The Beatles – Imagine Clouds Dripping
(a soniclovenoize re-imagining)
October 2021 UPGRADE
1. Back Off Boogaloo
2. What is Life?
3. Dear Boy
5. Jealous Guy
6. The Back Seat of My Car
8. Another Day
9. Gimme Some Truth
10. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
11. Oh My Love
12. Isn’t It A Pity
Happy Halloween! Here it is, my friends, an album that never was that is unrelated to Halloween! This is an UPGRADE to the second re-imagined album in a series that posits “What if The Beatles never broke up?” This collection would have theoretically been released near the end of 1971, and uses Lennon’s Imagine and McCartney’s RAM as it’s basis. Additional tracks are pulled from Harrison’s All Things Must Pass and his “Bangladesh” single, and of course Ringo’s single “Back Off Boogaloo” as it was recorded in Fall 1971. Notably, this upgrade uses the new All Things Must Pass remix, which sonically fits much closer to the other tracks. The tracklist has been slightly revised as well, dropping “Power To The People” for “Gimme Some Truth”, which is admittedly more Beatles-esque and was actually familiar to The Beatles in 1969. I have also replaced the Version II of “Isn’t It a Pity” with the more Beatle-esque Version I, edited to fit on the album.
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, slightly revised:
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 “Bangladesh” 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” 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. Additionally, “Back Off Boogaloo” will be used as this album’s Ringo song, as it was recorded in September 1971, fitting in with RAM & Imagine’s timeline.
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 “Smile Away.” 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…
George Harrison - All Things Must Pass (2021 50th Anniversary remaster)
John Lennon - Imagine (The Ultimate Collection, 2018 remaster)
Paul McCartney – RAM (2012 remaster)
Ringo Starr – 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