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Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band
Released - June 1, 1967, Apple Records. Produced by
This is the album that changed everything in rock music; many believe that, I'm still not sure, but it's a damn good album!
I hadn't own a copy of Sgt. Pepper in years, until I decided to write this review. Gosh, I must have been nuts to let that happen! No, unlike so many Beatles fans who went crazy upon it's release, I didn't. Many of the songs on this one grew on me in time. But yes, I'll admit, I was into the album design and like everybody else, I looked at all of the members of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band on the cover and tried to figure out who was who, and figure out why were they included in the line-up.
When reviewing an album like this one, you must go back in time a bit to remember how things were and how perfectly the LP fit into the time period. Some of the best songs on this, rock's first real concept album, were written by Paul McCartney, but it's two best were by John Lennon. "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" was like no song ever before it and one of Rock's best ever. But no, regardless what everybody thought upon it's release, the song's title and lyrics were not a code for, or about, LSD, even if you could spell out L.S.D. in the title. Lennon made that clear years later, in fact he said the title came from a drawing that his young son Julian had made and titled. Still, you can't help to think that there is some drug connection to that song, the lyrics are a trip for sure!
Another Lennon classic, "A Day in the Life" ties "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" as the album's best. "When I'm Sixty-four" is McCartney's best number found here but he has several that come close: "Getting Better", "Lovely Rita", and "She's Leaving Home". The album's title song is good too and I know many would rate it higher.
The only poor song on this LP is George Harrison's "Within You Without You", one of the few songs ever done by the Beatles that I never cared for (even if George is the only Beatle playing on this one). George sings the lyrics in a way that never fails to put me to sleep. Yet the music to this tune is great and is the one thing that saves it for me, just love George's tamboura, and the sitar is pretty good, too!
Ringo Starr gets to sing lead on another great Lennon song, "With a Little Help from My Friends". Joe Cocker's cover of this song is perhaps even better, but Ringo still pulls off the lyrics here fine.
This album has "hippy" written all over it. Not "hippie" mind you, but "hippy". If you are one today, then you know what I mean by this. But playing it today did take me back to those long lost days and made me realize that I was lucky to be around back then. Albums like this one aren't made any longer, and we are all at a loss for it.
- Keno 2003
To listen to some soundclips from Sgt. Peppers or to purchase it, click on any of these links: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [CD] (CC Music) or Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Vinyl] (CC Music)