The debate has raged for so long that most fans assume that there was a heated rivalry between the Beatles and the Rolling Stones themselves.
In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
The Beatles were already the objects of early-Beatlemania in Great Britain, when they offered a Lennon-McCartney composition to the London based quintet whose edginess they admired (and quietly coveted). “I Wanna Be Your Man” became the Rolling Stones first hit single, reaching number twelve on the British charts.
And the collaborations between the two bands didn’t end there.
Brian Jones appears - playing saxophone - on one of the Beatles’ more obscure tracks, “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)”.
Mick and Keith lent background vocals on “All You Need is Love”, with John and Paul reciprocating on the Stones’ “We Love You”.
The ill-fated “Rolling Stones Rock ‘n Roll Circus” featured The Dirty Mac - a Lennon-fronted band that included Eric Clapton on guitar, Mitch Mitchell on drums, and Keith Richards - on bass, performing a blistering version of The Beatles’ “Yer Blues.”
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in fact were good friends, going so far as to schedule record releases so as not to coincide with one another.
That’s not to say, however, that no rivalry existed. Clearly, each bands successes fueled the other to strive for even greater heights.
So, is “The Rivalry” overblown? Is it simply a concoction of the press and the fans (as the bands themselves have suggested)?
Or, was it truly, “A Battle for the Ages?” You be the judge!