Beatles fans and music lovers in general, often fantasize about what the group might have produced had they stayed together and continued making music into the ‘70s. Well, the truth is, They did. There is the last Beatles album published during the 70s, we just need to look for it in the right places, because it´s out there, hidden in plain sight.
So here is what we did. We look into Harrison, Lennon and McCartney recorded song demos for the Beatles rejected at the time, but ultimately released later on in their solo albums. If we keep in mind they had basically stopped collaborating on songs after 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, this material would have been the natural Beatles album to follow 1970 Let it Be. Magic occurs when you place and listen to these songs in the Beatles conceptual framework.
While outtakes of Beatles sessions provided much of the basis for song choices, we picked the finished, solo album versions for all songs. These actually released songs are the versions that the artists wanted to create without no doubt. It also proves that even though these tracks were rejected during the Beatles era, John, Paul, and George included them in their solo albums.
Now, given the internal climate of the band, some compromises would have been needed in other to work together one more time. For instance, after he brought Something and Here ComesThe Sun to Abbey Road, George Harrison’s backlog of music starts to become a key feature, and he takes a more dominant role in the tracklisting. Also, we´ll assume they´d have used multiple producers, which would have been another pioneering concept at that time. Most likely John and Paul, would have decoupled the Lennon/McCartney songwriting team, and credited Lennon and McCartney separately for their songs.
There are just two aspects of this final Beatles album we can only guess; its title and its song sequence. But, hey, this is the fun part of this project, isn´t it?
For the album title we have to options, Get back, the working title for the recording sessions that ended up being Let it Be. But this is not a good option since it’s also a song title from Let It Be album. The other option is Everest, the working title for what finally became Abbey Road. So we opted for Everest, an epic title in tune with the tone of the tracks in this album.
Our search yelled 18 such a songs. The technology at the time would allow for roughly 9 tracks on each side, but the length of some tracks here made us leave it at 14 songs, a very usual number of tracks for Beatles LPs.
Last, but not least, to get as close as possible to the vinyl experience of turning the record to listen to both sides we divided the playlist in two.
Try to imagine it is the winter of 1972, the Beatles haven’t released an album in two years, there were all sorts of bickering in the press, everyone thought they had broken up, Let It Be album had been disappointing, everyone wanted the Abbey Road Beatles back again. Then, right before Christmas, Apple Records releases… Everest.
Gimme Some Truth (Lennon). Work on the song began as early as January 1969 during The Beatles’ Get Back sessions, which would eventually evolve into the Let It Be album. Originally spelled Give Me Some Truth it’s a protest song, later released on John’s second 1971 album Imagine.
Junk (McCartney). The Beatles passed over this Paul´s song twice, once on The White Album and then on Abbey Road. It was finally released on his first solo album.
Not Guilty (Harrison). George Harrison wrote this song in 1968 during the Beatles’ Transcendental Meditation course in India with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The band spent several days recording the song during the sessions for their White Album. The track was completed in August 1968 but not included on the release, but It was later included in his solo self-titled 1979 album George Harrison.
Another Day (McCartney). It was written and previewed during the Beatles’ Let It Be. But It was later released on 19 February 1971 in the UK, as the first Paul’s solo single with Oh Woman, Oh Why as the B-side.
Wah-Wah (Harrison). It´s a cry of anger about his vexed relationship with McCartney, which he had written in the midst of the cursed filming of Let It Be, and released later on his first solo album.
Isn´t It a Pity (Harrison). George wrote the song in 1966, but it was rejected for inclusion on releases by the Beatles. Later, Isn´t it a Pity, was included in his 1970 solo album All Things Must Pass. The song was also issued on a double A-side single with My Sweet Lord.
Mind Games (Lennon). Originally known as Make Love Not War, this song had been in Lennon’s back pocket since 1969 and can be heard in some of the later Beatles recording sessions. Its strange lyrics, featuring “mind guerillas” and “karmic wheels,” combined Lennon’s interests in mysticism and mind alteration, as well as hippie culture. The real genius of the song is the dense layers of instrumentation. Later, it became the title track for Lennon’s fourth solo album, released in 1973.
All Things Must Pass (Harrison). George recorded a demo of the complete song in February 1969, the Beatles tried it in but never got back to it. George, of course, recorded it in 1971 for his first solo album.
Look at Me (Lennon). John began writing Look at Me in India in 1968, during the extended sessions for the Beatles’ self-titled double album, he then shelved the song until 1970, when he recorded it for his debut solo album.
Every Night (McCartney). Paul premiered it during The Beatles’ Get Back/Let It Be Sessions. The group messed around with the song on 21 and 24 January 1969, a brief run through and John Lennon on slide guitar, respectively. It was later released on his McCartney album on April 17, 1970.
Jealous Guy (Lennon). The song was originally titled Child of Nature, inspired by the Beatles’ trip to India, and three different versions of this song have surfaced from various recording sessions. Eventually, Lennon reworked the piece as an apology and explanation to Yoko for his jealous nature and well-documented destructive behavior.
The Back Seat of My Car (McCartney). Paul first presented this composition for The Beatles’ consideration during the Get Back rehearsals on 14 January 1969 at Twickenham Film Studios in London, but the album was aborted before anything could be done with the song, which eventually did not make it onto Let It Be either. It was later released by him and his wife Linda McCartney as the last track on the 1971 album Ram. Several months later, it was released as a single in the UK.
Let It Down (Harrison). George wrote this song in 1968 and offered it to the Beatles in January 1969 for inclusion on what became the Let It Be album, 1970. It subsequently was released on his first solo album.
Teddy Boy (McCartney). It was written by McCartney during the Beatles’ stay in India and originally recorded during the 1969 sessions for what would become the Let It Be album. Several versions exist, some of them including electric guitar by George Harrison or improvised harmony vocals by McCartney and Lennon. According to Paul, due to tension in the group, nobody had the patience to work with it. Still, the Beatles recorded the song 6 times in January 1969, at their Apple Studios in London. It was later released on his first solo album McCartney, released in April 1970 after the Beatles disbanded.