I have a friend in Chico, California (a magical place where Cesar Chavez Day is an excuse for frat boys to start drinking tequila at 9 a.m.) who puts on cover nights typically with a "vs." theme, for example Guns 'N Roses vs. Metallica or Elvis vs. Elvis (as in Costello vs. Presley). They're always a good time. A couple of years ago he hosted a Beatles vs. Rolling Stones cover night, and tons of local bands came out and ably interpreted the bands' songs. This particular night was different—simply because it immediately raised that age-old question: Who's better, The Beatles or the Stones?

I bring this up in light of the recent release of the Beatles' remasters (Hey, the compact disc is all but dead... let's re-release the entire catalog on CD!). Although I just listened to the remastered versions of Abbey Road and Help!, and I must say they do sound much better than the 1987 CD releases (warmer, and the bass and drums really jump). But that's neither here nor there. The songs are brilliant, whether it's the early ramshackle pop or the epic, psychedelic masterpieces, and the influence is all over anything worth a damn. Of course, it has always been more "punk" to say you like the Rolling Stones. In 2007 The Believer published an article on the rivalry, using an old quote from Tom Wolfe that seems to put it most succinctly: "The Beatles want to hold your hand, but the Stones want to burn down your town."

After playing that cover night two years ago I finally decided that the Fab Four go all Maxwell's-Silver-Hammer on Mick and the boys. And over the past week I haven't been able to get enough of the Help! album or the McCartney-penned song below. Like I said, the question's been asked a million times... but it still makes for some fun and spirited discussion. Besides, there's no right or wrong answer. Right?

The Beatles, "The Night Before"