Chuck Berry Revealed Why ‘Yesterday’ Was His Favorite Beatles Song

TLDR;

  • Chuck Berry was a huge fan of The Beatles’ songs in general and “Yesterday” in particular.
  • Berry revealed why he connected with the lyrics of The Beatles’ “Yesterday.”
  • “Yesterday” wasn’t nearly as popular in the United Kingdom as it was in the United States.
The Beatles' Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison standing in a row
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison | John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images

Chuck Berry is one of the greatest icons of classic rock. He revealed he had a lot of respect for The Beatles‘ songs. Subsequently, he explained why he connected with The Beatles’ “Yesterday.”

Chuck Berry said the Fab Four were geniuses and there were only 3 members of the band

According to the book A Walk Down Abbey Road, Berry discussed why The Beatles made so many good songs. “Because they were geniuses,” he opined. “They’re writers I understand, three heads a growth. And boy, two heads are better than one, but three heads? Genius.”

Obviously, there are four members of The Beatles, but Berry only mentioned three. He may have left out Ringo Starr. Notably, Ringo contributed less to the band’s songwriting than John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison.

Chuck Berry playing songs on his guitar
Chuck Berry | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Chuck Berry said he connected with the lyrics of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ because of his age

Berry had a special appreciation for “Yesterday.” “I [had] heard [Beatles music] in America,” he recalled. “My appreciation of music is not actually with an artist but it’s with a song. Of course, the artist is involved. But each song has its own glory, and ‘Yesterday’ was the highest of The Beatles.”

Berry connected with “Yesterday” because of his age. “I don’t think there could ever be a song that, at my age, could be more appropriate,” he said. “You know I haven’t learned it yet but I shall.”

Furthermore, Berry praised the Fab Four for being genuine. “When a group or an artist continuously puts out product that is absorbed by the public and in demand it’s genuine,” he said. “And this is what I thought about The Beatles when they continually put out hit after hit after hit.”

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The way listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom reacted to The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’

The Beatles’ “Yesterday” was a massive hit in the United States. For four weeks, it was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It stayed on the chart for 11 weeks. In the U.S., The Beatles released the track on the album Yesterday and Today. Yesterday and Today hit No. 1 for five of its 32 weeks on the Billboard 200.

“Yesterday” became a more modest hit in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song hit No. 8 there, remaining on the chart for nine weeks. In the U.K., The Beatles released “Yesterday” on the album 1962-1966. 1962-1966 hit No. 3 and stayed on the chart for 167 weeks.

“Yesterday” made a huge impact on pop culture, appearing in films such as the Fab Four jukebox musical Yesterday. Numerous artists covered it, including The Supremes, Joan Baez, Elvis Presley, Linkin Park, and Jay-Z. “Yesterday” was a huge success and it even impressed Berry.