posted on Apr, 29 2008 @ 06:53 PM
Hmm. This may be the most difficult question I've pondered since Leonard Cohen versus Bob Dylan.
I also consider this one of the more unfortunate rulings I've had to lay down.
My vote goes to The Beatles. Don't get me wrong -- I love the Stones. "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Gimme Shelter," "Sympathy for the Devil," and
"Paint It Black" are incredible tunes.
So why did I do it? Was it because "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "Norwegian Wood," and "Here Comes the Sun"
are more incredible songs? As far as I'm concerned, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is the best song by either band. And Clapton played lead on
the album version. But no, I couldn't let it all hinge on that. In the end, it had to be because I think the historical impact of The Beatles, in
addition to their excellent music, outweighs that of the Stones. I'm not quite sure where we'd have wound up without The Beatles.
Here's something interesting to ponder: Without Rubber Soul, could The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds have existed? And without Pet
Sounds, would Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band have existed? Strange how The Beatles started a cycle of inspiring and challenging
artists who in turn inspired and challenged them. It is well documented that Brian Wilson was moved to create Pet Sounds after listening to
Rubber Soul. It is as equally well documented that The Beatles were moved to create Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. In fact,
the barking dogs on Pepper are a nod back to the ones on Pet. I mean, we're talking the potential loss or late creation of the concept album here.
That is huge. And without Andrew Loog Oldham befriending the Stones and pushing them away from covers and more to original music like The Beatles had
done, would we even have The Rolling Stones as we know them?
I've gotta stick with the way things played out.