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Paul McCartney Felt The Beatles Were Competing With This Group

The Beatles are so huge it might seem like they wouldn’t be in competition with anyone. Despite this, Paul McCartney felt The Beatles were in competition with another iconic 1960s band from a different country. The Beatles and the other band had a significant influence on each other.

Paul McCartney felt The Beatles were The Beach Boys’ rivals
During a 1990 interview with Rolling Stone, the interviewer said Paul always wants to prove that he’s commercially viable. “It’s never stopped,” Paul said. “I will never stop competing with every other artist in this business. Pet Sounds kicked me to make Pepper. It was direct competition with The Beach Boys. So what? That’s what everyone’s doing. Although when Brian Wilson heard Pepper, he went the other way.” While Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper are different in many ways, they are both psychedelic rock albums that make use of animal noises.

“But, yeah, it’s competition,” Paul added. “If you put 10 children in a room, after an hour or so, they’ll sort themselves out. The smart one. The big, tough one. The cowardly one. The funny one who’s the friend of the smart one and the big, tough one. They will establish a pecking order.”

Paul McCartney compared himself to all other rock gods
Paul was asked where he stood in the pantheon of rock gods. “I’d put me at the top,” he replied. “Just because I’m a competitor, man.

“You don’t have Ed Moses going around saying, ‘Sure, I’m the third-best hurdler in the world,’” he continued. “You don’t find Mike Tyson saying, ‘Sure, there’s lots of guys who could beat me.’ You’ve got to slog, man.” I guess he thinks he surpassed the Wilson brothers.

How The Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ performed compared to The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’
While Pet Sounds led to the creation of Sgt. Pepper, it had nothing on Sgt. Pepper commercially. Pet Sounds climbed to No. 10 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 47 weeks. While Pet Sounds is The Beach Boys’ most critically acclaimed album by far, it was not one of the band’s biggest hits.

On the other hand, Sgt. Pepper reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 15 weeks. It lasted on the chart for 233 weeks overall, making it the Fab Four’s most popular studio album in the United States with the exception of Abbey Road.

What made Pet Sounds distinct from Sgt. Pepper is that The Beach Boys released singles from Pet Sounds. The singles were “Caroline, No,” “Sloop John B,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” and “God Only Knows.” The only one to hit the top 10 was “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” That tune climbed to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 11 weeks. While The Beatles didn’t release singles from Sgt. Pepper, Elton John’s cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” would become a big hit years later.

Paul felt The Beatles were competing with The Beach Boys and that competition drove both bands to new artistic heights.

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