For Paul McCartney, the decision to fill most of the Beatles’ albums with songs composed alongside John Lennon — rather than those of George Harrison and Ringo Starr — came down to productivity.
“There’s only four people,” McCarney told Howard Stern. “So you’ve got to go: ‘Well, two of us will do this.’ Or you’ve got to say: ‘We’re all going to write equally.’ Well, in that case, Ringo better up his game a bit — because John and I were writing; George and Ringo weren’t.”
Over time, of course, Harrison began grow by leaps and bounds as a songwriter. By 1969, he’d crafted a No. 1 single for the Beatles in “Something.”
“He’d written a couple before that on some of the earlier albums,” McCartney says. “They were really good. He was starting to shape up. But he’d never seemed that interested — I suppose, because John and I were kind of dominating it.”
Harrison would ultimately compose some 19 songs while with the Beatles — including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Taxman” and “Here Comes the Sun.” Starr was credited with two solo contributions (“Octopus’s Garden,” and “Don’t Pass Me By”), while collaborating on three others (“What Goes On,” “Flying” and “Dig It”).