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The Beatles: Will You Read My Book? (May 2016): The Solo Beatles

By Paul O. Jenkins

The Solo Beatles

Though the members of the Beatles were never able to individually reproduce the magic of their work together, each made some influential music after the breakup.  Paul McCartney had the most successful solo career in a commercial sense, but he failed to produce a hit with the gravitas of Lennon’s “Imagine” or Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.”  Ben Urish and Ken Bielen’s The Words and Music of John Lennon and Vincent Benitez’s The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years shed light on Lennon’s and McCartney’s works.  Both are excellent resources.  Eliot Huntley’s Behind That Locked Door: George Harrison: After the Break-Up of the Beatles provides analysis of songs but mixes in unnecessary observations about some of Harrison’s collaborators.  Simon Leng’s While My Guitar Gently Weeps offers perhaps the best analysis of Harrison’s music, both as a Beatle and as a solo artist.  Among the books that treat the music of more than one of the band’s former members, John Blaney’s Lennon and McCartney, Together Alone, Robert Rodriguez’s Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles Solo Years, 1970–1980, and Andrew Jackson’s Still the Greatest are the most useful.