It Was 40 Years Ago This Month

Sgt. Pepper

This snuck up on me, just like June itself, but it’s the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. I could give you my take on it, but this article does a fine job of describing the greatest album of all time (start the argument in the comments). I’d like to able to say what it felt like the day it was released, but at the time I was not quite three, and likely had more important issues to deal with. But, I know my brother, who is nine years older listened to it, over, and Over, and OVER. It was his obsession. It was unique in so many ways that it was a different experience every time you listened to it. Albums previous to this were just a collection of songs by an artist or a group. Sgt. Pepper changed the meaning of an album, and it’s refreshing to think about it 40 years later in this era of $.99 music downloads. So some time this month, attempt to sit down and listen to all the songs all at once. Preferably listen to the LP at 33 1/3 rpm on a Hi-Fi.


11 Responses

  1. The one and only Andy Rush! thanks for catching this one.

    Interesting discussion here:

    Everyone knows that Tommy is the greatest album of all time, with Pet Sounds at number two, but Pepper is a strong third, and I do understand that there are those who insist it’s the best. 🙂

    I love the album, actually. I bought my UK import (with all cutouts) in a Winston-Salem record store in the late 70’s. Pristine pressing, too. It’s a Parlophone, but not an original “yellow-black” (“Y/B”) Parlophone. It’s a -3 cut, alas. It does, however, have an H.T.M in the deadwax–Harry T. Moss was the record mastering engineer at EMI who cut nearly all the Beatles’ records.

    But the fun doesn’t really start till you get the MONO Pepper. This is the one the Beatles spent most of their time on, and it actually sounds much harder, much more like son of Revolver, than the stereo mix, which was done quickly by George Martin, probably without much Beatle involvement.

    I got me an original Y/B mono Pepper at Beano’s outside London in 2003. It’s in good condition, and has the original cutouts. Cost me a pretty pound, but oh was it worth it. You should speak to your nearest Beatles fanatic about getting a needledrop of this fine Liverpudlian artifact. 🙂 He’d love to turn you on.

  2. Gradner,surely you jest!!Tommy at number one????Pet Sounds at number two??If you can find a copy of the Compleat Beatles(a documentary)please watch it as Beach Boy Bruce Johnston sits and says”we were feeling pretty good about ourselves with Pet Sounds and then someone brought in the acetate to Sgt.Pepper”.That basically was all he had to say but he went on to gush at how much more amazing Pepper’s was than the Boys’ effort.Of course Pete Townsend was never interviewed for the documentary,but i’d be willing to be the farm he would be in total agreement with Johnston.And speaking of the Who and is not even their best effort..Who’s Next is by far and away their Sgt.Pepper.Even Ozzie Osbourne whenasked why he still has the drive to tour and record some years back said”i still haven’t made my Sgt.Pepper’s”.It is unquestionably the greatest album ever released and will stand on its own 40 more years from now.I mean,who is around to knock them off…Snoop Dog???

  3. Frank,

    That is a good catch about the Compleat Beatles doc. I certainly stand by my assessment of Sgt. Pepper. However, Pete Townsend HATED the Beatles. I would be very surprised if he acknowledged anything the Beatles did as worthy.

    I appreciate your support 😉

  4. Gardner,

    Here is a short defense of my opinion. Tommy had the benefit of Sgt. Pepper. Great, but did not have all the breakthrough elements. Musically, the songs not only were a contiguous story, but they stood on their own as great songs. Aside from “Within You Without You”, they are all still played on the radio. AND, don’t forget that bit of craziness long after the final piano chord on “A Day In The Life”. I don’t know if they’ve replicated that on the CD releases, but that was a true mind-blower. The release of Pepper was almost literally an aligning of the planets.

  5. I have a harry moss album I believe was recorded in america AF 104 with play list of cant buy me love please please etc nothing over 1965 comments please

  6. Townshend *did not* hate the Beatles. He was extremely jealous of them, when he was young.

    The fact that Zak Starkey is in The Who should say it all.

  7. Marc,

    You’re right. Jealous is a much better word for Townshend’s feelings regarding the Beatles. Hate is an extreme word and reading it again in the comments, I see how out of place it is. Though in addition to jealousy, there is a (small) bit of class conflict there as well. He didn’t think of the Beatles as working class and he had animosity for them in that way, don’t you think?

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