The Beatles – Instant Karma!
(a soniclovenoize reimagining)
August 2021 UPGRADE
1. Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)
2. All Things Must Pass
3. Every Night
4. I Found Out
5. Beware of Darkness
6. Working Class Hero
7. Momma Miss America
8. It Don’t Come Easy
11. My Sweet Lord
12. Maybe I’m Amazed
14. Hear Me Lord
Alright, you asked for it, you got it! This is an UPGRADE of the first in a series of album re-imaginings that proposes “What if The Beatles didn’t break up?” This first volume—Instant Karma!—would have theoretically been released late 1970, and was intentionally raw and stripped down. This upgrade notably uses the brand new All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary remix as the source for George’s tracks, as well as the 50th Anniversary remixes of Plastic Ono Band for Lennon’s. In doing so, John’s songs sound slightly more polished and George’s songs sound slightly less polished, somehow meeting Paul in the middle. I have also thrown in a couple more surprises as well... Maybe you can find them?
To restate once again, the “rules” of these 70s Beatles albums are:
1) One album is represented per year, culled from tracks each Beatle recorded that year; the only exception is All Things Must Pass is split over 1970 & 1971, and Living In The Material World is split over 1972 & 1973.
2) Generally speaking, to include five Lennon songs, five McCartney songs, three Harrison songs and one Ringo song; there might be some deviance to this rule depending on availability per year.
3) The chosen songs must be Beatle-esque in nature; we will attempt to avoid the idiosyncratic musical tangents each Beatle pursued in the 70s and vie for the solo songs that would have been most likely recorded by The Beatles (i.e. not vetoed by the rest of the band).
4) The songs must flow together and make a unified album that shares a specific tone.
Note that a suspension of disbelief is required to fully enjoy these 70s Beatles albums, and I encourage listeners to imagine what each Beatles would have contributed to each other’s songs, had they actually made these albums together.
My original album notes from 2012:
This reconstruction—or reimagining, as I’m calling it—asks the question that I think we’ve all asked at one point or another: What if The Beatles didn't break up? This theoretical album attempts to cull the best of The Beatles solo material from 1970 alone to create what could have been the band’s follow-up to Abbey Road (or depending on how you look at it, Let It Be). The songs were carefully chosen to create a unified and cohesive album that would best carry on ‘The Beatles torch’ while still retaining each of the members’ diverging interests. 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.
The result—an album I call Instant Karma!—is a somber, introspective album, full of contradicting stripped-down John & Paul songs juxtaposed with the massively-produced George & Ringo songs. Sonically, it lies somewhere between The White Album in its stark contrasts and Abbey Road with its epic majesty. All of the songs are from different perspectives, yet hint at the same thing: a desire for understanding the essences of basic human nature and the quest for the soul itself. If I may dare, the songs seem to create a particular narrative: the members of the band themselves engaging in their own dialog with themselves, repairing the bond between them that had slipped over the previous 4 years.
So sit back and imagine, if you will, an alternate timeline… That sometime in 1970: The Beatles fired Allen Klein and somehow came upon an agreement of how to run Apple Records, allowing the band members to separate the music from the business, the chief destruction of the band being averted; with the success of “Here Comes The Sun” and “Something” and an amazing back-catalog of unused and new songs, George successfully campaigns for an equal share of his own songs to be featured alongside the Lennon/McCartney originals (with the compromise that Linda and Yoko are allowed in the Beatles' inner circle if need be); pleased with Phil Spector’s work remixing Let It Be, The Beatles opt to have him produce the bulk of their recordings throughout the 1970s (despite McCartney’s reluctance); John agrees but wants to elaborate on the stripped-down and live-band-sounding arrangements, as revisited in the Get Back sessions from the previous year, but at least for his own compositions written from his Primal Scream therapy sessions; Ringo was, as always, just happy to be there.
Instant Karma! is released to critical and commercial success in late 1970, re-establishing The Beatles as a dominant musical force in the 1970s. Three hit singles were released from this album in 1970 and early 1971: “Instant Karma!” b/w the non-album B-side “That Would Be Something”, “Maybe I’m Amazed” b/w the non-album B-side “Apple Scruffs” and “My Sweet Lord” b/w the non-album B-side “Well Well Well”. The success of Instant Karma! gave a new confidence to the band that was so close to breaking up, especially with a new producer, a stronger leading-role for their lead guitarist as a songwriter and the band's uncertainty of relevance in a new decade. Regrouping in the summer of 1971 with a new set of songs and a new sense of unity, The Beatles attempt to record their second album of the 1970s. Can you... imagine?
All Things Must Pass (2021 50th Anniversary remaster)
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (2021 50th Anniversary remaster)
McCartney (2011 remaster)
Photographs – The Best of Ringo Starr (2007)
flac --> wav --> editing in SONAR Pro and Goldwave --> flac encoding via TLH lv8
*md5, artwork and tracknotes included