There was a time when The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were the undisputed rulers of the musical world. Ever since, a debate has raged over which band was truly the best. In a new interview, Sir Paul McCartney himself weighed in, and he seemed pretty sure that “The Beatles were better,” than The Rolling Stones.
Macca called in to Howard Stern’s radio program on April 14th. Stern steered the conversation in the direction of the rivalry, before innocently suggesting that he preferred The Beatles. Sir Paul didn’t need any more prodding. “You know you’re going to persuade me to agree with that one. I’ve always said it. But the thing is,” he continued, “The Stones are a fantastic group. I go see them every time they come out ’cause they’re just a great, great band.”
With those pleasantries out of the way, McCartney wasn’t shy about criticizing his contemporaries. “Their stuff’s rooted in the blues. When they’re writing stuff, it’s to do with the blues. We had a little more influences.”
Apart from their more eclectic sound, McCartney pointed out that The Beatles were versatile musicians, especially vocally. He said that Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards agreed. “Keith once said to me, ‘You were lucky, man. You had four singers in your band. We got one.'”
But the biggest difference, as Macca sees it, is that every time The Beatles did something new, they found The Rolling Stones hot behind them. He went on,
“We started to notice that, whatever we did, The Stones did it shortly thereafter. We went to America, we had huge success. Well then, The Stones went to America. We did Sgt. Pepper, The Stones did a sort of psychedelic album. But we were great friends. Still are… I’m with you. The Beatles were better.”
Over the course of the rest of the interview, he and Stern covered a wide variety of topics, including the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. McCartney somewhat controversially called for a shutdown of China’s wet markets.
Last night, the 77-year-old songwriting legend performed at Lady Gaga’s “One World: Together At Home” concert. A new The Beatles documentary from Peter Jackson is coming in September.