Don McLean Said 1 of The Beatles’ No. 1 Songs Cured His Depression

The Beatles‘ songs had a huge impact on many people. For example, “American Pie” singer Don McLean said one of the Fab Four’s songs helped him feel better during a dark period. He said his mood was connected to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

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

Don McLean says he doesn’t like songs from a certain era

During a 2021 interview with Songwriting, McLean discussed his musical tastes. “I could never really understand all these groups later on, in the ’70s and ’80s, that were way out there,” he said. “I’m an Elvis fan, I’m a Gene Vincent fan.”

McLean also discussed a handful of other artists he liked. “I’m a Slyliners fan, a Beatles fan, a Beach Boys fan, a Sons of the Pioneers fan,” he said. “I love gospel music. Simple, down-to-earth beautiful songs.”

1 of The Beatles’ songs made Don McLean feel better when ‘America was in really bad shape’

In a 2022 interview with The Red Bulletin, McLean discussed his feelings about The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine.” “I was coming out of long-term depression when this record came out,” he recalled. “My father had died in 1961 and then JFK was assassinated, and America was in really bad shape.”

McLean explained why The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” lifted his spirits. “‘I Feel Fine’ came out on Beatles ’65 and it was the happiest song that I had heard in my whole life,” McLean revealed. “The happiness it gave me when listening to it took away all of the blues that had been there for years. It was a huge turning point for me.” McLean said “I Feel Fine” was one of the songs that made him fall in love with music.


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How The Beatles’ ‘I Feel Fine’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“I Feel Fine” became a huge hit for The Beatles in the United States. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, staying on the chart for 11 weeks in total. The Beatles included “I Feel Fine” on the compilation album 1962-1966. The compilation hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 175 weeks.

“I Feel Fine”‘ became a hit in the United Kingdom too. The Official Charts Company reports “I Feel Fine” was No. 1 for five of its 13 weeks on the chart in 1964. In 1984, the song recharted for two weeks, peaking at No. 65. This was part of a trend of Beatles singles getting rereleased in the U.K. Meanwhile, 1962-1966 peaked at No. 3 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 167 weeks.

“I Feel Fine” was a massive hit — and it had a huge impact on McLean.

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