Paul McCartney speaks out on who is better: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones

15 April 2020, 17:31 | Updated: 15 January 2024, 11:03

Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger together in 2001
Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger together in 2001. Picture: Getty

By Rory O'Connor

Sir Paul McCartney has reignited the debate as to which iconic band, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones, is better.

Of course, there is some bias as Paul was part of The Beatles alongside John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.

Paul believes The Beatles, who split up 50 years ago, are still better than The Rolling Stones... who are still touring in 2020.

The current line-up consists of Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood.

Paul told Howard Stern on SiriusXM: "The Stones are a fantastic group, I go and see them every time they come out because they’re a great band and Mick can really do it, the singing and the moves and everything, Keith, Ronnie, and Charlie, they’re great, I love them.

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Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger together in 1967
Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger together in 1967. Picture: Getty

"Their stuff is rooted in the blues, when they’re writing stuff it’s to do with the blues, whereas we had a little more influences.

"Keith once said, 'You’re lucky man, you have four singers in your band, we’ve got one'.

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"I love the Stones but I’m with you, The Beatles were better."

Speaking about carrying on the band after John left in 1970, Paul insisted there was too much "emotional pain" to continue.

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Paul said: "It’s like a family, when families break up it’s to do with the emotion and the emotional pain, you can’t think of a smart idea like that [continuing as a three-piece] at the time, you’re hurting too much, it wasn’t going to happen.

"We’d been through too much and I think we were just fed up of the whole thing."

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Noting George's writing abilities, Paul added: "It was easy to underestimate George because me and John had always written most of the stuff and most of the singles.

"George was a late bloomer as far as writing was concerned, he wasn’t that interested in the beginning and then he started to get interested and boy, did he bloom. He wrote some of the greatest songs ever."