Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles

The MARK’S VINTAGE VINYL page features something from Mark’s collection of recordings from over the years. Most of it is on vinyl – hence the name – though there will be a few entries from his CDs (remember those?).

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles

  • Eighth studio album by The Beatles released in 1967.
  • I was a little too young to know The Beatles in 1967, but by the time I was a teenager, I already knew that they had become the greatest rock band of all time (and they still are, in my humble opinion). In 1973, I bought The Red Album and The Blue Album, two compilations that covered their hits from 1962 to 1966, and from 1967 to 1970 respectively. I didn’t have a turntable at the time, but I had an 8-track, so I had these compilations on 8-track. I don’t have the 8-tracks anymore, but I have most of the Beatles on vinyl or CD now.
  • I can’t remember exactly when I bought Sgt. Peppers, though I bought all of my Beatles vinyl albums in high school or college – it must have been between 1975 and 1980. Sgt. Peppers was when the band fully transitioned to art rock – the previous year’s Revolver showed signs of this, but Sgt. Peppers was the start of prog rock. It won four Grammy awards, including Album of the Year (the first rock album to receive this award), and it topped Billboard’s album chart for 15 weeks. It ultimately was certified 11x platinum in the US.
  • The album is a masterpiece. It is amazingly innovative – it sounds fresh today, even though it was recorded 55 years ago. Remarkably, none of the songs on the album were released as singles at the time. Two singles that were released in early 1967 – Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane – were excluded from the album. No matter – every song on the album became classic rock classics. Of particular note, the album contains Beatles classics Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, With a Little Help From My Friends, Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, When I’m Sixty-Four, Lovely Rita, and the song that to me really showed their brilliance, A Day In the Life.
  • A Day In the Life was like nothing I had ever heard before. It is the one single song that got me into progressive rock. It is one of the most acclaimed songs in music history – Rolling Stone ranks it at #24 on the 2021 list of the Greatest Songs of All Time, and many, many other publications consider it as one of the greatest. The final chord of the song is one of the most famous song endings ever. The simultaneously-played E-major on three pianos and a harmonium is famously held for over forty seconds. Here’s the song with some behind-the-scenes footage of the band. Listen to this amazing tune.

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