Taking Sides: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

The good-natured rivalry between The Rolling Stones and The Beatles has gone down in history and why wouldn’t it; they were two British bands of similar ages that launched in the same era. The Beatles vs. The Stones is a notorious debate and we want to hear your voices.

I’m a Stones girl through and through, I fell in love with the moves of Mick Jagger and his crazy singing from a young age, I like the nit and grit of their sound and Beggars Banquet is one of my all time favorite albums. The Beatles on the other hand… with their mop tops and matching suits and cheeky humor didn’t quite win me over.

“The Beatles were thugs who were put across as nice blokes,” someone remarked, “and the Rolling Stones were gentlemen who were made into thugs by Andrew.”

The Believer Magazine ~ June/July 2007

What I loved most about this rivalry was their contrasting style; there was always something to be said about the bands’ aesthetics.  Tom Wolfe once said “The Beatles want to hold your hand, but the Stones want to burn down your town.” This back and forth banter made things fun and exciting and fueled everyone to pick a side. You were either Stones or The Beatles and it defined popular culture in the 60’s. To this day the question is still brought up in conversation and today we want to know your thoughts. Who do you chose and why?


  1. i love the beatles-everyone does they’re ammmazing. buuuut rolling stones exile on main street-come on. one of the best albums of all time. rolling stones are plain dirty, southern blues/rock awesomeness. anyone who begs to differ hasn’t heard enough rolling stones. rolling stones have their version of “all you need is love” as well- listen to “shine a light” or listen to the lyrics of “loving cup.” or if you have relationship issues listen to “play with fire.” or my personal all time fav-“sweet virginia”-there’s a harmonica :)

  2. stones all the way. no contest in my book. i love the beatles too and can’t deny that they broke new ground with every album and influenced so many people but the stones hold the #1 spot in my heart. i think it’s harder for us who did not live through beatlemania to understand their impact. i heard that when the doors were recording strange days, i believe, that they got a brand new release of Sgt. pepper’s loney hearts club band and after listening to it felt they could really explore new territory musically. in other words, they were very influenced.

  3. There is just no way I can choose between these two iconic bands. Both played revolutionary roles in music and came at a time when this revolution was necessary on various levels. The Beatles, with their metaphysical and even psychedelic pop cannot, to me, even be compared to The Rolling Stones, who initiated the idea of “classic rock”. I’ll admit I have more Stones songs on my iPod than Beatles, but without either of these bands life would “b flat”!

  4. What I love most about this is how great of friends the two bands actually were! In fact, they used to help each other write songs and even sat in on studio recordings with each other. George Harrison of the Beatles initially recommended the Stones to I believe it was Decca records, which then scouted them out and signed them on their first big record label! It was a pretty symbiotic relationship despite the drastic differences in stage appearance and ensembles. Musically, the Beatles were 10 steps ahead of the world in forming rock n’ roll music- they were innovative and real pioneers when it came to psychedllic sounds. Instead of making the music about the drug, they made music the trip. But the Stones, also one of my favorite bands, took rhythm and blues and completely revolutionized the sound. Personally, I’m not sure I could define who was better.

  5. Most definitely the Stones. I respect the Beatles, but I can’t really say I love listening to most of their music (though it greatly improved the more they ‘experimented’) I was raised on the dirty sound of the Stones and, in my life experiences, I can connect with their sound and lyrics much more than the Beatles. They’re just so versatile. My favorite thing about them is their passion—listen to all the covers of Wild Horses you want, but no one will make you believe it like Mick.

  6. Apples and Oranges! The Beatles perfected the pop song and the Rolling Stones were more into blues, rock and even country. They are both incredible, but both incredibly different, in terms of musical style and song writing technique. This question should be abolished!

  7. The Beatles. It’s like comparing Ace of Base to Radiohead. One is good. One isn’t. One pushed themselves to create a new sound time and time again. One STILL plays the same drab songs and never evolved. I think The Stones are a weird bandwagon thing. They aren’t very talented songwriters or musicians. Oh and The Stones can thank the Beats for their career. Early on, when they were trying to gain fame, The Beatles wrote a song called “ I wanna be your man”…well they discarded it and allowed The Stones to record it and it shot them to the top of the charts. Funny though, cause The Beatles didn’t like their version of their song so they re-recorded it themselves. Badass.

  8. The Beatles. I agree that both bands are very different which makes them difficult to compare but The Beatles will forever be the most amazing and influential band that has ever lived. They changed music. The Stones were important within their genre but The Beatles are important within every genre of music.

  9. I’m much more of a Stones fan. Bring in Zeppelin and that’s a whole different story. I like what the Rolling Stones did with the blues and how it still sounds very bluesy while being rock. I love Keith’s guitar sound compared to Gerorge Harrison’s as well. Totally different, but that is where I stand.

  10. The Rolling Stones. I could never get into the Beatles. I like some of there songs, but nope. I’m surely not a fan, but definitely a Rolling Stones fan.

  11. The Beatles! My dad and I listen to their music all the time. Sometimes he would play some of their songs on his guitar

  12. If anyone can find any phenomenon coming from the Rolling Stones, or any other band for that matter, with a phenomenon comparable to Beatlemania, then i will agree that the Beatles are not the greatest band of all time. Personally I think the Beatles will forever hold the number one position, then Led Zeppelin, then Rolling Stones.

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  14. I watched a Stones concert in the nineties, afterwards dragged myself off this muddy field en ticked it off my bucketlist. The setlist was like one, long r&b song.
    Two years ago I went to see Paul Mc Cartney. Had a revelation and realised how varied his craftmanship and songs were. Went home and added some more Paul mc Cartney to my bucketlist.
    And that was only ONE Beatle!

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