The Beatles - Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, review

The contemporary view was that this was not just the peak of the Beatles’ career but the high point of recorded music to that date. Ringo remembered it less fondly as the album on which he learned to play chess.

It is where the Beatles really exploit the studio as the instrument, forgoing live playing for sonic adventure. It is impossible to overstate its impact: from a contemporary Sixties perspective it was utterly mind-blowing and original. Looking back from a point when its sonic innovations have been integrated into the mainstream, it remains a wonky, colourful and wildly improbable pop classic, although a little slighter and less cohesive than it may have seemed at the time.

Related Articles

The Beatles: Rock Band review
Sky Saxon
Yellow Submarine to be remade by Disney
Lucy who inspired Beatles song 'seriously ill', says Julian Lennon
John Lennon murder: Killer Mark David Chapman gives new details of shooting
Def Leppard's Sparkle Lounge tribute to Beatles' Sgt. Pepper

Some songs, such as Lovely Rita, When I’m 64, Good Morning, Good Morning, Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite and Harrison’s dour, droning Within You Without You, seem undernourished excuses on which to hang florid ideas. But the title track is an improbable scorcher, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds a glittering gem, Fixing a Hole and She’s Leaving Home lovely chamber pieces, and the concluding A Day in the Life one of the strangest and most beautiful recordings ever, an inner-space odyssey juxtaposing Lennon’s ethereal surrealism with McCartney’s prosaic energy and wrapping it all up in an apocalyptic orchestral climax.

Album tracklist


Post a Comment