Keith Richards Hated This One Beatles Album

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Many music critics, historians, and fans consider The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album a masterpiece. But a certain rock star is not one of those people.

The Beatles
The Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (photo via Genius)

Even though Mick Jagger admitted The Rolling Stones copied everything The Beatles did, Keith Richards is still not too impressed by The Beatles’ famous record.

For example, one of the ways the Stones followed in The Beatles’ footsteps was with their album Satanic Majesties, which came out the same year as Sgt. Pepper. The two albums have nearly the same cover art, featuring the bands dressed in almost identical garb.

And yet, Richards threw Sgt. Pepper under the bus along with Satanic Majesties.

“Some people think [Sgt. Pepper is] a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties,” Richards told Esquire. “‘Oh, if you can make a load of shit, so can we.'”

At first, you might think this is jealousy.

The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones’ “Satanic Majesties” (photo via Feel Numb)

I mean, Mick Jagger even said, “We have to be better because we’re only number two,” citing The Beatles as number one. The Stones were playing second fiddle and everyone knew it.

But I think Richards’ disregard for Sgt. Pepper comes from a respect for The Beatles — The Fab Four as they were in their heyday.

“The Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles,” he said. “But there’s not a lot of roots in that music. I think they got carried away. Why not? If you’re the Beatles in the ’60s, you just get carried away — you forget what it is you wanted to do. You’re starting to do Sgt. Pepper.”

He also described how — despite The Beatles’ image of four proper Brit musicians — they were just as wild as the Stones were.

“[People] talk about us, [but with] the Beatles, those chicks wore those guys out,” Richards said. “They stopped touring in 1966 — they were done already. They were ready to go to India and s**t.”

What do you think of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Where would you rank it among all The Beatles albums?

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Caleb Murphy is a musician who writes about music. His writing appears in Consequence Of Sound, Pittsburgh City Paper, and some other cool places. He blogs about music at calebjmurphy.com.
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  • strangebrutoo

    I personally think the Sgt. Pepper album was just ok. The only songs I really still like are “With a little help”, Lucy in the sky”, “Within you Without You”, “A Day in the life”. But its the White album that was (not totally, but) mostly just a “mishmash of rubbish”, except for “While My Guitar” and “Bungalow Bill”. Even John Lennon implied the same.

  • Tim McMillan

    Keith Richards is a booze-soaked dipshit.

    • Randy Wilcox

      yeah but he is spot on about pepper

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