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“All Things Must Pass”: The Post-Beatle Controversy

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(I’m gonna get in trouble for this one. It is, by so many people’s standards, utter blasphemy.)

The universal question: What’s the best Beatle solo album?

The answer, beyond the shadow of a doubt: All Things Must Pass, by George Harrison.

This, of course, flies in the face of the 900 trillion people who worship at the altar of John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band…and these are people whose faith is so deep and blind that contesting their beliefs can have the same effect as going on national television and announcing, “JESUS ATE FRIED BABIES FOR BREAKFAST.”

(For the record, he didn’t. As far as I can tell.)

All Things Must Pass has a singular virtue that Plastic Ono Band and McCartney and just about any other solo Beatles album you can name do not: a competitive spirit.

Imagine you’re George Harrison and it’s 1969. You’ve had Eric Fucking Clapton telling you what a great guitarist you are, and Bob Fucking Dylan telling you what a great songwriter you are. That’s pretty near unimpeachable praise, on both counts. Then you go back to your own band, and they treat you like you’re some hack they hired as a backup man. What are you going to do?

You’re going to work that much harder on your own material, trying to prove yourself in light of these bandmates. Especially if these bandmates are the most revered songwriting partnership in pop music.

And that’s what you get with All Things Must Pass. These are songs written while George was still a Beatle–songs that were intended to be Beatles songs. John and Paul’s solo albums contain such songs, too, but by that point each was definitely writing the music for his own sake, hoping they’d make the cut to be on Beatles albums but still unmistakably Lennon songs and McCartney songs–not Lennon/McCartney songs. George was writing Harrison songs, but he was writing them with the express intention of being able to stand up to his godlike fellow Beatles.

Which, of course, they do. Each is gorgeous. “What Is Life” and “Hear Me Lord,” “Isn’t It A Pity” and “Apple Scruffs,” “All Things Must Pass” and “My Sweet Lord” were rehearsed for the Get Back/Let It Be project but thrown aside, allowing George to refine and sculpt them to his own personal style. They’re Beatle songs performed by George alone.

And yes, “My Sweet Lord” is a ripoff of the Chiffons’ “He’s So Fine,” but the point in music isn’t whether you rip off someone. Everybody rips off somebody else. The point is, do you rip them off well? And George did. Does anybody think “My Sweet Lord” is anything but gorgeous?

Oh, yeah. Something All Things Must Pass and Plastic Ono Band have in common: Phil Spector.

Fact is, with something as spare and raw as Plastic Ono Band, Spector was waaaaaaaaaaaaaay out of his element. Every now and then I read an article or review of POB that says something like “Spector’s Wall-of-Sound treatment was perfect for these songs.” Come again? Where exactly is the Wall-of-Sound treatment?

What Spector was completely shut out from doing on POB, however, he does with unprecedented panache on All Things Must Pass. Production-wise, it’s the masterpiece that Spector so wanted Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” to be: it SOARS. It’s Beethoven-goes-electric, the sound is so vast and rich. Just try to listen to the majestic “What Is Life” without chills running down your spine.

None of this will change the minds of the POB adorers out there, and I suspect there are some lovers of Imagine, Ram, and Band on the Run out there (even one lover of Venus and Mars, for some reason) who are ready to take me down for this viewpoint, and take me down hard. George, after all, has always been the unsung Beatle. Except Ringo, but we’ll argue about that one later.

Let the indignant mudslinging begin.

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About Michael J. West

  • DJRadiohead


    I’m fucking around with you, of course. I think there will be some righteous indignation rained down upon you but I think this is a perfectly defensible position to have taken.

  • Alisha Karabinus

    How could you even consider saying something like this without supplying some sort of… oh… I don’t know…




    backup for your opinion

    And since you didn’t, should anyone care? le yawn

    Just sayin.

  • Michael J. West

    Because in my experience, Alisha, it doesn’t matter. People’s opinions on this are so sacrosanct that I could present a technically and logically flawless argument and it still would not only not convince anyone, but would generate wrath of the kind that people get when they claim Jesus ate babies.

  • DJRadiohead

    Not for nothing, but Alisha makes a good point.

    Yes, some people will ignore your article and call you a babykiller or some such thing. So what? It’s your article. Make your case. Stand your ground. Defend your opinion and your parents’ marital status at the time of your birth.

  • Mat Brewster

    Yeah, what they said. At least make the article interesting to read. I’m all for posts that create all kinds of interesting arguments, but they should start with a real, well though out post. Otherwise you might as well post it to a beatles newsgroup.

  • Aaman

    The band name is The Beatles – you lack all credibility to name a ‘best album':)

    It’s Yellow Submarine, FWIW

  • Michael J. West

    Aw, you guys are no fun.

    The actual point of this post WAS to say nothing, leave no explanation or support of my statement. I was hoping for an inflammatory reaction that I could gauge and go, “Wow, but they didn’t even know what my justification for it was!”

    Instead, you guys decided to be all intelligent and adhere to Blogcritic’s high standard of writing. Damn it.

    You’re all exactly right, of course. Knock it off, would ya?

  • Chris Beaumont

    What was the point of this?

  • Bennett

    What Mat said.

  • Nik

    If it weren’t for “Plastic Ono Band,” I’d probably agree — “All Things” is a fantastic album, sprawling and gorgeous, better than pretty much anything else post-Beatle. I’d just give the edge a bit to “Plastic” which was naked, raw and stunning in a way nothing else Lennon ever did was.

  • Alisha Karabinus

    Instead, you guys decided to be all intelligent and adhere to Blogcritic’s high standard of writing. Damn it.

    You’re all exactly right, of course. Knock it off, would ya?

    nyah nyah nyah nyah


    I’m running, I’m ducking, I’m hiding….

  • Michael J. West

    nyah nyah nyah nyah


    I’m running, I’m ducking, I’m hiding….

    On of the great failings of cyberspace thus far is that it has yet to develop a smiley that can approximate somebody making a raspberry. (That one with a P for a mouth is the best we can do.)

    But rest assured, Alisha, I’m telepathically sending you that elusive raspberry smiley.

  • bhw

    I dunno. I kind of see this post as being akin to a poll, except that all the voting goes on in the comments. It’s not our typical post, but BC has done polls before.

  • Dave Nalle

    I see it as like throwing chum out behind your boat to attract sharks.


  • Alisha Karabinus

    I see your raspberry, Michael, and I raise you… uh…

    Gimme a sec, I’ll come up with something.


    Howzabout that little guy?

  • Connie Phillips

    Michael, It would add so much to this post if you would share why you feel the way you do about the George Harrison Album.

  • Aaron, Duke De Mondo

    i honestly think you’d have gotten more abuse had you said “All Things Must Pass is fairly, lets be honest, over-rated”. Which it is. but it’s still the best beatles solo album. plenty of folks agree, too. Mojo Magazine, for one, regularly makes the claim.

  • Eric Olsen

    I’m going to think long and hard on that – I’m demented I know, but I really love Ram and Lennon’s Double Fantasy makes me cry but part of that is context. And Band on the Run is pretty great. I love that Ringo but he’s better in a greatest hits context.

    It could be All Things Must Pass – I love that crazy Spector production: “Yes, we really need 17 acoustic guitars on ‘Isn’t It a Pity'”

  • Eric Olsen

    MJW – it is cool to set up a discussion/contoversy like this but we need some helpful words of context in the post. What are the other front runners? Why do you pick ATMP? What leads you to believe indignant mudslinging will ensue.

    Buff it out a little, bud

  • Mark Saleski

    the best Beatles solo record was actually “3:47 EST” by Klaatu.

    i’ve got the scientific reports around here somewhere.

  • Michael J. West

    Already addressed, EO (comment 7).

  • Natalie Davis

    Mr. West, I have to agree with everything folks have said about the post. At the same time, my favorite Beatle solo album is All Things Must Pass. Go figure.

  • Al Barger

    Up against the wall, Michael J West! Everyone knows that THE great solo Beatle album is Paul McCartney’s Venus and Mars. From the gentle New Orleans by way of Liverpool soul of “Listen to What the Man Said” to the bewitchment of “Letting Go” to the rockin’ thrill of scoring an oz at the “Rock Show,” your George Harrison can’t hold a candle.

  • Michael J. West

    Up against the wall, Michael J West! Everyone knows that THE great solo Beatle album is Paul McCartney’s Venus and Mars.

    Wow, Al! I can see now my mistake. If I REALLY wanted to see people blindly lash out at a best-solo-Beatle-album nomination, I should have just let you name Venus and Mars.

  • J. P. Spencer

    PRO: The backup band on much of this album was (if I’m not mistaken) Badfinger (PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong on this).
    CON: “My Sweet Lord” = “He’s So Fine”

    What’s the best Beatle solo album? Hell, pick one you like and I’ll respect your opinion. At the end of the day, these ARE The Beatles after all.

    MJW, you should have known the readers on this sight would be all fire polite and moderate their tones. I love this sight!!

  • Michael J. West


    PRO: The backup band on much of this album was (if I’m not mistaken) Badfinger (PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong on this).

    Badfinger was NOT the backup band on this album, awesome as that would have been. Although, the backup band did contain two-thirds of the Plastic Ono Band (minus Lennon), two-thirds of Cream (minus Bruce), and Peter Frampton.

    CON: “My Sweet Lord” = “He’s So Fine”

    Alas, ’tis true. But to mine ears, it ain’t whether you rip ’em off, but whether you rip ’em off well. And I think we can all agree that “My Sweet Lord” is gorgeous, yes?

    MJW, you should have known the readers on this sight would be all fire polite and moderate their tones.

    Haven’t been to the politics column, have you, JP? 😉

  • GoHah

    Well, Harrison had a few back-burner years worth of writing and crafting good songs that went into the great “All Things.” Other than Lennon’s first LP, I can’t think of any of his spotty subsequent ones I would still play. McCartney’s a roller-coaster of inconsistency too, but when he’s good, he’s good–and better than Lennon and Harrison. “Ram” is good, and I had high hopes for his collaboration with my god Elvis Costello, “Flowers In The Dirt,” but I’m going with “Band On The Run”–a safe choice but a justified one for best solo LP, hinging a lot on that beginning title song “Band On The Run”/”Jet”
    one-two counterpunch.

  • Vern Halen

    You guys can argue all you want about the best post Beatles solo album – I’m more concerned about the best post Beatles BEATLES album, which is Badfinger’s Straight Up, or maybe the Knack’s first album, depending on which Beatles we’re talking about.

  • GoHah

    Best Beatles sound-alike record: “Lies” by the Knickerbockers.

  • Michael J. West

    I have re-written this article to incorporate both my own unspoken ideas and the ones I have so far expressed in the comments.

    My apologies to the editors and other readers who found this article lacking. It was. It was also completely against the standards of Blogcritics and the standards I hold myself to, and I’m embarrassed that I ever posted it as it was.

    I hope this better suits your expectations for this site and my work in specific.

  • Michael J. West

    Now! All that said, I wanna express total agreement with GoHah. “Lies” sounds so much like the Beatles that when I first heard it on the oldies station at age 11, I tore my hair out trying to find the Beatles album that it was on.

  • Aaman

    Interesting view points

    The Paul McCartney album with Mull of Kintyre is pretty good too.

    Why were the Beatles so competitive individually, more so than other supergroups – The Stones, etc.?

  • Connie Phillips

    Wow, I didn’t realize Phil Spector worked on both those albums. Learn something new everyday, thanks!

  • Al Barger

    Aaman, the Beatles would have been more competitive individually than other groups because three of the four members were great songwriters.

    Also, they went to making solo albums while they were still in their prime. Keith Richards and his winos, for example, would have probably come out a lot better if he’d done it a quarter century earlier.

  • Michael J. West

    Al’s got it right, Aaman.

    Specifically, realize that this was an era when singles were the common currency of the music industry, and in particular the A-side was the currency (because that was what appeared on the sales charts). So every songwriter in the band (remember, Lennon and McCartney wrote songs individually, even though the songs were attributed to both) was anxious for THEIR song to be the A-side of the single.

    The Stones had a partnership too, in Jagger/Richards, but (a) that was a real collaboration (Jagger wrote the lyrics, Richards wrote the music), and (b) they were the only real songwriters in the band.

  • zingzing

    don’t knock the production on plastic ono band. sure, it doesn’t sound like every other phil spector production… and i love phil spector, who doesn’t?, but it is nice to hear him branch out, or hold back, or whatever, now and again. the production is so harsh (when it needs to be), spacious (when it needs to be), dead (wintb), beautiful (wintb)… he nailed the production on each track, without the use of 50-100 instruments every time.

    face it, spector uses a formula… it’s a good formula… but i think this may be his greatest production after 1966. or is it 65? or 63?

    also, you can’t start out your argument for an album by arguing against another… it’s just bad form… admitting to the truth a bit… like you just want to start a fight, no matter what it’s about. i call bullshit.

  • zingzing

    and the best post beatles non beatles beatles album is “radio city” by big star.

  • JR

    All Things Must Pass would definitely have a shot if it weren’t one of the worst-produced albums this side of Exile on Main Street.

    They should have jailed Phil Spector forty years ago, it would have saved a life and probably several good albums.

  • Michael J. West

    face it, spector uses a formula… it’s a good formula… but i think this may be his greatest production after 1966. or is it 65? or 63?

    All Things Must Pass would definitely have a shot if it weren’t one of the worst-produced albums this side of Exile on Main Street.

    You people have got to be joking.

    The drawback to Plastic Ono Band, I would forcefully argue, is that it’s a waste of Phil Spector’s time and talents.

  • Michael J. West

    That’s in contrast to All Things Must Pass, of course, which is sublime. Zingzing, JR, I humbly submit that you’re nuts.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks MIke, you went far beyond the call of duty in bringing it up to a “minimum standard”! Very well stated – there is no question in my mind All Things Must Pass is the best-sounding Beatles solo. It was also eye-opening in that it proved the highlights George provided for The White Album and Abbey Road were no flukes

  • Eric Olsen

    my fave post-’70 Beatles album may be In Color and Black and White

  • JR

    My opinions are perfectly consistent with reality as I see it.

  • zingzing

    yeah, mike, screw you, gum shoe. i think the production on POB is brilliant. which i have already said. negative nancy! and besides, bashing on POB doesn’t make all things must pass a better album. (of course, neither does saying it’s a good album… but at least it’s aiming in the right direction).
    back to the point, how can you say that the drum sound on “mother” isn’t pure genius? that the guitars on “well well well” don’t scream punk rock? that the distance and blurriness of “love” isn’t just the right touch? that any phil spector tomfuckery wouldn’t have totally screwed up the sparsness that only makes sense for “working class hero?”
    you’re flat out wrong. no one told spector to hold back. he made the choice himself. spector was so dominant in the studio that he would quit a project rather than be told what to do. don’t fool yourself.
    i’m crazy? you’re stupid. i love you, mike.

  • GoHah

    on Plastic Ono Band, Spector took his cues from Lennon, who wanted–instead of Spector’s trademark “wall of sound”–a stark quality, to mirror somewhat the primal scream therapy Lennon was going through at the time (sorry if this was braought up earlier).

  • zingzing

    i’m sure spector had no qualms about lennon’s production ideas. otherwise, he wouldn’t have done it. he had been producing lennon that way for the past few singles anyway.

  • Michael J. West

    he had been producing lennon that way for the past few singles anyway.

    That’s actually not quite true: the only Lennon single Spector produced before POB was “Instant Karma!,” which really did call for a much fuller production than POB.

    on Plastic Ono Band, Spector took his cues from Lennon, who wanted–instead of Spector’s trademark “wall of sound”–a stark quality

    This is true. Very true. But my question is, why would you enlist a producer whose trademark was a “wall of sound” when you wanted a stark quality? I mean, considering that Lennon hired Spector to get rid of the stark quality of Let It Be, it seems silly to ask him to do the exact opposite for POB. Why not get Glyn Johns to do it? Or, Hell, even George Martin, who proved he could do stark as far back as “Love Me Do”?

  • JR

    Michael J. West: But my question is, why would you enlist a producer whose trademark was a “wall of sound” when you wanted a stark quality?

    A good question, really. I would guess it’s just the natural tendency to pick whoever you worked with last time, simply because it feels easier to maintain continuity. Lennon had worked with only one other producer, so he wasn’t accustomed to shopping around. Notice he worked with Spector again on Imagine.

  • zingzing

    what about give peace a chance and cold turkey, you nut!? oh… ha… even if “shaved fish” said he did… looks like he didn’t. well… *ashamed* you know-it-all. making me sick.

  • zingzing

    phil spector wasn’t a one-trick pony… and john lennon respected the way that he worked. he’d always been a fan. lennon knew spector would make the best out of the material he was given (and after hearing mccartney’s version of let it be… i’m inclined to believe him…). do you think glyn johns or george martin (who lennon despised at this point, and who represented everything he was trying to escape) could have made this album sound the way it does?

    out of anything, why do you attack the sound of the album!? along with the honesty (suspect though it is, he was a confused man,) and the vocals, the sound is one of the highlights. it sounds great! who cares if someone else could have done it? spector DID IT! and it’s good! christ!

    and what kind of argument is “this album sucks because the producer could have been doing something else?” that’s total crap, mike!

    oh, and full disclosure: mike likes this album. he really does. he’s just being argumentative.

  • Charles

    Obviously! His arguments are purile and weak. Plus, he obviously has some hidden agenda. Is he making money everytime someone buys that crap “All Things Must Pass?” How do you answer, sir?

  • Suzie

    George Harrison wrote some really good songs with the Beatles, but none of their greatest songs are his. I’ve never really been that interested in hearing his solo work. Lennon, inconsistent as he was, at least was consistently fascinating. Even his mid-70’s work is a strange look into the mind of a man, refracted by his own self-delusions, marriage troubles, and problems with drugs and alcohol. What did George have? Hare Krishna and rural England? Yawn.

  • GoHah

    >>But my question is, why would you enlist a producer whose trademark was a “wall of sound” when you wanted a stark quality?

    Maybe to piss off McCartney, still nursing wounds over what Spector did with “Long and Winding Road.” I’m kidding (I think). Valid question and one I’ve pondered. But–correct me if I’m wrong– I think Lennon, a quick study, had a co-producer credit on the LP, and maybe he simply wanted to learn the ropes from the best, even though with Spector, it was overkill and ill-suited (kind of like the missmatch later on with the Ramones, though in that case Spector had the upper-hand).

  • Michael J. West

    JR: Yes, Lennon did use Spector on Imagine, but then again I also think Imagine is much more wall-of-sound than POB. Witness “Jealous Guy,” “Gimme Some Truth,” and “How Do You Sleep” for examples.

    Charles, I answer thus:

    (1) Actually my arguments are pretty good.
    (2) “Peurile” has the additional “E” in it as noted.
    (3) Are you Jesse in disguise?

    Suzie: Are you sure that none of the Beatles’ greatest songs are George’s? I mean, this is obviously subjective, but “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is pretty damn high on the list, and “Something” is one of the two or three most-covered Beatles songs of all time.

    GoHah: even if you’re joking, the idea that Lennon hired Spector to piss off McCartney is actually the best explanation I’ve heard so far.

  • Michael J. West


    I mean,

    Puerile” has an additional “E” in it as noted.”

    I should really not make typos when calling other people out on their spelling.

  • zingzing

    caught me. ha. i had no idea how to spell it.

  • Suzie

    “While My Guitar…” is kinda bloated and lazy. Subjective, I know. But, there is no way that anyone who is not a guitar fanatic would rank that track as high as “Day in the Life,” “I am the Walrus,” “Hey Jude,” etc. You know, their total classics. Guitars are nice. The song is problematic.
    “Something” is wimpy.

  • Michael J. West


    Are you “Suzie,” too?

    I don’t know the name, but there is a well-known music professor who ranked the two greatest Beatles songs as “In My Life” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” I wish I could remember the name…but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a guitar fanatic.

  • Vern Halen

    Suzie re: #52 & #57 – I couldn’t agree with you more. I moved my vote to Paul from John when I realized that even Paul’s worst songs were tuneful & likeable, while John’s, though often fascinating, were inconsistent.

    Eric: In Color & In Black & White is great, but the self titled Cheap Trick first album is one of the greatest debuts of all time – part nutjob lyrics, part pure rock and roll.

  • Bennett

    Great job on the rewrite, Michael. Our expectations have been exceeded wonderfully. Speaking as a reader,that is.

    I enjoyed the history. Thanks!

  • Ima Kingbee

    For me, it’s a tossup between POB and ATMP. I’ve loved All Things for years, and I still have a soft spot in my heart for it. It’s a great album of Beatles songs that they never recorded. I’m not sure it holds its ground against the sheer emotional pain and sincerity of “Plastic Ono Band”, but that’s not comparing Apples to Apples.

    My favorite quote regarding George Harrison came from Lennon. Someone commented to him that Harrison was not that good a guitarist. Lennon said “Well, he was good enough to play lead guitar for the Beatles.”

    I think that pretty well says it.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something” are two of the finest songs to come out of the whole genre.

  • JR

    Suzy: “While My Guitar…” is kinda bloated and lazy.

    I agree with this, and I am a guitar fanatic. I also think Harrison could have come up with a better solo himself. Clapton’s solo is just very tasty noodling (which I guess isn’t much of a put-down…)

    “Something” is right up there with the best of the Beatles catalogue. Frank Sinatra allegedly called it the greatest love song ever written.

  • Michael J. West

    “Something” is right up there with the best of the Beatles catalogue. Frank Sinatra allegedly called it the greatest love song ever written.

    Yes, he did! Heehee…he also said it was “my favorite Lennon/McCartney composition.” Whoops.

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Yes, MJW —
    In the same intro (you can hear it on a 1973 live album) Frank says it’s his favorite Lennon/McCartney tune, AND that it’s such a great song because it’s a perfect love song that doesn’t even have the word “love” in it.

    Er, wrong on both counts, Frank. (“You’re asking me will my love grow…”)

    Frank’s version, BTW, is hilariously bad, but it was concert staple of his throughout the 70’s and 80’s:

    “Ya stick around, Jack — it might show…”

  • Michael J. West

    I agree, ClubhouseCancer. It’s hilariously bad. But it can’t touch hsi version of “Mrs. Robinson” for being wonderfully awful.

    “So how’s your bird, Mrs. Robinson? Dandy, Mrs. Robinson, you say….hey hey hey…”

  • zingzing

    just because frank sinatra says it’s a great track doesn’t really make it any better. i think the most interesting thing sinatra ever did was show up in those early loony tunes. you know, “FFFEEERRRRRANNNNNKKKIIIEEEEE…. ohhh…” and then they swoon, etc? great stuff.

    i think my favorite harrison beatles track is “taxman,” which, although great, influential, fun, inventive and classic, is easily overshadowed by at least 4 or 5 tracks on revolver. “low low low” is also quite nice, although its greatness was more chance than good songwriting.

    lennon and mccartney were right to think of harrison as a junior partner. come on, they are two of the greatest songwriters of the 20th century. i’m not going to say harrison was lucky just to be in their band, but… he kind of was. hell, lennon was lucky to be in mccartney’s band and mccartney was lucky to be in lennon’s. i don’t believe that the beatles would have been as good if they hadn’t had harrison, but he was not on an equal level.

    big hippy.

  • Michael J. West

    Sinatra was the greatest singer of his generation, but yes, his taste was a bit inconsistent. He did hundreds of great songs and hundreds of crap ones.

    However, if Sinatra’s saying it was a good track doesn’t make it better, that fact does not make “Something” any worse, either. It’s a lovely track and yes, one of the Beatles’ best. Possibly the best track on Abbey Road.

  • uao

    When I was a teen, I was quite the Beatle nerd; I owned every solo album they put out, even the worst ones.

    I’ve always loved All Things Must Pass for what it is; Harrison’s best moments as songwriter and bandleader, one of Phil Spector’s last hurrahs, an album with a ghostly Dylan vibe (via 1 1/2 Dylan songs), and a superstar jam session.

    That said, I never listened to “Apple Jam”,the third disc, which really is a long road to nowhere. “Isn’t It A Pity” is included twice on discs 1 and 2, and a few of the songs I still can’t recall looking at the titles, even though I’ve played the thing about 100 times.

    I’d be tempted to choose the remastered Concert for Bangladesh over it, which improvesupon the All Things Must Pass stuff, and has other good moments.

    As for the rest of Harrison’s output, I like it more than most people, but a lot of it is fairly weak.

    The Harrison albums I probably still play most often are George Harrison, from 1979 (includes “Blow Away”, “Faster”,”Soft Hearted Hana”, “Not Guilty”), or Thirty Three and 1/3 from 1976 (“This Song”, “It’s What You Value”, “Beautiful Girl”, “Crackerbox Palace”

    None of those Harrison moments equal Lennon’s best. Plastic Ono Band was not only tough, relevant, hard rock, it also was a brilliant concept behind it.

    Imagine is ‘s equal, even if it takes a different approach. Milk and Honey I think is superior to Double fantasy for its rougher, less finished songs.

    McCartney has had some excellent moments too; Band on the Run, Venus and Mars, Run Devil Run, and Flowers in the Dirt are all good stuff.

    And Ringo, the closest the Beatles ever came to a reunion, is fun for what it is too, and is chock full of good songs.

    I think out of all of them, I’d pick Plastic Ono Band, Flowers In The Dirt, Ringo, and George Harrison.

    But everyone has their preferences…

  • zingzing

    every song on abbey road is “possibly the best song on abbey road.” but don’t gimme that crap, mike. if you’re going to say it (which i suspect is not really reflective of your true feelings on the subject, unless by “possibly,” you are really saying “not really, but one could put the opinion out there and not be laughed at,”) then i’ll say mine… “come together,” “oh! darling,” “i want you (she’s so heavy),” “because,” and the big medley (especially, and specifically, “you never give me your money,” “she came in through the bathroom window,” “golden slumbers,” and “the end,”) are all better. i don’t feel at all silly saying that.

  • JR

    every song on abbey road is “possibly the best song on abbey road.”

    Not “Her Majesty”.

  • zingzing


  • Vern Halen

    Comment #38 illustrates the problem I have with All Things Must Pass. At the time, everyone howled about how poorly recorded Exile On Main Street was, yet now it’s considered by many that the murky sound is part of its charm. A lot of current bands even try to dupicate that mysterious low-fi aural sound & presence.I don’t think you can say that about ATMP. It still sounds tinny & weird, and I can’t think off the top of my head anyone who’s trying to duplicate that sound – its just dated.

  • Michael J. West

    I have to admit a bias regarding the production: I’ve only heard ATMP in the 2000 remaster, on which the production sounds completely beautiful and clean. I couldn’t tell you how it sounded upon original release.

  • Michael J. West

    Hard though I’ve tried, I’ve honestly never liked “Come Together.” Thought they did the right thing by making it the B-side of the “Something” single.

  • zingzing

    lots of people don’t like “come together.” but… ringo’s performance is both restrained and creative, john’s lyrics and vocals are strange, and the whole drugged-out r&b vibe of the thing puts it over the top for me.

  • Erin

    I honestly like Michael Jackson’s cover of Come Together over the original.

    Kind of makes you all want to lock me up, huh? :)

    I always like the George tracks because even though he was doing his best to compete with the Lennon/McCartney mania, his tracks kept albums from sounding like one big repeated track. It was nice to take a moment away and go “oh hey they can do this too” because for as experimental as they tried to be… they were definitely…themey in their album approaches.

  • Barry Stoller

    I always thought ATMP was sugar-coated tedium. The first track is alright and “Apple Scruffs” has its Fab B-side charm but that’s about it – a 45’s worth of material.

    One of the big disappointments about post-Beatle work is they all chose crappy producers and uninspired musicians. The guitar on Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band was OK, though.

  • Phil Vitale

    I don’t think it’s blasphemy. Since I’m 61 I’ve been around long enough to know. I bought Harrison’s album when it first came out. It had a poster in it of George which I hung up at work the day after he died a few years back. Truthfully I’m still a huge Lennon fan and still think of him as one of the two great voices of the era–he and Dylan. But Harrison’s album, as a whole, is as good if not better arguably than anything that was recorded in those years by anyone. Actually I still think Sticky Fingers and Let It Bleed are two of the best all total and I’m not a big Jagger fan . . .

  • Victor Lana

    I think the best post Beatles album (by an ex-Beatle) is a tie between “Imagine” and “Band on the Run,” with a slight edge to John for the sharper lyrics. “All Things Must Pass” is up there though, no question.

    As for Ringo, he always has “It Don’t Come Easy” and Billy Preston pounding that keyboard.

    Great post!

  • Vern Halen

    I didin’t know about Billy Preston, but isn’t that Badfinger playing on It Don’t Come Easy also?

  • tooooony

    I thought that was pretty obvious??