The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

This album, probably more so than any other album of its time, was a direct snapshot of the era and simultaneously transcended the era too. It was The Beatles highest selling album and remains popular inside today’s culture well over 50 years from its release.

Paving the way for future superstars such as Pink Floyd, it introduced the concept album per se. The concept album is the idea that an ongoing theme exists within an album of sorts. In this case, The Beatles are Sgt. Pepper and play their best set for you, an interesting concept in itself.

It starts off with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, with a nonetheless catchy song with a village town intro. The Beatles bring you into their world, and we hear the interesting story of Sgt. Pepper. Unusual an introduction, at least professional though. A load of cheering connects this song with the next song.

The Ringo Starr singalong With A Little Help From My Friends follows. Ringo isn’t exactly a great singer, but his energy and passion into this song are unmistakable. The song directly refers to marijuana use but all the same, some of the textures will blow your mind, along with the melody.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds follows. It’s one of the most psychedelic songs you will ever hear in your life. The lyrics are obviously drug influenced courtesy of John Lennon, but the song is quality, with a trippy organ riff. If you enjoy psychedelic imagery and artistry, go here. The girl with the kaleidoscope eyes awaits you.

The next song, Getting Better, talks explicitly about self-improvement. Not the sort of thing that you’d expect in most pop songs, but it is catchy enough and simple in its ways to be listenable. A good song nonetheless.

Fixing A Hole refers to drug-like daydreaming. It was likely inspired a Paul McCartney LSD trip. Musicians and their drugs…But regardless it features some trippy harpsichord in it, which makes the song thoroughly enjoyable.

She’s Leaving Home is a sad and tragic tale of how a young girl abruptly leaves home to start a life on her own. It’s a nice and beautiful piece of melancholy. It was the only song not to have Sir George Martin produce it on the album. No guitars, just a big string section on it.

The circus-like Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! follows and it sounds like a lot of effort was put into it, more so perhaps than the other songs on the album. There are trippy organ sounds galore, psychedelic lyrics and backward tapes to make it such a surreal experience to listen to.

Within You Without You is a rather tired-sounding piece from George Harrison about inner enlightenment. It could have been done a bit better, mind you, it is still listenable. Indian musical influences abound all over the place. Not exactly mainstream music this piece, although that is entirely the point of this song.

The following song is far more cheerful. Paul McCartney asks the quintessential question of what will happen When I’m Sixty-Four. It’s an old-fashioned piece, complete with a clarinet. It was written many years before The Beatles became famous.

Lovely Rita will make you chuckle at the story of how Paul McCartney comes across the said lady, who is a meter maid. It’s rather humourous in general and has some sex sounds at the end of it. Dirty.

Good Morning Good Morning is a piece which is weak on songwriting, but good to listen to. It has many audio sound samples and effects abundant. Otherwise, largely forgettable.

Before we conclude the tour, we finish the album with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise), which is short and sweet. It finishes the album on a high note.

Shortly afterward, the encore is A Day In The Life, which is a very interesting piece in itself. It shows the diverse nature of The Beatles. Both John and Paul sing, starting off with a strummed acoustic guitar, leading into an orchestral crescendo. The effect is astonishing to everyone who listens to it.

The album cover says it all, a beautiful piece by artist Peter Blake which mashes up history and psychedelic beauty with various historical figures on the front of it. For real fans of The Beatles, check out the 50th anniversary remastered re-release with a bunch of extra songs on it.

Rock music and artistry began with this album and inspired so many historically great albums to follow. It’s a landmark album for sure and deserves a listen.

9/10

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