Against “Sgt. Pepper”: The Beatles classic made pop seem male, nerdy and “important” — and that wasn’t a good thing

(Credit: Salon/Flora Thevoux)

For those who find Rolling Stone-style hagiography tiresome, last Friday was a rough day. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the most celebrated record by the most celebrated band in the history of pop music, turned 50 years old. Men who love rock music got really competitive trying to outdo each other with their lofty prose exalting the greatness of this seminal album.

Calling it the best album ever, William Goldman of Billboard wrote, “‘Sgt....

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