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McCartney trumps Lennon

Paul McCartney’s music is way more important to me than John Lennon’s.

There, I’ve said it. Now you know my horrible secret.

I realize I’ve committed pop-culture heresy by making such an admission. No cool kid would state, in public, a preference for Macca over the Walrus -- it’s just not done.

We all know John, rest his soul, was a hundred times deeper and more talented than Paul, right? I mean, Paul was the guy who followed up his time in the Beatles with . . . Wings. Does anything else need to be said?

And yet . . . let me explain.

The first thing you have to know is I grew up in the 1970s. One of the strange things about that decade is I don’t remember many Beatles tunes being played on London radio stations like CJBK and CKSL. Hey Jude would inevitably make the ubiquitous countdowns of the greatest songs of all time, typically in the Top 10, but other than that it seemed the radio programmers of the day had moved on.

We had only one Beatles album in the house, a collection of their early hits. So I didn’t get much Fab Four in my diet.

But McCartney . . . he was everywhere. Those same radio stations could literally not get enough of him.

Songs like Band On The Run, Listen To What The Man Said, Jet and With A Little Luck were in heavy rotation. You couldn’t listen to the radio for long without hearing a McCartney tune or two.

Are these songs immortal poetry? No, but they are my heritage. They’re what I grew up with as a child of the 1970s. They’re fun and catchy, and they carved a permanent mark on the inside of my skull through repeated airplay.

And the thing about Lennon was, I don’t remember him being on the radio that much. Sure, there was Imagine, but his music was nowhere near as pervasive. The Lennon fans I knew treated him with reverence, it was just a given his music had more meaning.

Even as an adult, my respect for McCartney keeps growing and growing. To take the derision of his former Beatle bandmate and turn it into a hit like Silly Love Songs, that takes not only writing skill but also a sense of humour about oneself. And while Lennon was protesting for world peace in hotel beds, Paul quietly went about buying the rights to old songs from the Great American Songbook, which turned out to be a brilliant financial strategy.

Besides, if you find something wrong with Paul McCartney’s solo work, then you obviously haven’t heard the solo work of Ringo Starr.

(The latest Paul McCartney album, Kisses On The Bottom, was released in February.)


view comments Comments (7)

7 people have commented on this story so far. Tell us what you think below.
by bravefan : May 17, 2012 2:57 PM EDT (FUNsite member)
It was cool to be a fan of Lennon`s in the 70`s . I chose Macca and I`ve never regretted it. Not everything either one did is great but I prefer the uplifitng sentiment of his music. I`ve enjoyed both over the years but I prefer Paul`s voice. Both were great but I think the world is starting to appreciate the sheer musical genius of Paul McCartney.
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reply by Abate : zcODBUKH March 4, 2013 2:56 AM EST
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reply by Ilgar : rwDvBXsfbGLgyfhC March 5, 2013 5:58 AM EST
I`ve been loknoig for a post like this for an age
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by Erik : Flanders May 17, 2012 10:48 AM EDT (Guest)  click to register
I must have become a fan at the age of eleven, 34 years ago… At the beginning I went along with common belief that Lennon was the cool, arty, intelligent one and the main force within The Beatles. After Lennon’s death, it became an even more popular thing to laugh at McCartney and his music. I always hated that. One of the best McCartney albums, ‘Back to the Egg’, was butchered in the music press all over the world. Today I feel that the world still hasn’t begun to understand the importance of McCartney’s musical achievements. To have talent is one thing, but you also have to do something with that talent. You have to work at it to improve that talent. After all these years I feel that McCartney surely was the hardest worker of The Beatles. George could have done better in the seventies. It only proved that The Beatles were a good filter for his songs. I own all albums by George and John and a ridiculous amount of bootlegs. But I never play them. I play Paul’s music almost on a daily basis. A it makes me feel in good spirits: ‘onwards and upwards’! We are left with the legacy that if you’d ask any people on the street to name five Beatle songs, almost all of them would be songs by Paul…
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by Paul : Spain May 6, 2012 5:56 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
I don`t see the point of justifying your preferences for Macca with a pseudo victimism. I don`t see the point of making such statements like Macca was less cool and less deep. Who has said so? By which terms? Is it deeper Let it be or Imagine? Is it lighter I should have known better or My babe? Is it more pscychedelic the Walrus or Monkberry moon delight? Is it more sacarine Woman or My love? Is it more rocking 1985 or Instant Karma? Is it more meaningful Pipes of Peace or Give Peace a chance? Is it it more heartful Just like staring over or Maybe I`m amazed? I don`t particularly put any of them over the other. Both are absolutely great . I take both. There are different approachs, that`s all. As for the lyrics Lennon writes straight ahead "I think this an this", Macca writes as an impresionist " a little bit of this and that" and you get the picture. As for the music both are great, both adventorous at times and both classic.There are as many fans of Ramon as of the beautiful boy
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reply by Tar : wRcAQMLuDBATJspp March 2, 2013 11:16 PM EST
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by Salvatore : Mexico May 3, 2012 1:07 PM EDT (Guest)  click to register
It could sound odd, but I do prefer Macca than Lennon too! Even tough I know many people may hate us, I think that Macca sound is muchmore musical than Lennon`s I guess is just a cuestion of trust
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McCartney trumps Lennon

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Paul McCartney’s music is way more important to me than John Lennon’s. There, I’ve said it. Now you know my horrible secret.