John Lennon Called a Fan-Favorite Beatles Album the ‘Biggest Load of S***’ the Band Ever Made

John Lennon often looked back on Beatles’ music with disgust. He said one popular album was one of the worst things the band made.

Upon reflection, John Lennon disliked many of The Beatles’ songs and albums. He acknowledged that fans liked the music, but he thought he was capable of more. One of the albums Lennon claimed to hate was among The Beatles’ most well-known and well-loved. Here’s what he had to say about it.

John Lennon was not a fan of a much-loved Beatles album

While recording the White Album, audio engineer Geoff Emerick decided he couldn’t stomach working with The Beatles anymore. They continuously fought in the studio, turning their vitriol on anyone within eyesight. When he told the band he was quitting, they seemed suitably ashamed.

As I headed down to face them, I could see George Harrison, Ringo, and, surprisingly, even Paul all staring down at the ground like guilty schoolboys,” Emerick wrote in his book Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. “Only John Lennon had the courage to look me in the eye, and what he said really surprised me.”

Lennon attempted to compliment Emerick’s work with the band.

“Come on, Geoff, you can’t be serious about this,” Lennon told him. “We need you, man, you can’t just walk out on us in the middle of an album. I mean, everyone always says what a great record Pepper was, even though I think it’s the biggest load of s*** we’ve ever done.”

While Emerick recognized that this was Lennon’s attempt at flattery, his personal opinion of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band deflated the sentiment.

Geoff Emerick noted that this comment seemed to hurt Paul McCartney

While Lennon admitted to disliking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Emerick understood that the opinion wasn’t meant to hurt him. Instead, he thought Lennon wanted his words to hit Paul McCartney.

“John, I guess, was by that point viewing the rawness of the White Album as his personal answer to the polish of Sgt. Pepper, which was largely Paul’s brainchild,” Emerick wrote. “He was probably attempting to flatter me, but he couldn’t resist the temptation to hurl an insult in Paul’s direction at the same time.”

To Emerick, this indicated that the negative feelings between The Beatles were there to stay. It was the whole reason he wanted to leave, so Lennon’s words did nothing to dissuade him. He quit working for The Beatles, at least temporarily.

John Lennon liked at least 1 song on the album

While Lennon confessed to disliking Sgt. Pepper, he grew to appreciate at least one of the songs on the album. He enjoyed the song “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.”

“The whole song is from a Victorian poster, which I bought in a junk shop,” he said in the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview With John Lennon and Yoko Ono by David Sheff. “It is so cosmically beautiful. It’s a poster for a fair that must have happened in the 1800s. Everything in the song is from that poster, except the horse wasn’t called Henry. Now, there were all kinds of stories about Henry the Horse being heroin. I had never seen heroin in that period. No, it’s all just from that poster. The song is pure, like a painting, a pure watercolor.”

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