John Lennon and the Beatles gave their fans a rare gift – a sustained creative peak that began almost as soon as the band debuted and lasted until their breakup. The Fab Four moved from writing sugary pop melodies to longer experimental songs. John even bragged that he pioneered a recording tour before anyone else. Fans were surely yearning for a reunion when they disintegrated in 1970, but John was right when he explained why the Beatles had no chance of reuniting.
John Lennon Once Explained Why The Beatles Had No Chance To Reunite: “That’s The Way It Is”
If the past 60 or so years have shown us anything, it’s that the Beatles have created music that seems destined to endure. They proved equally capable of writing short, sweet pop songs like “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and first wave psychedelic rock like “Tomorrow Never Knows”.
Yet as the 1960s progressed, the pressure to continue producing hits remained. Internal tensions mounted and the foundation of the Fab Four began to crack. Lennon and Paul McCartney continued to write most of the material, which caused some frustration for budding songwriter George Harrison. Ringo Starr was bored recording 1967 sergeant. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as he felt more like a session musician.
John knew the end was approaching long before it arrived in 1970, as Express reported:
“[B]Back when the Beatles were at their peak, we were shrinking down to size. We were limiting our ability to write and play by adapting it to some kind of format, and that’s why it caused problems. I knew I wouldn’t do the same. It does not work like that. It’s like a rugby team. Sometimes it’s enough to get married and leave the boys on a Saturday night. It’s like that.
John Lennon explains why the Beatles had to break up
John, who once likened the Beatles breakup to falling in love, never intended for the Beatles to reunite, and it was the right call to make.
John made the right choice by shooting down a Beatles reunion
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The aftermath of the 1970 split made it clear that the Beatles couldn’t have stayed together any longer.
They all had solo albums in the works, reporting that each member was anticipating and even looking forward to the split. Paul released his first solo album before the official split from The Beatles. (Which led to him kicking Ringo Starr out of his house). Ringo released two albums in 1970, one of which beat Macca’s first salvo to stores. John and George made their solo debuts the same year.
Reuniting as the Beatles in the 70s would have been incredibly lucrative, but John said there was no way to piece the puzzle together once they took it apart, per Express. “[P]personally, I see no reason to form this group again. Paul has his new band, I have a new band, no doubt George will have a band and Ringo will have a band.
John was right to dismiss talk of reuniting soon after the split.
Each Beatle ultimately being in charge of their own work satisfied their personal creative interests. John and Paul didn’t have to share writing credits. George didn’t have to fight to get his songs onto albums, and Ringo had the opportunity to escape the shadow of his bandmates. Once they tasted that freedom, starting to collaborate again wouldn’t have seemed natural.
Plus, the Beatles have done a lot together in a relatively short time.
The quartet toured, recorded albums, shot films, made talk show appearances and held endless press conferences almost non-stop from 1962 to 1966. They traded touring for intensive studio experimentation in 1966 Flagship albums such as Revolver, sergeant. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Bandand Abbey Road succeeded. Their time together seemed short, but it was intense.
Bringing the Fab Four together would have been a rude decision
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Above all, a Beatles reunion would have seemed gross, especially the longer they expected.
Getting back together in 1971, even for a one-off performance, would have seemed too soon. John’s Lost Weekend began in mid-1973, a year in which Paul released two albums with Wings. george extinct Living in the material worldand Ringo released his self-titled third solo album that year.
John pledged to be a family man when he emerged from his lost weekend in 1975. The Beatles were 10 years in the past when he started making music again in 1980 after a hiatus from five years. At the time, John and the Beatles’ reunion would have seemed like a cash grab, no matter how sincere the intentions. They protected their noble heritage by not getting back together.
John closed the door on his reunion with the Beatles shortly after their breakup, and it was the right call.
The Beatles reunited on one album – sort of
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Ringo once contributed to another band’s classic album without picking up his drumsticks. ringowhich achieved gold status from the Recording Industry Association of America shortly after its November 1973 release and remains the drummer’s only platinum record, saw all members of the Fab Four contribute.
John wrote the album opener “I’m the Greatest”, on which he played piano and George played guitar. George wrote three songs: “Sunshine Life for Me (Sail Away Raymond)”, “You and Me Babe” (featuring Mal Evans), and the No. 1 Billboard single “Photograph”, which he co-wrote with Ringo. Paul wrote “Six O’Clock” for the album.
John Lennon said reuniting the Beatles after their breakup would never happen. He was 100% right to stick to his guns so each of the Fab Four could move on.
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