The Beatles – Imagine Clouds Dripping
(a soniclovenoize re-imagining)
1. Power To The People
2. What is Life
3. Dear Boy
4. Bangla Desh
5. Jealous Guy
6. The Back Seat of My Car
8. Another Day
9. Art of Dying
10. Oh My Love
11. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
12. Isn’t It A Pity?
This is the second in a series of albums that asks the question we’ve all asked at some time or another: What if The Beatles never broke up? This theoretical album attempts to cull the best of The Beatles solo material from 1971 (with some holdovers from All Things Must Pass) to create what could have been the band’s 1971 follow-up to my previous re-imagined Beatles album, Instant Karma! This album is called Imagine Clouds Dripping, a surreal Yoko Ono quote that John had felt was particularly inspirational and sets the tone for a rather colorful album.
The songs were chosen not only for quality but for what could continue to carry ‘the Beatles torch’. While the solo members continued to stylistically diverge, there were always songs that could be described, in my opinion, as “Beatlesque” and we have the luxury of choosing those above the other more idiosyncratic numbers. The best and least brickwalled/clipping remasters were chosen for source material, volume levels adjusted for song-to-song balance and all songs are tightly book-ended to make a continuous two sides of music. Also, a completely unique edit of “Dear Boy” and “Bangla Desh” is created when the two are hard-edited together, making them a medley.
Musically, Imagine Clouds Dripping abandons the bare-bones arrangements on the previous re-imagining for the lush Phil Spector arrangements George had requested for his songs. “What Is Life”, “Art of Dying” and “Isn’t It A Pity” are all used on this album because they fit better with the RAM/Imagine contributions than with the Plastic Ono Band/McCartney contributions on the previous album. The one drawback here is no contribution from Ringo; literally none of the Sentimental Journey and Beaucups of Blues songs even remotely fit on this or the previous album, and his more interesting solo singles chronologically appear later in my series. But one must consider that over the course of The Beatles’ thirteen 1960s albums, a few albums had no Ringo contributions, such as Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be; Imagine Clouds Dripping is simply one of those albums. I feel this fellow Ringo-less album is excusable because this resulting album is so solid and unified.
So sit back, relax and imagine the following: After the success of their first album of the 1970s, Instant Karma!, The Beatles regroup and focus diligently on a new album with some of their strongest songs since Abbey Road, often with grandiose arrangements from returning producer Phil Spector; Half-way through recording the album, George learns of the tragedy befallen in Bangla Desh and quickly writes a song in tribute that The Beatles record and release as a single; George organizes the Concert For Bangla Desh, at which The Beatles headline, marking their first live performance in two years; The positive experience of this concert gives The Beatles—particularly George and John—the courage to begin a limited-engagement European Tour in late 1971 in support of Imagine Clouds Dripping; The tour also features old friends Billy Preston on keyboards and Klaus Voormann who played bass when Paul was needed to play guitar or piano.
The critics hail Imagine Clouds Dripping as one of the highest points of The Beatles career, comparing it to a second Sgt. Pepper. There are a number of hit singles released throughout 1971, including “Imagine” with the non-LP B-side “Monkberry Moon Delight”, “Another Day” with the non-LP B-side “Crippled Inside” and “Jealous Guy” with the non-LP B-side “I Dig Love”. And as aforementioned, “Bangla Desh” was released as a single to promote their concert, with the b-side being Ringo’s sole contribution from the Imagine Clouds Dripping sessions, an original “Choochy Coochy”. While “Bangla Desh” was chosen to make the cut for the album, “Coochy Coochy” was not. The success of The Beatles late 1971 European tour spurred them to plan an American tour in 1972, and a need for new material in the material world…
All Things Must Pass (2010 40th Anniversary Master)
The Best of George Harrison (1990)
Imagine (2003 MFSL remaster)
RAM (1993 remaster)
Working Class Hero – The Definitive John Lennon (2005)
flac --> wav --> editing in Audacity and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included