Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Songwriting Wars!

Dan Bruno asked a really thought provoking question on Twitter today -

So: If you assume every Beatles album is a songwriting contest between John and Paul, on which album does John win by the largest margin? 

I'd love to hear you answers.

My gut feeling is A Hard Day's Night - Lennon's stronger on Help! But so is McCartney. I'd say he beats McCartney on Abbey Road, but then both are pounded into submission by Harrison there.

And who's the winner on Beatles For Sale - Carl Perkins?!

C'mon - leave an argument and start a fight! (this is the internet after all!)


  1. It would have been Help! for me, were it not for Paul's late charge that created Seen A Face and Yesterday.

    I think A Hard Days Night is the correct answer, though. I think at the time John was still seen as the de facto leader of the group. Also, Paul's songs on that album were quite docile in comparison to John's moody blues numbers.

  2. thanks Ash - nice post by the way - looking forward to Ringo's !

  3. I haven't actually done an article on Ringo specifically! The series is paul, john, george and then Lennon/McCartney as a partnership. I felt that trying to do a songwriting article on Ringo when he composed two and a half songs in eight years wasnt substantive enough. However I may make a bonus episode explaining his playing style and general contributions to the band's sound.

    Also i was just thinking about the reverse of this post - where did Paul win? The far and away winner I think would be Sgt Pepper. His idea and vision, and at the time Lennon and Harrison were too stoned and occupied with spiritualism respectively to bother with the beatles at large! Another contender would possibly be Abbey Road, as without him there would be no side two.

  4. Ash - definitely Let It Be and Pepper through lack of competition (Harrison is almost none existent on many songs on Pepper) I don't rate the medley from a songwriting point of view so for me Abbey Road is Harrison's. I'd be tempted to say Revolver for Paul though I'm not sure...

  5. Oh and my best shot with Ringo was a look at how to write a song and NOT write a song from Octopus's Garden...