Last week Robert Hilburn argued that the "Sgt. Pepper" LP--despite remaining a "landmark work"--is not the Beatles' best album because it is weighted down by seven songs that "represent the longest stretch of mediocre material" the group ever recorded. Calendar letter writers were not pleased--by a 9-1 ratio.
I can see the hate mail comin' in.
But Hilburn's right. "Sgt. Pepper" is vastly overrated. What seemed fresh and wondrous 20 years ago has not worn well.
Which is not to say it's a bad album. Yesterday's milestones are often just weathered markers today on the rock 'n' roll road.