Lion of the Blogosphere

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

This album celebrated its 50th anniversary last week.

I’m listening to it right now. Great album! Too bad they don’t make stuff like this anymore.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Posted in Music videos

46 Responses

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  1. Actual vinyl or CD?

    ScarletNumber

    June 6, 2017 at 9:08 pm

  2. Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields were recorded at the sessions and probably should have been included in place of the album’s one weak track, Within you without you. Oh well.

    onetwothree

    June 6, 2017 at 9:14 pm

  3. Yeah, I don’t think there’s much doubt that next to the Monkees, the Beatles were the most talented band of the ’60’s. If not for Pleasant Valley Sunday, Penny Lane might have been the most profound critique of materialism of the era.

    Mel Belli

    June 6, 2017 at 9:27 pm

  4. Are you listening to the newly remastered version? It’s way better.

    Peterike

    June 6, 2017 at 10:12 pm

  5. I actually think it sounds dated and wildly overproduced. I know it was ” cutting edge ” for it’s time, but it is definitely a product of it’s time.
    Music from only a few years later that doesn’t sound dated would be Led Zeppelin, or even early Black Sabbath. That stuff not only holds up, but still has a raw power that the Beatles never achieved, not that they were going for that.
    Even Jimi Hendrix holds up much better. Electric Ladyland is a masterpiece. Cream also holds up.
    Part of my dislike for the Beatles comes from reading about how much of an insufferable prick John Lennon was.

    Dave

    June 6, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    • Agreed. The only Beatles stuff that’s timeless is their early pop stuff about young love.

      Andrew E.

      June 6, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    • I agree totally about Led Zeppelin music holding up better than Beatles music. And speaking of Cream – doesn’t the riff from “Sunshine of your love” resemble the riff from “In a gadda da vida?”

      My own “dislike” for the Beatles comes partly from the fact that I think at some point the Beatle mystique took over and people judged the music not on its own merit, but from a kind of pseudo-standard by which any Beatle product was deemed to be genius simply because it was a Beatle product. They could have sung the alphabet and been praised. Take, for example, McCartney’s cutesy-pie schmaltz on songs like “Martha my dear” and “Rocky Raccoon.” They had to be judged at least good songs because they were on a Beatle album. But when Paul had far better schmaltz on his album Ram in 1971, the critics called his music light-weight and over-stylized.

      Maryk

      June 7, 2017 at 12:07 am

    • I listen to this acoustic cover of Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan more often than I listen to anything by the Beatles, most of whose oeuvre does sound dated.

      Dave Pinsen

      June 7, 2017 at 2:11 am

    • Lennon was a brilliant man with a scathing sense of humor. He was the Alpha of the group, but not as musically gifted as McCartney. Lennon’s problem, if you believe Ian MacDonald, one of the most perceptive musical critics of the Beatles, is that he became an acid casualty by 1968. He also had a severe drinking problem in the 1970s which is why his solo career never really took off like McCartney’s.

      If you’re going to dislike a musician for being an “insufferable prick” you are going to have to be satisfied with a fairly small selection of music.

      Peter Akuleyev

      June 7, 2017 at 3:07 am

      • Alpha my ass . what is so Alpha about letting a irritating woman like Yoko Ono , which is not even attractive , control your life ?
        Also the ambition to progress towards psychedelia and studio experiments came from McCartney .

        eyaldavid

        June 7, 2017 at 10:00 am

      • but not as musically gifted as McCartney

        Lennon has one of the greatest rock vocal recordings ever from Twist and Shout

        Andrew E.

        June 7, 2017 at 1:40 pm

      • Lennon comes across alpha in the video with Mick Jagger, and plays & sings the hell out of a good old blues tune with Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.

        E. Rekshun

        June 8, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    • Come Together and Back in the U.S.S.R. are damn good rock songs. Rolling Stone lists John Lennon as the 55th best guitarist of all time, Sabbath lead guitarist Tony Iommi at #25, George Harrison at #11, and Jimmy Page at #3, and Hendrix at no. 1.

      http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/100-greatest-guitarists-20111123/lindsey-buckingham-20111122

      E. Rekshun

      June 8, 2017 at 4:53 am

    • Here’s an excellent rendition of Stairway to Heaven by Heart at the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors, with Zeppelin drummer John Bonham’s son on drums.

      E. Rekshun

      June 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      • Yes. In any form, “Stairway” is rock and roll’s crowning jewel (in my opinion.) Years ago Rhino records had an album that consisted of various versions of the frat rock classic “Louie, Louie.” Wouldn’t it make sense for there to be an album of varous “Stairway” versions? Youtube has Stairway being done on the harp, on piano, a children’s music box Stairway, Dolly Parton’s country Stairway, Frank Zappa’s comedy Stairway, Far Conventions disco-flavored Stairway. There is even (I kid you not) a Gregorian Chant stairway. I’ll bet Bob Marley could even have done a reggae Stairway.

        Maryk

        June 8, 2017 at 10:31 pm

  6. I was 6 years old when “Pepper” was released, so I have no memory of it from then. But I first heard it around 1973. Truthfully, I was less than impressed. It seemed too contrived to me. Some songs were just weird (“For the benefit of Mr. Kite”) others were ho-hum (“Fixing a hole”) some were totally forgettable (“Within you, without you”) I was impressed with only two songs initially – “She’s leaving home” and the outstanding “Lovely Rita”, which is a song I can never get enough of. I always resented “Pepper” because I felt it sucked the oxygen out of rock and roll for a full year and took attention away from other group’s albums that were even better (the Zombies “Odyssey and Oracle” was released that year, and the Velvet Underground’s first album also) And “A day in the life”, while a good song has been played to death on the radio. Recently I gave “Pepper” another chance and realize that it is a better album than I’d originally thought. I now noticed how impressive the guitar solo was on “Good morning, good morning/”

    Personally, I think Beatles music didn’t age well. My favorite Beatle albums are Rubber Soul, and Revolver.

    Maryk

    June 6, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    • Rubber Soul is Billy Joel’s favorite Beatles album.
      Revolver is a very popular choice for best Beatles album.

  7. LSD, fame. and the loss of manager Bran Epstein were taking their toll by this time.The two preceding albums, “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” were far superior in terms of songwriting.

    the Dude

    June 7, 2017 at 1:30 am

  8. A very vivid memory for me was staying with my aunt in her apt. in Knoxville in 1968 at age 7 and playing my older girl cousin’s copy of Sgt. Pepper’s on the turntable, using headphones, over and over again. In those days most things aside from records, books and dogs were a bore, especially TV which I never watched. But, listening to Sgt. Peppers using headphones really was close to an out of body experience for me at the time, so much so that the details of the moment remain with me very vividly. I was used to listening to Elvis, Johnny Cash, some Beatles and my favorite song of the time was Cherokee Nation by Paul Revere and the Raiders, https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=cherokee+nation+%26+paul+revere+%26+youtube&view=detail&mid=3ED4C748F273028F53C53ED4C748F273028F53C5&FORM=VIRE. Listening to Day in the Life simply blew me away, to repeat a now tired phrase, but I can recall few comparable experiences.

    Curle

    June 7, 2017 at 2:10 am

    • Cherokee Nation is one of the earliest pop tunes I remember. Interesting that it has stuck in my head… I don’t recall ever hearing it on the radio since I was a kid.

      steve@steve.com

      June 7, 2017 at 9:06 am

      • “Cherokee Nation is one of the earliest pop tunes I remember.”

        Hah! I remember that song. And whenever I think of that song, I think of Cher’s “Half-Breed,” a song that could never, ever be made today.

        peterike

        June 7, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      • The name of the song is Indian Reservation and it is a classic rock radio staple.

        ScarletNumber

        June 8, 2017 at 5:54 pm

  9. I was just listening to a forgotten oldie “Summer Rain” by Johnny Rivers. I found it interesting that the lyrics refrence Sgt. Pepper’s (which was released a few months before). Very different to hear a song mention another song/album. I was born the same year but it’s obvious Sgt Pepper’s was an instant cultural phenomenon, not something that just became big in retrospect.

    Jay Fink

    June 7, 2017 at 5:17 am

    • Funny, you should mention “Summer Rain.” I had never heard it as a kid and heard it for the first time a few years ago. I loved it. When I was a kid I loved his song “Secret Agent man,” which unfortunately didn’t hold up at all.

      Maryk

      June 8, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      • I think as a general rule slower songs hold up better than faster ones.

        Jay Fink

        June 9, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      • Good point, Jay. I hadn’t thought of this. But a good example would be Gordon Lightfoot’s “If you could read my mind,” which I always thought could win an award for the song that has aged the best over several decades.

        Maryk

        June 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm

  10. The Beatles hailed from Liverpool, that’s as prole as you can get!

    Now it’s Livercesspool, as the city is now lined with Mosques.

    JS

    June 7, 2017 at 10:42 am

    • I wonder what any resident of that city would have to do to become Liverpool’s most famous product? Something tells me that if someone found out how to prevent all wars or discovered a cure for cancer they still couldn’t displace the Beatles as the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions “Liverpool”

      Maryk

      June 8, 2017 at 10:35 pm

      • Liverpool was a very prole city. It has a legacy of being working class and it attracted a lot of poor Irish immigrants across the view. It was once dubbed “The Capital of Ireland”.

        JS

        June 10, 2017 at 6:23 pm

  11. I enthusiastically LOATHE the Beatles, as I somewhat irrationally view them as symbolic of 60s decadence. Not completely fair to lay blame for a social disaster at their feet, but in my feels I can’t separate my father’s like for them from my father’s rejection of his Catholic upbringing.

    S.J., Esquire

    June 7, 2017 at 11:32 am

    • The Anglo Proles were always proles, even back in the day. Led Zeppelin once gave a concert to a French audience during their heyday. Needless to say, English people are pasty, messy and barbaric in comparison to the elegant French.

      Now what is it that makes the Anglo Prole Sphere attractive?

      Money and money only, which allows you to buy luxury goods made by Continental Europeans.

      JS

      June 7, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      • I don’t know, JS. The American founding fathers thought the French of their era were “depraved.” What makes the French elegant? I’m referring to ordinary Frenchmen and not wealthy jet-setters or Parisian artists.

        Maryk

        June 7, 2017 at 5:06 pm

      • Dude, like, I can’t even. NO ONE ELSE IS TALKING ABOUT “PROLES”.

        SJ, Esquire

        June 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      • And how many great albums have those classy French produced compared to the prole Brits?

        I like Serge Gainsbourg as much as the next guy, but it’s pretty lightweight stuff compared to say, King Crimson.

        Lothar of the Hill People

        June 7, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    • “Enthusiastically loathe” is a good phrase.

      peterike

      June 7, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      • Feel free to share. 😉

        SJ, Esquire

        June 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    • It’s not a coincidence that my father, who as he’s aged has turned into an angry and bitter hard-leftist and cynical almost to the point of nihilism, likes John Lennon and thinks the Beatles were really Lennon’s band. But I can’t help liking many of their songs simply because they have a positive association with my childhood. These things really are irrational. I year for the culture of 1950’s America, yet I still like the grunge rock of the 90’s simply because it holds nostalgic value for me. I remember Lawrence Auster, while he was dying, writing about the Beatles and then including a postscript asking readers not to write to him denouncing the Beatles as symbols of liberal cultural decline, because he just wanted to enjoy the positive associations as he was dying. Go figure.

      Hermes

      June 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm

      • my father, who as he’s aged has turned into an angry and bitter hard-leftist and cynical almost to the point of nihilism

        I’m pretty interested in this phenomenon of people becoming more liberal as they age, rather than less. It’s happened to my mom – she’s not a nihilist, nor bitter, but she’s a lot more socially-left and “tolerant” than she used to be.

        I remember Lawrence Auster, while he was dying, writing about the Beatles

        I do too, and I likewise remember my twinge of revulsion…

        yet I still like the grunge rock of the 90’s

        Aha, you were a grunge kid. See, there’s your problem.

        SJ, Esquire

        June 7, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      • Aha, you were a grunge kid. See, there’s your problem.

        Actually, I wasn’t at the time. I was a real choirboy and was not into pop culture at all. I went to a small liberal arts college, thinking the partiers all went to Big State U while my fellow students and I would be sitting around sipping tea, listening to Mozart, discussing Aristotle, and going to bed at 10 every night. I was shocked and devastated when I arrived for freshman year and encountered people partying, getting drunk, and listening to this newfangled Pearl Jam thing I knew nothing about. I kind of tried to hold popular culture at arm’s length for a while, but of course I couldn’t help becoming familiar with some of it, and as conflicted as I was at the time, looking back from where I sit now, I have some positive nostalgic feelings about it.

        Hermes

        June 8, 2017 at 12:41 am

  12. Sgt. Pepper’s was more important than good, ultimately. It opened to doors to all kinds of musical playing around. The wealth of instruments, the multi-tracking, the kind of bullshitty idea of a “concept” album (which, for the record, Frank Sinatra had invented a dozen years earlier but nobody remembers that) that “Tommy” would apotheosize the next year. And it really did open the doors to what people felt was possible in pop music.

    At the same time, the earlier mixes do sound flat and a bit dull to our ears. That’s why if you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend you listen to the just released Deluxe Edition. It cleans up the sound, pushes the drums and bass forward, and generally sounds more like a contemporary record.

    Also, when evaluating the impact of Sgt. Pepper you have to include the impact of the (widely acknowledged) greatest two-sided single in rock history, “Strawberry Fields”/”Penny Lane.” Both of those songs were hugely popular and influential, but in those days they still had the notion that you don’t have to put the single on the album because then people wouldn’t buy the single, and rock was a singles game until “Sgt. Pepper” came along and turned it into an album culture, which is another thing we have to thank it for.

    And since we’re all saying, I’m an outlier. My favorite Beatles album is “Let It Be,” which I think stands up better than anything else.

    peterike

    June 7, 2017 at 2:50 pm

  13. The “doors” first album is the real masterpiece of 1967 , its so dark, dramatic and well played.

    Beatles music is boring easy listening with no real intensity . It relies mostly on a catchy vocal melody and nothing else interesting (like a guitar riff) .

    EyDav

    June 7, 2017 at 4:04 pm

  14. Every Kinks album beats every Beatles album.

    bobbybobbob

    June 7, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    • I saw the Kinks in 1984 at the University of New Hampshire.

      E. Rekshun

      June 8, 2017 at 4:58 am

  15. This is a good run down of all the major albums that came out in 1967.

    https://www.robertchristgau.com/xg/rs/albums1967-07.php

    peterike

    June 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm

  16. I’ll bet John Lennon had a crystal ball in the 1960’s and was able to read Lion’s blog. There is where he first heard of “plasticine porters” and “kaleidoscope eyes.” Both are so prole and Lion had to warn his readers to keep away from them!

    Maryk

    June 8, 2017 at 10:40 pm


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