Ringo Starr Felt The Beatles Had ‘More to Go On’ Than Elvis Presley

In The Beatles: The Authorised Biography, Ringo Starr discussed his popularity relative to the other members of the Fab Four. In addition, he said The Beatles “had more to go on” than Elvis Presley. Listeners in the United Kingdom had a different reaction to the Fab Four and the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The Beatles' Ringo Starr holding a lighter
The Beatles’ Ringo Starr | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Ringo Starr discussed the way fans reacted to The Beatles

According to The Beatles: The Authorised Biography, Ringo discussed his place in the Fab Four. “There was never any competition between us, either privately or publicly, though we all have our special fans,” Ringo revealed. “If all four of us had to stand up there in front of a million fans and they had to line up behind the one they liked best, I think Paul [McCartney] would get most.

John [Lennon] and George [Harrison] would be joint second,” Ringo added. “Ringo would be last. That’s what I think. You can tell, from the letters and the fans screaming and mobbing.”

The Beatles' George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney with a pillow that says "i Love George"
The Beatles’ George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Paul McCartney | Express/Express/Getty Images

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Ringo Starr felt The Beatles had more popular appeal than Elvis Presley because there were 4 of them

Although Ringo felt he was the least popular member of The Beatles, he felt the members of the band were nearly equal. “I think four of us together, all sort of equal, made us one whole,” he said. “We’re different from each other, yet alike.”

Ringo felt The Beatles had an advantage over Elvis simply because they were a band. “When you have a single star, or a leader and a backing group, you either take him or leave him,” Ringo opined. “With four, you can associate with one of us, yet still like the rest of us. If you didn’t like Elvis, that was that. With four of us, there’s more to go on.”

Elvis Presley in front of a poster
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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The way listeners in the United Kingdom reacted to The Beatles and Elvis Presley

Notably, listeners in the U.K. had a different reaction to The Beatles and Elvis. According to The Official Charts Company, the Fab Four had 17 No. 1 singles in the U.K.

The songs were “From Me to You,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “I Feel Fine,” “Ticket to Ride, “Help!,” “Day Tripper/”We Can Work It Out,” “Paperback Writer,” “Yellow Submarine”/”Eleanor Rigby,” “All You Need is Love,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Lady Madonna,” “Hey Jude,” “Get Back,” and “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”

On the other hand, Elvis was even more prominent in the U.K. The Official Charts Company says 21 of Elvis’ singles reached No. 1 in the U.K.

The songs in question are “All Shook Up,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “One Night”/”I Got Stung,” “A Fool Such As I”/” I Need Your Love Tonight,” “It’s Now or Never,” “Are You Lonesome Tonight?,” “Wooden Heart,” “Surrender,” “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame”/”Little Sister,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love/”Rock-a-Hula Baby,” “Good Luck Charm,” “She’s Not You,” “Return to Sender,” “(You’re the) Devil in Disguise,” “Crying in the Chapel,” “The Wonder of You,” “Way Down,” and Junkie XL’s remix of “A Little Less Conversation.”

Rereleases of “Jailhouse Rock,” “It’s Now or Never,” and “One Night/”I Got Stung” reached No. 1 in the 2000s. Even if The Beatles had some advantage over Elvis, Elvis’ songs were more successful on the U.K. chart.

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