Who separated the Beatles

This question comes up again and again, of course. And one of the most frequent answers was (and is): All because of Yoko! But of course it's not just because of Yoko that the Beatles split up. Even if she certainly had her share ...


So why does a band that is more successful than any other band split up?

It was certainly not the music itself. The Beatles' last LP, "Abbey Road", recorded in the summer of 1969, is one of their best.

The first rumors of separation existed as early as 1966, when the Beatles decided to end all tours. Nobody trusted the Beatles to survive long as a pure studio formation. And in fact, the four really went their own way for the first time. Be it a vacation, be it - as in the case of Lennon, as an actor ("How I won the war"), be it with a musical solo effort, as with McCartney, who, together with George Martin, wrote the soundtrack for the film "The Family Way" composed. But then came "Pepper" and the fans calmed down ...

It only got really serious when the so-called "White Album" was recorded in the spring / summer of 1968. After an argument, Ringo left the band for a week and was only hesitantly persuaded to return. One reason why, for example, McCartney is on the drums in "Back in the USSR". Furthermore, Yoko Ono's now constant presence during the recordings (it was previously agreed that no "outsider" was present in the studio) caused displeasure among the others. Harrison was also tired of the fact that he only ever got room for two or three songs on an album. He also wanted to be on an equal footing with Paul and John as a songwriter. Which was not an issue for them.

Reasons that made the "White Album" in many ways not a product of the band, but rather John Lennon & the Beatles, Paul McCartney & the Beatles, etc.

Then the "Get back" project followed. The motto was back to the roots. The songs should be recorded live in the studio and at least McCartney tried to get the others excited again for concerts. Due to the unusual recording times, starting in the morning, finishing work early (you had to think of the film crew), the cold studio and the animosity that existed anyway, the mood became more and more irritable and on 10.1.69 it was Harrison who - because he was responsible for the whole project held up completely stupid and no longer wanted to let McCartney dictate how to play his solos - declared his exit and became an ex-Beatle for a few days. He returned three days later - together with Billy Preston, who was supposed to (and did) ensure a good mood. The fact that it should be "live recordings" forced the Beatles to do intensive exercises (one more try and one more try), which did not create a good mood. At the end of the recording session, none of the four felt like studying the result any further. Which led to further arguments and to the fact that "Get back" initially remained unpublished, was only revised in the following year - by Phil Spector - and finally came onto the market as "Let it be".

Actually, this failed project could have been the end. But Paul suggested the others to record "Abbey Road" (at that time the LP should still be called "Everest" ...) "like in the old days". George Martin, who had already disengaged himself from the producer role during the "Get back" recordings, let himself into new recordings on the condition that he said so, and the Beatles proved that they are as a band - regardless of all personal ones Problems - still had a lot on top. And Harrison even got his first single A-side with "Something"!

After the sessions the next argument followed when the other Beatles refused to record John's "Cold Turkey" as the next single. Lennon founded the Plastic Ono Band and immediately ended the agreement that every song - regardless of the actual author - would be registered as a Lennon / McCartney song (like "Give peace a chance", which McCartney was really not involved in shortly before) .

Another point of contention was the manager question. After Epstein's death in 1967, the Beatles got along more or less well without a real manager. Sometimes Lennon took on this role, but mostly McCartney. Which, as the founder of the band, didn't always seem to suit Lennon ...

In 1969 they wanted to decide on a new manager. McCartney proposed his new father-in-law, Lee Eastman. The others voted for Allen Klein, who had just given the Rolling Stones a lucrative new contract. McCartney didn't trust Klein but an inch and refused - despite the majority vote - to accept Klein. What made Ringo say "Paul behaves like a baby".

In a meeting in September 1969, Lennon - who was no longer willing to compromise - called for a "divorce". Since the Beatles were in contract negotiations with EMI, they agreed not to disclose the contract so that the contract could be wrapped up.

In early 1970, Spector began remixing the "Get back" recordings on behalf of Lennon, Harrison, Starr and Allen Klein. McCartney was busy with solo recordings and just as little cared as the others about the unloved songs. When he got to hear the result, he was pissed off. Even today he is upset about the orchestral version of "Long and winding road". In any case, "Let it be" didn't have much to do with the actual idea of ​​a "live" album.

All four were busy with solo projects anyway. John recorded "Instant Karma", George was already working on "All things must pass", Ringo on "Sentimental Journey" and McCartney on "McCartney", which should be released in April. When Ringo went to Paul to ask him for a later release date (after all, three albums just collided: "Let it be", "Sentimental Journey" and "McCartney"), he freaked out, kicked Ringo out and called him " I'll finish you all! " after.

"McCartney" was released on April 10th. Along with a ready-made questionnaire on which Paul explained the end of the Beatles.

Perhaps the four of them could still have pulled themselves together. Despite the solo albums, the plan was to go back to the studio for a new Beatles LP. But in December 1970, McCartney filed a lawsuit against the other three, demanding that the Beatles be disbanded.

The era of reunion rumors began ...