Paul McCartney Is Better Than John Lennon

Ok, right off the top the title of this piece might cause a gasp because one of the so-called solidified truths in life is that John Lennon is the best thing the world has ever seen since man discovered sex, weed and booze.  We remember John for his highest points, and tend to think Wings for Paul McCartney.  However I need you to follow me on this.

Paul McCartney was the better songwriter in the Beatles, and an all around better person.

The vast majority of songs in the Beatles catalog are credited to Lennon/McCartney, however as the book Beatlesongs tells us, that was a misnomer.  Each song credited to that name was written by either one or the other for the most part, with the most notable exceptions being She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand.  The book takes great pains through interviews with the men themselves, their producers and others to determine who really wrote the songs.  In the most simplest way, if John Lennon is singing it, he wrote it and vice versa.  It gauges to the percent who is responsible for what proportion of the song.

So when you look at the Beatles catalog as a whole to say one is better than the other is a purely subjective exercise.  Some say John is like salt, Paul like sugar. 

There is one stat however that stands out like Lil Wayne in a library: Yesterday is the most covered song in the history of popular music.  Not the most covered Beatles song, the most covered song period.

That means musicians, who inherently have a higher caliber of musical knowledge, have collectively in a de facto way declared that song the single one they wish they had written.

You may say, well that’s interesting but it doesn’t prove your point.  You know what the second most covered Beatles song in history is?  It’s Something, written by George Harrison.

How the fuck can John Lennon be the greatest Beatles songwriter when artists are choosing to cover his band mates’ songs before his?  George Harrison?  His Beatles songwriting was about as prolific as Elton John’s dalliances with women.

Now, since this book has been written my research has shown that another Beatles song has actually surpassed Yesterday to become the most covered song of all time, though I think it is debatable.    It’s… Eleanor Rigby.  Eleanor fuckin Rigby, another Paul McCartney song!

Not enough for you?

Another piece of evidence, albeit not as hard-hitting, is the list of the top three biggest selling Beatles songs, which are:  She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand and Can’t Buy Me Love.  Two true Lennon/McCartney collaborations and one song written by Paul McCartney.

Musicians chose to cover Paul McCartney songs hands down over John Lennon Beatles songs and fans purchased by a slight  majority Bealtes songs that Paul had more input in.

 Ok, by now you can at least respect that from an empirical stand point what I am trying to say.  But yes I also said Paul McCartney is a better person than John Lennon.  Better person wha wha what???  John gave sang for world peace and married a hideous looking woman, he clearly was a stand up guy!  Only thing about that is he was a deadbeat Dad.  Don’t believe me, take it from his Julian:

“Paul and I used to hang about quite a bit … more than Dad and I did. We had a great friendship going and there seems to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing together at that age than there are pictures of me and my dad.”

What kind of man let’s his freakin business partner feel like more than a figure to his son than him?  Who does that?  And that song Hey Jude, written to console a young Julian over his parents divorcing is a PAUL MCCARTNEY song.  What kind of guy lets his business partner write the song to console his son than the man himself, who happens to be a freakin songwriter!

From the time John divorced Julian’s Mom in 1968 until the early 70’s, he had virtually no contact with him.  He didn’t even include him in his will.  What a stand up guy!

Lastly, I saw Paul McCartney in concert a couple of years ago.  He kicked ass.  He  went from instrument to instrument and at almost 70 years old played for over two hours, FLAWLESSLY.  Voice never showing age, never off-key, rocking the bass, guitars, pianos and who knows what else.  I challenge any other 70-year-old to outmatch that.

So while the world is going Lady Gaga on acid mourning the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, I will be taking it with the aforementioned Lennon grain of salt.  Sure he was a brilliant musician who changed music and whose impact is unmistakable, but he’s not untouchable, as proven literally, and as I believe figuratively.

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