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Are Queen 'More Relevant Than The Beatles'?

22 August 2023 | 2:25 pm | Mary Varvaris

"The Beatles never made anything you could play at a huge sporting event..."

Queen's Brian May and The Beatles

Queen's Brian May and The Beatles (Credit: Justin Ma, Supplied)

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Steve Lillywhite, the record producer and engineer behind-the-scenes on Matchbox Twenty’s Exile On Mainstream, Siouxsie And The BansheesThe Scream, and the legendary U2 albums Boy, October, War, and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, amongst many others, has riled up music fans by saying Queen give The Beatles a run for their money.

Starring on Warren Huart’s Produce Like A Pro podcast, Lillywhite shared his belief that a band like Queen is the greatest in the world due to their ability to control a crowd.

Starting by saying that it’s always “The Beatles when you talk about the greatest bands ever,” Lillywhite said, “there’s an argument now that the Beatles never made anything you could play in a stadium. The Beatles never made anything you could play at a huge sporting event.”

Lillywhite added, “So Queen, when you talk about the greatest bands ever… I would never say anyone is greater than The Beatles, but there’s an argument right now that Queen, because of their ability to transcend stadiums, there’s an argument that they are more relevant today than the Beatles are.”

You can watch the full interview below.

Of course, anyone who’s seen Paul McCartney live would digress: haven’t you seen the man command a stadium while performing Hey Jude or Yesterday?

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Yes, Queen held audiences in the palm of Freddie Mercury’s hand – notably during the band’s iconic 1985 Live Aid set – but that doesn’t mean Paul McCartney, or The Beatles don’t or didn’t possess a similar power while performing on stage.

In response to Lillywhite’s comments, one Twitter user commented, “Bollocks. And We Will Rock You is an overrated pile of wank. The first solo is the only bit I like. The rest is wank.”

Another user added, “I have nothing against Steve Lillywhite or his work, but the Beatles were one of the first bands to play stadiums... like, their Shea Stadium concert was legendary. You don't even need to Google that, it's common knowledge in the world of rock. Jeez!”

Yesterday, The Music reported that the hit Queen single, Fat Bottomed Girls, won’t feature on the band’s upcoming Greatest Hits collection on Yoto, a new screen-free audio player for children.

In recent Paul McCartney news, the Beatle and Wings frontman announced an additional show in Sydney to his October and November Got Back Australian tour due to phenomenal demand.

McCartney begins his Got Back Australian tour with an intimate gig at Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist will head to Melbourne and Newcastle stadiums, followed by two nights in Sydney, then to Brisbane, and the Gold Coast, with McCartney performing in Newcastle and the Gold Coast for the first time. Tickets to his upcoming tour are on sale via Frontier Touring.