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Who is your favorite Beatle?

Who is your favorite Beatle?  

100 members have voted

  1. 1. Who is your favorite Beatles

    • Paul McCartney
    • John Lennon
    • George Harrison
    • Ringo Starr
    • I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it


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In honor of A Hard Day's Night being considered for the Canon, along with Devin and Amy briefly discussing their own favorites, I thought I may as well throw the question out to the fans of the Canon: who is your favorite Beatle?

 

Feel free to share who you voted for and why.

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good idea! The Beatles are my favorite band of all time, so this should be really tough for me, but it's actually not. I've been listening to them since age 15 (I'm almost 28 now) and John has always been my favorite. His voice, his lyrics, his style of music all speak to me in a way that the music of the other four Beatles never have.

 

While there are some that come close, I think that 1970's John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band is the only of the post-Beatles albums that is an absolute masterpiece.

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I am a Paul fan myself. Really have been my whole life, as 'All My Loving' is the first "real" song I memorized, and subsequently sang constantly for weeks. I also think he has the strongest and deepest selection of songs, or at least my favorites. However, if someone prefers John or George, I totally get it, and the whole negativity of the Paul vs John debate has always seemed strange to me, as they clearly brought out the best (musically) and worst (on a personal level) in each other. The only pick I will never understand is Ringo, sorry Amy. If your claim to fame as a songwriter is 'Octopus's Garden,' you are clearly not the best Beatle.

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I really honestly shift with the times. I'm a Paul guy until Rubber Soul; a John guy until The White Album; a hard George guy for the last three albums; a John guy again for the post-Beatle period. Ringo is maybe the best throughout the career.

 

Paul and Ringo are vitally great instrumentalists, who play incredible support accompaniment without being selfish. Pay attention to Ringo's gorgeous fills on A Day in the Life; they're unreal, so spare and so lush.

John is, in my opinion, the real melody man, and George is the jammer.

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My answer is George, runner-up being anyone other than John. All of The Beatles were terrible people, but John may be the most problematic. His love and peace mantra that he's known for would be interesting if he wasn't a terrible father, and an abusive, philandering husband. Maybe Lennon's greatest transgression is letting Yoko Ono take the fall for breaking up The Beatles when he was just as responsible, if not more so, for the band's end. That's another thing that I don't necessarily blame Lennon for, but that really bothers me: The way we, as a culture, trash Yoko Ono, when John Lennon is far more reprehensible as a human being. It's really unfair.

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I can't believe I'm writing this, considering who we're talking about, but Paul McCartney is a criminally underrated songwriter. Yes, pretty much everyone agrees that he's great, but he often gets short shrift to Lennon when it comes to Beatles songs and short shrift to Harrison when it comes to solo work. If you look at the list of songs that Macca was primarily responsible for -- in the Lennon-McCartney "partnership," in Wings, and on his own -- the list is astounding. Sure, some of his late 70s and 1980s stuff is a little sentimental and cheesy, but that doesn't diminish the greatness he'd already achieved.

 

On top of that, he was often the member of the group that kept everything on the right track; in terms of business acumen and the nuts and bolts of the Beatles operating as an organization, McCartney was clearly the one in charge.

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John may have had the best high points in their early career, and George definitely wrote the highest points of their last few albums, but as a whole I think Paul was the most consistent Beatle.

 

I'll defend "All My Loving" as the best early Beatles single far and away, Paul's cornerstone songwriting achievement in their pop days.

 

Also, George released a classic double album, Lennon had some great solo stuff, but Ram is the best post-Beatles album and one of the great singer-songwriter records of all time.

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John is my favorite of those "free love" hippie type people. This is the man that literally wrote the song Give Peace A Chance and all the other transcendent anthems about love. Paul makes great "silly love songs" but John was the political songwriting genius.

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A girlfriend and I once tried to work out a personality test based solely who your favorite Beatle was. We were both Ringos. (And it totally fits with Devin being a John).

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Having a favorite Beatle is like having a favorite brand of paper towel.

Okay, but Bounty is fucking manna. I say this because it is both great for what its purpose is, and it's delicious.

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John may have had the best high points in their early career, and George definitely wrote the highest points of their last few albums, but as a whole I think Paul was the most consistent Beatle.

 

I'll defend "All My Loving" as the best early Beatles single far and away, Paul's cornerstone songwriting achievement in their pop days.

 

Also, George released a classic double album, Lennon had some great solo stuff, but Ram is the best post-Beatles album and one of the great singer-songwriter records of all time.

 

The only thing I'll disagree with here is that Band on the Run is my all-time favorite Beatles solo album.

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Paul - in particular for the range of his solo work. I wish everyone who complains about Wonderful Christmastime or Silly Love Songs could take a listen to Monkberry Moon Delight or Temporary Secretary.

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Keep going back and forth between Paul and George, but ultimately Paul, he wrote most of my favs.

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Gosh, this is hard...

 

I voted George as he's usually my default answer--but the reason I choose him should probably disqualify him as my "favorite" Beatle. I like George because he seems to be the perfect marriage of Lennon and McCartney--taking the best qualities of each. He was acerbic and funny like John, but incredibly melodic, and as musically gifted, as McCartney. Even his voice, especially during his time with the Beatles and the early 70's, seems to be a blend of both Lennon and McCartney. I look at George as more this normal-ish type of guy who was surrounded by these two geniuses (not to say he wasn't a genius in his own right) and rather than sit in the shadows (which he very well could have done), he used that opportunity, and that proximity to two great songwriters, to improve his own set of skills.

 

I love John, but I feel like a lot of his solo stuff was poorly produced. I also don't like how often he would attack McCartney for his "sentimentality," when he could be just as guilty of it ("Oh, Yoko" and "Woman" anyone?)

 

Paul is also wonderful ("Dear Boy" off of Ram is one of my favorite songs), but I feel like, at least for a while, he was trying to be a little too commercial--to good and bad effect. However, there is at least one or two songs on every McCartney solo album that I absolutely love. And I actually enjoy his latest, New , quite a lot.

 

And Ringo...well, he's great. However, to me, he's always been more of a Personality (capitalization intentional). He's kind of like the Kevin Smith of the Beatles. He has some middling to pretty okay stuff, but he's more of a "character" than a standout in his field.

 

The problem with a lot of their solo stuff is that they were still producing about the same level of quality music, but having to fill a whole album by themselves. What I've always wanted, and I'm sure I could put together if I really had the inclination, is to construct a series of "Beatles" albums spanning 1970-1980. Using basically the same formula as when they were together, (i.e. 1 song from Ringo, 2 from George, and 5-6 each from Lennon/McCartney) and listen to what they "might have been."

 

1970 might have been All Things McCartney Ono Band Blues, and might have looked something like this:

 

 

1) Working Class Hero (Lennon)

 

2) Every Night (McCartney)

 

3) Hold On (Lennon)

 

4) Another Day (McCartney)

 

5) What is Life (Harrison)

 

6) Maybe I'm Amazed (McCartney)

 

7) Look at Me (Lennon)

 

8) Momma Miss America (McCartney)

 

9) Beaucoups of Blues (Covered by Starr)

 

10) Junk (McCartney)

 

11) My Sweet Lord (Harrison)

 

12) I Found Out (Lennon)

 

13) All Things Must Pass (Harrison)

 

14) God (Lennon)

 

Although not perfect by any stretch (I could probably do without "Another Day"), but if produced by George Martin, I think it would have been a pretty awesome Beatles album. The last four songs could even be done as a medley much like the end of Abbey Road.

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Gosh, this is hard...

 

I voted George as he's usually my default answer--but the reason I choose him should probably disqualify him as my "favorite" Beatle. I like George because he seems to be the perfect marriage of Lennon and McCartney--taking the best qualities of each. He was acerbic and funny like John, but incredibly melodic, and as musically gifted, as McCartney. Even his voice, especially during his time with the Beatles and the early 70's, seems to be a blend of both Lennon and McCartney. I look at George as more this normal-ish type of guy who was surrounded by these two geniuses (not to say he wasn't a genius in his own right) and rather than sit in the shadows (which he very well could have done), he used that opportunity, and that proximity to two great songwriters, to improve his own set of skills.

 

I love John, but I feel like a lot of his solo stuff was poorly produced. I also don't like how often he would attack McCartney for his "sentimentality," when he could be just as guilty of it ("Oh, Yoko" and "Woman" anyone?)

 

Paul is also wonderful ("Dear Boy" off of Ram is one of my favorite songs), but I feel like, at least for a while, he was trying to be a little too commercial--to good and bad effect. However, there is at least one or two songs on every McCartney solo album that I absolutely love. And I actually enjoy his latest, New , quite a lot.

 

And Ringo...well, he's great. However, to me, he's always been more of a Personality (capitalization intentional). He's kind of like the Kevin Smith of the Beatles. He has some middling to pretty okay stuff, but he's more of a "character" than a standout in his field.

 

The problem with a lot of their solo stuff is that they were still producing about the same level of quality music, but having to fill a whole album by themselves. What I've always wanted, and I'm sure I could put together if I really had the inclination, is to construct a series of "Beatles" albums spanning 1970-1980. Using basically the same formula as when they were together, (i.e. 1 song from Ringo, 2 from George, and 5-6 each from Lennon/McCartney) and listen to what they "might have been."

 

1970 might have been All Things McCartney Ono Band Blues, and might have looked something like this:

 

 

1) Working Class Hero (Lennon)

 

2) Every Night (McCartney)

 

3) Hold On (Lennon)

 

4) Another Day (McCartney)

 

5) What is Life (Harrison)

 

6) Maybe I'm Amazed (McCartney)

 

7) Look at Me (Lennon)

 

8) Momma Miss America (McCartney)

 

9) Beaucoups of Blues (Covered by Starr)

 

10) Junk (McCartney)

 

11) My Sweet Lord (Harrison)

 

12) I Found Out (Lennon)

 

13) All Things Must Pass (Harrison)

 

14) God (Lennon)

 

Although not perfect by any stretch (I could probably do without "Another Day"), but if produced by George Martin, I think it would have been a pretty awesome Beatles album. The last four songs could even be done as a medley much like the end of Abbey Road.

This rivals Mason Sr.'s Black Album.

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I am blown the fuck away that John Lennon was/is ranked last.

I think people are subconsciously referring to Lennon's personal issues with women in real life.

That's what made me not super duper love some of the gags he whipped out in the film.

 

Obviously you can seperate the beatle from the man, but that might be the reason.

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I voted George, and that's despite knowing of his philandering, and the effect it had on his marriage with Pattie Boyd.

 

Ain't none of these Beatles saints. I wish I could conclusively point to any one of them as being supremely decent people (Paul? Ringo?), but I just don't know.

 

George seemed, by far, both the most interesting, and probably the most comfortable to try to get to know. The most "live and let live". Kudos to Paul and Ringo for sticking with their own relationships as long as they did. I love them for being - I hope - good husbands.

 

All the same, given my particular position of fandom/ignorance, I still feel that George is the most interesting as a musician. John had the rye sarcasm, the above-it-all attidtude. Paul mostly seemed to play along, but mostly did it well, while occasionally going to crazy-town and dragging the whole band with him (and bless him for that) and Ringo.....

 

Well, he had fun. He (co-wrote) a song about an octopus. Great guy, this Ringo. But not exactly on par with his party of legendary musicians.

 

They're all troublesome. I love Paul for his (apparent) fidelity. I love John for his early-onset attitude. But George still seems like the kind of guy I'd rather spend time with. Whether he's cool, or whether he's trying to snog every bird in the vicinity, well, I guess I'd give him the most leeway. Because he's "The Quiet One", "The Spiritual One". Or just because he was the dark horse songwriter of the last several albums. Sure, they were always John and/or Paul. But, the further you went on, the more George it all got. And I love "Abbey Road", George's finest album.

 

Maybe that's enough. Album-wise, I'm still torn between "Revolver" and "Abbey Road'. But George is still my favorite. I don't entirely know why, but I kinda do. I just like him more than I do the others.

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I voted George, and that's despite knowing of his philandering, and the effect it had on his marriage with Pattie Boyd.

 

Ain't none of these Beatles saints. I wish I could conclusively point to any one of them as being supremely decent people (Paul? Ringo?), but I just don't know.

 

Based on what I know about the Lads from Liverpool, if you're going to base your favorite on moral probity, your best bet is to go with Stuart Sutcliffe.

 

stu-sutcliffe.png

 

However, in their defense, all four of them did end up in extremely successful, long term relationships, so I think that does say something about their individual characters (John/Yoko 1969-1980; Paul/Linda 1969-1998; George/Olivia 1978-2001; Ringo/Barbara 1981-present). And while I don't think any of them were perfect, I think a lot of their failings in their personal relationships (either romantically or with each other) has to do with the fact that they were so young--a point Devin made in the episode. Shoot, when they broke up, George was only 26 and none of them had hit 30 yet!

 

If you think of it this way, in six short years, from 1963-1969 (they had already unofficially broken up before Paul's announcement in 1970), these four kids somehow wrote and recorded 13 albums (plus a ton of non-album singles), filmed 4 movies, toured the world multiple times, started a business, had to deal with "Bigger than Jesus" controversies and the ensuing death threats, suffer through the death of their manager, and God knows what else. With all of that going on, it's really no wonder that none of them could maintain a healthy relationship until after the band had broken up.

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I feel like my opinion has changed a bunch as I've aged. When I was a teenager I was all about the hippie, counter-culture John, but then kind of learned what a creep he was and lost some of that. Then I really appreciated the pop-brilliance of Paul, but I think I'm currently loving George the most, the silent genius of the group. Sorry Ringo, maybe someday things will switch over to you.

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