The Beatles. A name that is recognized everywhere in the world. A name that belongs to a band so influential that their music inspired many artists and genres of music, just as other music artists and genres inspired them. A band so legendary that most people can name at least one or two members of the band; John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. When the band released their first album Please Please Me in 1963, it started one of the greatest music runs in history. Even though the band had problems and rough times in their later years, 1967 and beyond to be exact, the Beatles released great music for many generations to enjoy. What is most impressive about the Beatles is that, just like Superman or Batman, they have remained popular through every decade since their debut. The Beatles couldn't work things out forever although. The group broke up in 1970, with their final album being the excellent Let It Be. Their final album that the group recorded together however was Abbey Road, which was released before Let It Be. But what if the Beatles never broke up in 1970? What if the Fab Four continued to make music in the 1970's and beyond? Will it shape history as we know it today? Let's take that thought and talk about it.
The Beatles Before 1970
Early Years, 1957 - 63
At age sixteen, English boy John Lennon formed a skiffle group with his friends from his high school. Briefly calling themselves the Blackjacks before changing their name to the Quarrymen. In July of 1957, fifteen year old Paul McCartney met Lennon and joined the group as a rhythm guitarist. In February of 1958, McCartney introduced a friend of his George Harrison to Lennon. Harrison auditioned for the band and Lennon was impressed with his playing ability, but thought Harrison was too young to join his band. A month after the audition, Harrison joined the band as the lead guitarist. In 1958, the Quarrymen recorded two songs; the only songs to be professionally recorded by the group. The two songs were That'll Be the Day which was a cover of Buddy Holly, and In Spite of All the Danger, written by McCartney and Harrison. On July 15th, 1958, Lennon's mother Julia Lennon passed away in a road accident and John lost interest in the band for months. The band continued to play without Lennon and were called "The College Band" when they played at the Liverpool Art School dances every Friday night. The Quarrymen went on to play many performances with mediocre crowds with Lennon back in the band. During one performance at the Pavilion Theatre in Liverpool, Lennon, McCartney, and Quarrymen member Colin Hanton drank a heavy amount of alcohol. This lead to a intoxicated McCartney telling Hanton that he was not good enough. The two nearly fought but Pete Shotton (Quarrymen member) stopped it and helped Hanton off of the bus. After that Hanton left the group and was never contacted again. Lennon and McCartney continued to write music together, and the Quarrymen went on a hiatus. Harrison joined the Les Stewart Quartet with Les Stewart, guitarist Ken Brown, and Geoff Skinner. Harrison asked both Lennon and McCartney to join the Les Stewart Quartet, and the band became the Quarrymen. The band played successful gigs with Mona Best. They played with no drummer and with only one microphone. Due to the band's success, Mona Best gave them a residency and they played there. Eventually the band and Best spit apart. The group, now only Lennon, Harrison, and McCartney signed up for the Television show Discoveries for the Star Search competition as Johnny and the Moondogs. The group was unsuccessful in the competition. During the school holidays of 1960, Lennon and McCartney preformed together as the Nerk Twins. Lennon and McCartney persuaded Stuart Sutcliffe to buy a bass guitar, Sutcliffe was a friend of Lennon who went to art school with him. By May of 1960, Sutcliffe joined Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison and suggested changing the name of the band to the Beatels or Beetles. The new band went on to play in Hamburg, Germany and changed their name to The Beatles. Lacking a real drummer, the Beatles' unofficial manager at the time Allen Williams hired part time drummer Pete Best for the band to play gigs. The band played at many clubs in Hamburg but many would not accept Harrison inside because of his young age. Harrison was caught lying to the officials of his age and he was set to be deported back to Liverpool. Both McCartney and Best were arrested on charges of arson when they set fire to a condom in a club. Lennon returned to Liverpool and Sutcliffe stayed in Hamburg with his German fiancée Astrid Kirchherr to shoot photography. The band played in Hamburg until 1962 and in Liverpool as well. In 1961, the group met Brian Epstein who was a record store owner and music columnist. They were playing at the Cavern Club and were getting tired of playing the same gig night after night. Epstein liked the way they sounded and became their manager in 1962. When the band returned to Germany in April of 1962, they were met with the tragic news of Sutcliffe's passing from a brain hemorrhage. The group was devastated of his passing. Epstein began to negotiate to get recording sessions for the band. Many record companies refused them but George Martin signed them to EMI's Parlophone label. The band began to record at Abbey Road Studios in London on June 6th, 1962 and Martin took notice of Best's poor drumming. He hired drummer Ringo Starr and replaced Best with him. The band recorded Love Me Do, Please Please Me, and P.S. I Love You. The band release Love Me Do, which went on to chart No. 17. They made their first TV performance, Please Please Me was a success, by 1963 the band was establishing their abilities in music, Lennon and McCartney established a songwriting agreement (Lennon-McCartney), and the band's success grew. They also changed their style while on stage.
Beatlemania and the Tours, 1963 - 1966
In March 1963, their debut album Please Please Me was released with success. The album reached No. 1 on the billboards and charts. In 1963, the band released their fourth single She Loves You and became their first single to sell one million copies. The band toured in the UK, and as the band's popularity grew, so did the screaming of the fangirls. The band went touring across the world and Beatlemania grew. On November 22nd, 1963, the band released their second studio album called With the Beatles followed by the single I Want to Hold Your Hand. Their second album held the No. 1 spot for 21 weeks. During this time, the band was given the nickname "the Fab Four". They began to gain popularity in the US, and in 1964 gave their first American performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. They played more shows in the States. United Artists Records offered the band a deal to make a movie and a album to go with it. The band agreed and Starr came up with the name of A Hard Day's Night. The album took the band six weeks to record, and at the same time the film was being filmed. During the week of April 4th, 1964, the Beatles held twelve positions on the Billboard Hot 100, including the top five. Their next few years of touring in the US became known as the British Invasion. The band also preformed internationally during this time as well, and had songs and albums on the top 100 charts across the world. On August 11th, 1964 the band begin to record a new album. Beatles For Sale was released on December 4th, 1964 and went on to have success. In early 1965, both Lennon and Harrison were introduced to the drug LSD when their dentist slipped it into their coffee. They became users of the drug followed by Starr that same year, and McCartney in 1966. In June of 1965, the Queen of England appointed all four Beatles MBEs, this came with backlash as some believed only veterans and good doers should win the award. Released in July of 1965, was the Beatles second movie Help! which was meant to be a spoof of James Bond films. It got mixed reviews and McCartney stated that he didn't feel it was their movie. The soundtrack was dominated by Lennon, who wrote and sang lead on most of the songs in the film. The soundtrack became the Beatles' fifth studio album, with the same name of Help! The song Yesterday written by McCartney and sang by him would become the most covered song in history. On August 15th, 1965 the band played in front of more than 55,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York. During September of 1965, a cartoon called The Beatles was created and ran during Saturday mornings. Released in December of 1965 was the Beatles' sixth studio album Rubber Soul and was hailed by critics as a stepping stone for the maturity of the band's music. Two songs which became legendary that came off of Rubber Soul were In My Life and Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown).
The Studio and Controversial Years: 1966 - 1970
In this timeline, the Beatles stopped touring in 1965, not 1966. After finishing touring in the States and receiving high praise for Rubber Soul, the band wanted to record right away. Lennon felt that they should mature even more with their music and not worry about making music that has to please their fangirls. In June of 1966, the band released an American only album called Yesterday and Today, mainly consisting of songs from Rubber Soul because the album was never released in the US. The album cover came with controversy because it displayed the four Beatles covered in blood and baby dolls. During the summer, Harrison met Ravi Shankar in England. During an interview with a British radio station, Lennon said that The Beatles are bigger than Jesus. The interview was really meant to be an announcement for their new album Revolver but instead it raised controversy about the statement Lennon said. Groups in the South States, boycotted the Beatles and burned Beatles records and movie tapes. In August of 1966, the band released their seventh studio album Revolver. It was highly praised for being a step forward for the band. The album contained experimentation, excellent songwriting, and different music styles. The album cover was illustrated by a friend of theirs Klaus Voormann, who was with the band when they were in Hamburg. The album's singles were Yellow Submarine and Eleanor Rigby, and had great tunes including Tomorrow Never Knows, Taxman, and And Your Bird Can Sing. The album was preceded by two singles, Paperback Writer and the hit song Rain. The band received high praise for their work on Revolver and began to work on another album right away. McCartney proposed an idea to Lennon of a album based around a fictional band. The band began to work on the album in late 1966. The album took over 700 hours to record and was named Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It received great praise and is now considered to be the greatest Beatle album ever and possibly the greatest album in history. Songs like A Day In the Life, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, With A Little Help From My Friends, Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, Getting Better, Fixing A Hole, Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, Within You Without You, When I'm Sixty-Four, and Lovely Rita are considered to be the greatest songs of all time. On June 25th, 1967 the band preformed their upcoming single All You Need Is Love on television. During September of 1967, the band suffered a great loss. Brian Epstein passed away of a drug overdose, an apparent suicide. Stress plagued his life. His death left the group in shambles, and no Beatle knew what to do. The Beatles began to record their upcoming album Magical Mystery Tour, which was really a soundtrack for their upcoming film of the same name. In this timeline, Magical Mystery Tour was released in theatres. The album was released in December of 1967, it had short success compared to their albums before. Even so, it is though to be a legendary album. I Am the Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, Your Mother Should Know, and many other songs came from the album. The movie was released on Christmas Day in the UK and US, and later dates in other countries. Being directed by mostly McCartney, the movie was a box office hit but was universally panned for being boring and not exciting. It received negative reviews. Due to the failure of their last movie, the Beatles refused to make cameos in the upcoming British TV cartoon movie Yellow Submarine, because of this the movie was cancelled. Later on in 1968, the band released The Beatles, commonly called The White Album. It received mixed reviews but had inspiration from every kind of music. During the recording however, the band began to separate and face problems. Starr left the recording for two weeks, meaning the rest of the band had to do the drums for two songs. Lennon and McCartney began to separate from each other, Lennon called McCartney's song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da "granny music shit". Tensions grew higher when Lennon brought his love interest Yoko Ono into the studio when recording. Because of this, rumours in the group were spreading that both Lennon and McCartney wanted to leave and the threat of a break-up was on the horizon. The White Album was the first album released under Apple Records, a record company created by Lennon and McCartney. The album has since been praised and is in the top ten best albums of all time. Even though, Yellow Submarine was never released as a movie, a album was released in 1969 under the same name. It had no new music except for four new unreleased songs. In 1969, Abbey Road was released and in 1970, Let It Be was released. Both albums were praised and Let It Be was considered for a movie about the Beatles everyday routine. In 1970, the band was now almost separate and drifting apart. McCartney and Lennon were at each other's throats and Starr and Harrison were the only ones who cared about keeping the group together. Especially Starr, who needed a band. In 1970, both Paul and John announced they were going to leave the band but never did. The band was supposed to play on top of Abbey Road Studio but did not because Paul was ill. So during an off-day at the studio, Starr brought up the idea of continuing the band and working things out. Lennon refused instantly. In an interview in 1980, Lennon said that "We thought he was mad, I thought for sure, we were dead, the Beatles were dead but his speech did spark something inside of us." Over time, Harrison and McCartney agreed, but Lennon apparently refused. Lennon started the Plastic Ono Band with Yoko and others including Harrison. Starr made an agreement with Lennon to allow Ono into the band. The rest of the band disagreed but in time they all agreed and the next album was on it's way.
The Early Seventies: 1970 -1973
When the band first told the public that Yoko Ono was joining the Beatles in some way, they did not get positive remarks back. During the interview where Lennon told the reporters and interviewers that Ono was joining, few of the reporters thought it was a joke. There was an outrage amongst the Beatle fan base, and the band knew there would be. The first sign of Beatle activity came in September of 1970 when they released two singles of off their new upcoming album, Side A was Imagine written by Lennon and side B was Circus of Light which was written by Lennon and McCartney years before. The next release was a week later with the singles Oh Woman, Oh Why? written by McCartney and Working Class Hero written by Lennon. After some time of delay, the movie Let It Be is released in late September but fails critically in the box office but gets good reviews. On November 18th, 1970 the Beatles release their thirteenth album titled Imagine. The album was praised for its good mixture of music and stayed at No. 1 for nine weeks. The track listing for Imagine: Side A, 1. Imagine (Lennon) 2. All Things Must Pass (Harrison) 3. Dear Friend (feat. Linda McCartney) (McCartney) 4. Give Peace A Chance (Lennon) 5. John and Yoko (Ono) 6. My Sweet Lord (Harrison) 7. Circus of Light (Lennon-McCartney) 8. Amsterdam (Ono) Side B: 9. Bangla Desh (Harrison) 10. Another Day (McCartney) 11. Oh Woman, Oh Why? (McCartney) 12. What's the New Mary Jane (Lennon-McCartney) 13. Mother (Lennon) 14. God (Lennon) 15. Love (Lennon) 16. Working Class Hero (Lennon). After Imagine sold a large amount of copies, the band knew they had to work on something new. McCartney pitched an idea to Lennon about a song called Band On the Run. Lennon agreed and in response suggested his song Jealous Guy. They began to record the two new songs and problems amongst the group were showing again. Lennon and McCartney couldn't stand each other at this point, and were trying their hardest. Starr didn't drum on Jealous Guy because of a dispute between him and Lennon. The rest of the band except for Lennon were getting frustrated with Yoko Ono's style of music. Even with these disputes, the band managed to release two new singles in the January of 1971, Band On the Run and Jealous Guy. The band continued to struggle with finishing their new album. The recording process of the new album took over 750 hours to complete. On August 5th, 1971, the Beatles released their fourteenth studio album Band On the Run. The album was critically praised by critics and sold over 4.5 million copies. The track-listing for Band On the Run: Side A, 1. Hold On (Lennon) 2. What Is Life? (Harrison) 3. Band On the Run (McCartney) 4. Troubled Dog (Ono) 5. Dream (Starr) Side B, 6. Jealous Guy (Lennon) 7. Bye Bye Blackbird (Starr) 8. Junk (McCartney) 9. Daze (Ono) 10. Isn't It A Pity (Harrison). The album was followed by two singles released on December 5th, 1971 Peace Is Here written by Lennon and McCartney and Praise You written by Harrison. The singles sold 500,000 copies in a month. On December 23rd, 1971 Paul McCartney was found unconscious in his home, it is unknown why he was found in that state but he was in a coma until New Year's Eve. The band was obviously concerned and Starr told reporters that "We pray for Paul everyday." After McCartney recovered, the group began to work on their new album in January of 1972. On February 1st, Lennon began protesting the Vietnam War in New York and was arrested along side four other protesters including Ono. He was released the same day. On February 25th, 1972 the Beatles released their fifteenth studio album called Dying Rider. The album had a more serious tone to it compared to their other albums. The track-listing for Dying Rider: Side A, 1. Gone to War (Ono) 2. Sweet Linda (McCartney) 3. Going Away (My Mummy Is Dead) (Lennon) 4. Praise You (Harrison) 5. Bye Bye Bye (Starr) 6. Dead Cats (Lennon-Ono) Side B, 7. Moving On (McCartney) 8. Light It Up (Harrison) 9. Soldier (Lennon) 10. Stars (Ono) 11. Did I Tell You I Love You? (Starr) 12. Peace Is Here (Lennon-McCartney). Apple Records released two greatest hits albums in 1972, The Beatles Green Album (1963-1966) and The Beatles Blue Album (1967-1970). Lennon originally protested releasing the two albums but agreed with it over time. On April 14th, 1972 both Lennon and Ono were arrested for possession of heroin, a secret addiction both were dealing with and told no one; not even Paul, George, or Ringo. The arrest pushed McCartney to the edge, he briefly told Harrison that he would leave the band if Lennon continued with his immaturity. Lennon was released from jail on April 20th. The band began to work on new music in the July of 1972, releasing two singles in August. Wings and New York. The singles sold over 750,000 copies. On September 2nd, 1972 the band released In the Sun, to critical acclaim and it took No. 1. The album only had one record, the first Beatles record to do so. The track listing: 1. Sunlight (Harrison) 2. Art School (Lennon-Ono) 3. Evening Lad (Starr) 4. See Me (Ono) 5. Time Passes Away (Harrison) 6. Wings (McCartney) 7. New York (Lennon) 8. Haneagaru (Ono). Despite being short, the album won the Grammy for best rock album at the 1972 Grammy Awards. The New Year passed and no new Beatle music appeared. It seemed to be a great time for the band, they were at a high point again. They were loved and successful, many still demanded why Ono was involved but it didn't slow sales. The good times didn't last forever however, on March 7th, 1973, Lennon found Ono unconscious in their bathroom. Yoko Ono died ten hours later, on March 7th, 1973, of a drug overdose. This left Lennon struggling to get back to reality and the rest of the group paralyzed with the loss.
Years Of Struggle and Lennon's Depression: 1973 - 1977
The rest of 1973 was quiet for the band. Lennon wouldn't speak to anyone except George Martin and Ringo. Starr and Lennon developed a close relationship through the late sixties and early seventies. McCartney told Harrison and Starr that new music should be recorded to clear their minds of the loss. So in late 1973, a new album was being recorded, without Lennon. The album was to be titled The Colour of Surprise but instead was named C.B.A (Coming Back Again). The album was recorded and written entirely without Lennon involved. On December 21st, 1973 the Beatles released C.B.A to honour Ono. The album was extremely successful and many wondered what happened to Lennon. The track listing for the album: 1. Coming Back Again (McCartney) 2. Never Say Bye (Harrison-Starr) 3. Yoko (McCartney) 4. It Don't Come Easy (Starr-Harrison) 5. Miserable (McCartney) 6. Misery (Harrison-Starr) 7. John (McCartney) 8. We Don't Believe In the Beatles (Harrison-McCartney-Starr). After the success of C.B.A., the band saw years of struggle ahead. 1974 saw no new Beatles material. Instead McCartney released his debut solo album titled McCartney. It was recorded with help from Harrison. It was nominated for best rock album of 1974. In March of 1975, Lennon joined the band again. They started to work on their seventeenth album to be titled Some Time In New York, but due to Lennon's inability to work properly, they never finished the album. Instead two singles were released in late 1975, Mama I Don't Want to Go to War (Lennon) and Clouds (Harrison). It was very clear that Lennon's depression was splitting the band apart, and slowing their production. When 1976 rolled around, it was clear that the band was at threat of breaking up. Lennon said in a statement that "the band is losing hope." In late July 1976, the band began to work on a new album. Harrison said that he thought this was going to be the final album. The album took a lengthy amount of time to finish and on January 2nd, 1977 the Beatles released their seventeenth studio album Revolution 10, which is a play on words on Revolution 9. It was critically praised and was nominated for the best rock album of 1977 but lost to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. The album was battling Rumours for No.1 spot on the charts. The track listing for Revolution 10: Side A, 1. Bonjour (Lennon-McCartney) 2. What the Hell is Virtue? (Lennon-McCartney) 3. Revolution 11 (Lennon-McCartney) 4. Harold and Roy (Harrison-Starr) 5. Candlestick (Harrison) 6. Give What You Get (Harrison) Side B, 7. I Feel Like I'm Seventeen (Lennon-McCartney) 8. Your Circus Ain't Going Nowhere (Lennon-McCartney) 9. I Got Your Hand Grenade (Lennon) 10. Forgotten Wishes (Starr) 11. Bella (McCartney) 12. Day of the Moment (Harrison-Starr). A weeks after the release and success of the album, McCartney received depressing news that his father Jim McCartney had passed away of an apparent stroke. Sadness hit McCartney but didn't slow him down however, he went on to release his second solo effort called London Town. The album had the song that became a hit called Maybe I'm Amazed. Lennon does the same by releasing Unused, which featured songs that Lennon and Ono recorded but never released in the early seventies and late sixties. So 1977 was a active year for the band members and the rest of the seventies would be eventful as well.
The Late Seventies and the Two Tours: 1977 - 1980
The rest of 1977 saw the Beatles working on new pieces of work, trying to experiment with music. Lennon who was still upset by the passing of Ono was drifting away from the band. When the band first gained popularity, he said that he would not be in the same band by the time he was 30. In '77, he was now 37. In January of 1978, Lennon brought back the Plastic Ono Band with Klaus Voormann, Eric Clapton, and Alan White. He now belonged to both bands. On February 3rd, 1978 the Beatles released their eighteenth studio album called Life to critical claim and sold 3.5 million copies. The track-listing for Life: Side A, 1. Cold Loser (Lennon) 2. Last Straw (Lennon-McCartney) 3. Big Men (Starr) 4. Sea (Harrison) 5. Awaken (Harrison-Starr) 6. One Day (Harrison-Starr) Side B, 7. Million Dollar Mansion (Lennon-McCartney) 8. Who Knows? (Lennon) 9. Feeling A Drift Is Like A Know It All (Harrison) 10. Going Down (McCartney) 11. Breeze In the Trees (Harrison-Starr) 12. Pain (Lennon). The album was nominated for best album of 1978. After the success of Life, Lennon decided to record new music with the Plastic Ono Band. On April 3rd, 1978 Harrison and his wife saw a vision of his father in the middle of the night and on the same day Harrison's father passed away. On May 12th, the Plastic Ono Band released their first official studio album titled Double Fantasy. In late July of 1978, the Beatles' manager George Martin talked the group into touring once again but instead inside theatres. Lennon refused to tour originally, and McCartney hesitated. None of the members except Lennon played live since 1965. Lennon played in Toronto, Ontario in 1969. The members agreed eventually to tour for 1979 and possibly 1980. The first tour started on January 3rd, 1979. They played classics as well as new music. The crowds demanded for encores and the tour was a success. On August 4th, 1979 the band began to work on a new album. On August 14th, Lennon announced that he was now drug-free and that the Plastic Ono Band was working on their second studio album. On September 11th, 1979 the Beatles released their nineteenth studio album titled British Weekend. The album was extremely successful and stayed at No.1 for 22 weeks, the longest Beatle album to do so. It won the best album of 1979 award. The track-listing for British Weekend: 1. You Can't Feel Love (Lennon-McCartney) 2. Look Within Yourself (Harrison) 3. Nineteen Eighty Two (Lennon) 4. Spain (Lennon) 5. You Know When It's Right (Harrison-Starr) 6. Rhythm (McCartney) 7. Foreshadow Your Love (McCartney) 8. Baby Green (Lennon-McCartney). On December 7th, the Plastic Ono Band released their second album titled Hope. In 1980, the Beatles mainly toured across the world for their final tour. This tour would be the last for the band. In September of 1980, the band announced that their twentieth album was on the way and it was to be called Treasure Going Live. It was set to be released in early 1981. On November 2nd, 1980 Harrison divorced his long time wife Pattie Boyd because he began to see another woman named Olivia. Harrison and Boyd were slowly separating throughout 1979 and 1980. On December 5th, 1980 McCartney released two singles, Live and Let Die (based on the James Bond film from 1973) and Rose. On December 22nd, Lennon sang live for a Christmas TV event in New York.
The Early Eighties and Sgt. Peppers Movie: 1981 - 1984
1981 started with controversy for McCartney. Tabloids across the UK and US said that McCartney was caught cheating with his wife Linda. In actuality, McCartney was spending time with an old friend of his. On February 2nd, 1981 two singles were released from the Beatles. What You Want? written by Lennon and Treasure written by McCartney. On February 15th, the Beatles release their twentieth studio album Treasure Going Live. It was extremely successful and gained high critical praise, gaining number one spot on the charts. It was nominated for best album of the year but lost to Pink Floyd's The Wall. The track listing: 1. What You Want? (Lennon) 2. Hearts (Harrison) 3. Treasure (McCartney) 4. The Bay (Starr) 5. Knuckle Head (Lennon) 6. Ram (McCartney) 7. Circles (Harrison) 8. Slow (Starr) 9. Inception (Lennon). On February 21st, in the same month of releasing Treasure Going Live, the Plastic Ono Band releases their third album titled Days. Lennon decides to tour with the Plastic Ono Band through out March and April. Harrison also takes a leave of absence from the band and travels to India with his wife Olivia. During this time McCartney decided to record a new album with his wife, and Ringo does the drumming for the album. On August 14th, 1981 McCartney releases his third album titled Tug of War to critical failure. This would be the last McCartney solo album until 1998. The album received negative reviews and only sold 20,000 copies before being discontinued. In September of 1981, the Beatles began recording their twenty-first album with guest appearances of Michael Jackson and Elton John. Elton John was a long time friend of Lennon and Jackson would become close friends with McCartney. On November 5th, 1981 the Beatles release two singles, Jenn written by McCartney and Dying Light written by Lennon. On December 15th, the band releases their twenty-first studio album High Fever to critical praise. The album would win best album at the 1982 Grammys. The track-listing for High Fever: 1. Dying Light (Lennon) 2. Halo (Harrison) 3. Miss A Shot (Ft. Michael Jackson) (McCartney) 4. You Never Sing to Me (Starr) 5. Old Gappa (Ft. Elton John) (Lennon) 6. Change the World (Lennon) 7. Why Can't You See (Harrison) 8. Peace On Earth (Lennon) 9. Jenn (McCartney). The song Jenn would win the best rock song of 1981. This album would help kickstart Michael Jackson's career, and in the next year he would release his hit album Thriller. The start of 1982 was busy for the band members, Harrison was planning to release his debut solo album, the Plastic Ono Band was recording their fourth album, and McCartney was helping Michael Jackson record his album Thriller. On February 4th, Lennon was approached by cartoonists from the UK to ask to make a cartoon movie about Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Lennon thought it was ridiculous and sent the two men to McCartney. When they asked McCartney, who was in California at the time helping Jackson record Thriller, McCartney refused initially saying that doing a Sgt. Peppers movie was way past its time. Over time however, McCartney agreed alongside Starr and Harrison. Lennon never agreed but the cartoon film was a go. McCartney, Harrison, and Starr agreed to do the voices for their cartoon characters of themselves, but Lennon did not. A voice actor did Lennon's part. The movie titled Sgt. Peppers was released on March 22nd, 1982 in theatres across the world. The film was initially a failure, but over time it developed a cult following. It made financial success when it was released to VCR and home-film. A sequel was planned in 1985 but never took off. The Plastic Ono Band released their fourth album titled Empty Spaces released on April 27th, 1982. The Beatles began to record their twenty-second album in the summer and Harrison released his debut album titled Living In the Material World. It was nominated for best album of the year but lost to Michael Jackson's Thriller. The Beatles released their twenty-second album Stargate on September 4th, 1982. It received poor reviews initially but gained popularity over time. The track listing for Stargate: 1. Pixels (Starr) 2. Sgt. Peppers (Lennon-McCartney) 3. Nine (Harrison) 4. How Does Life Work? (Lennon) 5. Walk On By (McCartney) 6. The Walrus Was Paul (Lennon-McCartney) 7. All Those Years (Harrison) 8. Ono's Magic (Lennon). On December 19th, 1982 Starr was caught in possession of marijuana in Japan where he was visiting and was banned from the country for seven years following the incident. The incident in Japan affected how 1983 began for the band. McCartney suggested a new idea for a album called Caught In Japan. Making fun of Ringo's arrest there, but the band turned it down. Than Harrison suggested making a sequel to one of their albums, like Revolver II or With the Beatles II. Lennon agreed and said they should do With the Beatles II. Recording for the new album began in August of 1983, but due to frustrations of Lennon and McCartney, the album was put to hiatus, the Beatles was put on hiatus. Both Lennon and McCartney were getting frustrated at each other. Lennon was becoming more of a grumpy man. On November 5th, Lennon began to date a woman from France, her name was Roe Leblanc. She was a peace activist living in New York. In December of 1983, Lennon announced that he was taking a break from the Beatles and moved to New York. Many wondered if the band was splitting. Two singles were released however by the band in late December, Sophie written by McCartney and Unneeded Anger written by Lennon. In 1984, Lennon never returned to the band and instead recorded music with the Plastic Ono Band but they broke up in late 1984. Plastic Ono Band's fifth and final album titled Ono was released on September 3rd, 1984.
Lennon's Departure and George Harrison's Solo Career Take-Off: 1985 - 1991
On January 1st, 1985 John Lennon announced that he was leaving the Beatles for a short time, and working on his solo career. McCartney however did not feel the same and wanted to continue making music with Harrison and Starr. Harrison however had other plans when he began recording a new solo album. McCartney asked Harrison to help Starr and him to record the new Beatles album. Harrison agreed. On March 23rd, 1985 the Beatles released their twenty-third album without Lennon titled Back In Time. It came with high praise and good sales. The track-listing for Back In Time: 1. Unneeded Anger (Lennon) 2. Sophie (McCartney) 3. Please Leave (Harrison) 4. Penguins (McCartney) 5. Last Night Was Gone (Harrison) 6. Last Time (Harrison-McCartney) 7. Kiss (McCartney) 8. Eight Ball (Harrison) 9. Luck God (McCartney-Lennon) 10. Mousce (McCartney). On April 2nd, Harrison released his second album titled Bad Intentions, it went No. 1 for 10 weeks. Due to the success, Harrison began to work on another album right away. On April 14th, Starr was found drunkenly outside his home in London, after that he began to go to rehab. In the summer of 1985, Harrison began to work on his third album and on September 4th, Harrison released his third studio album titled I'm Glad You Are Here. On January 7th, 1986 the Beatles released their twenty-fourth studio album titled Zebra Stripes. The album was praised by critics but did not do well with fans. It did sell good. The second album in a row not to feature Lennon, who was at this time recording his debut solo effort. The track listing: 1. Over the Ocean (Harrison) 2. Soldier Boy (McCartney) 3. Mr. Kite (McCartney) 4. Free Bird (Harrison-Starr) 5. My Life (McCartney) 6. Good (McCartney-Harrison) 7. Going Down Knight Street (McCartney) 8. Dark Horse (Harrison) 9. Oh My My (Starr) 10. Marry A Soldier (McCartney). On February 15th, Lennon releases his debut solo album titled Photograph. The album was universally praised with songs like Women Are the Nigger of the World and Happy Xmas. At the time, Lennon was attempting to rival the Beatles album, particularly targeting McCartney. He was successful since he sold much more copies than the Beatles did that year. The following year was the same, Harrison released his fourth studio album Universal, Lennon released his second studio album Imagine II, and the Beatles released their twenty-fifth studio album titled Eyes of March. Every album was successful and praised. Lennon won best album of 1987 with Imagine II beating U2's The Joshua Tree. Harrison's album Universal was nominated alongside the Beatles' album. 1988 saw no new Beatles work. Harrison released his fifth studio album and his final album of the eighties. It was titled Knocking On Your Door. Lennon released his third studio album titled A Simple Symphony. Although not as successful as Imagine II it gained a following. In 1989, the Beatles released only two new singles. Four written by McCartney and Kalahanas written by Harrison. Lennon released his fourth studio album in 1989 titled Pink Glove. 1990 was the start of another decade, and the Beatles were thirty years old now and still active. Even though no new album was released for three years, no new plans for a album was being discussed. Harrison enjoyed writing his own work and already had plans for the new decade. He began recording his sixth studio album in mid-1990 planning to release it in 1991.