John Lennon Said Paul McCartney Wanted This Beatles Album to Be Like a Simon & Garfunkel Album

The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel are very different bands; however, John Lennon said Paul McCartney one of The Beatles’ albums to be like a Simon & Garfunkel album. Interestingly, John revealed the Fab Four had a challenging time making the album. Here’s how the public reacted to the record.

Simon & Garfunkel on the ground
Simon & Garfunkel | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

John Lennon said Paul McCartney wanted to record an album a certain way, but the other Beatles weren’t having it

The book Lennon Remembers contains a long interview with John. In the book, Rolling Stone co-founder Jann S. Wenner asked John questions about every era of The Beatles career. He especially focused on their later years together.

At one point, Wenner asked John how long The Beatles took to create their album Let It Be. “God knows how long,” John revealed. “Paul [McCartney] had this idea that we were going to rehearse or… see it all was more like Simon & Garfunkel [laugh], like looking for perfection all the time. And so he has these ideas that we’ll rehearse and then make the album. And of course, we’re lazy f—ers and we’ve been playing for twenty years, for f—’s sake, we’re grown men, we’re not going to sit around rehearsing. I’m not, anyway. And we couldn’t get into it.”

“Let It Be”

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John revealed the other members of the Fab Four didn’t enjoy the creation of Let It Be either. “And we put down a few tracks, and nobody was in it at all,” John added. “It was a dreadful, dreadful feeling in Twickenham Studio, and being filmed all the time. I just wanted them to go away, and we’d be there, eight in the morning. You couldn’t make music at eight in the morning or ten or whatever it was, in a strange place with people filming you and colored lights.”

How The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ performed compared to Simon & Garfunkel’s No. 1 albums

While John compared Let It Be to Simon & Garfunkel’s albums, the former was less successful than some of the latter. Let It Be reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 61 weeks. On the other hand, Simon & Garfunkel’s albums Bookends and Bridge Over Troubled Water reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 66 weeks and 87 weeks, respectively.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”

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How the singles from ‘Let It Be’ performed compared to the singles from Simon & Garfunkel’s albums

However, Let It Be produced more No. 1 singles than any Simon & Garfunkel album. Three songs from Let It Be the title song, “The Long and Winding Road,” and “For You Blue” topped the Billboard Hot 100. Three Simon & Garfunkel hits “Mrs. Robinson,” “The Sound of Silence,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” topped the Billboard Hot 100; however, each of those songs came from different albums. Paul may have wanted Let It Be to be like a Simon & Garfunkel album, but its popularity differed from Bookends and Bridge Over Troubled Water.