Keef calls Beatles classic 'mishmash of rubbish'

Keith Richards has slammed the Beatles’ landmark 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as a “mishmash of rubbish.”

And he says the Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request, released later the same year, is just as bad.

Rolling Stone named Sgt Pepper the Greatest Album Of All Time in 2003 and it’s often considered to be a key moment in the development of prog rock, art rock and using production techniques as an art form.

But Richards tells Esquire: “The Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles. 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.

“Some people think it’s a genius album – but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties. ‘Oh, if you can make a load of shit, so can we.’”

The guitarist has also compared the bands’ experiences with performing live. He says: “A whole roomful of chicks yelling at you is not so shabby – because the year before, nobody would look at you. But they talk about us? The Beatles, those chicks wore those guys out.

“They stopped touring in 1966 – they were done already. They were ready to go to India and shit.”

Richards is preparing to release Crosseyed Heart on September 18 – his first solo effort in over two decades. That same day, a documentary about his life will premiere on Netflix. He recently revealed his desire to record with Mick Jagger and co again.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.