Mick Jagger’s only issue with The Beatles

Mick Jagger

Since the early 1960s, Mick Jagger has kept up with the latest musical releases. No matter how much excess The Rolling Stones indulged in behind closed doors, Jagger was aware of what made a great performance and made it a point to step it up whenever he saw rival bands performing live. Although Jagger acknowledged that the Liverpool band’s live performance was far from flawless, the Stones were still a formidable live force.

However, bringing up comparisons between The Stones and The Beatles these days is generally a losing tactic. The alleged rivalry ended years ago, and any drama that is created and stoked by any side seems more like a relic from the past than a real conflict between band members.

But if you really think about it, there’s no competition regarding The Beatles as artists. Despite their exciting times, The Stones will always have one foot firmly planted in the blues. Every time the Fab Four entered the studio, all bets were off, and they were going to transcend rock altogether. So, there was no way that another legendary rock and roll group could stand in their way.

As Jagger stated to Rolling Stone, “They certainly weren’t a great live band,” their ability to still perform songs for the general public was if they had any advantage over The Beatles. Perhaps they were during The Cavern’s early years when they were emerging as a club band. They were undoubtedly incredibly humorous and all that. But they weren’t a very good performing band in the modern era. Do they, however, merit their stellar reputation? They were The Beatles.

Jagger does, in fact, make a valid point. As a live performer, the only way to maintain the energy is to continue performing live. The Stones appear to have been on a never-ending tour for several decades at a time. The Beatles officially ended their career in 1970. Since then, only Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney have continued to represent the live version of the band. John Lennon and George Harrison have always needed an excuse to perform live.

However, it’s crazy to hear how tight the group sounds when listening to their early material. The fact that they could master songs like “I Saw Her Standing There” and finish covers like “Boys” by the Shirelles in a few takes speaks volumes about how well-rehearsed they were during their time in Hamburg and for hours at the Cavern. Please Please Me is essentially a live album that was thrown together in the studio.

When they did make mistakes in real life, many would question whether those mistakes were entirely their fault. What use was it to play the best set you could when half the crowd couldn’t even hear you? The band spent the last few years of their existence playing at stadiums with subpar monitors.

Since the band began experimenting with their records, performing live would never be possible without the use of studio overdubs for songs like “Paperback Writer.” Even at their farewell show on the roof of Apple Corps, Jagger has earned that kind of seniority status as a performer and can still hold his own, but The Beatles still sounded pretty damn good live.

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