The Beatles are the most successful band of all time with an estimated amount of more than 600 million records sold worldwide. They changed the course of the music business completely in the 60s and continue to inspired artists after more than six decades. The band’s bassist and singer Paul McCartney was an important part for their success, since he co-wrote most part of the songs with his late bandmate John Lennon.
He still is considered one of the greatest songwriters that ever existed and during his career the British musician also talked about his peers. He even mentioned once an American musician that in his opinion has written amazing songs.
The musician that Paul McCartney said has written amazing songs
Rock and Roll music started in the 50s in the United States but in the early 60s the groups that really helped in the evolution of that genre came out of the United Kingdom. The Beatles presented a new style of songwriting and had an impeccable musicianship that made them unique, what later inspired countless artists in the United States.
In an interview with B&N CEO James Daunt in 2021, McCartney was asked about which other songwriters he admired. He then mentioned Paul Simon as one who in his opinion has written some amazing songs. “Oh, there are a lot. I think Paul Simon has written some amazing songs. I wouldn’t want to just say one of them but he’s certainly written some great stuff.”
Which are McCartney’s favorite songs from Paul Simon
Back in 1973, Paul McCartney had already revealed which were some of his favorite songs from Paul Simon’s career. The Beatle was asked by Punch Magazine in that year to review Simon’s book “The Songs of Paul Simon”, which was originally released in 1972.
“This particular book is firstly a heavy one, in the weight sense. Not the type that opens easily onto the little wooden ledge that comes from inside an upright piano and swings down neatly and ready to please. It is a fine book for people who like Paul Simon’s music. It contains many photos. I liked the old ones of Simon and Garfunkel when they were Tom and Jerry playing at some Jewish hop in their white sports coats and slicked-back ‘Tony Curtis’ cuts. Paul Simon himself writes the intro which gives an insight into how he writes his songs.”
“Besides the words and music of the songs, this ‘body of work’ as the publishers call it, has other typical touches. Like the little scraps of paper that songs, or lyrics rather, tend to get written on i.e., scribbles on a Western Airlines scrap pad, hotel note paper. Which reminds one that the songs were actually written somewhere real. Many great songs (were) written on an Airline sick bag and ‘bog’ paper does, of course, add something to the final feel of the song. ”
“Music publishers from the old days don’t like song lyrics to appear on a record cover. Because ‘it harms sheet music sales’. This type of book is the epitome of what they’re talking about. Being, for someone like Paul Simon who is smart enough to own his own publishing rights, or so the story goes, jolly lucrative. And jolly good luck to him. Because, really, some of his things have been very good. ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘Sound of Silence’, ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘The 59th Street Bridge Song’. To name a few personal ‘faves’, and that what it’s all about,” Paul McCartney said.
Paul Simon is one year older than McCartney and was born in Newark, New Jersey back in 1941. He started his musical career at an early age in 1956. He first achieved fame as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, formed with his friend Art Garfunkel in 1963. Even though they had already performed as Tom & Jerry from 1956 to 1958.
They first album was released in 1964. But they really became big in 1966 with the release of their groundbreaking album “The Sounds of Silence. That record had famous songs like “Sound of Silence” and “April Come She Will”.
McCartney and Paul Simon are good friends for decades already
Paul McCartney and Paul Simon already know each other for a long time and had been good friends. Back in 1990 something curious happened when Simon was a guest on the TV morning kids’ show ‘Going Live‘ in England and McCartney surprised him on the telephone live in the show. The American musician was answering questions from the audience and also via telephone. At one point the Beatle appeared on the phone.
The two already performed live together as well many times. One famous encounter happened during the celebration of Saturday Night Live’s 40th birthday in 2015. They played The Beatles track “‘I’ve Just Seen a Face”.
Just like Paul McCartney, Paul Simon was inducted twice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Once as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and once as a solo artist. The first time in 1990 and the second in 2001. Simon retired from touring but continues to release new music. He recently revealed that he wants to get back on the road but right now can’t because of hearing loss.