The rock landscape was a very different place once the Beatles decided to call it quits at the end of the ‘60s. Here was one of the greatest bands of the decade who led the genre into bold experimental directions, only to find themselves at each others’ throats in business dealings. The magic between the Fab Four may have been tapped out, but that didn’t mean that the band couldn’t hold their own in their solo careers.
For the next few decades, every single Beatle (yes, even Ringo) seemed to have their fair share of time on the charts, with songs that could have competed with any one of their classics in the ‘60s.
While some of their records tend to be inconsistent depending on what decade you catch them in, you could always feel that the guys never lost their love of finding new and exciting ways to write songs, whether it was the more spiritual side of what George Harrison was getting into, the overt political stuff that John Lennon got into with Yoko Ono, or Paul McCartney holding onto his optimism and letting us know that everything was going to be alright. There’s a certain sheen around the Beatles’ classic period, but since these guys were still in their mid 20’s by the end of everything, they weren’t exactly ready to slow down just yet. They had finally made it through the other side of the Summer of Love, and there was so much more that needed to be said.
10. Rock n Roll - John Lennon
After years of going on different political tirades with his wife Yoko Ono, it looked like John Lennon's extreme life was starting to catch up with him. Not only did he have to worry about keeping up with his former writing partners having hit singles, but there was also the legal battle that was still hung around his neck to fight deportation from the US. So Rock n Roll should have just been a nice way to blow off some steam, only for everything to turn to hell once Lennon landed in LA.
In what has now become known as his Lost Weekend, most of these sessions were born out of extreme pain, as Lennon started drinking heavily and getting too drunk to even get through a decent performance of some of his favorite songs. Even when we got a decent version of the album, producer Phil Spector ended up disappearing with the tapes, which put the record on the shelf for a few years.
Though this was originally meant to clear up any type of legal trouble he had with lifting the melody of Come Together from a Chuck Berry song, a lot of what turns up on here are some pretty fun versions of rock classics, from John getting a hiccup in his voice to do justice to Buddy Holly's Peggy Sue or going for broke on Slippin and Slidin, with an amazing horn section behind him. These sessions might not have been all that easy to play, but the final product feels like you're right there in the Cavern Club listening to the young rock and roller in his prime.