Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pop History Moment: The Release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

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On this day in 1967 Sgt. Pepper (courtesy of The Beatles) taught the world a new way to rock; Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band either infused pop music with myriad new ideas or set the stage for the pomposity of art rock or maybe even did both, depending on your perspective.

Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London over a period of 129 days, the album was a critical and popular success from the moment of its release; to date it has spent a grand total of 198 weeks on the UK chart. Prominent critic Kenneth Tynan called it 'a decisive moment in the history of Western Civilization'; while frequently given to hyperbole in his vitriol, he wasn't so inclined when it came to praise, so Tynan's review can be taken as sincere. Frank Zappa, on the other hand, pretty viciously parodied the album with one of his own, entitled We're Only in It for the Money, despite the fact that The Beatles openly named Zappa's album Freak Out! as an influence on their own ground-breaking work.

In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine named Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band the greatest album of the rock era, and in pop culture terms it certainly has the most evocative cover...
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Daniel said...

This is not the greatest album of all time. it's not even the best beatles album. It does however, contain some classics from before john got a bit too strange and before paul became way to twee and annoying. You absolutely must watch the BBC show about the re-recording of this album by Geoff Emmerich with some of today's safe, boring second-album rock darlings. namely Kaiser Chiefs, Razorlight, Travis and so on. Admittedly it wasn't news to me that these bands are talentless chancers, but it's nice to see them squirming at the fact that without digital 64-track recording, they sound worse than drunk, blind one-man-bands.

michael sean morris said...

I was always more partial to Revolver myself.