The musical chemistry between all four members of The Beatles is something that will never truly be reproduced. Although there might be the perfect mathematical equation to make The Beatles’ songs work in a modern context, chances are it wouldn’t do as well because the group’s main members didn’t have the same magic as John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Then again, that creativity also had a bit of competition behind it.
Throughout their tenure as a songwriting team, both John Lennon and Paul McCartney saw their songwriting as more of a competition than anything else. Whereas most of the time they would write songs together or add bits and pieces to each other’s work, their later years came down to writing something to outdo their competitor. Nowhere is it more evident in the joint single ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’/’Penny Lane’, each a different dissection of their childhoods growing up in Liverpool.
Then again, George Harrison wasn’t too far behind them, notching up some of the best tracks of the later Beatles projects like ‘Here Comes the Sun’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. When broken down, though, which Beatle had the most number-one singles out of them all?
While the man was talented, Ringo Starr would not ascend to the same heights that came from his bandmates. As much as his early solo career garnered the most success with records like ‘It Don’t Come Easy’, Starr was always more inclined to work with people around him to create a good time on the road than on the charts.
When counting the Beatles’ singles, most of their early career is dominated by Lennon songs, steering the band through some of their first huge hits like ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. As the band started to delve into more creative mediums, McCartney seemed to take over as the major hitmaker. Throughout most of thor singles career, McCartney would always take the A-side, with Lennon’s experimental odysseys often relegated to the flipside of the record.
After the band split up, Harrison saw the most success, notching up one hit after another off of his back catalogue of songs from his debut solo effort All Things Must Pass. As the years went by, though, there would always be a clear winner for the most number-one singles.
As far as Beatles and solo songs are concerned, McCartney has notched up the most songs at the top of the hit parade with 19 songs. Although McCartney could have gotten into that position because of the sheer depth of his catalogue, it also comes from how he constructs his tunes.
Throughout his work with The Beatles and fronting his solo band Wings, McCartney was always a master of melody, finding that one note that can tug on listeners’ heartstrings more than anything else. The fame also didn’t seem to matter to Lennon or Harrison by the end of things, with Lennon wanting to live a life away from the shadow of ‘The Fab Four’ and Harrison immersing himself in spiritualism and writing songs that were more suited to what he wanted to say as opposed to what a production team wanted.
From day one, Paul McCartney always wanted to be one of the biggest artists in the world, and his knowledge of pop music has led to him being in tune with different musical trends while also having the courage to defy them to create something even more extravagant. That streak only continues in his older age, with McCartney still getting his latest album, McCartney III, into the album charts. The Beatles’ music may have been adopted by the entire world at this point, but Paul McCartney is still focused on writing the greatest song his fans want to hear.