half the songs on George's album feature no other Beatles aside from George himself and maybe Ringo.

1. Art Of Dying (Part 1)
2. Savoy Truffle
3. Long, Long, Long
4. I'd Have You Anytime
5. Circles
6. Isn't It A Pity

7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. Sour Milk Sea
9. Nowhere To Go
10. Not Guilty
11. Piggies
12. The Art Of Dying

Reality Notes:

  • Track 1 - this is the last part of the demo found on the Beware Of ABKCO bootleg. I do a hard edit at the two minute mark and play it out to the finishing strum, cutting out the end chatter.
  • Track 5 - This finished version comes from the album Gone Troppo. A demo was recorded and can be found on the Esher demos but it is far from a finished product.
  • Track 6 - early mix found on the Songs For Patti bootleg.
  • Track 7 - version from the Love album which is the '68 demo with a George Martin score, used as is.
  • Track 8 - this was a problematic track. The Esher demo is quite frankly, crappy. I found several outfakes that use an instrumental backing track from the Jackie Lomax sessions that feature Paul, George and Ringo and Eric Clapton and sync that with the Esher demo which creates a more finished track. The problem with those is that you can still hear the subpar backing instruments from the demo. Unfortunately, I had no other alternative so I used the version found on the first volume of the bootleg Fab Forgeries. It would be nice if we could get our hands on a clean version of the demo that would isolate the vocal or at least the vocal and guitar without the percussion so a new and better outfake could be created.
  • Track 9 - this is the one song I could not confirm as being from this time frame but it was alluded to somewhere. Aside from this demo the only other recording of this song that I know comes from a tape of George and Bob Dylan dated sometime in November 1968 which also features the two working on I'd Have You Anytime. This take comes from the Beware Of ABKCO bootleg, I tightened the stereo field a bit and added a little more reverb to sweeten it up.
  • Track 10 - one of the many versions from the White album sessions this version is the Anthology 3 version.
  • Track 12 - this is an early mix found on the Songs For Patti bootleg. While I am leaving this in as is for now I may have to revert to the finished album version due to the unfinished lyrics on this one.

The challenge with George's album was finding the material. From interviews and other sources it was clear that George had enough material for an album but confirming which songs are from this period took a lot of research. There are two songs from the Esher demos that were not included on the White album and after some digging I found several songs from the All Things Must Pass album that were written between 1966 and 1968. The only song that I could not pin point an exact date but was alluded to being from this time frame was Nowhere To Go. With all the songs I found I was able to save Dehra Dhun for the Anthology 4 album, which is where I really wanted to use it.

1968 - Ringo Starr

While the other three contributed in some way to Ringo's album by way of arrangements or compositions no other Beatles appear on this album making it a true solo album.

Once most of the backing tracks for the other three projects were done Ringo had more and more time to spare. He gathered a list of old standards and presented it to George Martin who commissioned arrangements and booked ten days to record the bulk of the material. This left Ringo unavailable to contribute drums to a few songs the others were working on. Although less well received than the other three solo albums it still holds up today as a fine collection of songs and performances.

1. Sentimental Journey
2. Night And Day
3. Whispering Grass (Don't Tell The Trees)
4. Bye Bye Blackbird
5. I'm A Fool To Care (Daffan 1948)
6. Stardust
7. Blue Turning Grey Over You

8. Love Is A Many Splendoured Thing
9. Dream
10. You Always Hurt The One You Love
11. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You
12. Let The Rest Of The World Go By
13. Stormy Weather
14. Goodnight

Reality Notes:

Ringo Starr: Vocals.
All instruments performed by The George Martin Orchestra.

Track 1. Written by Bud Green/Les Brown/Bon Homer
Arranged by Richard Perry
First released by Doris Day in 1945
Track 2. Written by Cole Porter
Arranged by Chico O'Farrill
First released by Fred Astaire and Claire Luce in 1932
Track 3. Written by Fred Fisher/Doris Fisher
Arranged by Ron Goodwin
First released by The Ink Spots in 1940
Track 4. Written by Mort Dixon/Ray Henderson
Arranged by Maurice Gibb
First released by Eddie Cantor in 1926
Track 5. Written by Ted Daffan
Arranged by Klaus Voormann
First released by Les Paul and Mary Ford in 1954
Track 6. Written by Hoagy Carmichael/Mitchell Parish
Arranged by Paul McCartney
First released by Emile Seidel and Orchestra in 1927
Track 7. Written by Andy Razaf/Fats Waller
Arranged by Oliver Nelson
First released by Louis Armstrong and his orchestra in 1930
Track 8. Written by Sammy Fain/Paul Webster
Arranged by Quincy Jones
First released by The Four Aces in 1955
Track 9. Written by Johnny Mercer
Arranged by George Martin
First released by The Pied Pipers in 1945
Track 10. Written by Allan Roberts/Doris Fisher
Arranged by John Dankworth
First released by The Mills Brothers in 1944
Track 11. Written by Scott Wiseman
Arranged by Elmer Bernstein
First released by Lulu Belle and Scotty Wiseman in 1945
Track 12. Written by Ernest Ball/Karen Brennan
Arranged by Les Reed
First released by Dick Haymes in 1944
Track 13. Written by Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler
Arranged by ??
First released by Ethel Waters in 1933
Track 14. Written by John Lennon
Arranged by George Martin
First released by Ringo Starr/The Beatles in 1968

This album was actually recorded in 1970 and was titled Sentimental Journey and was Ringo's first solo album. The album is a collection of old standards that were chosen by Ringo and his family and friends and then arranged and orchestrated by producer George Martin, Quincy Jones, Nelson Riddle, Paul McCartney and others. (Sidenote: this was recorded in 1970, years before albums like this became a trend and gave us similar albums by Rod Stewart, Linda Ronstadt and Barbara Streisand.)

With John, Paul and George all making solo albums I didn't want Ringo to feel left out. So what I'm going to do is move Ringo's Sentimental Journey album from 1970 to 1968. We can do this for two reasons; A) Ringo released two albums in 1970 almost back to back and B) there are no songs on the album that were written after 1960, most were written years or even decades before, so we are not messing up any time frames. This also allows us to use John's Goodnight which he wrote for Ringo to sing. That song's orchestral backing fits in nice with the rest of the album.

As for when it would have been recorded, I am using the 10 days when Ringo was absent when he quit the band during the White album sessions. This means that Ringo never quit, he was just busy with his album. George Martin had been recording the songs backing tracks while serving as executive producer for the other three projects and slipped in these sessions to finish the recording.

I made no changes to the track list aside from adding John's Goodnight and one outtake, Stormy Weather.