The legendary band members of The Beatles are still considered experts in the music industry to this day. Paul McCartney and John Lennon‘s songwriting is still unparalleled to this day, and the blend of their two voices is endlessly iconic. So then it is extraordinary to hear McCartney declare one rock band from the 1990s were vocally better than him and his songwriting pal.
McCartney spoke to journalist Ian Halperin where he discussed the state of rock music at the time. He confessed that a lot of the bands around were “a lot more technical” than The Beatles were.
This is a no brainer considering how much music and music production had changed between the Fab Four’s final album (1970’s Let It Be) and 2008’s chart-toppers Kings of Leon. But McCartney’s gaze was fixed on the comedic pop-rockers the Barenaked Ladies.
McCartney confessed: “The Barenaked Ladies have to be my favourite. Their harmonies are right on. They could outsing us any day of the week. I don’t think John [Lennon] and myself ever had the sort of range they do.”
The star is of course referring to the incredible vocal work the Barenaked Ladies demonstrate in songs such as One Week and The Big Bang Theory Theme. McCartney’s praise for the band is incredible, considering the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership are credited with more than 50 number-one singles cumulatively.
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The singer, Steven Page, ultimately compares his relationship to that of Lennon and Ono. The touching lyrics of the song read: “You can be my Yoko Ono / You can follow me wherever I go / Be my, be my, be my, be my Yoko Ono, whoa-oh (be my Yoko).”
The song’s music video was also full of footage of Lennon and Ono throughout their lives, as well as many references to The Beatles.
Be My Yoko Ono was a relative success for the band, who were brand new at the time, as it reached 66 in the Billboard Top 100 – but became a cult hit for fans of the band. Gordon, on the other hand, hit number one in the Canadian Album Charts.
After Gordon’s release, the album reached platinum status with the help of their third single, If I Had $1000000. One year after McCartney’s comments about the Barenaked Ladies, in 2009, singer Steven Page left the band.
Barenaked Ladies released a statement that read: “Our relationship with Steve Page was great and very fruitful. It lasted almost 20 years, but it was time to move on. Now we’re doing something that feels really fresh and exciting to me. His departure left four singers and three multi-instrumentalists in the band, so we’re not lacking for musical ideas, and now there’s more room for the other writers in the band to bring songs to the table.”