Mick Jagger responds to Paul McCartney's claims The Beatles were better than The Rolling Stones

Danny Thompson
·Contributor
·3-min read
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger (Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive 1/WireImage)
(EXCLUSIVE, Premium Rates Apply) Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger (Photo by Kevin Mazur Archive 1/WireImage)

It is a question which has split opinion over the past six decades amongst music fans - who is better, The Beatles, or The Rolling Stones?

While some like the bluesy, grittier sound of Mick Jagger’s Stones, many prefer The Beatles eclectic mix of melodic anthems.

Now driving members of either side have had their say, with Jagger responding to McCartney’s claims The Beatles were always one step ahead of their rivals.

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Appearing on The Howard Stern Show, Sir Paul 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’.

The Beatles performing on stage, circa 1963. Left to right: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison (1943 - 2001) and John Lennon (1940 - 1980). (Photo by King Collection/Photoshot/Getty Images)
The Beatles performing on stage, circa 1963. Left to right: Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison (1943 - 2001) and John Lennon (1940 - 1980). (Photo by King Collection/Photoshot/Getty Images)

“We started to notice that whatever we did the Stones sort of did it shortly thereafter.

“We went to America and had huge success, then the Stones went to America.

“We did Sergeant Pepper and the Stones did a psychedelic album. There was a lot of that.”

(Original Caption) All aboard the "love" train...Beatle Paul McCartney, wearing an Indian-style jacket, and Mick Jagger (left) of the Rolling Stones, walk toward train en route to a love pilgrimage to Bangor. The Beatles and Jagger are to hear the Himalayan mystic Maharishi Yogi give a series of meditation lectures.
(Original Caption) All aboard the "love" train...Beatle Paul McCartney, wearing an Indian-style jacket, and Mick Jagger (left) of the Rolling Stones, walk toward train en route to a love pilgrimage to Bangor. The Beatles and Jagger are to hear the Himalayan mystic Maharishi Yogi give a series of meditation lectures.

Speaking on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show, Jagger pointed to his band’s huge success as a touring band, in comparison to The Beatles, who famously stopped touring in 1966 to focus on the recording side of things.

Jagger said: “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.

“They broke up before the touring business started for real...in around 1969.

The Rolling Stones, who topped The Beatles, win the vocal/instrumental best group award in the British section of the Melody Maker poll. Pictured at the Variety Club luncheon, at the Savoy Hotel, London.   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The Rolling Stones, who topped The Beatles, win the vocal/instrumental best group award in the British section of the Melody Maker poll. Pictured at the Variety Club luncheon, at the Savoy Hotel, London. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

“They did that [Shea] stadium gig. But the Stones went on.

“We started stadium gigs in the 1970s and are still doing them now.

“That’s the real big difference between these two bands.

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“One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn’t exist.”

The Beatles split and released their final album, Let It Be, in 1970, after recording 12 studio albums starting with 1963’s Please Please Me.

The Rolling Stones new single, Living in a Ghost Town is available now.