Lennon or McCartney
December 15, 2014 3:21 PM   Subscribe

A 30-minute Youtube video of 550 artists (musicians and actors) asked a simple question: Lennon or McCartney?
posted by dry white toast (183 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
Trotsky
posted by wabbittwax at 3:29 PM on December 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


Harrison.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:30 PM on December 15, 2014 [20 favorites]


"... simple question"

I think not.

McCartney.
posted by parki at 3:31 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I could stop the video at 2 or 3 minutes in when the guy said "Harrison".


Not that I don't have the love for L or M.

And, not enough respect ever for Ringo. Great playing.
posted by C.A.S. at 3:32 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


It seems like a good question, but what really made the Beatles great was the combination of John and Paul's talents (along with Brian Epstein). So it's sort of like asking "hydrogen or oxygen?" as a way of talking about water.
posted by clockzero at 3:41 PM on December 15, 2014 [37 favorites]


Hydrogen.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:45 PM on December 15, 2014 [25 favorites]


Yoko.
posted by item at 3:47 PM on December 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


Holy Canadian Content!
posted by wats at 3:48 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ringo.
posted by Fnarf at 3:52 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Are they talking about that band McCartney was in before Wings?
posted by kmz at 3:53 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Sutcliffe.
posted by kyrademon at 3:54 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Elvis.

("My theory is that when it comes to important subjects, there are only two ways a person can answer. Which way they chose, tells you who that person is. For instance, there are only two kinds of people in the world, Beatles people and Elvis people. Now Beatles people can like Elvis and Elvis people can like the Beatles, but nobody likes them both equally. Somewhere you have to make a choice. And that choice, tells you who you are.)

(I take that back: Johnny Cash.)
posted by entropicamericana at 3:56 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lennon Sisters or Jesse McCartney?
posted by jonp72 at 3:56 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Inclusive or.
posted by ogooglebar at 3:57 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Kinda funny how Adam Duritz absolutely nailed why the right answer is McCartney.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:58 PM on December 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


Basically every actor says Lennon.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:01 PM on December 15, 2014


Came to say exactly what (A)Ha(W)O said. Adam Duritz nailed it. Lennon was a great, great lyricist and spirit. McCartney was a melody writer for the ages.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:03 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


OK, this is cute, but its sort of pointless without a further explanation about *why* they're choosing one over the other. These are two men who, during their partnership in the Beatles, were willing to put their names on each other's songs no matter how crappy they might be. I mean, "Revolution #9" has McCartney's name on it and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" has Lennon's name on it. On the other hand, neither of them put their names next to "Something," which is superior to like 95% of the other Beatles songs (high praise not dismissing the other Beatles' songs).

If we're going to compare them as writers and musicians, let's assign them to write songs about the same topic and see what they come up with.

Topic: Christmas

Lennon

McCartney

Edge: Lennon. McCartney puts in everything that he thinks should be in a Christmas song - bells, images of yuletide joy, and a cliche platitude. The song is painful, even when played next to "Feliz Navidad" and every version of "The Little Drummer Boy" that Bing Crosby wasn't involved in. Lennon's song is an annual reminder that we're still pretty fucked up as a species. It also serves as a reminder of how shitty every other Christmas "message" song is, especially "Do They Know Its Christmas" and fucking shoot me in the head "Christmas Shoes."

---

If we're going to judge them in terms of other awesomeness, let's use these statistics:

Number of James Bond Theme Songs Recorded:

Lennon: 0
McCartney: 1

Number of collaborations with David Bowie:

Lennon: 2
McCartney: 0

Number of collaborations with Elvis Costello:

Lennon: 0
McCartney: 11

Years Deceased:

Lennon: 34
McCartney: 0 or 48

I think the data speaks for itself.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:03 PM on December 15, 2014 [38 favorites]


Basically every actor says Lennon.

That makes a certain amount of sense — Lennon was definitely a better actor than McCartney.
posted by John Cohen at 4:04 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's a trick question. Both answers are wrong.
posted by charlie don't surf at 4:05 PM on December 15, 2014


I'm not sure I fully ascribe to Adam Gopnik's formulation, but I really like the way he tackled the question in his New Yorker article Two Bands:
To borrow a mot from Stephen Sondheim about Rodgers and Hammerstein, this was the meeting of a youth of limited talent and unlimited soul with one of unlimited talent and limited soul. The size of Paul McCartney's gift is ridiculous, and as mystifying as such gifts always are. Before he was nineteen, Lewisohn reveals, he had written the music to at least three standards ("Michelle," "I'll Follow the Sun," and "When I'm Sixty-four"). It was John Lennon who gave the pair emotional maturity. Lewisohn rightly points to the startling, sad dignity of his sentences—"I can't conceive of any more misery"; "In my mind there's no sorrow"—even in his early, easy songs. Together, the two made something deeper than either ever could have alone.
Personally, I rate McCartney slightly higher, given that more of my absolute favorite Beatles songs are principally his work, and I think his solo stuff is richer than Lennon's (though I love Beautiful Boy beyond measure, since my parents would often sing it to me as a lullaby). But ultimately, without one, the other wouldn't have been who he is, so the question is ultimately pretty moot.
posted by Kattullus at 4:10 PM on December 15, 2014 [21 favorites]


Punch McCartney, Sleep with Yoko, kill Len--- oh wait - that's the history of the Beatles.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:11 PM on December 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


I also agree with the Counting Crows guy.

The answer "Lennon" seems to me more or less equivalent to "I hope this answer makes me look cool."

"Harrison" is "Look at how special of a snowflake I am."

"Ringo" is "I just flew in from Liverpool, and boy are my arms tired!"
posted by Flunkie at 4:23 PM on December 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


a youth of limited talent

Hmmm. I wish I had sufficiently "limited" talents to write, say, "Rain," or "Hide Your Love Away," or "In My Life," or "Norwegian Wood" or "Strawberry Fields" or...
posted by yoink at 4:24 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Here's the song by song if anyone does not realize how amazing and versatile they both were. (Ozzy is correct and "both" is the only possible answer!)
posted by big friendly giant at 4:26 PM on December 15, 2014 [11 favorites]


The answer "Lennon" seems to me more or less equivalent to "I hope this answer makes me look cool."

You know, my answer would be "Lennon." But that doesn't make me suspect that those who answer "McCartney" are just refusing to face a self-evident fact for disreputable reasons. They're both incredible song writers, and while they both did some remarkable solo work, there was some special magic in their competition/collaboration.
posted by yoink at 4:28 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Lennon wrote most of the songs that I connect with on a deeper level. Sorry.
posted by naju at 4:29 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


jesus h they did all of that in seven years

seven fucking years
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:32 PM on December 15, 2014 [30 favorites]


there are only two kinds of people in the world, Beatles people and Elvis people.

Music does not begin and end with Elvis and Beatles - not even just "popular" music - and there are plenty of music lovers who wouldn't choose either of those.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:34 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Marr
posted by 4ster at 4:35 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Note that I'm not denigrating either the Beatles or Elvis, and I do have an appreciation for their various talents. That's just not a great either/or choice.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:35 PM on December 15, 2014


Hall or Oates
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:36 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


I kinda like that Bo Diddley was basically like, "Neither, don't like em, fuck em."
posted by StopMakingSense at 4:37 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Marr

ROURKE

ok not really but he's rather underrated
posted by clockzero at 4:37 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Hall or Oates.

Garfunkel.
posted by yoink at 4:38 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Davis or Evans
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:40 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Bo Diddley FTW.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:42 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lennon was kind of a horrible human, and McCartney was a horrible pop-star. Harrison's seemed to be the heart and soul of the Beatles, and a good guy in the end. So, not a special snowflake, but maybe the most honest?

As songwriters though, they were better oh ether than the sum of their parts.
posted by Windopaene at 4:45 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


When I was much younger, the question I always used to get a feel for a person was, " Beatles, Stones, or the Who?" It worked pretty well (I think).
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:45 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


props to whoever decided that the background music should be "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".
posted by fingers_of_fire at 4:46 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


yoink: Hmmm. I wish I had sufficiently "limited" talents to write, say, "Rain," or "Hide Your Love Away," or "In My Life," or "Norwegian Wood" or "Strawberry Fields" or...

Yeah, that's what I didn't like about Gopnik's formulation. McCartney was also soulful enough to write "Eleanor Rigby," "I'll Follow the Sun," "Fool on the Hill," "I Will" and and and and...
posted by Kattullus at 4:46 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The only correct answer is Andy Partridge.
posted by The World Famous at 4:50 PM on December 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


Like most great artistic partnerships, neither of them were anywhere near as good without the other. McCartney's best solo work is way better than Lennon's, but then again his worst is...the fucking worst. Hm. McCartney by a nose.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:53 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nigel Mansell (or maybe Lewis Hamilton)
posted by ambient2 at 4:54 PM on December 15, 2014


I really wish that this was like an hour and a half long or whatever, so that they could give a little time before each one to just show the name of the person who was about to answer. In a bunch of spots there's just a rapidfire Lennon Lennon McCartney Lennon McCartney Ringo McCartney and I'm like wait wait wait, who were those people?
posted by Flunkie at 4:56 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


A counter at the bottom would be nice as well, although having the final tally in the credits is appreciated.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:03 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Did anyone make it past Counting Crows? If so: why?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 5:08 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


George Harrison is definitely the most popular Beatle among people who really want you to know who their favorite Beatle is.
posted by dhammond at 5:11 PM on December 15, 2014 [13 favorites]


I'm too old i guess, who are these people?
posted by Freedomboy at 5:12 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Paul was a machine for writing classic pop back then, unbelievably consistent really, though the fact that even his duds are catchy makes them ultimately unbearable. But John at his very best is something else and dominates the top of the list if I try to rank Beatles songs. George might have the highest average of all on their records, but I assume they only let him include his very best.
posted by atoxyl at 5:14 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Townshend
posted by benito.strauss at 5:19 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Townshend

So you be a Who person. My kinda peeps.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:21 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Pete Townshend, in turn, is a McCartney person (21:17).
posted by Flunkie at 5:24 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


I know the standard wisdom is that McCartney is talented but his songs make me feel like I'm drowning in corn syrup while an oompa-loompa band plays.
posted by bleep at 5:37 PM on December 15, 2014 [11 favorites]


The only correct answer is Andy Partridge.

Sir John Johns.
posted by The Tensor at 5:38 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Bowie
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:39 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Clapton
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:41 PM on December 15, 2014


I appreciate how John K. Samson chooses McCartney but insists on using past tense when speaking about his songwriting. I bet my opinion of McCartney would improve if I could forget songs like "Freedom."
posted by knuckle tattoos at 5:42 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've read and reread John Lennon's Playboy interview where he gives his (sometimes brief) opinion about every single Beatles song and it's a great read, but has anyone ever sat Paul down to do the same thing? I suppose he'd be much more polite about it, but it'd be fascinating just the same.
posted by wabbittwax at 5:45 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


After years of study on this vital issue, I'm forced to reluctantly give Paul the edge. As great as Lennon was, my understanding is that he actually fought a lot of the really amazing stuff we think of as quintessential Beatles. I'm under the impression that he kept pushing for a rawer sound and wasn't too interested in stuff like the songs blending into each other, that he thought Sgt. Pepper and side two of Abby Road were just McCartney being arty and kind of faffing around.

(But then again, Lennon was a relentlessly critical fellow and some of his post-breakup comments are hard to take seriously. I remember an interview where somebody went over a list of Beatles songs and with about 80 percent of them, including many of his own, Lennon was like, "Total worthless crap. What were we thinking? I can't even listen to it now. Next!" Lennon was also the guy behind Revolution 9, which was about as arty and experimental as the Beatles got.)

While McCartney has put out a lot of embarrassing stuff since the breakup and is easy to dismiss as too precious and uncool compared to Lennon, I think he was the guy who really made the band. I'd put it at a 52/48 split.

Isn't it weird to think that these guys started as the boy band of the era, these cute guys with shaggy hair, putting out pop tunes that little girls loved and parents sneered at? Imagine if One Direction turned into this world-changing force, releasing albums people were still arguing about 50 years later!

I couldn't make it through the whole video. It was a cute concept, but the endless tiny clips were wearing me out. But man, that clip of Bo Diddley saying neither, because "I don't understand what they're doing," would have broken Lennon's heart.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:46 PM on December 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:46 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Miss Piggy @ 19:40.
McCartney!
posted by hot_monster at 5:47 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


McCartney, for her veggie sausages.
posted by biffa at 5:52 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


that he thought Sgt. Pepper and side two of Abby Road were just McCartney being arty and kind of faffing around.

Quizzical dog look. The songs that really make Sgt. Peppers what it is are mostly John's: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (most obviously), "A Day in the Life" (yes, there's the Paul bit in that, but it's mostly John's), "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" (one of the most conspicuously "arty" of the songs on the album). I mean, not to knock "When I'm 64" or "Fixing a Hole" but they were hardly the songs that made that album epochal.
posted by yoink at 5:54 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Number of ZX Spectrum games associated with:

McCartney: 1
Lennon: 0
posted by benzenedream at 6:00 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know, my answer would be "Lennon." But that doesn't make me suspect that those who answer "McCartney" are just refusing to face a self-evident fact for disreputable reasons

On the flip side, in the video itself, many of the people who answer "Lennon" add stuff like "obviously" or "all the way", while many of the people answering McCartney spend time apologizing for themselves. It's easy to get too far into the reaction-to-the-counter-reaction stuff with a simple two-answer question like this, but there is fiftysome years of context here, and part of that context is that Lennon is seen as deep and edgy and McCartney is seen as sentimental and lightweight. I think very few people, when posed with the question and asked to make an immediate choice, are tallying up exactly how much they like the hundreds of songs written and/or performed by each of the men and then factoring in credits and demerits for personality/politics/likability/personal connections/whatever. Most of them are making a quick gut-level choice more like "musician vs. rock star" or "cool guy vs. sweet guy" or "heart vs. soul".

Saying that everyone who picked Lennon is just trying to seem cool is defensive and probably a little mean, but in one sense, picking the one who conforms more to your nebulous sense of what is cool is almost the only way to answer the question at all. It's not really a question that it's possible to rigorously answer in this format. That's also part of what's great about it, because it does come down to people picking the connotations of John Lennon vs. the connotations of Paul McCartney, and that's a way weirder and more revealing question in some ways than the one that's actually posed. Plus, picking that way prevents you from making the worst of all choices, which, as we now know, is being Lars Ulrich and answering something unfunny and inane while being a smug asshole.
posted by Copronymus at 6:05 PM on December 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


This was surprisingly entertaining. I watched the whole thing. Sad there was no They Might Be Giants, Jack or Meg White. Also no Sonic Youth representation. But I may have missed them. Some of them go by pretty quick.
10/10
****
Would watch again.
posted by hot_monster at 6:07 PM on December 15, 2014


Did anyone make it past Counting Crows?

I did.

If so: why?

Because Jason Collett's answer was awesome (even though I share his previous opinion rather than his current one).
posted by John Cohen at 6:08 PM on December 15, 2014


Quizzical dog look.

Yeah, I know. I'm going by interviews where McCartney and Lennon both seemed to agree that McCartney was the arty and experimental one and that the backwards voices and chicken clucks and songs blending together were all much more Paul's thing. I remember Lennon specifically saying a lot of stuff on Sgt. Pepper was just artsy fluff. (Perhaps needless to say, but I do not agree with him!) But then you've got stuff like Revolution 9, which was definitely Lennon's thing and doesn't click right with that interpretation of the band.

I sometimes get the feeling that Lennon really wanted to be a raw, Jerry Lee Lewis-style rocker and just kind of refused to embrace or acknowledge this more arty, experimental side of himself that was obviously there. He would keep doing increasingly weird stuff, while insisting he just wanted to go back to doing stripped-down rock n' roll.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:12 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


lennon or mccartney? beatles or stones? i liked them at the time, still do, but as a kid of the 60s my answer was, and always will be -

motown
posted by pyramid termite at 6:18 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


motown

CCR
posted by entropicamericana at 6:23 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


That's ok, PT. Their answer would have been Motown, too.



Lennon
posted by anastasiav at 6:24 PM on December 15, 2014


Did anyone make it past Counting Crows? If so: why?

If you watch to the end, you get to see the totals.
posted by John Cohen at 6:34 PM on December 15, 2014


I sometimes get the feeling that Lennon really wanted to be a raw, Jerry Lee Lewis-style rocker and just kind of refused to embrace or acknowledge this more arty, experimental side of himself that was obviously there

But then he would release an arty ego-wank like "Give Peace A Chance," which is as far from raw Jerry Lee Lewis as possible. Or the whole Double Fantasy album, which features his adult contemporary side vs Yoko's art-pop/rock side. What he wanted and what he actually did are miles apart.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:35 PM on December 15, 2014


Davies or Davies?
posted by threecheesetrees at 6:46 PM on December 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ringo.
posted by Flunkie at 6:49 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


but in one sense, picking the one who conforms more to your nebulous sense of what is cool is almost the only way to answer the question at all.

why? I have a number of Beatles songs that move me more than any others, and are basically "Lennon" songs. I suspect most people are the same way. Most everyone is exhaustively familiar with the Beatles catalogue ... so there's no reason to doubt what they say about theit preference. so why does "cool" matter?
posted by jayder at 6:50 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Rutles
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:03 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Davies or Davies?

Davies.
posted by Pink Frost at 7:08 PM on December 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


McCartney's great in Murder She Wrote, but I'm gonna have to go with Lennon on account of still shamanically transportively weird Plastic Ono Band. Don't care for the Beatles though.
posted by batfish at 7:10 PM on December 15, 2014


Preston.
posted by Brodiggitty at 7:14 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now here's a more pressing question: Lee or Lifeson?
posted by spinifex23 at 7:16 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


So Paul was my Beatle when I was a kid (choice based on the scratchy 45s passed down by my brothers and the cartoon version of the boys), but I moved more to Lennon as I got older. But I just sat down with the very handy list linked previously and counted up my most favoured songs based on main composer, not the singer, for the sake of simplicity:

Lennon & McCartney: 7
Lennon: 42
McCartney: 45

Lennon had a huge lead in the early years not just for the lyrics and energy, but for his under-rated melodic gifts. McCartney didn't really start kicking ass until Revolver. However, this was also the start of the period where he wrote almost every Beatles song that I hate or shrug at (Yesterday, Got to Get You Into My Life, Blackbird, Let it Be, Long and Winding Road, and Hey Jude). So if I deduct 1/2 point for each of these clunkers, he winds up tied with Lennon.

In conclusion, The Beatles are a band of contrasts.
posted by maudlin at 7:23 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've read and reread John Lennon's Playboy interview where he gives his (sometimes brief) opinion about every single Beatles song and it's a great read, but has anyone ever sat Paul down to do the same thing? I suppose he'd be much more polite about it, but it'd be fascinating just the same.

If I remember correctly, Paul does this in the biography Many Years From Now
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:26 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow, I would have predicted that not a single person would say McCartney.
posted by 445supermag at 7:30 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Harrison has leapt ahead of Lennon as I've gotten older. Though, to be honest, I really wonder what would have come from Lennon in Reagan's America.
posted by DigDoug at 7:41 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lifeson.
posted by grumpybear69 at 7:47 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Partridge or Moulding?
posted by Redfield at 7:55 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now here's a more pressing question: Lee or Lifeson?

Icepicks.
posted by LionIndex at 8:00 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Garcia/Hunter over Weir/Barlow

Not a big Beatles fan, but can say I watched this entire 34:24 of hand wringing. If I had to choose, Linda McCartney over Yoko Ono
posted by 724A at 8:04 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


The best John Lennon song was Helter Skelter*, so my vote is McCartney.





*yes I know, that's the point: McCartney out-Lennoned Lennon
posted by chimaera at 8:13 PM on December 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


benito.strauss: "Townshend"

Pete picked McCartney without hesitation.
posted by 724A at 8:16 PM on December 15, 2014


"Pick" isn't necessarily transitive.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:33 PM on December 15, 2014


OK, I'm gonna pick, but it basically comes down to this: Lennon collaborated with Bowie. Bowie makes everything better.
posted by annsunny at 8:33 PM on December 15, 2014


Also, Michael Nesmith was favourite Monkee.
posted by annsunny at 8:35 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I miss Joe Strummer
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:40 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


those are two talents that I feel are simultaneously very very good and very very overrated- this is probably because I was born after Lennon's death and the two have been constant background radiation my entire life
posted by maus at 9:24 PM on December 15, 2014


The difference between the two is much exaggerated--especially the idea that Lennon was some sort of gritty rocker.
posted by LarryC at 9:34 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ian Anderson.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:43 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Epstein. Just kidding, but surprised no one has said it. McCartney's melodies are more beautiful, he has a better voice, and the fact that he seems a nicer person is kind of a factor. That being said, my two favorite Beatles songs are by Harrison.
posted by blue shadows at 9:49 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't get the George Harrison people. John and Paul wrote 100+ songs EACH for the Beatles. George wrote maybe 20. You could list John and Paul's 10 best and STILL leave off songs that would amount to career-defining moments of countless internationally famous songwriters. But George? Sure, when he's good, he's very, very good - "Here Comes the Sun", "Something", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". But then what? Even if you throw in "Long Long Long", "Taxman", "Within You Without You" - you're starting to get a little thin. "Don't Bother Me"? "Love You To"? You can be as sick as you want of Paul McCartney's songs, but any number of them are major contributions to the very concept of pop music. Ditto John Lennon's.

Sure, maybe George was a more down-to-earth, grounded human being. But his contributions to the Beatles are just not on par with John's or Paul's. Here's a question - who played more guitar solos in the Beatles - George or Paul? I honestly don't know, but I'm certain that it's VERY close.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:06 PM on December 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


Absolutely McCartney. Hands down.

(And Patridge over Moulding.)
posted by dotgirl at 10:37 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not only did Paul play the two best guitar solos ("Taxman" and "Good Morning Good Morning"), he played the best drum track ("Dear Prudence").
McCartney.
posted by scrowdid at 10:41 PM on December 15, 2014


Bevis.
posted by flabdablet at 10:57 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


he played the best drum track ("Dear Prudence")

Sorry, no.

Just no.

Compared to Ringo, McCartney's drumming is strained, tense and tentative. Great bass player though.
posted by flabdablet at 11:13 PM on December 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lennon had a huge lead in the early years not just for the lyrics and energy, but for his under-rated melodic gifts. McCartney didn't really start kicking ass until Revolver.

It's interesting, I came to a very similar conclusion looking at the list, which was a little bit contrary to my expectations thinking of Paul as the pop song guy. But I guess John was (a little bit) more the rocknroller. Not that I buy the "Paul was the experimentalist" revisionist narrative - just look at the songs they're actually credited for and what they did in their solo careers. I think you can have them both as experimentalists, really - just because John wasn't into the idea of Paul's elaborately arranged studio pop (which was certainly novel at the time) doesn't mean he wasn't interested in a "rawer" sort of boundary-pushing along the lines of "Tomorrow Never Knows."
posted by atoxyl at 11:25 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not that I buy the "Paul was the experimentalist" revisionist narrative

He was though, and not just in the familiar studio-production ways. Paul was the first to use the flat-7 chord in any song and the first to invent a new cadence (both in 'PS I Love You'); the first to use the flat-7 chord as a dominant preparation ('All My Loving'); the first to successfully combine diatonic melody with blues in one song ('Can't Buy Me Love'); first to use irregular phrase lengths ('PS' again), first to use the 'Hendrix chord' ('Drive My Car') and plenty more structural musical (rather than superficial textural) innovations, the consequences of which we are still unpacking in rock and pop...
posted by colie at 12:04 AM on December 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


Tufnel.
posted by billiebee at 1:09 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Huh. I think the more salient and pressing question is,"Which Doctor?"














But then it obviously would be a very boring video of 5000 people saying, "Baker".
posted by taff at 1:25 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Baker T, obvs. Not that other one.
posted by flabdablet at 1:32 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


There is only one, true Baker.

Baker, T.

"Doctor" to his friends.
posted by taff at 2:54 AM on December 16, 2014


He was though

There's also the "Carnival of Light" piece (instigated my McCartney). But that came to light a couple of years later...
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:13 AM on December 16, 2014


"I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is a great track, sure, but there's nothing I hear there that even comes close to the amazing pulsing unhinged drum fills starting at 2:48 in Dear Prudence.
posted by scrowdid at 4:37 AM on December 16, 2014


True about Dear Prudence, but then again, there's the beat Ringo came up with for Tomorrow Never Knows. Ringo was never a showoffy drummer, but he had the chops to do exactly what he wanted to do, and what he wanted to do was create some of the finest beats ever laid down on track.
posted by Kattullus at 4:55 AM on December 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


The drum rhythm on TNK is derived from a Paul idea heard at the start and end of 1964's 'What You're Doing'.

There is really no escape from Sir Paul.
posted by colie at 5:15 AM on December 16, 2014


As an instrumentalist, McCartney, hands down. No other beatle shows up more consistently on best ______ player lists than Paul does as a bass player.
As a songwriter, McCartney. He could get poppy or schmaltzy at times, but John's songs were too often about himself, and not something the listener could personally relate to. There were exceptions, of course, but the edge goes to Paul.
For their celebrity life outside the Beatles, Lennon, of course. He created himself as an icon of the peace/love movement long after everyone else stopped being a hippie in the days of 70s excess.

But together they were greater than the sum of their parts.
posted by rocket88 at 5:48 AM on December 16, 2014


Depends on the mood. Both amazing composers, though of course, different. With the exception of the Wire for a television drama, I cannot say that any film, book, painting, band or musician I adore is the "best". To many rich options out there and to many different moods which they suit.
posted by juiceCake at 5:59 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Colin: The drum rhythm on TNK is derived from a Paul idea heard at the start and end of 1964's 'What You're Doing'.

Really? That's interesting. Can you elaborate? Did Paul come up with the What You're Doing beat or did he ask Ringo to do something similar for Tomorrow Never Knows?
posted by Kattullus at 6:14 AM on December 16, 2014


Not gunna go back and track down the timecode bu there was one "lemon"...
posted by sammyo at 6:22 AM on December 16, 2014


Speaking of Helter Skelter, did you see Paul with the Foo Fighters? Don't you dare tell me John was the rockin' one. (Also, Paul really loved Linda and that means a lot to me for some reason.)
posted by whuppy at 6:32 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ok, I will pick one.

Ginger MaryAnn
posted by 724A at 6:32 AM on December 16, 2014


sammyo: "Not gunna go back and track down the timecode bu there was one "lemon"..."

When she realized her blunder, she changed her answer to Lime. Seriously.



Here is the tally from the credits of the video

Lennon 282

McCartney 196

No Answer 50

Harrison 15

Starr 4

Hendrix 1

Reed 1

Richards 1

Oasis 1
posted by 724A at 6:38 AM on December 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Kattullus: Engineer Geoff Emerick says in his book that Paul showed Ringo the Tomorrow Never Knows beat by tapping it out on the mixing desk, and compared it to Ticket To Ride at the time, which has a drum rhythm that John is also on record as saying that Paul invented.

Ian McDonald surmises that the 'What You're Doing' beat has these Paul hallmarks, and Emerick and others have said that Ringo was taking pretty strict direction from Paul and John in every track. Here's an outtake of Paul hassling Ringo in quite painful detail about his level of 'attack' in the intro to 'I Want to Hold Your Hand'. Still a great drummer in any case.
posted by colie at 7:03 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


My vote is for Lennon, because Lennon without McCartney produced more interesting music than McCartney without Lennon (IMO). The first Plastic Ono Band album is great.

But I agree that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Lennon without McCartney tended to wander into irrelevance. McCartney without Lennon tended to wander into schmaltz.

Both were great, great songwriters, and the Beatles' music will be played long after all of us are gone.
posted by tallmiddleagedgeek at 7:25 AM on December 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


yoink: "Hall or Oates.

Garfunkel.
"

But never never never ever Simon.
posted by symbioid at 7:31 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


annsunny: "Also, Michael Nesmith was favourite Monkee."

Nesmith is probably my favorite when it comes to the song-writing. He's probably the only country style music (besides Johnny Cash and Hank III) I can not only tolerate , but actually appreciate.

But in the same way I might give McCartney the edge for songwriting over Lennon, but Lennon gets the "cool" (political/activist) points (don't get me wrong, plenty of great Lennon songs) - I'd have to give the "cool" points to Peter.

Also: Ringo > Davy. I mean, I guess, the fluffy Davy image, but he's just too damned saccharine (RIP).

Does that make Harrison = Dolenz? Hrmm... I'm not comfortable with that, necessarily. I think Harrison is more like Nesmith, really, which would make Dolenz McCartney? FUCK.

Can we just all agree that all the New Monkees mostly sucked except Dino?
posted by symbioid at 7:46 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Pete Best
posted by alfanut at 7:54 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


If they did this with the Beach Boys and somebody answered "Love", I'd have a new entry on my Top 10 Persons I Don't Want To Sit Next To On A Transatlantic Flight list.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:56 AM on December 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


I've always been partial to Lennon, since I started seriously listening to music in my teens (mid-70s).

That said, I do realize he never had the disadvantage of aging as publicly dopily as McCartney. And this time of year, that horrible Christmas song which keeps coming on the muzak in stores and on the radio is a stark illustration. (The terrible, reactionary post-9/11 "Freedom" song always sticks in my craw too.)

Lennon was kind of a horrible human

Sigh. I'm no apologist for Lennon's well-advertized failings but when people throw that ad hominem out I usually observe that he was considerably more honest and upfront about regrettable things he had done than most public figures would be. And while it's no blanket excuse for being a shit, Lennon did have considerably more awful childhood trauma to deal with than most folks.

However, the bottom line that makes the question pointless is that The Beatles as a group had a synergy that made them more than the sum of their parts, which any perusal of the band's works versus the members' solo careers makes sharply obvious. Still, I'd rather listen to Mind Games, Imagine, or Walls and Bridges any day of the week over any of Paul's post-Beatles albums (with the possible exception of Band on the Run).
posted by aught at 8:08 AM on December 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


(And Partridge over Moulding.)

I'll give you that. Andy Partridge was a freakin' force of nature during XTC's heyday.
posted by aught at 8:21 AM on December 16, 2014


>Hall or Oates.

Garfunkel.


Garfunkel and Oates.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:12 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Garfunkel and Oates.

thatsthejoke.jpg
posted by yoink at 9:37 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Michael Nesmith was favourite Monkee. . . Ringo > Davy. I mean, I guess, the fluffy Davy image, but he's just too damned saccharine . . . Does that make Harrison = Dolenz? Hrmm... I'm not comfortable with that, necessarily. I think Harrison is more like Nesmith, really, which would make Dolenz McCartney?

Haven't you seen Head? A running theme throughout is whether it's George . . . Michael . . . Dolenz . . . or Peter Tork who's the stereotypical "dummy" of the group/show.

If they did this with the Beach Boys and somebody answered "Love", I'd have a new entry on my Top 10 Persons I Don't Want To Sit Next To On A Transatlantic Flight list.

But even the Beatles said that "Love is all you need." Unless you're stranded on a desert isle, in which case you'll want a little Wilson, too.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:47 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Paul was the experimentalist" . . . first to use the 'Hendrix chord' ('Drive My Car') [recorded 13 October 1965]

Colie, listen closely to the Lennon song, "You Can't Do That" (recorded 25 February 1964).

As far as calling the 7#9 "'The Hendrix Chord'", tell it to Bill Doggett. Tell it to Claude Debussy.

BTW, Happy Beethoven's Birthday, everyone!
 
posted by Herodios at 9:54 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm going by interviews where McCartney and Lennon both seemed to agree that McCartney was the arty and experimental one and that the backwards voices and chicken clucks and songs blending together were all much more Paul's thing.

John said a lot of bitter things about his Beatles experience post break-up which I don't think bear much scrutiny. The notion that John was uninterested in the more experimental or "artsy" stuff the Beatles did just doesn't hold up at all. If you ask yourself what are the most "out there" artsy tracks the Beatles did, they're pretty much all John or mostly John:

Tomorrow Never Knows
I Am the Walrus
Strawberry Fields
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Revolution 9
A Day in the Life
For the Benefit of Mr. Kite

No, the notion that Paul was the restless experimenter and John just wanted to be a straight ahead rocker is clearly untenable. In point of fact the whole "Paul was all about melody / John was Mr Rock'n'Roll" is also untenable. Paul was mostly the one who wanted to hit the real rock'n'roll notes:

Long Tall Sally
Oh Darling
Helter Skelter
Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey
I'm Down

And John produced a lot of really melodic, lyrical stuff:

Ask Me Why
Do You Want to Know a Secret
All I´ve Got to Do
If I Fell
You´ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
It´s Only Love
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
In My Life
Good Night
Cry Baby Cry
Julia
Because
Across the Universe
This Boy
Yes it is
Rain

As with so many of these sorts of things narratives develop and harden into cliches that really don't have much to do with the reality.
posted by yoink at 9:57 AM on December 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


I sort of can't get past the fact that Lennon was the one who created some of the most profound music in the last ... century? Pick a time period. McCartney is a great pop composer, but there are lots of those. There was only one Lennon. If I forgot all of McCartney's music tomorrow I wouldn't really miss it (much). Different story for Lennon, who wrote some things that redefined the world.

I've often puzzled, and marveled, at human genius in the abstract, and in our lives, and in the amazing bit of ... destiny that brought them together. Yes, together they were amazingly consistently awesome.
posted by emmet at 10:00 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


listen closely to the Lennon song, "You Can't Do That"

I stand corrected...

But looking at Dominic Pedler's book, he notes that 'Drive My Car' contains an even more dissonant chord used at the same corresponding moment in the song: instead of the 'TOLD YOU BEFORE' V7#9 , you get all three voices creating a V7#5#9 chord on 'YOU CAN DO SOMETHING IN BETWEEN'.

(If you are a muso reading this but are not massive on music theory, you can hear this mega chord by going up to a keyboard and playing a standard A major chord with the left hand, and above it playing C, F, and G, all at the same time, which gives you the 'YOU CAN DO SOMETHING IN BETWEEN' chord.)
posted by colie at 10:14 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


you get all three voices creating a V7#5#9 chord on 'YOU CAN DO SOMETHING IN BETWEEN'

That is a nice moment, and devilish hard to duplicate.
 
posted by Herodios at 10:17 AM on December 16, 2014


I may not have made it past Counting Crows in the video, but I am watching this thread closely, because the interesting is the reason people choose one or the other. Which the video has some of, but not enough to hold my interest.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


RINGO FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by thereemix at 10:21 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


devilish hard to duplicate.

And never performed live by the fabs. They were actually human.
posted by colie at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2014


I think it's a testament to McCartney's genius that his innovations have been so absorbed in to popular music in particular (not to mention culture at large) that they no longer seem innovative. It's like - OF COURSE rock bands can write songs that amount to character studies with classical music accompaniment... what's the big deal? Well, that just simply wasn't done before "Eleanor Rigby", or "Yesterday", or "For No One", or whatever. There are countless of those kinds of innovations courtesy Sir Paul. Another example - the way bass guitar was recorded, and how it sat in a mix - we can debate whether it was Paul's idea and Geoff Emerick's execution, or all Geoff, or whatever. But it simply redefined the way pop records sounded and it is still in use to this day.

My point being Paul was absolutely innovative. Perhaps not as overtly as John Lennon, but every bit as substantially. How about 7-bar melodic phrases in "Yesterday"?

(For the record, it's an impossible question to answer, and therefore I won't.)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


The analyses made by Alan Pollack of their songs have been mentioned on here before, and I think he comes closest to understanding and communicating the way that John and Paul actually worked out deep-level musical puzzles between them subconsciously. They were two halves of the same thing and I'm not choosing.

There were even singles with A-sides and B-sides that feature a kind of 'OK, hand in your homework now, boys' response to the same musical problem set for each of them: 'Can't Buy Me Love/You Can't Do That'; 'I Feel Fine/She's A Woman'; 'Paperback Writer/Rain'.

Then there is 'The Beatles with Lacan' that takes the view that John and Paul were locked in an exhausting, passionate kind of psycho-musical matrimony that eventually destroyed both their lives, but we were privileged enough to witness it coming to its end with the apocalyptic/rapturous/overly-wise Sgt. Pepper album.
posted by colie at 11:04 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


... you get all three voices creating a V7#5#9 chord on 'YOU CAN DO SOMETHING IN BETWEEN'.

(If you are a muso reading this but are not massive on music theory ...


Arguably John and Paul themselves were musos, but not so massive on music theory. I can entirely imagine them coming up with this particular note cluster through playing around with note combinations until they found something which emulates a car horn. Which it does, very effectively.
posted by iotic at 11:27 AM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's a copy of the Playboy interview of John Lennon mentioned up thread - - I hadn't read it in years, and found it quite illuminating after reading through the comments on this FPP.
posted by fairmettle at 11:46 AM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Stu Sutcliffe
posted by MOWOG at 11:55 AM on December 16, 2014


you get all three voices creating a V7#5#9 chord on 'YOU CAN DO SOMETHING IN BETWEEN'

    That is a nice moment, and devilish hard to duplicate.

        And never performed live by the fabs. They were actually human.


The Fab Faux* do a creditable job of the instruments and vocals on "Drive My Car" and other Beatles songs. In fact their actual job description is: "perform [Beatles songs that the Beatles never played live] live". Unfortunately, I cannot find any clips of them doing "Drive My Car" that are worth watching.

So, instead, here's the Fab Faux performing the Abby Road Suite live in the studio (with just a little help from their friends).

*Will Lee - bass, keyboards, vocals
Jimmy Vivino - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Frank Agnello - guitar, vocals
Jack Petruzzelli - keyboards, guitar, vocals
Rich Pagano - drums, vocals

posted by Herodios at 1:38 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait for it . . .
 
posted by Herodios at 1:44 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


Isn't it weird to think that these guys started as the boy band of the era, these cute guys with shaggy hair, putting out pop tunes that little girls loved and parents sneered at? Imagine if One Direction turned into this world-changing force, releasing albums people were still arguing about 50 years later!

I legitimately cannot wait to see what Taylor Swift's Sgt Pepper is going to be like.
posted by kagredon at 3:51 PM on December 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


I legitimately cannot wait to see what Taylor Swift's Sgt Pepper is going to be like.

Please please please let it be terrifyingly similar to Garth Brooks' Sgt. Pepper. Please.
posted by The World Famous at 4:11 PM on December 16, 2014


Please please please let it be

I don't know if you meant to, but I see what you did there.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:39 PM on December 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


Emerick or Martin?
posted by Zerowensboring at 6:45 PM on December 16, 2014


Isn't it weird to think that these guys started as the boy band of the era, these cute guys with shaggy hair, putting out pop tunes that little girls loved and parents sneered at?

they weren't just the boy band of the era, they INVENTED the boy band - everything before them was boy singer backed by instrumentalists - (doo wop doesn't count)

and that 7#5 chord was all over jazz long before the beatles were born

also the bass mixes they did were an attempt to emulate american 45s, although paul's melodic lines were a nice progression on what james jamerson and carol kaye had already started
posted by pyramid termite at 6:53 PM on December 16, 2014


I don't understand what happened to McCartney after The Beatles. Did he really need John that much to work against? He wrote a lot of great songs while in The Beatles that he composed pretty much everything on, so they're essentially Paul McCartney solo songs. That would have been a great solo career. But after they broke up he went in such a different direction...
posted by downtohisturtles at 6:54 PM on December 16, 2014


But after they broke up he went in such a different direction...

I've been listening to the Beatles' solo albums in chronological order this evening as I work, and I'm not really seeing that he went in a different direction. McCartney, Ram, Band On The Run, sound a lot like Paul's White Album work, and Wild Life sounds a lot like his Let It Be stuff (Mumbo is basically Get Back played fast, right down to the lead guitar parts) which is to say they sound like McCartney's Beatles songwriting without the benefit of a genius producer/arranger at the helm (i.e. Martin). Red Rose Speedway sounds like Paul working in the production tropes of the early 70s, which is exactly what it is. My impression is that the differences between Beatles Paul and Solo/Wings Paul are due primarily to the production styles of the times and the different playing styles of his supporting musicians.

Lennon seems to have diverged more from his Beatles work than Paul did.

McCartney and Ram basically sound like rough Beatles demos. Plastic Ono Band sounds like something completely different, and Imagine sounds like more rough Beatles demos.
posted by The World Famous at 7:26 PM on December 16, 2014 [4 favorites]



they weren't just the boy band of the era, they INVENTED the boy band - everything before them was boy singer backed by instrumentalists - (doo wop doesn't count)

I'm confused: New Kids on the Block, Backstreet Boys, and One Direction are boy bands, (singers backed by instrumentalists) but Doo Wop groups (singers backed by instrumentalists) don't count, and the Beatles (who did play their own instruments) do?

Now consider the strange case of the dog that ba -- of Dino, Desi, and Billy.

Dean Paul "Dino" Martin (son of Dean Martin), Desi Arnaz, Jr. (son of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball), and their friend Billy Hinsche were classmates who came together as Dino Desi & Billy in 1964 when all three were 12 or 13 years old.

"I'm A Fool" (1964, #17)
"Not the Lovin' Kind" (1965, #25)

Nominally Billy was guitarist, Desi was the drummer, and Dino played bass, though their recordings employed only first call LA session players. They somehow toured as an opening act for the Beach Boys, Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Mamas & the Papas . . .

The group's last single, "Lady Love" (1970) was co-written by Billy and Beach Boy Brian Wilson. Later, Billy worked as a session and touring musician with the Beach Boys. (Billy's sister was married to Carl Wilson during this period). Later still, Billy provided backing vocals for (according to Wiccuhpeedia) Elton John, Warren Zevon, America, Joan Jett . . . Dino and Desi subsequently pretty much stuck to acting and 'variety' entertainment formats.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:45 PM on December 16, 2014


jesus h they did all of that in seven years

And when they broke up they were all 30 or younger.

Paul was mostly the one who wanted to hit the real rock'n'roll notes

"Junior's Farm" rocks pretty good, too.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:19 PM on December 16, 2014


...and Paul was 40 when Wings disbanded.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:21 PM on December 16, 2014


Taylor really is going to have to learn that fifth chord, and a second subject matter, to make her 'Pepper'.
posted by colie at 2:47 AM on December 17, 2014


Ringo was always my favorite Beatle (the quiet, happy type) but otherwise I am team McCartney. Aside from Lennon's 2 post-Beatles hits (So this is Christmas & Imagine), what did he write?
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jealous Guy
God
Working Class Hero
Power to the People
Just Like Starting Over
Watching the Wheels
Woman
Nobody Told Me There'd be Days Like These
I'm Losing You

... Just to name a few
posted by wabbittwax at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I would like to go on record saying that I feel both Lennon and McCartney's Christmas songs are crimes against humanity. Paul's because, well, listen to it, my God...

John's pisses me off not only because it's a self-righteous guilt trip with too much fucking reverb, but also and especially because every year we have to endure some new over-earnest cover-version by the latest sensitive-singer-songwriter-du-jour. Seriously. Every. Fucking. Year.
posted by wabbittwax at 8:44 AM on December 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


The Beatles' own Christmas song was one of the very few complete failures they put on record.
posted by colie at 9:02 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Team Both. Thirty-four years is a long time. You know John would've rung up his old pal at some point by now, especially since he seems to have gotten over himself by Double Fantasy.
posted by whuppy at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


McCartney. Though M/L >> than either separately.

However, the Guess Who did a cover of "Black Bird" that is just amazing. No link, but it's on Spotify.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:29 AM on December 17, 2014


I learned last night that we have a major rift in the Rabbit Family: Mr. Rabbit is Team Lennon, and I am Team McCartney. Can this marriage be saved?
posted by rabbitrabbit at 9:41 AM on December 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


Surely you Can Work It Out
posted by wabbittwax at 9:45 AM on December 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.
posted by yoink at 10:31 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Paul's exasperated verse is more inventive than John's lugubrious bridge.
posted by colie at 10:37 AM on December 17, 2014


Metafilter: there is always time for fussing and fighting.
posted by yoink at 10:46 AM on December 17, 2014


Also, Paul on the "We Can Work it Out" bridge:
I took it to John to finish it off, and we wrote the middle together. Which is nice: 'Life is very short. There's no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.' Then it was George Harrison's idea to put the middle into waltz time, like a German waltz. That came on the session, it was one of the cases of the arrangement being done on the session.
posted by yoink at 11:06 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


They're slow triplets, and sound to me like a kind of nostalgic revisiting of an idea first heard in the ending of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', which the Beatles probably learned from covering 'That'll Be The Day' by Buddy Holly.
posted by colie at 11:14 AM on December 17, 2014


Aside from Lennon's 2 post-Beatles hits (So this is Christmas & Imagine), what did he write?

Seriously? You've never heard of his hits Mind Games, Whatever Gets You Through the Night, #9 Dream, Instant Karma, Power to the People, Watching the Wheels, Just Like Starting Over, Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like These...?
posted by aught at 11:28 AM on December 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


I learned last night that we have a major rift in the Rabbit Family: Mr. Rabbit is Team Lennon, and I am Team McCartney. Can this marriage be saved?

You might try asking on the green though you'd probably mostly get DTMFA replies.
posted by aught at 11:30 AM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I would like to go on record saying that I feel both Lennon and McCartney's Christmas songs are crimes against humanity. Paul's because, well, listen to it, my God...

Seriously, if I walk into a store this time of year and "Simply Having A Wonderful Christmas Time" is playing I walk out. It's absolutely horrendous.



(Also for the record I am squarely anti-Wings. "Maybe I'm Amazed" would be a a good song if it didn't last for three hours. Just when you think it's ending it flips around and there's that damn guitar solo + bridge again. In the right mood I can tolerate "Let Me Roll It" and "Band On The Run" though the latter really only if I've had a few beers. "Live and Let Die" is an atrocity and I cannot fucking believe that at the time it was one of the best-selling Bond themes to date. "Live and Let Die" is only slightly redeemed when Paul performs it live, because he always incorporates epic pyrotechnics during it and watching many firecrackers explode distracts me from the fact that the lyrics are stupid and sound like he dashed it off in 15 minutes or less. I mean don't get me wrong, I have great fondness for Paul, almost like he's an uncle or something, but his post-Beatles output does not impress me. And don't even get me started on that awful post-9/11 "Freedom" song...ugh.)
posted by thereemix at 11:36 AM on December 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2015 inductees, and Ringo will finally be honored--not in the Performer category, as the other three were, but with The Award for Musical Excellence. That's gotta sting a little.
posted by ogooglebar at 1:03 PM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


> " Can this marriage be saved?"

It really doesn't matter if you're wrong, you're right;
Where you belong you're right.
posted by kyrademon at 1:49 PM on December 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


Poor Ringo. He never gets any respect.

I still love him the best.
posted by thereemix at 1:50 PM on December 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


To be fair to McCartney, Live and Let Die is certainly the most gloriously bonkers Bond song; it's like he couldn't choose which of four songs to submit and so he CRAMMED THEM ALL IN TOGETHER.

To be fair to Lennon, though: he never wrote a song for animated frogs.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:46 PM on December 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Live and Let Die is a wonderful song to listen to when you're running a marathon, FWIW.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:47 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]




The question gives off malodor, the smell of an excluded middle fallacy. So, I choose both blokes. Post Beatles I prefer Lennon's stuff. (though "Maybe I'm Amazed" is a lovely song)
posted by abakua at 6:23 AM on December 19, 2014


It doesn't exclude the middle in any but the strictest, most unreasonable sense. Everybody understands that the answer to "Lennon, McCartney, or both" is "both", and this more specific question isn't trying to hide that from people.
posted by Flunkie at 6:29 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


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