A 1960s Rock Star Felt The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ Was Disappointing

Two members of the same 1960s band clashed over The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” One of the bandmates thought Paul McCartney sounded like Little Richard on “Hey Jude.”

Some opinions just don’t age well. A member of a pioneering 1960s band said The Beatles‘ “Hey Jude” didn’t live up to the Fab Four’s early songs. One of his bandmates told him he was wrong. That bandmate went on to become a star in his own right.

Kenny Loggins clashed with his bandmate over The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’

Superstar Kenny Loggins was once a member of the psychedelic rock band The Electric Prunes. Today, The Electric Prunes are most known for their early hits “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)” and “Get Me to the World on Time.” During a 2022 interview with Stereogum, he named “Hey Jude” as his favorite composition by Paul McCartney.

“I was probably just joining The Electric Prunes when ‘Hey Jude’ came out,” Loggins recalled. “I was writing with a keyboardist named Jeromy Stuart. He was really ready to try to knock The Beatles off their throne. I think it was ‘Hey Jude’ because the vamp went on and on and on. He was like, ‘This isn’t good as their early stuff.’ I said, ‘I don’t know. I think it is.’”

Kenny Loggins said 1 of The Beatles’ songs won’t get anyone to leave their wife

Loggins contrasted Paul’s ballads with some of his other tracks. “I think the ballads were his more special tunes to me,” Loggins revealed. “With ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Hey Jude,’ he wrote lyrics that mattered,” he said. “If you look at something like ‘Get Back,’ they’re doing all these disposable lyrics. They’re using a lot of double entendre, oblique images, stream-of-consciousness imagery that really doesn’t do much.

“It’s not like, ‘Oh my God, that meant so much to me I left my wife,’” Loggins opined. “It’s not that kind of tune! But with ‘Hey Jude,’ it’s clear to me this stuff mattered to him.”

Loggins also praised Paul’s vocal performance on the song, comparing it to the vocals of Little Richard. He’s probably talking about the part towards the end of the tune where Paul’s voice gets more raspy. In Loggins’ opinion, Paul’s voice brought a whole new level of emotion to the track.

What Paul McCartney thought of ‘Hey Jude’ in retrospect

While The Electric Prunes’ Stuart wasn’t impressed with “Hey Jude,” Paul was. During a 1989 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Paul cited “Hey Jude” as one of the best songs of his career, alongside other classics such as “The Fool on the Hill,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “All My Loving,” and “Here, There and Everywhere.” He said “Hey Jude” felt like one of his children.

In Paul’s opinion, it’s impossible to know what a song is going to mean to different people. For that reason, it was a joy to watch “Hey Jude” take on a life of its own.

It’s clear “Hey Jude” has taken on a life of its own considering it inspired so many covers. The singers that covered the track include Katy Perry, The New Christy Minstrels (in a mashup with Donovan’s “Atlantis”), Wilson Pickett, the Glee cast, Twenty One Pilots, and BTS.

Stuart didn’t have a positive view of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” but that didn’t seem to slow the song down.

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