Paul McCartney Loves 1 Cover of The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ More Than the Original

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney really likes a cover of The Beatles’ “Yesterday” by a famous singer.
  • He discussed his feelings about the singer in general.
  • The original version of “Yesterday” became a massive hit in the United States.
Paul McCartney with a phone during The Beatles' "Yesterday" era
Paul McCartney | Evening Standard / Stringer

Paul McCartney said he sometimes considers The Beatles‘ “Yesterday” his favorite song. He liked one version of the song better than the Fab Four’s. On the other hand, he was less impressed with an Elvis Presley performance of “Yesterday.”

Paul McCartney generally enjoys The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday’ less than ‘Here, There and Everywhere’

In the 2015 book Conversations with McCartney, Paul discussed his favorite song. “When I’m asked which is my favorite song, it’s always a difficult question,” he said. “I sometimes say ‘Yesterday’ because it’s been covered by so many people. 

“But more often I say ‘Here, There and Everywhere,'” he added. “It makes it on a number of levels. If it were someone else’s song, it would be one of my favorites.” For context, “Yesterday” became a massive hit while “Here, There and Everywhere” is an album track from Revolver that never became a single.

Paul McCartney contrasted Marvin Gaye’s ‘Yesterday’ with an Elvis Presley version of it

Elsewhere, Paul said Gaye’s cover of “Yesterday” is one of his favorite songs. “Man, I’m major league into Marvin,” he said. “And he did ‘Yesterday.’ ‘Yesterday’ won one of these MTV things and Geoff [Baker] says to me, ‘You know who’s recorded it, don’t you? Everyone. Sinatra. Elvis Presley. Marvin Gaye. Ray Charles.’ 

“So we got our New York office to get them,” he added. “And Marvin’s version of ‘Yesterday’ is my favorite, even beyond mine. Just so cool.”

Subsequently, Paul dismissed Elvis Presley’s over of “Yesterday.” “And the flakiest version is Elvis,” he opined. “He doesn’t know the words. I love Elvis to death but it’s flaky.”

Paul said Elvis forgot certain lyrics of “Yesterday,” so his version of the song did not make sense. The former Beatle blamed this error on the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll‘s drug use. Paul said he was specifically talking about a live rendition of the song. Journalist Paul Du Noyer theorized Paul may have mentioned a rehearsal version of the song in the special features of the documentary film Elvis: That’s the Way It Is.

How The Beatles’ version of the song and Marvin Gaye’s cover performed on the pop charts in the United States

The Beatles’ “Yesterday” became a major hit. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, staying on the chart for 11 weeks in total. The tune was initially a standalone single. It appeared on the album Yesterday and Today, which hit No. 1 for five of its 32 weeks on the Billboard 200.

On the other hand, Gaye’s “Yesterday” was never a single so it never reached the Billboard Hot 100. It appeared on his album That’s the Way Love Is, which reached No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for 12 weeks.

Even if it wasn’t a hit, Gaye’s “Yesterday” impressed the cute Beatle.