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Playing Those Mind Games: A 1973 Beatles Album That Never Was

Playing Those Mind Games: A 1973 Beatles Album That Never Was

John Lennon was killed in New York City 31 years ago today.

That's more than three decades' worth of pissed-off Beatles fans asking, "What If"?

What if Lennon were still alive? What kind of music would he be making right now? At what point would the Beatles have gotten back together? Would it have been awesome or a horrible mistake?

I'm reading a new Paul McCartney biography -- Fab by Howard Sounes (Da Capo Press, 2010) -- in which the author suggests that McCartney, especially in 1979 after several years with Wings, truly missed writing music with Lennon. It, of course, points out several more "What If" moments -- for instance, when Lennon and McCartney considered showing up on the set of Saturday Night Live in 1976.

But in the spirit of all those "What If" scenarios, I'd like to theorize on an album -- clearly a fictional album, of course -- that the Beatles might've made as an on-again, off-again group in 1973.

What if, instead of breaking up in 1970, they just said, "Guys, we're all so freakin' sick of each other! Why can't we just take some time off and make an album together in a few years?"

Anyway, here's my take on what a 1973 Beatles album might've sounded like. Note that, by 1973, the practice of Lennon and McCartney dominating Beatles albums as writers and vocalists would've been ancient history, and George Harrison and Ringo Starr would've been equally represented. Also note that all the recordings on this list are solo releases by Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr from that year.

Anyway, enjoy. And remember, this is purely fictional. Just the makings of another "What If" moment.

01. Band on the Run (McCartney) Vocal: Paul

This multi-section masterpiece would've been a worthy opener for the Beatles' comeback album.


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