John Lennon Always Made It Clear He Was Bored When The Beatles Worked on Songs He Didn’t Write

None of The Beatles liked working on the songs they didn’t write. According to a band engineer, John Lennon was the worst offender by far.

The Beatles split songwriting duties amongst themselves, much to John Lennon’s frustration. While he thought Paul McCartney and George Harrison wrote some good songs, he didn’t like working on the music they wrote. According to audio engineer Geoff Emerick, every Beatle was like this, but Lennon was the worst offender. He made his boredom, frustration, and distaste quite apparent.

John Lennon begrudgingly worked on Beatles songs he didn’t write

While Lennon and McCartney wrote most of the early Beatles songs in close collaboration, they took a more individualistic approach as the years passed. In addition, Harrison began writing more songs. This meant that Lennon had to focus more of his attention on songs he didn’t write.

According to Emerick, this was not something Lennon liked to do. While he brought a great deal of energy into the studio when the band worked on his songs, he was bored and restless while they worked on the others’.

“John was in a pretty good mood that day too — he seemed to come to life when we were working on one of his own songs, rather than one of Paul’s or George’s,” Emerick wrote in his book Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. “True, all three of them exhibited a lack of patience if it wasn’t their song — there was always a definite drop-off in interest whenever any one of them was working on another Beatle’s composition — but John was consistently the most flagrant offender.”

This often led to tension in the studio, particularly in the second half of the 1960s.

John Lennon was sometimes openly distasteful of the other Beatles’ songs

Lennon made his frustration evident when he worked on his bandmate’s songs, and he also did little to hide his disgust when he disliked their music. He frequently bemoaned McCartney’s “granny music,” even when McCartney was in the room with him.

One of his least favorite McCartney songs was “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” Whenever they worked on it — which, unfortunately for Lennon, was often — he openly complained.

“I saw the grimaces flicker across the faces of George Harrison and Ringo, and I’m quite sure that none of us missed the sheer look of disgust on John’s — this was a McCartney composition that Lennon openly and vocally detested,” Emerick wrote.

Who wrote the most songs in The Beatles?

Luckily for Lennon, the majority of The Beatles’ songs were ones he wrote. Per Ultimate Classic Rock, Lennon wrote 95 of The Beatles’ songs. McCartney trailed closely behind, penning 90 songs for the band.

While Harrison wanted his bandmates to take him seriously as a songwriter, he didn’t write nearly as much as they did. He only wrote 25 of their songs.

Ringo Starr wasn’t much of a writer, but The Beatles gave him opportunities to take songwriting credit. In total, Starr wrote five songs for the band.

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