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Lunch » Tags » Music » Reviews » Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (LP) » User review

It's easy to see why "Rolling Stone" rates this the greatest album of all-time.

  • Mar 23, 2009
Rating:
+5
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 was positively sensational and for the first time ever the lyrics of the songs were printed on the back of an album cover.  It was also by all accounts the very first "concept" album although in the fantastic liner notes producer George Martin reveals that the project certainly did not start out that way "but it soon developed a life of it's own."   Martin goes on to say " I remember it warmly, as both a tremendous challenge and a highly rewarding experience.  For me, it was the most innovative, imaginative and trend-setting record of its time."    Yes, in myriad ways "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" broke virtually all of the rules and ushered in a new and far more creative era in rock and roll history.  The shackles had been broken and the possiblities seemed infinite.

For all of the cultural significance surrounding  the release of "Sgt. Pepper" what really seperates this album from all others is obviously the music.  You have to understand the context in which this record was recorded.  After several years of "Beatlemania" John, Paul, George and Ringo were tired of being The Beatles.  This was an exceptionally talented bunch who aspired to much more.  "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" really marks The Beatles maturation as musicians and as a group.   The 13 tracks on this album represent a variety of styles and each of the boys gets to sing lead on at least one track.  There are so many great tunes on this album.   Among my personal favorites are "With A Little Help From My Friends" featuring Ringo on lead and Paul's haunting vocal on "She's Leaving Home".   Now when I first heard "When I'm Sixty Four" at the age of 16 it sure got me thinking about what life might be like for me nearly 50 years down the road.   I must admit that hearing this tune today as I approach age 59 is kind of a weird experience.  For those who enjoy the psychedelic sound  "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" has always been a favorite.  And in my view  the final track on the album "A Day In The Life" is one of the greatest tunes ever recorded in the history of rock and roll.  Sensational!    Even back in 1967 I thought that George Harrison's "Within You, Without You" was really weird and I still do today.  I just could never get into that sitar.

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" comes with a fabulous 28 page booklet featuring information on the legendary cover art, track information, fabulous photographs and the lyrics to each of the songs.  This is a timeless classic that sounds every bit as good today as it did back in 1967.   If you have not heard it for a long time or have never had the chance to sample it you will quickly realize why Rolling Stone magazine has seen fit to annoint "Sgt. Pepper" as 'the greatest album of all-time."    Very highly recommended!  
It's easy to see why It's easy to see why Beatles

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May 25, 2009
Your review made me jealous! How I would have loved to have been there when Sgt Peppers first came out. I'm currently listening to soundtrack for Across the Universe, a completely redone version of classic Beatles tracks, including a ballad version of "i want to hold your hand" that will break your heart.
 
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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
About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

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 ...

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Details

Performer: The Beatles
Release Date: June 1, 1967
Label: Capitol

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