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.
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.
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.”