Paul McCartney explains why 'the Beatles were better' than the Rolling Stones

Beatles or Stones… it's a debate that's raged on in bars for decades, but now Paul McCartney has weighed in on the the subject in a recent interview on the Howard Stern Show for SiriusXM

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 radio to promote forthcoming Peter Jackson-directed Beatles documentary Get Back. And unsurprisingly, he's backing his own band.

“You know you’re going to persuade me to agree with that one,” McCartney responded to Stern's leading question. “They are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences. … There’s a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better."

McCartney with Keith Richards in 2001

McCartney with Keith Richards in 2001 (Image credit: Kevin Mazur / Getty)

In typical Stern fashion he didn't leave it there, with the DJ suggesting Jagger and Co's 1967 notably more experimental album Their Satanic Majesties Request was an attempt at to create their own Sgt. Peppers.

“We started to notice that whatever we did, the Stones sort of did it shortly thereafter,” McCartney responded. “We went to America and we had huge success. Then the Stones went to America. 

"We did Sgt. Pepper, the Stones did a psychedelic album", Macca added. "There’s a lot of that. We were great friends, still are kind of. We admire each other. … The Stones are a fantastic group. I go see them every time they’re out. They’re a great, great band.”

There's no doubt the Fab Four were trailblazers. Will they be such great friends after that? Keef, it's over to you. 

Get Back is released on 20 September 2020 via Disney.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.