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Portrait of English band The Beatles, the singers and musicians John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (Richard Parkin Starkey). 1960s. (Photo by Mondadori via Getty Images)
History - Science
Lennon and McCartney’s Beef
Out of 600 people who responded to our survey, only 7% chose the feud between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, which occupied the bottom at fifth place. During the early 1970s, Lennon responded to McCartney's solo track "Too Many People" with "How Do You Sleep?," an even more pointed tirade directed at his former songwriting partner.
The 'butcher' album
At fourth place was the controversy over the "butcher" album cover of "Yesterday and Today," a 1966 release for the U.S. market, which featured all four Beatles wearing butcher coats and posing with raw meat and decapitated dolls. The cover was eventually replaced with an old band photo and the "butcher" cover has become a collector's item.
Coming in at third place at 23% was the urban legend of Paul McCartney's supposed car crash death and replaced by William "Billy Shears" Campbell in the band. However, McCartney is still very much alive, and the final lyric of "Strawberry Fields Forever" refers to a fruit rather than Lennon announcing that he has buried his bandmate.
Anti-Vietnam War ‘bed-ins’
Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono took second place when they went to cities around the world, sitting in bed and entertaining celebrity guests as they sought to spread the message of peace. The Montreal bed-in generated the most controversy, though, when Ono declared she would put an end to Adolf Hitler by becoming his girlfriend and spending 10 days in bed with him.
A total 30.67% of respondents felt that Lennon saying the Beatles were "more popular" than Jesus represented the most bizarre Beatles controversy ever, allowing it to take the No. 1 spot in our survey. Lennon would later issue an apology, telling reporters he wasn't implying that the Beatles are "better or greater" than Jesus Christ or God.