It’s the eternal debate: Who’s better, The Rolling Stones or The Beatles?
Paul McCartney, 77, says it’s clearly The Beatles.
In an interview with Howard Stern on his Sirius-XM radio show last week, McCartney said “I love the Stones but The Beatles were better.”
“Their stuff is rooted in the blues, whereas we had a lot more influences. Keith [Richards] once said to me, ‘You were lucky man. You had four singers in your band. We got one.'”
McCartney, who sang and played bass and piano for the group, and wrote dozens of the group’s songs, said The Stones sometimes copied The Beatles. “We started to notice that whatever we did the Stones sort of did it shortly thereafter,” he said.
“We went to America and had huge success, then the Stones went to America,” he said. “We did Sergeant Pepper and the Stones did a psychedelic album. There was a lot of that.”
But Mick Jagger, 76, the lead singer for The Stones, said his band was better — and still is.
Appearing on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show on Friday, Jagger said there was “obviously no competition” between the two, adding about McCartney, “He is a sweetheart. I’m a politician.”
“The big difference, though, is that The Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas when The Beatles never even did an arena tour,” Jagger said. “They broke up before the touring business started for real… They did that [Shea] stadium gig [in 1965]. But the Stones went on.”
The Beatles stopped touring early in their rise to stardom, reportedly because the screaming and carrying on from fans got out of hand. The boys from Liverpool hit the big time with their 1963 release of “Please Please Me,” but they broke up in 1970, with McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison all going their separate ways. Lennon was murdered in 1981 at age 40, while Harrison passed away from cancer in 2001 at age 58.
The Stones, meanwhile, have been one of the largest touring bands every decade since the 1970s. All the members — Jagger, Richards, 76, Charlie Watts, 78, and Ron Wood, 72 — are out on the road every couple of years with a new show, which feature elaborate sets and amazing light shows.
“We started stadium gigs in the 1970s and are still doing them now,” Jagger said. “That’s the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn’t exist.”
The tiff came just as The Stones hit another milestone. The band soared to No. 1 on the iTunes chart more than 40 years after their last No. 1 hit. Their single, “Living In A Ghost Town,” surpassed huge stars like Travis Scott, The Weeknd and Drake.
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