The Beatles' '90s-era Anthology sessions weren't the first time they recorded without John Lennon. More like the 20th. In fact, over the years, Lennon increasingly drifted in and out of songs being created by the others.

For instance, he regularly vanished whenever George Harrison dabbled in Indian music, with the notable exception of "The Inner Light," the B-side to 1968's "Lady Madonna." He skipped sessions where Ringo Starr took the lead, including "Don't Pass Me By" and "Good Night," both from 1968's The Beatles. The same guy who openly complained about Paul McCartney's "granny-music shit" was also predictably absent for "Maxwell's Silver Hammer."

To be fair, it wasn't always his fault: McCartney occasionally preferred to work separately. Then there was the time when Lennon got in a car crash.

And he wasn't alone in missing Beatles dates. "She Said She Said" from 1966's Revolver didn't include McCartney, Starr wasn't there for "Back in the U.S.S.R." and neither Harrison nor Starr took part in the session for "The Ballad of John and Yoko."

Still, Lennon ended up sitting out on a remarkable number of their songs, some of which are quite famous. The following list of Top 10 Beatles Songs Without John Lennon includes a gold-selling No. 1 smash, one of the most recognizable tracks from 1969's Abbey Road and the group's very last classic-era session.

10. "Love You To"
From: Revolver (1966)

The Beatles' first full-fledged use of Indian instrumentation followed Harrison's turn on the sitar for 1965's Lennon-sung "Norwegian Wood." Harrison created "Love You To" with tabla player Anil Bhagwat and others from London's Asian Music Circle. According to Ian MacDonald and Kenneth Womack, the rest of the Beatles had minimal input. Starr added a tambourine and McCartney sang a backing vocal, without Lennon.

9. "Mother Nature's Son"
From: The Beatles (1968)

The first of four songs on this list from the group's eponymous 1968 album brings home the irony of that title. No other Beatles project found them practicing so much social distancing. In fact, McCartney recorded this one alone, with only brass-arranging help from producer George Martin. "Mother Nature's Son" was inspired by a lecture given by the Maharishi during the group's failed India trip; the same talk inspired Lennon's "Child of Nature," which evolved into the 1971 solo song "Jealous Guy."

8. "Golden Slumbers"
From: Abbey Road (1969)

This McCartney track might have ranked higher, were it not such an abbreviated snippet. "Golden Slumbers" was connected from the first to the track that follows it, "Carry That Weight," and, unfortunately, feels incomplete all alone. Lennon didn't initially appear on either song, since he was still recovering from a car crash, but he later overdubbed chorus vocals onto "Carry That Weight." Harrison switched to bass for "Golden Slumbers," Starr played drums and Martin once again scored the strings and brass.

7. "Martha My Dear"
From: The Beatles (1968)

A solo song that set an early template for McCartney's '70s-era music with Wings, with its silly inspiration (a lovable new sheepdog) and bright instrumentation (music hall-inspired piano with a jaunty brass section). He completed "Martha My Dear" in a manner of days, recording piano, drums and vocals on Oct. 4, 1968, then adding more vocals, hand claps, bass and guitar on Oct. 5. Martin's brass and string arrangements were overdubbed in between.

6. "Savoy Truffle"
From: The Beatles (1968)

Harrison's horn-driven "Savoy Truffle, meant as a lighthearted ribbing of friend Eric Clapton's sweet tooth, didn't feature any contributions from Lennon either. Starr was on drums, while McCartney handled harmony vocals, bass and additional rhythm elements during a completing session held after Starr left on vacation. Recording assistant Chris Thomas played keyboards alongside Harrison's lead vocals and guitar.

5. "For No One"
From: Revolver (1966)

McCartney recorded this poignant ballad with Starr, playing off an argument with his then-girlfriend Jane Asher on a rented clavichord from Martin's Associated Independent Recording studios. Alan Civil added the soaring French horn solo, then settled into a touching counterpoint. McCartney also played bass and piano, while Starr contributed drums, tambourine and maracas. Lennon and Harrison were elsewhere, according to writer Mark Lewisohn.

4. "I Me Mine"
From: Let It Be (1970)

Phil Spector often gets dinged for his missteps on the troubled Let It Be, but he got one thing absolutely right: "I Me Mine." Harrison's snippet of a song was initially completed in a trio format on Jan. 3, 1970, during the Beatles' final session. A couple of months later, Spector took those tapes and repeated a few segments to get the song to 2:25, adding orchestral elements that neatly presupposed their work together on Harrison's All Things Must Pass.

3. "Blackbird"
From: The Beatles (1968)

Thought credited, as usual, to Lennon-McCartney, "Blackbird" began and ended as a solo performance by McCartney. Composed not long after their stay in Rishikesh, India, the song was meant as an uplifting message directed toward the civil rights movement in the U.S. He recorded it on June 11, 1968, while Lennon worked next door on "Revolution 9." McCartney said his unusual approach on the guitar was inspired by Bach's "Bouree in E minor," which he and Harrison learned to play as kids.

2. "Here Comes the Sun"
From: Abbey Road (1969)

Written in Clapton's garden at Hurtwood Edge while Harrison was playing hooky from a Beatles corporate meeting, "Here Comes the Sun" was initially tracked by Harrison, McCartney and Starr while Lennon continued to recuperate from a car crash. He and McCartney later overdubbed their backing vocals twice to bolster the song; Harrison completed things with a turn on the then-new Moog synthesizer. An August 1969 mixing session was the last time all four Beatles were together in same studio.

1. "Yesterday"
From: Help! (1965)

As with "Blackbird," McCartney's despairing "Yesterday" was designed as a solo performance – the first by a member of the Beatles. He tracked it with an Epiphone Texan steel-string acoustic guitar, backed by a Martin-arranged string quartet. The session was held June 15, 1965, days before McCartney turned 23. In keeping, "Yesterday" wasn't always so serious. Its working title was "Scrambled Eggs" and, at one point, the second line was "Oh my, baby, how I love your legs."


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