It’s one of the most contentious debates in the music industry – who was the real driving force behind the Beatles, was it John or Paul? It is this question that has fueled endless debates amongst music afficionados, whether they are Beatles fans or not, since both John Lennon and Paul McCartney have played large, and almost similar, parts in the fab four even though they had two very distinct and usually opposing approaches to music.
Rolling Stones’ newest issue, The Beatles’ 100 Greatest Songs, doesn’t answer the question (in fact, we don’t think anything can ever answer the question), but it does reveal some info that may help people who want to tackle the question.
Out of The Beatles’ 100 songs, 40 were written by Lennon, 35 by McCartney, and 17 by the two men working together (the remaining eight was by George Harrison, who only ventured out on his own as a songwriter during the Beatles’ twilight).
If we’re going to base it on the amount of songs contributed to the band, we can technically say that Lennon was the key Beatle. But hold your horses, if we’re going to go with whose songs are more popular based on which ones got to Rolling Stones’ top 10, McCartney is in the lead – with the left handed Beatle’s 3 songs reaching the top 10 (Yesterday, Hey Jude, and Let it Be) compared to Lennon’s 2 (Strawberry Fields Forever, and Come Together). The other 3 were collaborations by Paul and John, and the remaining two were both Harrison songs.