John Lennon’s chart-topping solo hit was originally a Beatles song

John Lennon would have included it on The Beatles’ final album but arguments between the band members changed everything.

The Beatles came to a catastrophic end in 1970 just after they released their 13th and final album, Let It Be. At that time, the Fab Four had been arguing over business decisions and personal matters while enduring bitter disagreements over music during their recording process. As a result, Beatles fans missed out on getting one of John Lennon’s biggest hits early.

Lennon released his seminal feel-good song Imagine in 1971 as a single from his second solo studio album of the same name. The track was a smash hit, reaching number one in five countries and going multiplatinum in the United States.

However, looking back on the song’s release, George Harrison said it was originally going to be a Beatles track.

“No, I mean, this is the funny thing,” he said in 2000. “Imagine if The Beatles had gone on and on. Well, the songs on [his solo album] All Things Must Pass, maybe some of them I would probably only just got around to do now, you know, with my quota that I was allowed [laughs].”

Harrison pointed out that one of his biggest solo tracks, Isn’t It a Pity?, had already been written by the time The Beatles were breaking up. He explained: “[It] would just have been a Beatles song, wouldn’t it? And now that could be said for each one of us.”

Listing through songs written by his former bandmates, he added: “Imagine would have been a Beatles song, but it was with John’s songs. It just happened that The Beatles finished.”

The Quiet Beatle went on to say of his own songs that he likely missed out on recording some of them because of the monopoly Lennon and Paul McCartney had over the band’s direction.

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