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With Revolver, the Beatles made the Great Leap Forward, reaching a previously unheard-of level of sophistication and fearless experimentation. Sgt. Pepper, in many ways, refines that breakthrough, as the Beatles consciously synthesized such disparate influences as psychedelia, art-song, classical music, rock & roll, and music hall, often in the course of one song. Not once does the diversity seem forced — the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm 64" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita." There's no discounting the individual contributions of each member or their producer, George Martin, but the preponderance of whimsy and self-conscious art gives the impression that Paul McCartney is the leader of the Lonely Hearts Club Band. He dominates the album in terms of compositions, setting the tone for the album with his unabashed melodicism and deviously clever arrangements. In comparison, Lennon's contributions seem fewer, and a couple of them are a little slight but his major statements are stunning. "With a Little Help From My Friends" is the ideal Ringo tune, a rolling, friendly pop song that hides genuine Lennon anguish, à la "Help!"; "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" remains one of the touchstones of British psychedelia; and he's the mastermind behind the bulk of "A Day in the Life," a haunting number that skillfully blends Lennon's verse and chorus with McCartney's bridge. It's possible to argue that there are better Beatles albums, yet no album is as historically important as this. After Sgt. Pepper, there were no rules to follow — rock and pop bands could try anything, for better or worse. Ironically, few tried to achieve the sweeping, all-encompassing embrace of music as the Beatles did here.

Track   Duration 1 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 2:02 2 With a Little Help From My Friends 2:44 3 Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds 3:28 4 Getting Better 2:47 5 Fixing a Hole 2:36 6 Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! 2:37 6 She's Leaving Home 3:35 7 When I'm Sixty-Four 2:37 8 Within You Without You 5:05 9 Lovely Rita 2:42 10 Good Morning Good Morning 2:41 11 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) 1:18 12 A Day in the Life 5:33
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Performer:  The Beatles
Release Date:  June 1, 1967
Label:  Capitol
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Quick Tip by . November 27, 2010
posted in Music Matters
The first, true concept album, followed closely in both time and quality by the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds.
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2010
Huge multi-faceted body of work, major influence on rock music, enduring favorites with some forgettable flops
review by . March 23, 2009
posted in Music Matters
It's easy to see why
I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was September 1967 and  I was entering my junior year of high school.  All the kids on the bus that morning were talking about the same thing.  Just a few weeks earlier The Beatles had released "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".   This was a record like no other and it would change the course of rock and roll forever!   Everything about this album was unique.  The cover art …
Sgt. Pepper's Loely Hearts Club Band
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