25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Great music and packaging,
This review is from: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Audio CD)
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.