48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on 15 November 2012
Oh my God, This is absolutely STUNNING!!!!! I have to admit to being a bit of an anorak when it comes to vinyl but this 2012 LP remastered recording of Sgt Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band is just awesome!!!.
It was released on Monday the 11th of November and I was a tad sceptical when I got it this morning of how good it would be, how wrong I was!
Lets start with the repackaging.Its great! The cover and pictures are much richer. I'm sure the details are the same on the CD but to have the album the way it was supposed to be is like looking at it for the first time. There are new notes on each of the songs and detailed information from Peter Blake on the albums cover. The original inserts are all there.
The remastering of the record is just brilliant. This is not a case of someone just turning up the gain as could be said of some remastering projects I've come across. On some of the songs, A Day In The life, When I'm Sixty Four, Within You Without You, She's Leaving Home its like the Beatles are in the room with you. But the bass for me is what really brings this album home, it is so clear, detailed and warm. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds is so deep. The bass is far better than any other Beatles recording I've heard. Theres no need for sub woofers here.
I've gushed enough, but in honesty you don't need a decent turntable but it's almost worth getting one just to hear how good this album is. I've been looking forward to this release for three years, it was well worth the wait!
38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
"Sgt. Pepper" is arguably the Beatles most recognized album. Released in 1967 at the peak of the 'hippy/flower power' movement, it combined art with music in a way that no album had previously done. From the way upbeat, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" to the surreal, somewhat somber, "A Day In The Life", every song is a classic. The sound is what makes this album amazing. George Martin and his son remastered and remixed several songs for the "Love" album. This same remarkable remastering has revitalized "Sgt. Pepper's" to an unbelievable clarity. Mixed with an array of sound effects, the remastering not only enhances the instruments and vocals, but brings all those art/music sound effects throughout the album to a vivid height. It's really remarkable how great this album sounds.
Also included in the great album is a multi-paged booklet with some excellent liner notes. There is also a diagram identifying all the famous people in the cover photo! On your computer, you can play the five-minute mini-documentary about the album (Quick-time), which showcases comments from all four Beatles and George Martin. All of this is mixed in with rare photos never seen before. Imagine learning that this album was recorded at night with over 400 hours devoted to it. That's perfectionism and its shows. In fact, there is a mini-documentary for all the Beatles albums. This CD is a collector's item and a perfect showcase for the Beatles genius.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is only concerned with the 2012 reissued packaging of Sgt Pepper.
Gatefold cover - very sharp detail and lovely colouring, not just on the cover but throughout the package.
The 180g Black vinyl has the black label with silver lettering and the yellow Parlophone icon. IT IS HOUSED IN A PLAIN WHITE INNER-SLEEVE.
The psychedelic, red, pink and white inner-sleeve is located separately as not to be misshaped by the vinyl.
The complete card with the cut outs.
Another extra (don't forget it has 2 inner-sleeves), is a 4-sided (gatefold style) 12" square insert. Page 1: a few words by Paul McCartney and a picture from the inner gatefold spread shoot. Page 2: a handful of word from George Martin / some words by Mark Lewisohn / and notes on the cover by Peter Blake. Page 3: info about the recorded tracks, who, where & when. Page 4: a numerical guide to everyone and things on the lp front cover.
I love this package and I have been waiting to collect the cut-outs and original inner-sleeve for years (I am to tight to spend the £100 some dealers have asked). I doubt I will ever play the record but at £20 I feel this is a sensible price for this package
I love this package and I have been waiting to collect the cut-outs and original inner-sleeve for years (I am to tight to spend the
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 14 April 2013
First of all, let me state this is a review of the 2012 vinyl reissue of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." Amazon does a serious disservice by failing to properly index reviews of multiple-release versions of classic albums. The question here is this: Should one pay three times as much for an audiophile pressing of a record rather than its CD counterpart? My answer is a resounding yes. After A/B comparisons of the vinyl and CD versions of this indisputable pop music landmark, I feel that analog presentation of music remains far superior to that of digital. The best CDs simply byte off far more than they can chew. There is so much more body and substance to the record than the CD that it is almost frightening. Sgt. Pepper on CD sounds like it was made for creatures of a flatland culture. As improved as the 2009 CD was over earlier versions, it falls far short when compared to the vinyl. And I have outfitted my CD player with a very expensive Digital-to-Audio Converter (DAC). When I sent to England for the original Parlophone pressing of this album and heard the almost narcissistic bass levels Paul McCartney had imposed on the English version of the record, I was horrified at its anemic-sounding American counterpart. The vinyl pushes the bass to new limits but in a non-objectionable way because of the overall balance and density of state-of-the-art analog sound. You really owe it to yourselves to hear this album on vinyl. Yes, I know you've got to get up and flip the record after 20 minutes or so. But the long journey across the room and its inconvenience are outweighed by the rewards of listening.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you asked a room full of people to name a 'Beatle' album, I suspect a
large percentage would name 'Sgt Pepper'
This was their 8th album released back in '67' with a bucket full of favourites
on board, by now their music was becoming far more complex as apposed
to the early releases, although I loved albums such as their earlier efforts
such as 'Beatles for Sale' (my favourite) 'Rubber Soul' 'With the Beatles'
among the treasured memories.
'John and Paul' wrote all the numbers on board except 'Within You Without
You' which was penned by 'George'
On board, among my all-time favourites tracks, include ...'Lucy in the Sky with
Diamonds' 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band' 'Lovely Rita' 'Mr Kite'
and 'A Day In The Life'
Though in truth, everything they sung and recorded holds a special place
in the hearts of the many.
The only way to satisfy a collector is to own all the 'Beatles' album releases.
(I am currently listening too, and singing along to the album)
Again, I own the Vinyl, and pre-restored version, restored version is the one
I'm playing it as I write.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2015
I was sixteen and living in West Wales and I had a summer holiday job for the first time and of course I bought this album with my first pay packet which was just about measured in pounds rather than shillings (or ten pence pieces nowadays).
There was a furore about the record and it's oblique references to drugs. My friends and I had never heard music like this before even though we had got a taste for it from Revolver.
As you can imagine innocent and protected teenagers from Wales spent much time debating whether the songs made reference to "pot" or LSD or "acid", there was no internet to look up to find out what drug experiences were like. Some of us had read Huxley's "The Doors Of Perception" so we had a bit of an idea.
The music was completely far out as far as we were concerned and none of my friends had much idea about transcendental meditation. It was all very new and very exciting for young people as we moved away from the conservative attitudes of our parents and the authorities. Along with the Pink Floyd, The Beatles were pioneering psychedelic music but Sgt Pepper was perhaps more down to earth but with a symphonic approach to music production. I love all of the songs on this thematic album. I have just played my 1967 album scratches and all and it sounds just as fresh now as then.
Invariably we listened in mono whether we had a stereo copy of the album or a mono one. If you had a mono player you could buy a special stylus which would not damage the record too much. Radio at that time was in mono on the AM band. FM had hardly penetrated into Wales in the sixties and even if you had an FM radio you listened in mono.
The debates about which sound better, CDs or LPs, always amuse me and which is the best way to play The Beatles. My vinyl records from the sixties are nearly all damaged because I lent the records to people who did not look after them and who scratched them and played them with worn out sapphire needles. I am surprised that my 1967 album still tracks.
The stereo re-mastered albums have been processed using digital files not that it makes any difference as it all ends up as sound waves - I would not have guessed that digital masters were used from listening to the new LP version. The re-mastered mono LPs which have recently been released have been produced from all analogue sources but they could just as well have been made from a digital master.
With vinyl you must accept that there will be flaws in the recording and reproduction and you will hear at least one click on your virgin vinyl. You might also hear wow and flutter from speed variances and not necessarily from your turntable but from the cutting lathe if it was not calibrated properly or from the record itself if the spindle hole is misplaced. If you want to hear music un-adulterated by these faults you have to stick to the CD.
I prefer the sound of the CDs even though I love to make the trip down memory lane. To me a pristine LP sounds almost as good as the CD even if there is more harmonic distortion. In comparison to the latest stereo re-mastered Sgt Pepper LP my 1967 version sounds almost as good if you ignore the scratches and clicks most of which are masked by the music. For some reason the new LP, and the 2009 CD, have more prominent bass but you can hear all the bass notes rather than a thumping noise all at the same pitch when using a 1960s record player. Perhaps the original was mastered differently to take into account of the poorer quality reproduction equipment and its distortion of the bass when the volume was turned up full.
The new LP and the CD sound remarkably the same from a technical point of view and no doubt a pristine 1967 LP would sound as good technically. This goes to show that we have not progressed that much since 1967. CDs have eliminated the wow and flutter, the clicks and hisses and the harmonic distortion and have standardised the quality. At the volume that I play LP albums I cannot hear any groove noise and only the worst static and groove damage penetrates the louder parts of the music. LP is still good for pop music but it really isn't suitable for classic or soft folk and acoustic music. However, my 1967 Sgt Pepper would still sound good to someone who had never heard an LP record before despite the record having been played hundreds of times with sapphire needles and with the heavy tracking weights of ceramic cartridges - incredible.
You have to remember also that even a modest turntable , amplifier and speakers set up sounds much better than the record players of 1967. Nowadays, you can enjoy the The Beatles music at very high quality no matter what medium it is recorded on. It is the music after all which really counts and this is one of the greatest rock records ever produced.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2008
First things first. Sgt Pepper is not a concept or themed album. 3 of the 13 songs are vaguely based on the theme of the Beatles "playing" at being an old time band (including a reprise of the title song) and some of the music is continuous between songs. The rest of the songs are unrelated so why is the album so often described as groundbreaking? Listen to it and you will find out. The band and producer George Martin produced a remarkable album that at times is unashamedly experimental.
It is probably best summed up in "A Day in the Life", where they really throw the kitchen sink at it. In the middle and at the end of the song an orchestra builds a wall of sound for what seems like forever, until a crescendo is reached. It sounds remarkable now, it must have blown minds when it was released. And all this from songwriters in their twenties, though undoubtedly greatly influenced and encouraged by Martin.
"She's Leaving Home" deserves special mention. The lyrics beautifully describe the angst felt by a teenager who feels she has been "living alone" with her parents for too long. Along with the gorgeous music this song never fails to resonate with me.
"When I'm 64" shows Paul at his most playful music wise but again the lyrics are spot on. John contributes the classic "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". George demonstrates his experimental work with Indian music in "Within You Without You".
And I haven't even mentioned "With a Little Help from my Friends" and the title song, both classics in their own right.
Not every song is a classic. "Getting Better" and "Fixing a Hole" aren't up to the standard of the more famous songs though they do show how willing the band were to try new things, especially lyrically.
The best Beatles album? Quite possibly. I never tire of listening to it.
27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on 22 June 2003
This is the first Beatles album I owned, so my attitudes to it are coloured by that. Aside from the great music, the album had the most interesting packaging. It is terrific that when the CD was released in 1987, 20 years after the original outing, it was also packaged in an interesting manner, with excellent notes about the music and the cover included in the booklet.
It is a great shame that the other CDs were so miserably packaged.
The recording features a lot of other players and instruments besides The Beatles, including horns on the title track, weird-sounding harpsichord in Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, another string group, this time with harp, too, on She's Leaving Home, old-fashioned steam organs on Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite, a full Indian ensemble, but with orchestral strings as well on Within You, Without You, clarinets and tubular bell on When I'm 64, the saxophones, trumpets and trombones of Sounds Incorporated on Good Morning, Good Morning and then a full orchestra playing atonal, aleatoric crescendos on A Day in the Life.
The album features quite simple songs like With A Little Help From My Friends to songs with strange rhythms and keys like Within You, Without You and Good Morning, Good Morning.
It is a great album, but I think you have to be in the mood for it, whereas Rubber Soul always sounds fine.
It is only really a concept album in a loose sense, because the idea of it being a concert by Sgt Pepper's band is really only evident in the first two tracks, where the band is introduced and Sgt Pepper introduces Billy Shears, Billy [Ringo] singing With A Little Help From My Friends.
Then you have several songs not related to this theme at all, but after Within You, Without You the crowd laughs and reminds you that this is supposed to be a concert. Before the last song, Sgt Pepper's theme tune is reprised and we are thanked for being such a great audience. But this seems to be enough to hold the album together.
McCartney's great bass playing really shines on this album. It is so often melodic and interesting. When I first got the album, I sometimes listened to the album, focussing on the bass part.
Every song is interesting, and each has its own unique sound. Even the guitars and voices have been given a different sound for each song.
I still enjoy listening after 35 years.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 July 2014
must say right away that the fact you can now get vinyl again on Amazon is amazing. Like most, when Sgt Peppers came out we only had a gramophone then CD players then MP3, to listen to our treasured music.
Now hifi, is back with vinyl remasters and boy it's stunning. With the right equipment Sgt Peppers is just how it was meant to be listened to usually on Quad or Leak Tannoy and Radford hifi set ups.
The great thing is most of this "old", equipment is on eBay and can still be serviced and enjoyed today. Nothing sounds or feels like vinyl forget CDs ..Go Vinyl.
This is an EMI pressing and exactly matches my 1967 copy.
36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2009
That 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' is an iconic album in the history of popular music is without question - the Beatles, with the aid of producer George Martin, were pushing boundaries in terms of the kind of sounds and production techniques they were using, and producing something genuinely different from a lot of their earlier material. If you're familiar with the Beatles' music, the chances are you know the album inside out already. So, to the most important question - is the remastered edition worth getting?
In a word, yes. There isn't perhaps the night-and-day difference between the old CD and the new that one might expect, but it's certainly a difference you can notice - especially when comparing the two versions side by side. There's a 'cleaner', less hissy sound to the tracks now, which benefits some tracks immensely - 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds' and 'A Day In The Life' particularly. On others, which were arguably a little more 'lo-fi' to begin with, such as 'Lovely Rita', there's a less pronounced difference. One thing all the tracks benefit from, though, is a slightly heavier bass presence - always there, but the remastering makes it much clearer.
Frankly, some of the hype surrounding the remasters is going to leave potential buyers with unrealistic expectations, and as I've only heard selections from other remastered tracks from the catalogue, I can't comment on how it compares to the other Beatles albums undergoing the same treatment. If you're perfectly happy with your current CD of 'Sgt. Pepper', you needn't feel too pressured into picking up this new version, but if you've ever felt a little disappointed with the original CD, go for it. You won't regret it - and, you get it all in an attractive gatefold sleeve akin to the original vinyl, with sleeve notes and lyrics in an accompanying booklet, plus a short featurette on the making of the album included as a CD-ROM element on the disc.