Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play…
Well actually it was 40 years ago. June 1st is the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ epic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (and if you’re of a certain age that’s certainly an announcement that will likely make you feel especially old :-).
Sgt. Pepper, an audacious artistic statement in its day (the Beatles had stopped touring and had given their musical imaginations full reign in the studio), still holds up after all of these years. It is the favorite Beatles record for a lot of fans (it’s third on my personal list…after Abbey Road and Revolver and just ahead of “The White Album” and Rubber Soul…but that takes nothing away from what a great album it is; indeed it just shows how magical the band was during its brief season.)
It’s an eclectic journey…from the opening salvo of the rocking title track shifting effortlessly into the bright pop of “With a Little Help from my Friends” (yay, Ringo!); from the trippiness of John’s “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and George’s sitar-driven “Within You, Without You” to the jaunty sway of Paul’s “When I’m 64” and John’s “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”; from the hard groove of the reprise of the title track to the elegant melancholy of the magnificent coda “A Day in the Life”…but it’s a journey that is still incredibly rewarding.
but they’re guaranteed to raise a smile
so I may I introduce to you the act
you’ve known for all these years
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band!
- words and music by John Lennon and Paul McCartney -
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