The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’: The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger Had a Strong Reaction to the Song

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney said The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger heard The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” at a club.
  • Jagger had a strong reaction to the structure of the song.
  • “Hey Jude” became a hit twice in the United Kingdom.
The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger with a microphone
The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger | Evening Standard/Getty Images

The Beatles‘ “Hey Jude” is one of the longest hit songs in the history of popular music. Paul McCartney revealed The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger had a strong reaction to the tune’s length. Subsequently, Paul explained why the track was so long.

Paul McCartney revealed what happened when The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger heard The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ at a club

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed the long refrain from “Hey Jude.” “The end refrain was never a separate song,” he recalled. “I remember taking it down to a late night hashish-smoking club in a basement in Tottenham Court Road: the Vesuvio club. We were sitting around on bean bags as was the thing.

“I said to the DJ, ‘Here’s an acetate. Do you want to slip it in some time during the evening?'” Paul added. “He played it, and I remember Mick Jagger coming up: ‘F*****’ ‘ell, f*****’ ‘ell. That’s something else, isn’t it? It’s like two songs.”

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Paul McCartney explained why The Beatles decided the song’s outro should be so long

Paul explained why the refrain was so lengthy. “It wasn’t intended to go on that long at the end but I was having such fun ad-libbing over the end when we put down the original track that I went on a long time,” he said.

Paul credited himself for the refrain. “So then we built it with the orchestra but it was mainly because I just wouldn’t stop doing all that ‘Judy judy judy — wooow!'” he said. “Cary Grant on heat!” Paul was referencing how fans used to make fun of the way Grant said “Judy.”

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How ‘Hey Jude’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Hey Jude” became The Beatles’ longest-running No. 1 single in the United States. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks, staying on the chart for 19 weeks in total. The Beatles included “Hey Jude” on the compilation album 1967-1970. For one week, the compilation hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It remained on the chart for 182 weeks altogether.

The Official Charts Company reports “Hey Jude” became similarly successful in the United Kingdom. The song was No. 1 for two of its 19 weeks on the chart in the 1960s. In 1988, the track reached No. 52 and lasted on the chart for two weeks. Meanwhile, 1967-1970 reached No. 2 and lasted on the chart for 131 weeks.

“Hey Jude” had a huge impact on the public — and on Jagger.

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