Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones surprised the world this week when he claimed in an interview that The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band—what many consider to be the best album of all time—was a "mishmash of rubbish." Few people could maintain a career after dissing The Beatles, but Richards, regardless of whether we agree with him, has that sort of clout. And he didn't forgive his own band from experimenting with psychedelia, comparing the "rubbish" of Sgt. Pepper's with the Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request. The guitarist wasn't shy about airing out his complaints regarding other huge acts, even when he was younger. In fact, during a 1969 interview with Rolling Stone, he badmouthed everyone from Led Zeppelin to, yes, The Beatles. Here are the seven bands he trashed, ranked from least to most caustic comments: 

NOTE: He did have kind things to say about some bands...Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Jethro Tull, oddly enough. 

07) Led Zeppelin 

"I played their album quite a few times when I first got it, but then the guy's voice started to get on my nerves. I don't know why; maybe he's a little too acrobatic." This is about as nice as any complaint about a band can get: I just can't get into the band's vocalist. It's prevented plenty of people who otherwise appreciate Rush or Neil Young's instrumentation or songwriting. Richards just acknowledges he's not a fan of Robert Plant's vocals, but he ends the discussion by noting how great Jimmy Page's guitar playing is (Rolling Stone notably misspelled it "Paige" in 1969, as the band had only released one album at that point). 

06) Blind Faith 

Here's another case where Richards essentially doesn't like a band because of its vocalist. He immediately acknowledges his appreciation for Eric Clapton's songwriting contribution ("Presence of The Lord") as well as Ginger Baker's ("Do What You Like")—perhaps he was a Cream fan?—but lays into Steve Winwood's three songs, claiming that the frontman hasn't "got himself together" after leaving the Spencer Davis Group (note that Winwood was only 21 at the time of this interview). The Stones leader's biggest beef was with Blind Faith's cover of Buddy Holly's "Well Alright Then": "Buddy's version was ten times better. It's not worth doing an old song unless you're gong to add to it."

05) Blood, Sweat & Tears

"I don't really like them...I don't really dig that sort of music but I suppose that's a bit unfair because I haven't heard very much by them," Richards said at the time. His main problem with the group is its use of a brass section, which apparently makes the band less "tight" by his reckoning. That's a little unfair for Richards to say, considering that his own band brought in the London Bach Choir to sing on "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for the very next album released after this interview, Let It Bleed

04) Creedence Clearwater Revival

Keith Richards occasionally high school-approach to bands, it would seem. As in, upon first take, they're the greatest thing in the world. And then, after a few listens, he's so over it. That fate seems to have befallen Led Zeppelin above, and it also reflects his feelings for Creedence Clearwater Revival. "When I first heard them, I was really knocked out, but I became bored with them very quickly. After a few times, it started to annoy me. They're so basic and simple that maybe it's a little too much." Surely he hadn't heard the group's Green River yet, as that truly kickstarted CCR's golden age of songwriting. 

03) The Band

Of all the complaints listed in this interview, his problems with The Band seem to be the most personal. He seems to have enjoyed the group's two releases up to that point—Music From The Big Pink and The Band—much like how everyone everywhere appreciated those releases. His beef with The Band stems from its inability to make the music come alive during a live show. The group was touring with Bob Dylan when he saw it, and Richards complained that he could have stayed home and listened to the record with the same effect. "It was like they were just playing the records on stage and at a fairly low volume," he said. "But they just didn't seem to come alive by themselves. I think that they're essentially an accompanying band. When they were backing up Dylan, there was a couple of times when they did get off."

02) The Beatles

Understand, of course, that Richards had probably had enough of the Beatles. As of 1969, the Stones had yet to enter its greatest stretch as a band and had, to this point, lived in the shadow of The Beatles and that band's masterful Revolver, Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper's and "The White Album." So he was going to throw stones, essentially claiming that a band that couldn't take its act on the road was hardly a band at all. "I think the Beatles had passed their performing peak even before they were famous. They are a recording band, while our scene is the concerts and many of our records were roughly made, on purpose. Our sort of scene is to have a really good time with the audience."

01) The Bee Gees

Yeah, right? No kidding that Keith Richards hates the Bee Gees. Keep in mind, of course, this was far before the group became the face of the disco movement. If you think the guitarist's words about the band's work as a psychedelic pop outfit are bad, imagine what he would have said if he were interviewed by Rolling Stone a decade later. "Well, they're in their own little fantasy world. You only have to read what they talk about in interviews . . . how many suits they've got and that kind of crap. It's all kid stuff, isn't it?"