Review #100: (Classic Album) The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

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

The Beatles were a pop-rock band from Liverpool, UK. The group formed in 1960 and consisted of members John Lennon – vocals/guitar, Paul McCartney – bass/vocals, George Harrison – guitar/vocals and Ringo Starr – drums/vocals. Despite only being together 10 years before their split The Beatles became one of the biggest and most influential bands worldwide, going from simple skiffle beginnings to pop, rock, psychedelic and even indian music. The band recorded 12 albums in that time, Please Please Me (1963), With the Beatles (1963), A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Beatles for Sale (1964), Help! (1965), Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (“The White Album”, 1968), Yellow Submarine (1969), Abbey Road (1969) and Let It Be (1970). After their split each member went on to have successful solo careers, start new bands (Wings) and follow less musical ventures.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is considered by many to be The Beatles greatest album, which is a tough decision to make, due to how many great albums they have. The whole album is a concept in a way, being a sole performance by the band’s alter-ego, allowing them to further experiment with their music. Sgt. Pepper includes songs that have become hits in The Beatles catalogue, ‘With a Little Help from My Friends’ and ‘A Day in the Life’, songs that have played with genre unusual to The Beatles such a ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ and songs that displayed the band and producers experimentation with production ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’. The amount this album achieved within the limitations of the time is incredible, having to still record with four-track required excessive dubbing to be done over each recording and parts had to be played at different tempos then spliced up to create the odd psychedelic sounds featured. One key element was effects, obviously many effects either hadn’t been created yet or weren’t widely available, which required the band and producer to experiment with reverb and in one instance create the ‘Flange’ effect through doubling Lennon’s vocal recording. As well as how unique, innovative and yet still catchy the music is, one of the components that people will always remeber this album for is its album cover. Including The Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper uniforms alongside a more classic style Beatles, the bands name written out in flowers in front and then an array of actors, musicians and historical figures behind of which the band obviously enjoyed (Marilyn Monroe, Bob Dylan, Edgar Allan Poe).

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of those albums that set a benchmark for all that came after it, inventing new ways to write and record songs, which many artist take for granted today. This album is innovation if one word had to describe it.

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