In the 1960s, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were two of the biggest bands in England, and they were often compared and pitted against each other by the media and fans. However, despite the perceived rivalry between the two bands, they rarely worked together professionally. In this article, we will explore the limited collaboration between these two legendary bands.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney gave The Rolling Stones their first hit song, “I Wanna Be Your Man.” The Beatles wrote the song and gave it to The Rolling Stones, who released it in November 1963. It almost made it into the top 10 in England and became a hit for the band. The Beatles also recorded their version of the song for their album “With the Beatles” released in the same year. This shows the generosity and camaraderie between the two bands.
In addition to “I Wanna Be Your Man,” both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones also covered “Money (That’s What I Want)” during a similar time period. The Beatles released their rendition of the song in 1963, while The Rolling Stones’ version came out the following year in 1964.
We Love You
Despite their infrequent collaborations, The Rolling Stones joined forces with John and Paul twice in the late 1960s. After a drug bust in 1967, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards penned “We Love You” as a tribute to their fans. The track was an innovative composition incorporating a persistent piano riff, lively horns, Mellotron strings, and stereo effects. John and Paul contributed to the song as background vocalists with high-pitched voices, and The Stones recognized them as guest artists. The song was initially released as a standalone single and later included in different compilation albums, including “More Hot Rocks (Big Hits and Fazed Cookies)” in 1972.
The Rolling Stones kept their album-movie project “Rock and Roll Circus” from 1968 hidden away for almost three decades, perhaps because several guest artists outshone the hosts. As a result, John’s ad-hoc supergroup, The Dirty Mac, featuring Keith Richards (on bass), Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell, remained unknown until 1996. During the performance, John and his bandmates played a well-known song – “Yer Blues” from The Beatles’ “White Album.” Richards performed the bass parts excellently, and both John and Clapton took turns playing solos, with Clapton standing out a bit more.
In the 1960s, The Beatles collaborated with members of The Rolling Stones twice. Brian Jones, a founding member of The Rolling Stones, contributed as a backup vocalist and provided the sound of clinking glass on “Yellow Submarine,” which was included in both “Revolver” and “Yellow Submarine” albums. Jones also played the saxophone on “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number),” and it is said that Jagger sang backup vocals on “Baby You’re a Rich Man” featured on the “Magical Mystery Tour” soundtrack.
While The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were both London-based bands and two of the most famous bands of the 1960s, they rarely worked together. However, their limited collaborations showcase the mutual respect and admiration between the bands and the creative energy of that era. It is fascinating to look back at these moments and witness the magic that can happen when two legendary bands come together.