Keith Richards says Beatles' Sgt Pepper album was 'rubbish'

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has denounced the 1967 Beatles album famed for its experimentation.
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has denounced the 1967 Beatles album famed for its experimentation.REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - Half a century later, the famous rivalry between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones may not be over.

Stones guitarist Keith Richards in a new interview has denounced Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 1967 album by The Beatles famed for its experimentation.

Richards told Esquire magazine that the Fab Four "sounded great" when they stayed true to their original sound but "got carried away."

"Why not? If you're The Beatles in the sixties, you just get carried away - you forget what it is you wanted to do," he said.

He said of Sgt. Pepper: "Some people think it's a genius album, but I think it's a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties."

He was referring to Their Satanic Majesties Request, the Stones' psychedelic album that came out in 1967 shortly after Sgt. Pepper and which Richards has previously described as the Stones' work of which he is least proud.

The Beatles recorded Sgt. Pepper after retiring from touring and the album has often been seen as a historic moment in turning pop albums into broader artistic concepts.

Moving away from The Beatles' pop roots, Sgt. Pepper takes influences from a range of genres, including Indian classical music after guitarist George Harrison travelled to India and became enthralled by Hindu philosophy.

Richards next month is releasing Crosseyed Heart, his first solo album in 23 years.

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were global superstars in the 1960s, inevitably leading to talk of a rivalry between the well-mannered Fab Four and the grittier Stones.

Some music historians, however, believe that the supposed rift was more the result of marketing and press scrutiny rather than any deep-seated animosity between the artists.