||From the Vault...
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
© Parlophone/Apple Records
Year of Release: 1967
With A Little Help
From My Friends
Lucy In The Sky
Fixing A Hole
She's Leaving Home
Being For The Benefit
Of Mr. Kite
Within You Without You
When I'm Sixty-Four
A Day In The Life
The Beatles related sites:
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Arguably the best album ever recorded, when lists are made of Best Albums,
The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is up there, at least
in the Top 10. (Surprisingly, in the recent VH-1 Best Albums countdown,
The Beatles' Revolver was #1, and I believe Sgt. Pepper's was #10.
And, in my opinion, The Beatles (White Album) is my favorite album of
all time...) Yes, Sgt. Pepper's is a fantastic album, as I discovered
this album in high school, and the memories of listening to this album, over
What was also surprising was that none of the songs were released as
singles at the time of its release. Therefore, none of the songs from this
album reached #1 on the singles chart. And if it did, I'm sure a fair share
of the songs from this album would have done so. Considered album tracks,
many of the songs from this album received heavy airplay, and even after 20
years and more, they are still being heard on many radio stations today, and
will be, as time goes on.
Well-known songs such as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
merged with "With A Little Help From My Friends", "Lucy In The Sky With
Diamonds", a song that was mistakenly for the use of the LSD drug
("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"), where it was
actually a drawing that John Lennon's son, Julian, had made; "When I'm
Sixty-Four" and "A Day In The Life" are always being heard on rock
radio stations, and quite frankly, they never lose their touch. Most recently,
"Getting Better" is being used in television commercials. The poppy
"When I'm Sixty-Four" brings back the memory of reading an article in
the newspaper, (the year was probably around late 1970s-early 1980s) and how
pictures were shown, showing each Beatle when they approached 64 years of age.
Quite interesting, but sadly, we would never see John Lennon reach that age,
as he died at age 40. (By the way, Ringo will turn 61 this year, Paul will
be 59, and George, 58.)
"Within You Without You", written by George, is probably the least
favorite of the album. The song is quite boring, and it is probably one of The
Beatles' songs that people don't remember off the top of their heads.
"Fixing A Hole" is a great McCartney pop favorite, that received more
radio airplay later in the years. "She's Leaving Home" is a beautiful
song, with the light chorus vocals by John, and Paul singing the main verses.
It is great to hear both John and Paul sing on a Beatles tune, and we can often
wonder if they would have done it again, if John had not been shot on that
unfateful day, December 8, 1980.
And speaking of John Lennon, his "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite"
has always been one of favorites, telling the story of the circus, and its many
cast of characters. "Lovely Rita" is another McCartney pop-ster, and
even though this song didn't get alot of radio airplay, it's another Beatles
tune that was overlooked.
"Good Morning Good Morning" is one of those great songs to start off
a morning show, with the rooster crowing, and the familiar chorus of "Good
Morning, Good Morning..." John Lennon did it again, by composing another great
Beatles song. The reprise of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ends
"the show," as Paul McCartney described this album made by a band with another
name than The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
And the most famous John Lennon/Paul McCartney composition, is the album's
closing tune, A Day In The Life, with it's mystery aura, and incredible
sound effects, this particular tune has always been another radio airplay
Lastly, let us not forget the album cover. Featuring many popular cardboard
stand-up celebrities, it captures many years of popular music, political, and
famous names all pictured, as if they appeared together. This is best described
from the liner notes, by Peter Blake:
The Beatles already had a cover designed by a Dutch group called the Fool,
but my gallery dealer, Robert Fraser, said to Paul, "Why don't you use a 'fine
artist', a professional, to do the cover instead?" Paul rather liked the idea
and I was asked to do it. The concept of the album had already evolved; it
would be as though the Beatles were another band, performing a concert. Paul
and John said I should imagine that the band had just finished the concert,
perhaps in a park. I then thought that we could have a crowd standing behind
them, and this developed into the collage idea.
I asked them to make lists of people they'd most like to have in the
audience at this imaginary concert. John's was quite interesting because it
included Jesus and Ghandi and, more cynically, Hitler. But this was just a
few months after the US furor about his 'Jesus' statement, so they were left
out. George's list was all gurus. Ringo said, "Whatever the others say is
fine by me," because he didn't really want to be bothered. Robert Fraser and
I also made lists. We then got all the photographs together and had life-size
cut-outs made onto hardboard.
© Peter Blake
For the person first discovering Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,
it's always amazing how their response will be towards this album. And, like
many others, their reviews will be just like previous ones... It's an album that
will always be played, and enjoyed over and over. And as the famous line from
Lennon's Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite: A splendid time is
guaranteed for all...
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