A 1960s Rock Star Felt The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ Was Disappointing

Once part of the psychedelic rock band The Electric Prunes, Kenny Loggins, now a music icon, had quite the memory to share about the iconic Beatles’ track, “Hey Jude.” The Electric Prunes, renowned for their hits like “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)” and “Get Me to the World on Time,” also had their fair share of Beatles opinions.

Reflecting on his early days in the band during a 2022 Stereogum interview, Loggins mentioned, “When ‘Hey Jude’ was released, I had just joined The Electric Prunes. I was collaborating with Jeromy Stuart, our keyboardist. He was quite keen to challenge The Beatles’ supremacy. He felt ‘Hey Jude’ was prolonged and repetitive, believing it wasn’t up to the mark with their prior hits. But I begged to differ.”

Drawing a parallel between Paul McCartney’s ballads and some of his other works, Loggins felt the ballads had a unique depth. “To me, songs like ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Hey Jude’ have lyrics with weight,” he shared. He went on to playfully mention, “I mean, no one would abandon their spouse after hearing ‘Get Back,’ but ‘Hey Jude’? That song clearly had a profound impact on Paul.”

Further emphasizing Paul’s vocal brilliance in “Hey Jude”, Loggins noted a striking resemblance with the raw energy of Little Richard’s singing, especially towards the end where McCartney’s voice holds a gritty intensity.

However, what did Paul McCartney himself feel about “Hey Jude”? In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 1989, Paul proudly listed “Hey Jude” among his career-defining songs, comparing it to the likes of “The Fool on the Hill,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “All My Loving,” and “Here, There and Everywhere.” To Paul, this song was as dear as a child.

McCartney also emphasized the unpredictability of how a song would resonate with various listeners. And surely, “Hey Jude” resonated widely. Its influence is evident from the plethora of covers by artists ranging from Katy Perry to BTS, proving the timelessness of the track.

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