The worst The Beatles songs and the ones Paul McCartney hated could be an exaggeration. Sure, the legendary musician has had songs from his career that he disliked. But he was always quite respectful throughout his music career. This is perhaps something that made him quite different to his former musical partner, John Lennon.
The Beatles broke up and Lennon was very harsh with some of their earlier material. In fact, he has mentioned several tracks as the worst The Beatles songs. However, McCartney was always a bit more rational and analytical when it comes to the songs he disliked.
This is why this is a list of the seven worst The Beatles songs according to Paul McCarney and his statements over the years. As usual, people need to understand that this is McCartney‘s personal take and not a reflection on the songs’ overall quality.
The top 7 worst The Beatles songs of all time
Paul McCartney‘s career has been well-documented. He has had documentaries, interviews, videos, and whatnot. All of these situations have allowed people to see what he considered the worst The Beatles songs of all time.
Now, as mentioned earlier, perhaps he never truly hated these songs but didn’t like them either. He has his reasons and fans don’t need to take it personally. It’s just personal preference, which is something everybody has.
Which are the top 7 worst The Beatles songs that Paul McCartney hated?
- “I Want You (She’s so Heavy)”
- “Across the Universe”
- “Yer Blues”
- “What You’re Doing”
- “Tell Me What You See”
- “Hold Me Tight”
- “Revolution 9”
1. “I Want You (She’s so Heavy)”
The Beatles, by the time of the late 60s, were both struggling to get along and being professional. Sure, they still managed to crank out incredible material but they were not enjoying their time together. This is shown through documentation of the 1969 Abbey Road sessions.
When it comes to the worst The Beatles songs, Paul McCartney had a slight contempt for “I Want You (She’s so Heavy)“. John Lennon wanted the band to go on a more experimental, avant-garde direction, and the rest of the band, Paul in particular, was not interested.
The sound engineer, Geoff Emerick, wrote in his memoirs, “Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles“, the following:
“Over my shoulder, I saw a dejected Paul sitting slumped over, head down, staring at the floor. He didn’t say a word, but his body language made it clear that he was very unhappy. To Paul, it must have been like ‘Revolution 9’ all over again. John was deliberately distorting the Beatles music, trying to turn the group into an avant-garde ensemble instead of a pop band.”
One of those songs that suggested the end was very near for the world’s biggest pop band of all time.
2. “Across the Universe”
The issue with “Across the Universe” being featured on a list of this ilk is that it doesn’t have anything to do with quality. It perhaps isn’t one of the worst The Beatles songs of all time. But is definitely a track that McCartney dislikes for all the drama surrounding it.
It’s a John Lennon ballad that the band started to record in 1968 before going to India. It went through a lot of changes until finally becoming a part of 1970’s “Let It Be“. McCartney didn’t like the constant rearrangements and how that also impacted songs of his in the record.
Funny enough, it would be Lennon who would blame Paul later on for “ruining” the song. So, it’s fair to say that “Across the Universe” has a long history of disdain between John and Paul.
3. “Yer Blues”
The interesting thing about “Yer Blues” is how McCartney and music historians have described the song over the years. It doesn’t seem to have a complete criteria. This is perhaps a good example of how McCartney himself has never been overly harsh with his own work.
For example, Paul did an interview with Rolling Stone magazine back in 2016 and had this to say about “Yer Blues”
“We were talking about this tightness, this packed-in-a-tin thing. So we got in a little cupboard – a closet that had microphone leads and things, with a drum kit, amps turned to the walls, one mic for John. We did ‘Yer Blues’ live and it was really good.”
However, Ian MacDonald, a British writer and The Beatles historian, has a different take. His 1994 book, “Revolution in the Head“, claims that Paul wasn’t happy about the song’s final product and that he was “sulky” during the recording. It’s worth pointing out that McCartney has dismissed the book over the years.
It could be argued that this is all nonsense and that McCartney liked the song. It could also be that time has healed that particular wound and no longer minds the track. However, “Yer Blues” seems to suggest some of Paul‘s nuances with his own material.
4. “What You’re Doing”
Paul McCartney probably ranks this among the worst The Beatles songs because of where he was at the time. The legendary musician had written several songs in the mid-60s inspired by his relationship with actress Jane Asher. However, by the time the relationship was concluding, Paul didn’t have the same inspiration and the result was “What You’re Doing“.
The song does feel incomplete and never fully hits the stride that defined the band over the years. McCartney seemed to agree and described the song as “filler” in one interview he did:
“‘What You’re Doing’ was a bit of filler. I think it was a little more mine than John’s… You sometimes start a song and hope the best will arrive by the time you get to the chorus, but sometimes that’s all you get, and I suspect this was one of them. Maybe it’s a better recording than it is a song; some of them are. Sometimes a good recording would enhance a song.”