Jeremy Clarkson shared he found some of The Beatles’ catalogue “forgettable” and “just plain awful” as he discussed the British band today. The Clarkson’s Farm star spoke on John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s ability to produce tunes as he paid tribute to legendary songwriter Burt Bacharach who died earlier this week.
Questioning if Burt is the best songwriter of all time, Jeremy typed: “It’s fair to say that even the most talented songwriters only ever produce a handful of songs that can be considered truly great.
“In the eight years they worked together, Lennon and McCartney wrote 180 songs but some of those were forgettable, and some were just plain awful,” he added.
Jeremy deducted that the Liverpool-born band “wrote fewer than ten songs” that he considered to be “absolute belters”.
The motoring expert continued: “I’m a massive Who fan but even I’ll admit that in all the time they’ve been together, only five or six songs are up there with the best of the best.
“All of which brings me on to Burt Bacharach, who died this week at the age of 94.
“He wrote Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head which was used in Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid to create my favourite movie scene of all time.
“And that was just the tip of the iceberg,” he finished.
Burt wrote enduring hits like I Say A Little Prayer, Walk On By and What The World Needs Now Is Love.
Along with lyricist Hal David, he also wrote numerous movie themes including What’s New Pussycat?, Alfie and The Look Of Love – a major hit for Dusty Springfield.
Another collaborator, Dionne Warwick, said the songwriter’s death was like “losing a family member”.
Burt died on Wednesday at home in Los Angeles of natural causes, his publicist Tina Brausam said.
Known for his airborne melodies and sumptuous orchestral arrangements, Bacharach was one of the most important songwriters of the 20th Century.
Over his career, he scored more than 50 chart hits in the US and UK, with artists including Warwick, Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Tom Jones, Aretha Franklin and Elvis Costello all recording his songs.
Burt won three Oscars, two Golden Globes and six competitive Grammy Awards, and was hailed as music’s “greatest living composer” when he accepted the Grammy lifetime achievement honour in 2008.
In her tribute, Dionne said: “These words I’ve been asked to write are being written with sadness over the loss of my Dear Friend and my Musical Partner.
“On the lighter side, we laughed a lot and had our run-ins but always found a way to let each other know our family-like roots were the most important part of our relationship.”
Meanwhile led by primary songwriters John and Paul, The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over three years from 1960.
The core trio of John, Paul and George Harrison, were together from 1958, and went through a succession of drummers, including Pete Best, before asking Ringo Starr to join them in 1962.
As their popularity grew, the intense fan frenzy was dubbed “Beatlemania” and the band acquired the nickname “the Fab Four”.
They had worldwide success until 1970 when Paul filed for the dissolution of the band.