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The remarkable thing isn't how well their songs have aged; it's that they haven't aged at all. Born of collaboration and ending as competition, the catalogue of material by John Lennon and Paul McCartney is the indisputable and indispensable songbook of the modern era, a staggering collection of compositions that, one-by-one, changed, challenged and defined the times with a beauty that still feels endless.
From their first raw, exuberant Merseybeat recordings right on through to the sophisticated, breathtaking rock arias of Abbey Road, the songs of Lennon and McCartney set standards, broke moulds and created genres and subgenres.
History has tagged Lennon "the gutsy rocker" and McCartney "the sensitive balladeer," but the ying and the yang were often indistinguishable. Lennon's greatest love songs (This Boy, If I Fell) ached with naked vulnerability, while Macca's raucous raves (I'm Down, Helter Skelter) screeched with unhinged fury.