John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr: the four most iconic names in pop music. Parting Ways: An unauthorized story on life after the Beatles' examines the phenomenon that was Beatlemania. Four decades after the band broke up, The Beatles are still on top of every conceivable list of the greatest recording artists of all time. No other pop act has surpassed the Fab Four in terms of innovation, or social impact. Because of this, whatever they chose to do as solo performers would forever be judged against what was achieved as a part of the most popular group in music history. Founder of The Beatles, John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono were often - and still are occasionally - blamed for the break-up of the band. It was no secret that there was tension between Lennon and his band mates about allowing Ono in the studio - previously thought of as a sacred place - but when he formed the Plastic Ono band in 1969 and had a hit with Give Peace a Chance, it was obvious that John Lennon had aspirations of a solo career, and also, ultimately, a family life with his new bride. It was not just Lennon who was embracing change, however. Paul McCartney also looked forward to life after the Beatles, citing a desire for more time with his family and the opportunity to pursue his own solo career. This went alongside a decade as front-man of Wings, a group he'd formed with his wife, Linda and some session musicians. George Harrison also went out on his own, producing "All Things Must Pass" an album which suggested that Harrison's song writing talent had perhaps been stifled during his time in The Beatles. His love of Indian mysticism and music led to his collaboration with sitar player Ravi Shankar. He also set up his own film production company "Hand Made Films" which produced the Monty Python movies, and in 1987, teamed up with Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Bob Dylan, as the Travelling Wilburys. Often seen as the clown of the group, drummer Ringo Starr showed that he wasn't just an "also ran", as he revealed acting talent, produced two solo albums and later narrated the popular children's TV series, Thomas the Tank Engine. During the seventies, the band was facing personal hurdles, including drug busts (George and Patti, Linda and Paul), marriage break-ups (George and Patti) and issues with attaining citizenship to the US (Lennon). But it was the untimely murder of their band's founder, John Lennon, in December 1980 that galvanized the remaining Beatles and healed any rifts left over from their failed music business, Apple. In the late nineties, the remaining Beatles collaborated on a documentary series called The Beatles Anthology, which featured two previously unheard songs written by John Lennon - "Real Love" and "Free as a Bird". In 2001, George Harrison succumbed to throat and lung cancer, and a tribute concert was held in his honour, inspiring Tom Hanks to conclude the event with "All Things Must Pass, sure, but George Harrison will live forever". Despite their many personal trials and tribulations (including Sir Paul's recent messy divorce from Heather Mills), The Beatles, both together and individually, have managed to retain their good reputations and legend status as the best pop band in the world.