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The Lennon vs McCartney debate
14 June 2011
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With all honesty, I don't know. As a person, I can't even say. I don't personally know them, and they were real jerks to Ringo and George, and to each other. I would say musically, it's even harder. Paul obviously had an extra thirty-one years to expand his career.

I salute the lady who screamed "I love you Paul!" at a tribute band's concert.
14 June 2011
9.55am
oneafter909
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I'll probably say Paul, which is a little bias, since he is my favourite. But I'll admit, I like John's solo work better than Paul's. I'll agree with some others, John was good at starting the songs, and Paul was good at polishing it. After all, "In My Life" is John's song, he started it, and Paul fixed the melody and made the title. I think they work the best together, most of the time. But as for Beatles work, I'd say Paul. a-hard-days-night-paul-4

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14 June 2011
8.13pm
The Walrus
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

The Walrus said:

mr. Sun king coming together said:

I feel this needs a revival. I still say Paul, because, he just was more consistent. And consistency means more to me then flash.

I don't think Paul was more consistent. In fact, my main bug bear with Paul was that he was capable of writing excellent songs, but wrote a load of dirth to go with it.

John had highs (SFF, ADITL, Help!, Walrus) but some lows as well (It's Only Love, Doctor Robert) so Paul had few bad songs.

Doctor Robert is far from a bad song. I don't think It's Only Love is below par for Help! either.

FWIW, I actually did rate all their songs from Rubber Soul to the break up of the Beatles. John averaged 7.74, Paul averaged 7.22. I can't calculate interquartile ranges on my spreadsheet software, so how about comparing the number of 10s: John had 5 (Nowhere Man, Tomorrow Never Knows, Strawberry Fields, A Day In The Life and Across The Universe), and Paul had 4 (Eleanor Rigby, For No One, Hey Jude and Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End). I don't think the one 10 will have affected the average very much. It all implies that John consistently wrote better songs than Paul (at least in my opinion).

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
14 June 2011
8.43pm
MeanMrsMustard
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I don't think I can ever make up my mind, but I'll just share a nice little tidbit that always stuck with me.

On this day in 1965, Paul recorded "I've Just Seen a Face," "I'm Down," and "Yesterday." 

Holy crap.

John had a pretty versatile voice ("Please Please Me" vs. "Nowhere Man" vs. "A Day In The Life" vs. "Because", etc.), but so did Paul. 

I think I'll do something Zig's done before:

Hmmm... I think it's Jaul, no, Pohn. Yep, definitely Pohn. 

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

14 June 2011
8.48pm
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I think that Paul wrote more, and put more energy into his music, while John put more emotion.

I salute the lady who screamed "I love you Paul!" at a tribute band's concert.
15 June 2011
4.57am
kedame
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Reading back through the thread, I noticed many people get kinda disgusted with Paul's bossiness. Sure, it could probably be irritating to George, but I honestly don't think Paul realized what he was doing (which may have posed part of the problem). Having a little sister, I know how hard it can be to realize that your younger sibling is growing up and has opinions and talents of his/her own. We also have to keep in mind that during the period that Paul was the bossiest, the band was going through a lot of shit, and Paul seemed like the only one who really wanted to keep it all together. I think people tend to emphasize Paul's main faults while downplaying George's and John's (from what I can see, Ringo was mostly always great, with the exception of being a little too passive while everything around him was imploding). Everyone seems to forget that, while Paul may have bossed George around sometimes, he also played amazing parts in George's songs. A lot of the time, John refused to even play on George's songs. That, to me, says a lot about John's opinion of George's abilities. He had little faith in them until he and Paul were on the outs (enlisting him to play on Imagine). Later on, however much George had sided with John in legal matters and against Paul, John still disparaged George in the media, calling him not as bright as Paul and himself in some interview and refusing to play at the Concert for Bangladesh.

I find that I can like Paul the best because he never stooped so low as to lash out at the others in public (with the exception of Too Many People, which no one would have even known was about John if John hadn't publicized it). John and George, however, both attacked Paul's music and character in the press. I firmly believe Paul's image has suffered somewhat by people who haven't even listened to his solo music (not people who have, but just don't enjoy it all that much. Everyone's ears hear different things, after all.) because of some of the things John said about him in interviews and in songs. Some people who idolize John's public Peace guy image without having even listened to his entire catalog, only knowing songs like Imagine and Give Peace a Chance, put Paul down because of the perception that he is "soft" and "commercial." I could care less that Paul is soft and commercial. I love his soft side, his hard side, his commercial side, wacky side, electronic side, 20s-pastiche side, and sexy side. People criticize him for being too mainstream, and then when he does something that is not mainstream, like McCartney II, he get blasted for it, too. I hate that! What is he supposed to do?

I think Paul is often misunderstood, and people don't like him because he doesn't put himself out there like John did. I, on the other hand, think he does put himself out there, sometimes. You just have to dig through all the metaphors and Paul-speak to find it. Sure, he doesn't broadcast his whole life and all of his troubles and sorrows, but that is something I admire about him. Despite all the bad things that have happened in his life, he still manages to have a positive outlook on life. Every interview I read with him, I love him a little more. And just because Paul doesn't wear his heart on his sleeve every second of every day doesn't mean he doesn't feel sorrow and despair just like everyone else. Ugh...I just love him and want to hug him!

Anyway, that doesn't even get me started on his music! At first, like I've said before, I fell hard for John and his life's story. Then, I just got tired of trying to analyze the hell out of him and his music. It's tiring. I like listening to music. I don't like listening to every single problem a person has had in his life...that's not to say I don't like John's music. I do, especially his Beatles music...just that I don't enjoy his solo music as much as I used to. With Paul, I fell in love with his solo music before I began to admire him. That says something, I think. He really is an amazing person, and though he has had a few duds here and there, they are nothing compared to the missteps of some other artists. John had a few missteps, too, but hardly anyone ever talks about them.

I hope I didn't offend anyone. I just have really strong feelings about the crap that Paul gets about his perceived bossiness and "commercial" music. I love both traits in him! It may make me seem on the offensive against John, but he said some pretty nasty shit about Paul. Paul just seems to take it, and he loved John anyway. He would probably hate to hear anyone say bad things about John. Anyway, I think the song Riding to Vanity Fair says a lot about the way Paul handles adversity and criticism in his relationships. He takes it all, and he tries to make everything work out until he just can't take it anymore.

For those who want to read some really good arguments from all 4 sides of the who was greater than whom question, I recommend you check out Beatle Rant on Livejournal. There are some really insightful people over there, even though the community is no longer active.

http://beatlerant.livejournal......m/?skip=10

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
15 June 2011
5.33am
GniknuS
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I started this topic as John versus Paul musically but it seems like a lot of people are talking about who they liked more as a person, which is great because I suppose how you view them as a person will determine how much you like their music. My opinion though, they were all unique personalities so I can't say I like one more than another.
Back to the music though, I think it was said in Spitz's Beatle book that John reached the deepest depths (although I'd imagine Spitz phrased it better). Maybe I'll get hammered for this, but although Paul is obviously a fantastic musician and wrote many very good songs, I don't think he wrote that many great songs. Outside of Let it Be and Eleanor Rigby I personally wouldn't call any of his songs great, but there are many that are very very good. He still has many of my absolute favorites, even though I wouldn't call them great.
I guess what I mean by that is that I've listened to the Beatles for about a decade and those are the only two that really move me every time I hear them. When kedame talked about Paul being called too commmercial, an example I've heard people describe Paul as not having as great of lasting ability as the Lennons or Dylans or whoever and that's honestly how I feel. I absolutely love Paul and his music and recently spent a lot of money ($250!) to see him in concert, but he's not John Lennon.
But that's my opinion and I like emotion in my music, so that's always been my problem with Paul, I feel no closer to knowing who he really was as a person after all these years.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
15 June 2011
6.39am
kedame
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I really think what makes a great song is subjective, so I can't really say I agree with GniknuS. When I listen to Maybe I'm Amazed, Junk, Sing the Changes, Little Lamb Dragonfly, Some People Never Know…God, I could go on forever…I feel things. Paul is a mystery, even after all these years. That intrigues me.

I think with Paul, his great songs touch the individual, as opposed to the masses, which I feel is what John aimed for. I don't think Paul really cares that he doesn't have a great "anthem" song. He has a lot of great songs that are easy to relate to. I feel he reaches out to the people with MUSIC…not just lyrics. Even some of the musical aspects of his songs make me weepy. I think Paul genuinely likes people, and he likes when they enjoy his music. John, on the other hand, liked to inspire people, but really seemed to care little for them. I just can't relate to that. What I really do enjoy about John, however, is his effortless humor. I don't want this to seem like a John bash and let all of you think I hate him or something. Reading "Skywriting by Word of Mouth" was such an enjoyable experience for me! I could read it over and over and find something new every time.

Anyway, music is subjective. I guess everything makes everyone feel different things. My main beef with people who dismiss Paul is that they often dismiss his fans as shallow people who only like Paul for his looks (not that I'm saying any of you do this! Most of you don't dismiss Paul at all.). To be honest, I didn't even think he was that cute until I started liking his music. And also, have you seen his 70s shag? That was not attractive…at all…and I still LOVE Wings!

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
15 June 2011
10.54am
mr. Sun king coming together
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But Gnik, he knew he couldn't be a Dylan or a Lennon, laying bear all emotion at all times. That wasn't Paul, and he didn't do something he wasn't. I mean, he put emotion in at times, (Too Many People, My Love, most of the Heather songs, I regret saying), but it isn't as "I'm laying my inner soul here. But, you make 1 good point, Gnik. He was the guy who brought consistent 7's, whereas Lennon had the anywhere from a 4 to a 10 thing. And that isn't an attack of John, it's true.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
15 June 2011
3.59pm
The Walrus
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

But, you make 1 good point, Gnik. He was the guy who brought consistent 7's, whereas Lennon had the anywhere from a 4 to a 10 thing. And that isn't an attack of John, it's true.

Firstly, where did Gnik say that?

Secondly, yes, John wrote bad songs (Dig A Pony? Polythene Pam? The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill?), but so did Paul, and Paul also wrote great songs. Calling Paul a consistent 7/10 with John veering from sublime to ridiculous is an inaccurate picture. Paul wrote more 3-5/10 songs than John IMO. Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Yellow Submarine, All Together Now, Lovely Rita, When I'm 64, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, (Wild) Honey Pie, Magical Mystery Tour, Your Mother Should Know. He also wrote numberous brilliant songs. He didn't keep turning out songs like Fixing A Hole while John struggled to turn Cry Baby Cry into Happiness Is A Warm Gun. Neither of them was consistent. The most consistent one was George, and even he wrote songs that weren't great... so I suppose Ringo was the most consistent.

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15 June 2011
5.11pm
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Music is absolutely subjective and it's hard to really pinpoint what makes a "great" song and how many even exist. My favorite Beatles song is Girl but I wouldn't consider it a great song, but I would consider Norwegian Wood a great song.
I have tremendous respect for Paul's arrangements and the way he can effortlessly manipulate the mood of a song, it's truly remarkable. But I feel like John could do the same thing with his voice and that's always struck me, there's just such an honesty there that it's almost indescribable. So that's why I'd say John, it's nothing against Paul, I'm just consistently awed by what John could do.

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15 June 2011
6.11pm
kedame
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The Walrus said:

Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Yellow Submarine, All Together Now, Lovely Rita, When I'm 64, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, (Wild) Honey Pie, Magical Mystery Tour, Your Mother Should Know

It's funny, because I like every single one of those songs, except I don't really LOVE Yellow Submarine. They are just enjoyable songs, to me. It's great that we are all so different and can listen to the same music and feel different things. That is why the Beatles touched so many people...almost everyone can relate to at least one song they've written. However, none of us will ever agree on which one is "better" (personally I don't think either was BETTER...I just like to listen to one more than the other). We certainly won't agree on which songs are crap and which are brilliant.

I
heart

      Your Mother Should Know!

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
15 June 2011
10.41pm
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Okay, I think kedame made a good argument. Paul may have been bossy at times, but at least he was kinder to the public eye and didn't attack others in public like George and John did. It's not like any of us knew any of them personally (or, at least I don't think). We see them as history wrote them. There have been numerous amounts of books written on them. There have been accounts that people orally spreed around. Like that story about John peeing on nuns? Nobody gave a sure sign about that. Or at least, I don't think.

I think that all four Beatles wrote music because they enjoyed it, but at times, it became something they had to do. You have to admit, some songs are fillers. As much as I love "Any Time At All", I think John considered it a bad some and just used it as a filler for AHDN. As songwriters, I don't think I can say which is better. I've been looking into their solo careers a little more lately, but I obviously don't know their full catalogs. I only know about three or four of John's albums and several of Paul's. So I can't fully judge them. But as Beatles, Paul drove the band after Brian died. If it weren't for him, we wouldn't have some of the Beatles classics that we love. And sure, Paul did drive them into a wreck with MMT as a movie, but at least he was trying. If it weren't for him, the whole band would be lost.

Now, what I don't like about people who just know their popular songs, is that they associate John Lennon with peace. I know some of his albums, to where I know that he didn't have many peaceful songs, either. He was not a peaceful man most of the time. Like I had said in the "Who's your favorite John?" thread, he used to beat Cynthia, drunk, and possibly sober. That's why I liked Yoko, because she helped mature him. I've even heard people spreed that Paul used to beat Linda, or Jane, or one of his girlfriends. I haven't heard a reliable source on that one, though. Some people actually would think of John drugs as being total opposites, too. He was the Beatle that probably took the most, imo, at least. I know some people that think of Paul as a bigger druggie than John. I'm not all that into their drugs, though. It's just an example of how easily images can be made on people.

Okay, I hoped I worded this correctly. I know I went off track at times, but I hope i got my point across. I don't know all of their music as solo artists, but I haven't thoroughly looked through their lives. I know what I know, though. If I was incorrect about something, or you want to add to something I said, please feel free to.

I salute the lady who screamed "I love you Paul!" at a tribute band's concert.
15 June 2011
11.13pm
GniknuS
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John believed in the idea of peace, but certainly songs like Yer Blues or Well Well Well would suggest otherwise. Imagine and Give Peace a Chance aren't really true Lennon songs, imo, like kedame said they were "anthem" songs. Not that there's anything wrong with an anthem song, but I find it a bit ridiculous when people act like John shouldn't have been allowed to write those types of songs because he was not a peaceful man. Those songs have inspired millions, so I don't think it should matter who wrote them.
Paul's bossy nature is an interesting subject because I'm not sure what would have happened had he not been bossy. It's easy to look at their careers now in a sort of black and white way without actually putting yourself in that type of a situation. In 1967, John was a most unhappy and depressed man, and so he just couldn't "turn them out" because he didn't have the energy. Now Paul was at the peak of his creativity and was having no trouble at all writing songs, albeit some weren't so fantastic.
The interesting question would be, had Paul not pushed the group so much in '67, could things have progressed naturally and would John have eventually came up with some material? We saw in '68 the HUGE number of songs John wrote which was largely due to him having the time and space to write. So if Paul would have given him more time in '67, is it possible that the group could have stayed together longer because I think it's an undeniable fact that Paul taking over was a giant turning point in the ultimate demise of the group.
But at the same time I can see Paul's perspective from the sense of what was he supposed to do, not come out with those songs?

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
15 June 2011
11.52pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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GniknuS said:

I reads that and say, "And what did John do at that same time? Brought Yoko." John was decisive, even more than Paul's undeniable bossiness and taking over. Sorry, if John hadn't met her, all the time and space wouldn't have meant a damn thing.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
16 June 2011
12.14am
mithveaen
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Ok I have no favorite, I love John and I love Paul.

 

But something interesting about the "fillers". I have to say, at least they loved music so much that they said "Ok I have to write this song to complete the album, I'll try the best I can". John call them "shit" because he was very strict with his work.

 

Now something I like about John and Paul that's makes them different is, that John wanted people to be inspired, that's why he wrote those anthems, "I love mottos" Power to the People. We all shine on. Imagine. But Paul feels that you shouldn't preach people. Why you should write something telling them how to feel? It's better to make them feel good with the music. It's quite contradictory and that's something I love from them.

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
16 June 2011
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I'm indecisive about Yoko. If it weren't for her, like I said, he wouldn't have matured. But since she came around, there was trouble in the band. And hat's not to disregard the fact that there was already trouble in the band. I think she had no bussiness in the band's recording sessions. It wasn't her band, and it caused more problems. But there was something about her that John's loved.

Also, just to point some thing out. Paul manipulated the fact that Brian was homosexual. He was said to be flirty with the manager, but nothing more. I just thought that I'd point it out. He liked having control.

Now, I'm trying to think of hat would happen if the Beatles lasted longer, and if John hadn't gotten to know Yoko. Another two years at least. There would have been different songs. John probably wouldn't have put so much anger, feeling, and hurt into his songs. If they went on, there would have been more fighting, and George probably would have gotten frustrated and left. The Beatles wouldn't have been the Beatles. That's just what I think, at least, would have happened.

I think I'm a Paul fan. And it's not because I find him cute. Paul McBeardy was not attractive, and don't get me started on his mustache.

I salute the lady who screamed "I love you Paul!" at a tribute band's concert.
16 June 2011
5.48am
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But John wrote most of those songs in India before he officially got together with Yoko. I'm not sure I understand your comment Sun King.
Yoko inspired John and made him a better songwriter so I have no issue with her.

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16 June 2011
6.35am
kedame
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GniknuS said:

But John wrote most of those songs in India before he officially got together with Yoko. I'm not sure I understand your comment Sun King.
Yoko inspired John and made him a better songwriter so I have no issue with her.

I don't want to make you mad, and I am definitely not trying to be confrontational, but why do you think Yoko made John a better songwriter? I personally think his best material is the middle period, though my favorite song by him is Happiness Is A Warm Gun. I think he was way more consistent with good/great songs in the early/mid-Beatles years. It's just my opinion.

9

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
16 June 2011
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I think that John was more consistent in the early years, while Paul was in the later years. It shows if Help!, A Hard Day's Night, and Please Please Me were John songs, while MMT, Let It Be, Yellow Submarine and Sgt. Pepper were Paul songs.

I salute the lady who screamed "I love you Paul!" at a tribute band's concert.
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