One of the world’s most gifted songwriters, Sir Paul McCartney has been involved in some of the greatest and widely adored music the contemporary culture has ever known. Although his solo career is something most would only dream of, his work with the Fab Four will always be the most important part of his career. With that said, which one of The Beatles’ extensive back catalogue was his favourite?
Delving back into the Far Out archives, we’ve unearthed interview – with special thanks to CBS – that question has now been answered once and for all. The star, usually very coy about picking his favourite songs, was talking to Scott Muni, a legendary broadcaster for WNEW in New York City, about his then-new song ‘We All Stand Together’ back in 1984. It was then that he revealed his favourite Beatles number.
The singer was promoting the track, which featured in the short animated film Rupert and the Frog Song and was credited to Paul McCartney And The Frog Chorus when Muni hit him with the age-old question: what is your favourite Beatles song? It’s likely something he’s been asked countless times before but he rarely answers.
The difference to every other occasion that Muni had likely asked the question to his friends and family, as we all have done, was that this time he was asking Paul McCartney himself. Macca, unusually welcoming of the discussion, eventually settles on the 1966 Revolver track ‘Here, There and Everywhere’. The singer opened up about the difficulty in choosing his favourite song from such an extensive and adored back catalogue and how popularity can sometimes change one’s opinion.
“Well, it’s difficult to choose the favourite. It (‘Here, There and Everywhere’) is one of my favourites. You look at your songs and kinda look to see which of the ones you think are maybe the best constructed and stuff,” says McCartney. “I think ‘Yesterday’—if it wasn’t so successful—might be my favourite.
“But, you know, you get that thing when something is just so successful… people often don’t want to do ‘the big one’ that everyone wants them to do. They kind of shy away from it,” continued McCartney. “‘Here, There and Everywhere’ with ‘Yesterday’ as a close second.”
‘Here, There and Everywhere’ remains one of the sparkling moments on Revolver as a soaring romantic ballad about living in the moment, while ‘Yesterday’ is clearly one of the most iconic songs ever written. It’s a testament to McCartney that he has those two choices available.
The reason for picking ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ may have something to do with it also being one of John Lennon’s favourite songs and also the only song he ever complimented McCartney on, to his face at least. When posed the question, McCartney once revealed, “Once. Once John gave me a compliment. It was only once the whole time. It was ‘Here, There and Everywhere,’ one of my songs on [Revolver]. John says just as it finishes, ‘That’s a really good song, lad. I love that song.’ And I’m like, ‘Yes! He likes it!’”
During the interview, McCartney was also asked about the controversial decision to not include former Beatle, George Harrison in his film Give My Regards To Broad Street. While McCartney starred in the flick, the singer also asked Ringo Starr to be involved. “George was out of the country for that year… tell you the truth, I know George wouldn’t have wanted to do it,” said McCartney. He went on to clarify Harrison’s feelings on films, “George doesn’t really have any aspirations in acting, I don’t think,” he says. “He never really did in the old movies… he was the least keen of us to do some acting.”
Naturally defensive, McCartney concludes: “I didn’t exclude him on purpose because I hate him or anything. I know he wouldn’t have done it and he was out of the country.”
So when you sit and mull over your favourite Beatles song, something which we imagine changes with every daily listen to the Fab Four, maybe take into consideration that the man behind some of the band’s finest tracks has one number to pay full attention to.