According to an interpretation of the selection of the 100 best Beatles songs by Rolling Stone magazine, John Lennon (rather than Paul McCartney) was the leading Beatle, and the songs he wrote were the most significant. On balance I would agree, though this is the kind of issue which probably doesn’t get to be determined objectively.

I guess that what is really remarkable is that, some 40 years after the Beatles broke up and 30 years after John Lennon died, this sort of question is still exciting people.

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5 Comments on “Beatlemania”

  1. Kevin Denny Says:

    If McCartney, and not Lennon, had been killed in 1980 would their legacies be viewed differently? I have little doubt about it.
    Its easy to diss McCartney: because he’s done so much he’s done some fairly cheesy stuff. Musically he is more intelligent than Lennon was and was involved in more experimental art than his co-writer. It was Lennon, after all who described avant-garde as “the French for bullshit”. Ok, he was probably right there.
    Inevitably, rock critics, one of the lowest forms of human life imaginable, will put Lennon on a pedestal. But why do we need to compare these two guys? Together and separately they made lots of great music. Just enjoy it.

    • Well, Kevin – I think Lennon was the more original and imaginative, and for my money at least McCartney was never the same again after they split up. So I’m not sure I agree that McCartney was musically more intelligent. But I guess it’s all a matter of taste also.

      Who was it who said that the Beatles are dying in the wrong order?

      • Padraig Says:

        Used to think your way (from 1975-2000). Had all of Lennon’s solo albums but read “James Paul McCartney” recently and realised that Macca had done all the original Beatles stuff, the backwards guitars and tapes loops etc. John lived in Surrey and wrote personal songs with the minimum of chords bacause he simply wasn’t as good a musician as McCartney.

  2. Jilly Says:

    John Lennon, a man who kept a separate apartment just for his fur coats. A true radical.

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