There’s no other explanation, the vocals of The Beatles were carved by the musical Gods. For many, no group has ever been able to sing better, but Paul McCartney once named a band he felt had “better range” than the Fab Four.
It still seems inconceivable that The Beatles all grew up in the same area and their paths crossed in a seemingly random nature. Together, they set a new benchmark that nobody has surpassed in the decades since their demise. While the band excelled in many specific areas, their astounding vocal range was one of the Liverpudlians’ finest assets.
Remarkably, neither John Lennon nor McCartney ever partook in singing lessons, and they were both born with their extraordinary talents. When their two voices coalesced, it was beautiful, and this was also down to the chemistry they shared, which fails to be beaten. However, McCartney did admit that others have been more technically equipped.
In a 2008 interview with journalist Ian Halperin, McCartney surprisingly said he believes many modern groups could outsing The Beatles because of how music has progressed. “A lot of the bands today are much more technical than we were,” he said.
He then went on to single out the Canadian comedy-rock group Barenaked Ladies and said: “But the Barenaked Ladies have to be my favourite. Their harmonies are right on. They could outsing us any day of the week. I don’t think John and myself ever had the sort of range they do.”
These comments eventually made their way back to the Barenaked Ladies, who still can’t quite believe those words were uttered by McCartney and believe it must be a mistake or the result of narcotics. Speaking to NME, their singer Ed Robertson said: “I think he was either stoned or has not listened to the Beatles in a long time! (Laughs) What an incredible compliment.”
He continued: “I can’t believe it happened, because one time I was asked about Prince thinking [Barenaked Ladies’ fourth album] ‘Stunt’ was the greatest album of the year on a radio station, and I completely lost my mind because I’m a massive fan of his.”
Adding: “But I tracked down the source of the quote and it was me in another interview talking complete nonsense saying, ‘Prince thinks ‘Stunt’ is the greatest album of the year!’, and it was printed as if it was true. (Laughs) In the back of my mind, I’m still searching for the interview where I claimed that Paul McCartney said we sing better than the Beatles – but I’ve yet to find it. I cannot believe Sir Paul said that.”
Robertson also speculatively threw Barenaked Ladies’ hat in the ring for a possible collaboration with the former Beatle and added: “He’s a genius and I’d work with Paul McCartney on anything in a heartbeat. I would move mountains to make that happen.”
McCartney has participated in some strange collaborations over the years, but this would be unexpected even by his standards.