Pepper pot shots: which classic albums do you love to hate?

Keith Richards recalls the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s as a ‘mishmash of rubbish’. Which lauded albums do you think are overrated? Vent your anger here….

The album cover of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Beatles (1967). Photograph: PA

According to Keith Richards’s tell-all autobiography, on the night of the 1967 Redlands drug bust, the guitarist had taken so much LSD that as the police arrived at his Sussex country mansion, he genuinely thought they were uniformed dwarves and welcomed them in with open arms. You’d assume that a man known for his acid-inducted exploits would be partial to the trippy sensibilities of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album so littered with drug references that tracks like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and A Day in the Life were banned by the BBC.

As it turns out, however, Keef has little patience for the record once described by Time magazine as “a historic departure in the progress of music – any music”.

“Some people think it’s a genius album,” Richards recently told Esquire, “but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish”.

He’s not the first artist to assassinate the Beatles record. In 2007, Billy Childish told the Guardian of his hatred for the album, a piece of music, he believes, that “signalled the death of rock’n’roll”:

It sounds like it took six months to shit out. The Beatles were the victims of their success. This is middle-of-the-road rock music for plumbers. Or people who drive round in Citroëns – the sort of corporate hippies who ruined rock music. I bought it the day it came out: it was ideal for a seven-year-old. These days, well, it’s my contention that it represents the death of the Beatles as a rock’n’roll band and the birth of them as music hall, which is hardly a victory. The main problem with Sgt Pepper is Sir Paul’s maudlin obsession with his own self-importance and Dickensian misery. (Paul McCartney is the dark one in the Beatles, not John Lennon, because he writes such depressing, scary music.) It’s like a Sunday before school that goes on forever. It’s too dark and twisted for anyone with any light in their life. Then again, when he tries to be upbeat, it rings false – like having a clown in the room. The best thing about the album was the cardboard insert with some medals, a badge and a moustache. But the military jackets they wore on the front made them look like a bunch of grammar-school boys dressed by their mummy. When I was in Thee Mighty Caesars we did a rip-off of the sleeve for an album called John Lennon’s Corpse Revisited, featuring the Beatles’ heads on stakes. This isn’t the greatest album ever made; in fact, it’s the worst Beatles album up to that point. Live at the Star Club trounces it with ease.

There’s a certain joy to criticising a classic album, dissecting and degrading the untouchable – it’s an act the likes of Mark Ronson, Wayne Coyne and Ian Rankintook great pleasure in doing here – and there’s even a whole blog set up to take down music’s most overrated records.

So what albums do you dislike that the rest of the world celebrate? Let us know!

Via the Guardian



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