Paul McCartney has controversially likened The Rolling Stones to a "blues cover band".

During an interview with The New Yorker, the 79-year-old musician was asked how The Beatles compared to other popular bands formed in the 1960s, and he insisted the group's catalogue was broader.

"I'm not sure I should say it, but they're a blues cover band, that's sort of what the Stones are," McCartney said. "I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs."

This is not the first time the music legend has commented on The Beatles' longstanding rivalry with the rock band. Speaking to Howard Stern last year, he agreed with the presenter that The Beatles were a better band, but contended that "the Stones are a fantastic group" and that he still sees them live when possible.

"They are rooted in the blues. When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. Whereas we had a little more influences," the star explained to Stern. "There's a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I'm with you. The Beatles were better."

Following the remarks, Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger responded, "That's so funny."

"He's a sweetheart," he continued. "There's obviously no competition."

The vocalist added that his group was different from The Beatles due to them being a "big concert band".

"They broke up before that business started, the touring business for real didn't start until the end of the Sixties," Jagger, 78, insisted. "That's the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and the other band doesn't exist."