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Break-up of the Beatles

"I gave life to this group, and only I could end its existence..."

Why did The Beatles break up? Is Yoko Ono really to blame? End of the winding road...

In April 1970, the world was shocked by the sad news: Paul McCartney announced that due to "personal, business and musical differences, the continued existence of the Beatles was impossible." The mentioned date is considered the official sunset of the once legendary band… But! If you carefully study history, it is easy to understand that the process of “decomposition” within the team began much earlier…

The most influential band in the history of music!
The most influential band in the history of music!

The birth of the album Let It Be - as a commemoration of the final ...

In May of the same 1970, the band's last album, Let It Be, was released. A month before that - Paul's solo album "McCartney". To this day, many historians believe that the disagreement over these two works was the reason for the split of The Beatles.

The cover of the latest album...
The cover of the latest album...

The fact is that McCartney wanted to return the group's work to the charming and easy simplicity, naive and pure primitiveness of early compositions ... But the legendary, and now infamous producer Phil Spector intervened in the work. Phil decided to embellish the tracks with a frilly orchestral mix. And ... his intervention played a fatal role: in parallel with "Let It Be", an angry McCartney set to work on a solo album.

 The other three members of the band, as well as the management of EMI, asked Paul not to release his solo album until the release of "Let It Be". Ringo Starr even visited McCartney in person, but was rudely pushed out the door. Under other circumstances, Paul would likely have made concessions... But Phil Spector's mixing was the last straw for him.

Phil Spector, band producer
Phil Spector, band producer

In his press release for the release of McCartney, the musician announced that the Beatles were no more.

This is what Paul McCartney looked like at his press release...
This is what Paul McCartney looked like at his press release...

Seeds of discord

Such a bold statement by a colleague infuriated Lennon! He himself wanted to leave the group in the fall of 1969, which he openly announced at a meeting with EMI management after the completion of work on "Abbey Road". His performance at the Toronto Rock Festival was a success! He wanted more... Lennon wanted freedom. Later he said:

“I gave life to this group, and only I could end its existence…”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Toronto
John Lennon and Yoko Ono in Toronto

In fact, many events contributed to the collapse of the great band: the cessation of touring, the death of Brian Epstein, the band's manager, as well as creative differences between the participants themselves. McCartney became more and more interested in modern pop trends, Harrison was in love with the music of India, and Lennon's creations were distinguished by experimental shades ... Everyone wanted to move separately and independently, exclusively in their own creative direction. As a result, the enthusiasm of the Beatles - as a single cohesive team - weakened.

The band's last live concert on the roof...
The band's last live concert on the roof...

If while working on “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band "in 1966, there was a spirit of camaraderie and respect within the team, then creative differences were already noticeable on the recording of the White Album ... And constant conflicts on this basis completely undermined the unity of the Liverpool Four.

Is Yoko Ono to blame?

Yoko Ono, a Japanese conceptual artist, became more than just a muse for Lennon... After recording avant-garde material in John's home studio, the couple were practically inseparable. Gradually, Yoko became the "fifth" member of the group ... Once she felt bad. Then Lennon arranged for her a soft and cozy bed right in the studio! Of course, all this terribly annoyed his bandmates. In an interview, Ringo Starr said:

“It was very strange to see Yoko in the studio every day… We all had a northern English upbringing, something like: “We mine coal and our wives cook dinner.” Youko's presence was depressing... It was tearing apart our unity. We were one close-knit team, and we were against strangers. And with the exception of John, for us she was just a stranger ... Before that, the studio united us, that's why we worked so well ... "

With Yoko Ono...
With Yoko Ono...

Soon Harrison began to be jealous of Lennon for his lover. He was too attached to John, in particular after experimenting with LSD and Indian meditation together.

Today, many Beatles fans blame Yoko for the breakup of the band, but the band's historian Kenneth Womack has a different opinion on this matter:

“The accusations against Yoko Ono are unfair. She never objected to the existence of The Beatles. Yes, she annoyed her presence at the studio, but! John's drug addiction played a key role. The addiction reduced his productivity as a musician. Periodically, he had creative gaps! But they were short ... Again and again he returned to heroin even after trying to completely give it up ... "

George Harrison's ambition...

It is also possible that the creative growth of George Harrison contributed to the split of the group. If in the early years Lennon and McCartney were the main architects of the group's songs, then at the turn of the 1960s, Harrison's talent as a composer became more and more noticeable ...

George Harrison's composing skills have always been underestimated...
George Harrison's composing skills have always been underestimated...

Beginning in the mid-1960s, George produced increasingly mature and quality compositions. But the aforementioned leaders continued to reject his work ... Largely due to increased competition: if the two authors of the Beatles were quite satisfied, then the third was useless.

Of course, all this contributed to the alienation of Harrison from the group ... Once, when work on the final album "Let It Be" had already begun, Harrison flew out of the studio shouting:

"I wash hands! You can look for a new guitarist!”

“If he doesn’t come back in a week, we’ll call Clapton” Lennon commented dispassionately on the emotional outburst of his colleague.

One of the latest group photos...
One of the latest group photos...

In fact, the group put an end to the history of its existence much earlier than 1970. All these conflicts, alienations, the search for a creative vector - all this played a big role. This is not to say that only Yoko Ono is to blame for everything. It’s impossible to justify it… Unfortunately, this happens when geniuses working side by side for a long time get tired of the shackles… Each of the legendary four wanted freedom. And the split of the team was the only chance to get her ...

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