The most famous album of all time. With 'Sgt Pepper' the Beatles effectively completed the transformation of popular music that they had started with 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver'. In fact, the big leap forward was 'Revolver' but everyone woke up to the transformation when Sgt Pepper was released.
This was the first 'concept' album, though the idea of being a different band is only partially carried though. Nevertheless, the very appearance of the record was different to all others: two sides of vinyl with no obvious tracks on it. And the cover ... the first ever gatefold. And the words printed on the back. And those funny cut-outs inserted into the sleeve. And all those celebrities in the main picture.
Above all, the music. The Sgt Pepper introduction is still part of Paul McCartney's sets today. Ringo still sings 'With a Little Help from my Friends'. People still debate whether 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' was actually about LSD. (No, it wasn't: it was a description that John's son, Julian,gave to a picture he was painting). 'Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite' is famously taken from a circus poster. And 'A Day in the Life' is reckoned by many to be the greatest / best pop song ever written (actually it was two, bolted together).
'Sgt Pepper' took the music industry by storm and it is still great, almost fifty years after it was first released. The 2009 remastering is excellent. If you don't have this piece of music history, I recommend you get it without further delay. It is timeless.
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!
"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.
on 30 June 2015
For those who love vinyl this classic 1967 iconic album represents the peak of The Beatles creativity. The LP that broke the mold and left other bands to follow in its progressive wake. Released during the Summer of Love, this album was on the airwaves all over the world at the time of Monterey Pop festival. A very very English record, a concept album combining Rock, Music Hall, and Love Songs. Psychedelic, thought provoking music that really moved the goalposts. With each Beatles album that came out in the sixties Beatles fans expected something and they got it. The buildup to Sgt. Pepper, “Rubber Soul”, Revolver, heralded the coming of this great album. When it came out it was one of the first albums with the lyrics printed on the back. Symbolizing that the lyrics were an important part of the music. The Beatles gave us a lot and I would say should Rock Music last a thousand years people will still look back and say "This was the finest hour”. While many may see "The White Album" by The Beatles as their best work, Sgt. Peppers had a special place in people's hearts back then. A good record for beginners to start with. If they like it they can then go backwards or forwards in the Beatles songbook.
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.
on 3 April 2015
One of the greatest albums ever made. Later revisionism says this has dated slightly and now the 'White Album', 'Revolver' and 'Abbey Road' are superior, but that fails to take in the fact that Sgt Pepper was the album that made the LP medium an art form in itself, rather than just a collection of songs. For so many, this was the first time they actually bought an LP instead of a single. Just enjoy it for what it is - a pop meisterwerk - and wait for the next round of revisionist criticism.
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.
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.
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.
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.