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Why Paul McCartney Refused to Cover John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

John Lennon‘s “Imagine” is the most famous song by a former Beatle. Paul McCartney has covered countless songs over the years and yet he never put his spin on “Imagine.” He once explained why he didn’t need to cowl “Imagine.” Love or hate his resolution, his reasoning makes a whole lot of sense given the tune’s lasting cultural influence. 

Paul McCartney felt that everybody sings John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’

Throughout a 1990 interview with Rolling Stone, Paul mentioned considered one of his aborted concepts. “In fact, I considered doing a major tribute to John,” he mentioned. “But it surely instantly felt too valuable, too showbiz. I used to be going to have a whacking nice image of John and simply say, ‘He was my friend.’ Which was true. I’m completely proud to have labored with him.

Outsiders needed Paul to sing John’s most well-known solo tune. “But then people started saying, ‘Why don’t you do ‘Imagine?’” he recalled. “And I thought, ‘F****** hell, Diana Ross does ‘Imagine.’ They all do ‘Imagine.’” 

To place Paul’s remark in context, by 1990, “Imagine” had been coated by Elton John, David Bowie, Queen, Joan Baez, and others. Since 1990, it’s been carried out by Madonna, Girl Gaga, Avril Lavigne, Yoko Ono, Gal Gadot, and Willie Nelson. “Imagine” is likely one of the most ubiquitous requirements of recent occasions. Understandably, some followers really feel that masking “Imagine” has grow to be a tedious cliche. 

The ‘Silly Love Songs’ singer appeared to suggest he was a greater rock star than John Lennon

Realizing “Imagine” was overexposed modified Paul’s emotions. “That’s when I backed off the whole thing,” he mentioned. “You go on tour, you sing your songs, arrange ’em nice, do it, and if you do it well enough, that’s what people will remember.”

The “Silly Love Songs” singer clearly cared about John. Regardless of this, Paul was requested the place he put himself within the rock star pecking order and his phrases could possibly be seen as a slight in the direction of John. “I’d put me at the top. Just because I’m a competitor, man. You don’t have Ed Moses going around saying, ‘Sure, I’m the third-best hurdler in the world.’ You don’t find Mike Tyson saying, ‘Sure, there’s lots of guys who could beat me.’ You’ve got to slog, man.”

What Paul McCartney considered ‘Imagine’

Whereas Paul determined not to cowl “Imagine,” that doesn’t imply he dislikes the tune. Throughout a 2002 interview with Hot Press, he revealed the dissolution of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership was troublesome. Regardless of that, Paul mentioned John was in a position to write “Imagine” with out him and that “Imagine” was one of many biggest songs of all time. For context, John wrote “Imagine” with assist from Yoko Ono, and the tune was produced by John, Yoko, and Phil “The Long and Winding Road” Spector. 

Maybe Paul will cowl “Imagine” sometime. Nevertheless, it’s unlikely he might actually add a lot to the tune, which has been coated to loss of life. Paul could be higher off masking one of many uncared for tracks in John’s discography, like “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night.”

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