The Beatles: Paul McCartney hit back at criticism from John Lennon with a love song
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After The Beatles split up in 1970 they all went their own ways. Not only did George Harrison and Ringo Starr kickstart their solo careers, but John Lennon wrote and performed with the Plastic Ono Band as well. Paul McCartney did the same, starting his own band with wife Linda McCartney, a project they titled Wings. During his time in Wings, however, McCartney used some of the band’s success to hit back at his biggest critics, including former pal Lennon.
Throughout the years the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership produced some of the biggest and best songs ever written.
The pair worked on such iconic tracks as Help!, Yesterday, All My Loving, Across the Universe and many, many more.
However, McCartney was supposedly condemned by Lennon during their various sessions for focussing too much on writing love songs.
Meanwhile, Lennon himself was renowned for writing more sombre, introspective tracks, such as Happiness Is a Warm Gun, In My Life and Strawberry Fields Forever.
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The Beatles: Paul McCartney hit back at his pal, John Lennon
To hit back at Lennon, McCartney wrote the track Silly Love Songs in 1976 and released it as a single from Wings.
The song is a love-filled ballad with a rhythmic bass line that was played often by the former Beatle’s band while on tour.
Speaking out about the song at the time, McCartney explained he was “inviting his audience to have a laugh on him”.
He went on: “Over the years people have said: ‘Aw, he sings love songs, he writes love songs, he’s so soppy at times.'”
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McCartney continued: “I thought, well, I know what they mean, but, people have been doing love songs forever. I like ’em, other people like ’em, and there’s a lot of people I love.
“I’m lucky enough to have that in my life. So the idea was that you may call them silly, but what’s wrong with that?”
He added: “The song was, in a way, to answer people who just accuse me of being soppy.
“The nice payoff now is that a lot of the people I meet who are at the age where they’ve just got a couple of kids and have grown up a bit, settling down, they’ll say to me: ‘I thought you were really soppy for years, but I get it now! I see what you were doing!'”
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Before the release of Silly Love Songs Lennon had released How Do You Sleep? from his second solo album as a direct attack on McCartney.
Within the song, Lennon sang: “The only thing you done was yesterday / And since you’ve gone you’re just another day,” referencing one of Paul’s hits, Yesterday.
Despite this seemingly vicious attack, the Beatle did later confirm it was all done in good fun.
He said at the time: “There’s really no feud between me and Paul. It’s all good, clean fun.
“No doubt there will be an answer to [How Do You] Sleep on his next album, but I don’t feel that way about him at all. It works as a complete song with no relation to Paul.
“It works as a piece of music. I started writing it in 1969, and the line So Sergeant Pepper Took You By Surprise … was written about two years before anything happened. There was always a musical difference between me and Paul – it didn’t just happen last year.”
He added: “We’ve always had a lot in common, and we still do. The thing that made The Beatles what they were was the fact that I could do my rock ‘n roll, and Paul could do the pretty stuff.
“But hardly a week goes by when I don’t see, and/or hear from one of them.”
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