This Band Beat The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in a 1960s Fan Poll

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are two of the most acclaimed classic rock bands of the 1960s– and all time. In 1966, one band beat The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in a fan poll. Here’s how a member of that band felt about this honor.

 The Beatles' Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger on a train
Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger | Victor Blackman / Stringer

This rock band beat The Beatles and then one of their members saw The Beatles in India

During an interview, The Guardian’s Dave Simpson discussed different eras of The Beach Boys’ career with the band’s co-founder Mike Love. Simpson discussed the Pet Sounds era — where the band was at its critical peak — and the “Kokomo” era — where the band was successful but less acclaimed. Simpson asked Love which period of the band’s career was his favorite.

“I couldn’t say because they each have their own unique charm, but when ‘Good Vibrations’ went to No. 1 in 1966 and Great Britain voted us the No. 1 group – No. 2 The Beatles, No. 3 The [Rolling] Stones – that was pretty special,” Love replied. Simpson thought Love’s comment referred to a readers poll from 1966, where The Beach Boys were voted the world’s best vocal band. Love immediately continued talking about The Beach Boys’ relationship with The Beatles. “In December 1967 we learned transcendental meditation from the Maharishi and he invited us to India. Lo and behold, who was there but The Beatles.” Love implied this was part of an era his band really enjoyed.

“Good Vibrations”

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Mike Love compares his place in his band to Paul McCartney’s place in The Beatles

Later in the interview, Simpson asked Love about the bad press he’s received. Love’s reply was another discussion of The Beatles. “I think there are a lot of fallacies about me, things that need to be rectified,” he said. “I’m working on a book that will lay rest to some of them. 

“I know what I did and didn’t do,” he added. “People say The Beatles were John Lennon. What is Paul McCartney? Chopped liver? But everyone has their own favorite members whose creativity they gravitate to. That’s normal.”

How The Beach Boys compared to the Fab Four and The Rolling Stones on the British charts

Love answered Simpsons’ question by referring to a British poll. This is interesting because The Beatles were more successful than The Beatles in Britain. The Official Chart Company reports 17 of The Beatles’ singles reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom. On the other hand, the same source said two of The Beach Boys’ singles reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom: “Do It Again” and “Good Vibrations.”

“Do It Again”

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Love said The Beach Boys beat The Rolling Stones in the poll as well. However, The Official Charts Company says The Rolling Stones did better on the British charts, releasing 8 No. 1 hits. It’s important to note one NME poll does not represent the United Kingdom — it represents the readership of NME. Regardless, the poll was very important to Love.

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