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John Lennon revealed he was “in heaven” when he heard one of Elvis Presley’s songs. Subsequently, John explained why hearing this song made him so happy. The song became a massive hit.

Elvis Presley with a guitar
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archive/Getty Images

John Lennon explained why The Beatles wanted to be like Elvis Presley

The book Lennon Remembers contains a 1970 interview with John. In the interview, John was asked why The Beatles wanted to be bigger than Elvis. “Because Elvis was the biggest,” John replied. “We wanted to be the biggest. Doesn’t everybody?”

John said he and Paul McCartney wanted to be like Gerry Goffin and Carole King, a famous songwriting duo.” And then we decided, ‘Well, we’re better than them, so we want to be this, we want to be the next thing, we want to be president or whatever,'” he said. “It goes on and on and on. But we always wanted to be bigger than Elvis, cause Elvis was the thing. Whatever we say, he was it.”

John Lennon said 1 Elvis Presley song reminded him of his youth

According to the book Lennon on Lennon: Interviews and Encounters with John Lennon, John discussed some 1950s songs in a 1980 interview. “If the oldies but goldies come on, it’s one of my favorites,” he said. “If I hear ‘Be-Bop-a-Lula,’ I can hear it over and over again. Every time it comes on, I switch up the thing. I have the record still.”

John then mentioned Elvis. “If I hear Elvis … I heard him sing ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You‘ the other day. I mean, I was just in heaven. Of course, I was going back to my youth and remembering the dates and what was going on when I heard that music.”


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How Elvis Presley’s ‘I Want You, I Need You, I Love You’ performed on the charts

“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” became a huge hit in the United States. The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits reports the track topped the Billboard Top 100, which was the predecessor to the Billboard Hot 100. The song was No. 1 for a single week. “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” appeared on the compilation album Elvis: 2nd to NoneElvis: 2nd to None reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and lasted on the chart for 16 weeks.

“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” was a hit in the United Kingdom too. The Official Charts Company says the track reached No. 14 in the U.K. and lasted 11 weeks on the chart. Elvis: 2nd to None also became a hit in the U.K. It reached No. 4 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 12 weeks. 

“I Want You, I Need You, I Love You” was a hit and it meant something to John.