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.

Bouncing Bobby Hilburn, The Times' quintessential journalistic masochist, dives nose first into "Sgt. Pepper," asking the readers to join him in defining the Beatles work on the same lamebrained level as his.

Clearly, this is a man aching for response, any response.

Who in their right mind is going to jump on that bandwagon? Not this kid, that's for sure . . . because, with all of his profound, artistically relevant posturing, the album remains what it has always been, a masterpiece.


Van Nuys

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