The Beatles: Paul McCartney doesn’t think Fab Four success could happen to other bands

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Since The Beatles made their way onto the scene in 1962 a number of bands have been compared to them. Most recently, the likes of One Direction stirred up the conversation again after becoming one of the best-selling bands on the planet. Since their debut, 1D have sold more than 36 million records and counting. They never beat The Beatles, however. The Fab Four have sold more than 600 million records worldwide since their debut. This is the kind of success Paul McCartney is not convinced will ever be recreated in the music industry.

Speaking to Esquire in 2015, the singer and guitarist was asked if the success they reached could ever be hit again, or if they were a product of their time.

Macca replied: “We don’t live in that culture any more, that’s true. We came out of a very rich period. But let’s not forgot, those four boys were f*****g good.

“It wasn’t just to do with the period. You name me another group of four chaps, or chapesses, who had what The Beatles had.”

McCartney is right, the list of best-selling artists only includes three bands, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles – no acts from the 21st century.

McCartney backed up his claim by pointing out the skills of his bandmates: “Lennon’s skill, intelligence, acerbic wit, McCartney’s melody, whatever he’s got, Harrison’s spirituality, Ringo’s spirit of fun, great drumming.”

The singer then took a swipe at many acts who don’t play their own music or write their own songs.  

He continued: “We all played, which is pretty hard. You don’t get a lot of that these days. The noise we made was just those four people playing.

“We came at the right time. We wrote some pretty good stuff, our own material. We didn’t have writers. Could that happen again? I don’t know. I wish people well but I have a feeling it couldn’t.”

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McCartney was then asked if he thought the coming together of himself, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr was something he considered “fate” or just dumb luck.

The star replied: “I don’t know. I actually just don’t know. But I know it’s amazing. Really amazing.

“Four guys from basically three different areas (me and George lived in the same area of Liverpool), who might never have met. And yet we came together and honed our thing.

“We did feel we were special, from the word go. We knew we were different. We knew we were something other groups weren’t. And that was it.”

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Just before McCartney’s interview, One Direction’s Harry Styles was quoted in saying the band were extremely similar to the famous Fab Four.

He said in 2014: “We all sat and watched the film of The Beatles arriving in America. And, to be honest, that really was like us.

“Stepping off the plane, the girls, the madness. It was exactly the same as when we got there – just 50 years earlier.”

Despite this comparison, Harry was quick to explain he didn’t think they came anywhere near the might of The Beatles’ music.

Harry said: “None of us think we’re in the same league as them music-wise. We’d be total fools if we did.

“Fame-wise, it’s probably even bigger, but we don’t stand anywhere near them in terms of music.”

McCartney later compared his band to One Direction, saying: “I like One Direction. They’re young, beautiful boys and that’s the big attraction.

“But they can sing, they make good records. That’s what I can see in common [between them and The Beatles].”


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