Paul McCartney Said 1 ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Review ‘Offended’ The Beatles

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of the most acclaimed albums ever, however, it inspired a review that made the Fab Four bitter. Paul McCartney revealed the review was upsetting because of what it said about their producer, George Martin, and how that reflected on the rest of the band. Here’s what Paul had to say about Sgt. Pepper  — and what Martin had to say on the same topic.

The Beatles celebrating the release of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
The Beatles | John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images

What Paul McCartney said about George Martin and his contributions to ‘Sgt. Pepper’

During an interview with Paul Gambaccinni of Rolling Stone, Paul discussed many topics, including the album Ram, Steve McQueen, Marvin Gaye, and “Long Tail Sally.” Gambaccinni asked Paul how much Martin contributed to “Yesterday” and other songs by the Fab Four. Paul revealed “George’s contribution was quite a big one, actually…. George was in there quite heavily from the beginning.” Paul then started discussing a review of Sgt. Pepper that gave Martin a tremendous amount of credit for creating the album.


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“The time we got offended, I’ll tell you, was one of the reviews, I think about Sgt. Pepper—one of the reviews said, ‘This is George Martin’s finest album,’” Paul recalled. “We got shook; I mean, ‘We don’t mind him helping us, it’s great, it’s a great help, but it’s not his album, folks, you know.’ And there got to be a little bitterness over that. A bit help, but Christ, if he’s goin’ to get all the credit… for the whole album….” Paul then trailed off and played with his children.

The title track of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

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How accurate was this controversial review of The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper?’

The review’s statement was undoubtedly hyperbolic. It would be factually inaccurate to say the album was Martin’s and Martin’s alone. It’s not as if Martin performed all of the instruments and vocals on the album. In addition, Martin received none of the songwriting credits for the songs on the album. However, while Martin was not solely responsible for Sgt. Pepper, his contributions should not be ignored. After all, he produced the album — even winning the Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Album in the process. 

George Martin wearing white
George Martin | Clarence Davis/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

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Was ‘Sgt. Pepper’ George Martin’s favorite Beatles album?

Oddly enough, Martin didn’t consider Sgt. Pepper his favorite Beatles album. According to The Telegraph, he said “I’ve got quite a few favorite Beatles albums. I like Revolver very much and I like Rubber Soul very much, but I’m very fond of Abbey Road.” Martin didn’t even discuss Sgt. Pepper while discussing his favorite Beatles albums. While a critic clearly felt Sgt. Pepper was Martin’s best work, Martin did not regard the album as highly.

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