Elvis Presley: Which of The Beatles’ Songs Did He Like?

Elvis Presley and The Beatles are two of the most famous classic rock acts of all time. However, that doesn’t mean Elvis liked all of The Beatles’ songs. Here’s a look at which Beatles songs the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll liked, which ones he didn’t like, and which ones he performed.

Elvis Presley near a shelf
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Elvis Presley didn’t like this era of The Beatles’ career

Joe Esposito was Elvis’ friend and road manager. According to Elvis Australia, he opened up about the singer’s feelings on the Fab Four.

“Well, Elvis loved the Beatles’ music,” he said.” I mean, let’s face it, he recorded three of their songs. He just did — ‘Yellow Submarine’ that period of time. He didn’t care for those songs.”

“Yellow Submarine”

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Esposito added “Elvis… believed in songs with a lot of good words and meaning with something behind them like ‘Michelle’ and ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Hey Jude’ and those songs. He didn’t care for that period of time. That was a drug time which was ironic. So, those songs he didn’t care about. But he didn’t say anything bad about the Beatles. I mean, there’s always stories about him putting the Beatles down and stuff like that. And we all say different things about different people at different times and really don’t mean. But overall, he respected them.”

The ways the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll criticized the Fab Four

Esposito says the singer respected the Fab Four. However, Elvis warned President Richard Nixon that The Beatles were promoting anti-Americanism. In addition, he told J. Edgar Hoover “the Beatles laid the groundwork for many of the problems we are having with young people by their filthy unkempt appearances and suggestive music.” He also disliked that John Lennon took an anti-Vietnam War stance.


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How the Elvis Presley’s favorite Beatles songs performed on the charts

Esposito said Elvis had a special fondness for “Michelle,” “Yesterday,” and “Hey Jude.” This raises an interesting question: How did the public react to those songs? “Michelle” was not released as a single in the United States, therefore, it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. On the other hand, “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude” both reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Yellow Submarine,” which Esposito says Elvis disliked, reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Which of The Beatles’ songs did Elvis Presley cover?

Esposito claims Elvis recorded three of The Beatles’ songs is definitely false. He covered “Something” for his classic special Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite. In addition, he covered “Hey Jude,” “Get Back” (in a medley with his own hit “Little Sister”), “Yesterday,” and “Lady Madonna.” Some of these recordings are from live performances or rough rehearsals and lack the polish of some Elvis hits. However, they show the singer clearly had the Fab Four on his mind.