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Listen: The Post-Beatles ‘Black Album’ From Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’

Listen: The Post-Beatles ‘Black Album’ From Richard Linklater's ‘Boyhood’

If you’re at all a fan of the Beatles, or hell, even contemporary pop music, chances are you’ve made this mixtape-like album on your own at some point in your life. I know I have. The Beatles released arguably 12 classic, must-own albums: almost everything from A Hard Day’s Night through Let It Be. And after their break-up in 1970, they also had a rich life of solo albums too (admittedly some were really patchy).  The greatest of them all (sorry John Lennon’s Imagine) is probably George Harrison’s amazing and undersung double album All Things Must Pass. Ringo Starr’s Ringo (which features some great co-writing from Lennon and Harrison) has some classic cuts on it too and Paul McCartney has McCartney, Ram and a few albums with Wings that are notable as well.

One of the many great things about Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is how it reflects many aspects of life, and in this case, passing down musical taste from generation to generation. In one scene in the movie, Ethan Hawke’s father character describes to his son (played by Ellar Coltrane) “The Black Album.” What is it? Basically, what we’re describing, a greatest hits mix-tape and “secret” Beatles record which is essentially a collection of all the best solo Beatle songs (many of which are taken from the aforementioned albums above).

Buzzfeed’s got a hold of the official tracklist that Hawke and Richard Linklater came up with together. If you’ve never delved in very deep with Beatles solo albums and wished there was one more Beatles record after Let It Be, well this it the playlist for you. The whole thing acts as a mixtape that Ethan Hawke writes for his son in the movie. And there’s even liner notes that begin:

    I wanted to give you something for your birthday that money couldn’t buy, something that only a father could give a son, like a family heirloom.
    This is the best I could do. Apologies in advance. I present to you: THE BEATLES’ BLACK ALBUM.

Tracklist (via Buzzfeed) and audio samples of all the songs below.

Disc 1:

1. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Band on the Run”
2. George Harrison, “My Sweet Lord”
3. John Lennon feat. The Flux Fiddlers & the Plastic Ono Band, “Jealous Guy”
4. Ringo Starr, “Photograph”
5. John Lennon, “How?”
6. Paul McCartney, “Every Night”
7. George Harrison, “Blow Away”
8. Paul McCartney, “Maybe I’m Amazed”
9. John Lennon, “Woman”
10.Paul McCartney & Wings, “Jet”
11. John Lennon, “Stand by Me”
12. Ringo Starr, “No No Song”
13. Paul McCartney, “Junk”
14. John Lennon, “Love”
15. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “The Back Seat of My Car”
16. John Lennon, “Watching the Wheels”
17. John Lennon, “Mind Games”
18. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Bluebird”
19. John Lennon, “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)”
20. George Harrison, “What Is Life”

Disc 2:
1. John Lennon, “God”
2. Wings, “Listen to What the Man Said”
3. John Lennon, “Crippled Inside”
4. Ringo Starr, “You’re Sixteen You’re Beautiful (And You’re Mine)”
5. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Let Me Roll It”
6. John Lennon & The Plastic Ono Band, “Power to the People”
7. Paul McCartney, “Another Day”
8. George Harrison, “If Not For You (2001 Digital Remaster)”
9. John Lennon, “(Just Like) Starting Over”
10. Wings, “Let ‘Em In”
11. John Lennon, “Mother”
12. Paul McCartney & Wings, “Helen Wheels”
13. John Lennon, “I Found Out”
14. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey”
15. John Lennon, Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band, “Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)”
15. George Harrison, “Not Guilty (2004 Digital Remaster)”
16. Paul McCartney & Linda McCartney, “Heart of the Country”
17. John Lennon, “Oh Yoko!”
18. Wings, “Mull of Kintyre”
19. Ringo Starr, “It Don’t Come Easy”

Disc 3:
1. John Lennon, “Grow Old With Me (2010 Remaster)”
2. Wings, “Silly Love Songs”
3. The Beatles, “Real Love”
4. Paul McCartney & Wings, “My Love”
5. John Lennon, “Oh My Love”
6. George Harrison, “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”
7. Paul McCartney, “Pipes of Peace”
8. John Lennon, “Imagine”
9. Paul McCartney, “Here Today”
10. George Harrison, “All Things Must Pass”
11. Paul McCartney, “And I Love Her (Live on MTV Unplugged)”

Disc 1.

Disc 2.

Disc 3.

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It would seem that neither Hawke nor Linklater were much into George – a few of his big hits thrown in there, (and the wonderful Not Guilty), but so many of his lesser-heard gems not included…


Im confused here….I just purchased "The Beatles Black Album"….it does NOT have all the solo hits on it….It has a collection of unreleased studio outtakes/bootleg quality outtakes. What is this??

Dimitri Miaoulis

My wife was startled while we were watching Boyhood when my daughter and I started yelling when they mentioned the Black Out CD. She didn’t know what was going on. My daughter and I have been planning out what our Black Out version will be for over a year now. Basically you can’t go wrong with the Beatles. So everyone can have their opinions and enjoy their own picks. The only difference was that we are building by year and trying to follow the pattern of fast, slow, sequence and number of John, Paul, George and Ringo tune selections. This way the flow like The Beatles albums flow.


@DEE: I was like that, too, until I got older and realized that what’s on All Things Must Pass rings true to the meaning(s) of life, Hari Krishna philosophy or not.

@HANK: Agree with you about Paul and his legacy.


Only 4 songs from All Things Must Pass. What could have been a great playlist automatically fails.


Created the playlist on Spotify: Search for Boyhood the Black Album

B traven

I posted a torrent for all 3 albums on piratebay in July. Check it


No songs from McCartney's best solo album by an absolute mile, Chaos And Creation In The Backyard?


I love this BUT how is Calico Skies NOT included?? Paul McCartney's best song in my humble opinion.


Hold on everyone!! How many people have actually seen the film, "Boyhood"? The "Black Album" is a dad's mix for his son on the son's graduation from high school…it's not supposed to be some definitive collection…just some guy trying to connect with his son. Go see the movie (which has its own pretty cool soundtrack) and then enjoy the "Black Album" in context!


Beatles fans not exploring the solo work have a great adventure to look forward to. The Beatles recorded about 210 songs (about 200 great ones, IMO). The solo Beatles recorded nearer to 700, without each others as filters, or others to stand up to them, so the quality density is naturally lower. But there's still, IMO, another 200 great songs there! BTW, I agree with Robert S. on the chronological approach to making post-Beatles album track-lists, and many people have done this, if you search the Web.

John W.

You meant to mention John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, I'm sure. That's at the top of the heap.


somebody made a shirt of the list.. i dig it.. cant post link. but its on red bubble.. lol.


I recently experienced an episode of boredom, and now I have something to do: put together a Beatles playlist. Thanks for the tip, man. :-)

Michael Hockinson

The excercise of crafting a new Beatles album from a specific period's solo output is well-known among Fabbists, but I have never heard it referred to as The Black Album. There is a well-known bootleg (or Beatleg) released in the early 80's featuring a very durable selection of rehearsals during the January 1969 sessions for "Let It Be."

FYI: When "All Things Must Pass" was released on vinyl, it was a triple album.

Robert Seoane

A true blend of solo music to make Beatles albums that never came to pass should be done in chronological order, not picking arbitrarily from any year. Then it's just a greatest hits compilation.


"All Things Must Pass" is a triple album you moron. Why do people write about stuff that they know nothing about?


Looks like I'll be spending the rest of my life reminding people that "Let It Be" was NOT the last album the Beatles recorded. After they ended that project (which was originally meant to be a documentary of them rehearsing for a TV special that never happened), they then recorded their masterpiece, "Abbey Road." But "Let It Be" happened to be released a year later, resulting in people (most of whom should know better) to think of it as the group's "break-up" album.


The album has been around for a long time.

Michael Wolfe

Whoever came up with this list is NO Beatles fan. No Beatles fan would include such overplayed saccharin crap as "Silly Love Songs". Whoever came up with this list Knows as much about Beatles as I know about Frank Sinatra (which is nothing). Don't embarrass yourself by talking about stuff you don't understand…


Ringo never had an album called "Photograph"… You're thinking of "Ringo" from 1973, or possibly a greatest hits comp, which wouldn't bear mentioning in this article. … Sorry to be that guy in the comments. Otherwise, this isn't a new idea – there was a whole Believer article on it years ago, but it's a very fun one. Great article with the links & whatnot.

Michael K

There have been many attempts to collect solo works under the aegis of a Beatles album but it just doesn't work because of the fact that for 99% of their output (ie. excluding conscious era-tributes which all of them did), they were keen to develop a non-Beatles sound.
What WOULD work would be an compilation of their works under the aegis of their label, Apple Records. While a 'best of Apple' has been done in terms of the other artists on the label, it's surprising that there's never been an official collection of the solo works of the four.


Band on the Run is the best ex-Beatle solo album by far. Every song on there is a gem except No Words. After 40 years it still sounds fresh. Some of the best guitar tones and playing by any ex-Beatle that's no even mentioning the bass playing drumming or vocals. Paul knew how to make a Rock & Roll record. John has some good songs but his music started sounding like The Saturday Night Live theme song , George`s ATMP may have been 3 records but there was no Rock & Roll on those records. Band on the Run is a underrated classic that probably wont be praised until Paul has passed. Sad but true.


I just played every video at once and got the whole experience in five minutes. How's that for efficiency suckers?


I've always compiled an album from the first post-AbbeyRoad solo albums, and another from the second and third. In actuality, each Beatle should have made their first round of solo albums and then reconvened for a Beatle album and tour, but they had no strong leadership.


Sorry, but McCartney's Ram is the best solo album by an ex-Beatles. Then I'd say Plastic Ono Band. Everyone always says George's All Things Must Pass is the best but the truth is it's kinda boring and sounds dated. Sorry, George but I'm not into Hari Krishna mumbo jumbo.

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