Monday, 10 September 2012

Biggest Selling Beatles Solo Albums

1. All Things Must Pass - George Harrison (1970): George's first post Beatles solo album is this sprawling three record set released in November of 1970. It is his magnum opus, and at six million sold, it is also the biggest selling album put out by any of the ex Beatles. Many famous musicians appear on this record, including Eric Clapton, Gary Wright, Klaus Voorman, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Alan White (Yes) and Ginger Baker. Singles include: My Sweet Lord (#1), What Is Life (#10).

2. Band On The Run - Paul McCartney & Wings (1973): Recorded in Nigeria, this album is Paul's biggest solo album both commercially (three million copies) and critically. There were only three members of Wings at this time, Paul, his wife Linda and Denny Laine (ex Moody Blues). Ginger Baker, formally of Cream, also appears on this record. Actors James Coburn and Christopher Lee (among other celebrities) appear on the album cover. Singles include: Band On The Run (#1), Jet (#7), Helen Wheels (#10).

3. Double Fantasy - John Lennon & Yoko Ono (1980): At three million copies sold this is John Lennon's biggest solo album. Unfortunately most of these copies sold after his murder three weeks after the record's release. This was John's first recording in five years and it won a Grammy for album of the year. Singles Include: Just Like Starting Over (#1), Woman (#2), Watching The Wheels (#30).

4. McCartney - Paul McCartney (1970): Paul's first solo album and the first proper solo album by any of the Beatles. Paul plays all the instruments making it a true "solo" effort. This album sold over two million copies and features the song Maybe I'm Amazed.

5. Imagine - John Lennon (1970): Selling two million copies, this was John's biggest album during his lifetime. Phil Spector produced the record and George Harrison plays guitar on several tracks. The recording of this album was filmed and released as a movie the following year (also called Imagine, later re-titled Gimme Some Truth). The most successful single off Imagine was the title track (#3).


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  2. Just some Beatle-geek corrections/clarifications:

    1) The RIAA in the US counts the sales multiple-disc albums based on how many discs are included. ATMP is a 2-LP set (the Apple jam was/is a free disc I believe) which means if 1 copy sold, they are counting it as 2 sold because there are 2 discs in it, which is ridiculous of course.

    2) Technically, Ringo's "Sentimental Journey" is the first "proper" solo album, being issued a month earlier (Mar 70) in the UK. "McCartney" was the first proper solo album in the US, issued Apr 70.

    3) Imagine came out in 1971, not 70, and "the most successful single off Imagine was the title track" is because it was the ONLY single released from the album.

    4) Watching the Wheels reached #10 in the US, not #30.

    OK I feel better now.