1 June 2013

1st June - The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Artist – Album: The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released:  1st June 1967
Sounds Like: Sgt. Pepper’s one and only lonely hearts club band

Ok, so firstly I think I need to make two things absolutely clear:
  1. Yes, Sgt. Pepper’s is a great, great album.
  2. Nooooo, this is not the best album of all time. It’s not the best Beatles album of all time. It’s not even in their top three (I reckon).

The positives: It’s the Beatles you guys, it’s obviously good. McCartney contributes a legion of great songs, from the uplifting indie rock of ‘Getting Better’ (with unnerving allusions to domestic abuse) to the psychedelic anthem ‘Lovely Rita’. Lennon chirped in with a couple of the all time great Beatles tracks ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ and ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, as well as contributing the bulk of the work to ‘A Day in the Life’. Meanwhile George Harrison contributes his obligatory brilliant slice of exotic psychedelia ‘Within You Without You’.

The negatives: It just doesn’t flow that well. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous – this is supposed to be one of the best albums of all time. And the underlying concept helps to bring some of the most disparate songs together nicely. But really, the druggy ‘Within You Without You’ straight into the pastoral whimsy of ‘When I’m Sixty Four’ doesn’t go. Also, the strength of the songs is a bit patchy. For every ‘Lucy in the Sky...’ there’s a ’Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!’. The main theme, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ is nothing more than average, if you ignore the fact that it’s the motif for this most acclaimed of albums.

Albumaday... rating:  8/10

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 – 2:48
5.       Fixing a Hole – 2:36
6.       She’s Leaving Home – 3:35
7.       Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! – 2:37
8.       Within You Without You – 5:04
9.       When I’m Sixty-Four – 2:37
10.   Lovely Rita – 2:42
11.   Good Morning Good Morning – 2:41
12.   Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) – 1:19
13.   A Day in the Life – 5:39

Listen to ‘Lovely Rita’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAb8NqatE-s

Also released on the 1st June:
1983: The Police – Synchronicity
Also released on the 1st June:
1985: A-Ha – Hunting High and Low

Also released on the 1st June:
2004: Animal Collective – Sung Tongs

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