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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Beatles

1967

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Album Summary

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released on 26 May 1967, it spent 27 weeks at number one on the Record Retailer chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard Top LPs chart in the United States. The album was lauded by critics for its innovations in songwriting, production and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and for reflecting the interests of contemporary youth and the counterculture. Its release was a defining moment in 1960s pop culture, heralding the Summer of Love, while the album's reception achieved full cultural legitimisation for pop music and recognition for the medium as a genuine art form. At the end of August 1966, the Beatles permanently retired from touring and pursued individual interests for the next three months. During a return flight to London in November, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song involving an Edwardian military band that formed the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. Sessions began on 24 November at EMI Studios with compositions inspired by the Beatles' youth, but after pressure from EMI, the songs "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were released as a double A-side single in February 1967 and left off the LP. The album was loosely conceptualised as a performance by the fictional Sgt. Pepper band, an idea that was conceived after recording the title track. A key work of British psychedelia, it incorporates a range of stylistic influences, including vaudeville, circus, music hall, avant-garde, and Western and Indian classical music. The band continued the technological experimentation marked by their previous album, Revolver, this time without an absolute deadline for completion. With producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick, the group coloured much of the recordings with sound effects and tape manipulation, as exemplified on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" and "A Day in the Life". Recording was completed on 21 April. The cover, which depicts the Beatles posing in front of a tableau of celebrities and historical figures, was designed by the pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. Sgt. Pepper is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the roles of sound composition, extended form, psychedelic imagery, record sleeves, and the producer in popular music. The album had an immediate cross-generational impact and was associated with numerous touchstones of the era's youth culture, such as fashion, drugs, mysticism, and a sense of optimism and empowerment. It is considered one of the first art rock LPs, a progenitor to progressive rock, and the start of the album era. In 1968, it won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour; in 2003 it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. It has topped several critics' and listeners' polls for the best album of all time, including those published by Rolling Stone magazine and in the book All Time Top 1000 Albums, and the UK's "Music of the Millennium" poll. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time and was still, in 2018, the UK's best-selling studio album. More than 32 million copies had been sold worldwide as of 2011. A remixed and expanded edition of the album was released in 2017.

Wikipedia

Rating

4.28

Votes

6232

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Pop
Reviews
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Sat May 01 2021
5

That segway from the first song, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band to With a little help from my friends is foreshadowing that this album will be special. After hearing thru so many different genres that followed this in the 70s and 80s such as psychedelic, prog, World, and avant-garde this album may not sound too innovative, but when I stop to think that this is the OG that started it all, it's influence and importance comes into perspective. There are 13 songs on this album, 12 are killer and deserve 5 stars, with only Being the benefit of Mr Kite being a miss, but the album closes with a Sgt Pepper's reprise with another brilliant segway into their best song ever IMO, A Day in the Life and then to top it off this fricking masterpiece of a record ends with perhaps the most incredible ending notes of any song, EVER. So it makes up for Mr Kite, and how! So I'm happy to give my first 5 star rating to this album.

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Sun Dec 19 2021
5

I really did enjoy the show

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Sat Apr 30 2022
5

This album is a 10 out of 10, and that's before you get to the final track, which is one of the greatest pop songs ever recorded and ends with THAT chord - a chord so iconic it has its own liner notes. I don't care about any debate about how influential or overrated or whatever this album is, or about how it compares to Pet Sounds or anything else. All I know is it ends with John Lennon literally reading a newspaper while Paul combs his hair, culminating in a chaotic semi-improvised orchestral glissando and a 40-second long chord that sticks in your soul and your chest long after it's over. Bravo. Best track: A Day in the Life

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Tue Mar 02 2021
5

This is one of my favorite Beatles albums, hands down. I don't actually have much more to say about it. I just love it.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
3

What can you really say about a Beatles album? There’s a hovering obligation to give credit where credit is surely due for being the first to do something, forging a path that other artists I love clearly followed in. You wouldn’t want to say you didn’t enjoy it because that sounds ungrateful or simple. I thought this album would be a lot of things it wasn’t. I thought I’d like it more or like it less. The beginning and end built up an urgency that the rest of the album never quite caught up with. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe I’m just ungrateful or simple.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
5

The grand daddy of concept albums. Features, arguably, the greatest Lennon McCartney collaboration, A Day In The Life. I always used to play that tune on the juke box at the pool hall when I was a kid cause it had that secret track on it at the end and it would temporarily disrupt the place into a state of surreal confusion, much to my delight. It's only a matter of seconds but it felt like ages each time. Love the idea of them pretending to be an alter ego in order to free themselves from being The Beatles and all the expectations that went with it. Studio as an instrument on full display here. What a combination of dreary reality and escapism. Goes together like peanut butter and jelly. Listening to this on headphones, I'm hearing little details I've never noticed before. Guessing it's also partially the remastering.

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Thu Apr 07 2022
5

In 1967’s summer of Love, I was 8 years old and no one was cooler than my Uncle Steve. He would later become a criminal defense attorney in Austin, Texas, married and divorce a couple of times along with the subsequent troubled children often produced from that environment, and died with a body ravaged by the excess of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and fried food. But in 1967, man, he was IT! I seem to recall that he had a girlfriend/wife who was an international model, and together achieved some kind of notoriety including a picture on the cover of the Houston Post for smuggling hashish into the United States, but don’t hold me to the details. I was just a kid at the time. I do remember them briefly occupying one of the bedrooms of our two story suburban home in Houston until my father finally begged them to leave because of the pot smoking and loud music billowing from an open window of the room facing the front of the house overlooking the cul-d-esac of our neighborhood. That kind of behavior was unknown to our neighbors, who lacked any real understanding and were most certainly intolerant of the developing counter culture. Uncle Steve happened to be a friend of Michael Nesmith, and a year later would share writing credits with Davey Jones on two songs that ended up on 'The Birds, The Bees, and The Monkees': the opening track, ‘Dream World,’ and another song on the second side, ‘The Poster.’ Neither rose anywhere near the fame of the LP’s biggest hit, ‘Daydream Believer,’ but as songs go they were about as good as any other pop songs in 1968, lyrically reflecting the ennui of America’s youth, and musically, ‘The Poster,’ in particular, including one of the oh-so late 60’s beloved instruments, the innocent harpsicord. In fact, in retrospect, listening to ‘The Poster,’ I can see what an effect The Beatles’ 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' must have had on my uncle. You won’t meet a bigger Beatlemaniac than yours truly, and while this particular LP is not my favorite (that honor goes to 'The Magical Mystery Tour'), it’s still wields its own magic, and will forever have an emotional claim on my musical soul. On my eighth birthday, June 26, 1967, just a couple of weeks following its release in America, my Uncle Steve presented me with a packaged cellophane copy of 'Sgt. Pepper’s' that still emanated the faint residual smell of the incense that they burned down at the local record store, Peaches Records and Tapes (for those of you who are hip to that.) I already, of course, had all the prior Beatles’ records and this one, being hot off the press, was highly coveted. I could barely contain my glee as he handed it over. But as I grasped it, before letting it go he looked me right in the eye and said, prophetically, ‘Nephew, you are now holding what will be considered a great work of art one day. Remember this moment. Cherish and honor this gift.’ And I did then, and I still do now, almost 55 years later. I don’t know what to add about the oceans of ink spilled (or, now, ethers of digitalized information disseminated?) about this LP: McCartney’s idea of reintroducing themselves under the guise of a completely different band to shatter the constraints of the prior fab four; or, the many drug references (‘I get high with a little help from my friends,’ ‘Lie on your back with your head in the clouds and you’re gone. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.’ ‘Found my way upstairs and had a smoke. Somebody spoke and I went into a dream. Ahhh…’ ‘I’d love to turn you on.’ The trippy backwards circus carousel on ‘Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!,’ or the taking-a-hit-off-a-joint sound at the end of ‘Lovely Rita,’ etc); or the famous cover photo montage and the lyrics written on the back (a surprisingly new concept at that time), or, or, or…. I mean, it’s the Beatles. These boys could sing and play the yellow pages (I’m dating myself with that reference) and it would be solid gold. I love ‘em. What can I say? Ringo’s subtle drumming, always serving the best interests of the song rather than his own ego, George Harrison’s essential guitar fills here, there, and everywhere. Lennon’s authentically soulful voice, despite the heavy doses of studio effects and LSD. And finally, Sir Paul McCartney. This is really his LP, his concept, his lead beginning to really assert itself in the band. I’ve always been more of a Lennon man, but doesn’t McCartney shine on 'Sgt. Pepper’s'? Listen to how clear and strong his vocal parts are immediately following Lennon’s more affected ones. The interplay between the two is unrivaled in contemporary rock/pop music. (We’ll cover his incredibly melodic bass playing more extensively when 'Abbey Road' comes around.) But I think the real value of 'Sgt. Pepper’s' is the mood of the time The Beatles so expertly captured. George Harrison’s growing interest in exploring exotic, previously unfamiliar (to the west) eastern global spiritual traditions (and remember this was decades before the access to information that we now take for granted on the interweb) on his sole composition, ‘With You Without You.’ McCartney’s gorgeously heartrending and respectful treatment of both generations on ‘She’s Leaving Home’- the disaffected, searching young, and the inability of the old to comprehend their children’s frustration with the status quo. Lennon’s opus magnum, ‘A Day In The Life,’ a desperate search for sense among the seemingly senseless. And Ringo’s opus magnum (at least vocally), ‘With A Little Help From My Friends,’ the gathering of the global tribes forming a new community of peace and love. This whole LP clearly spoke to me, even in my pre-teen years, of a significant change in human consciousness, some kind of evolution occurring in real time, my time. I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it back then, but I felt it nonetheless. And while Harrison’s new spirituality, accompanied by droning sitars and throbbing tablas, went over my head, I now hear them and his lyrics as a call to arms, (the multiple arms of Shiva, Lakshmi, Ganesha, and the rest) to any and all generations, youth and otherwise, who would listen: ‘We were talking about the love that’s gone so cold, and the people who gain the world and lose their soul (the two arms of Jesus). They don’t know, they can’t see. Are you one of them?’ It was Harrison’s good friend, Bob Dylan, who would actually have first rights to this two summers prior in ‘Ballad Of A Thin Man,’ on Highway 61 Revisited: ‘Something is happening here, but you don’t know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?’ It’s still happening, brothers and sisters, and some still don’t know. But some do. Which one are you? 5 million/5

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Fri Jan 22 2021
2

A great album in the sense that pacman was a great game, clearly seminal, famous songs abound, and a step forward with the Beatles adding more orchestral sounds. Drug Beatles as my mom would call it. Digging a hole is good, Day in the Life and 64 classics but kind of played out. I just don't crave the Beatles.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
2

I saw a few reviews wonder what it must feel like to come into this album cold, to listen to it with fresh ears in today's musical landscape without it having been an ever-present fixture in one's life. Hey, I'm your guy. I was born in '88. The only Beatles song I can confidently claim to have listened to the whole way through prior to starting this project was "Twist and Shout", which, upon only just now thinking to look into it, was actually a cover. They don't come any denser than me. The eponymous intro track is a perfectly bombastic mixture of rock and orchestral that really sells the idea that this album is going to be masterful. That the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is going to be an experience. It's excellent, and sends you straight into the next track on a huge high. I straight-up love this strategy. The first true track in question is "With a Little Help From My Friends". To me, this felt like the kind of cute, feel-good ditty you would find to close OUT the show. What is it doing here, smack at the beginning? Tonally, it's a little jarring from the solid intro that pitched to us the notion that we'd be listening to a well-oiled machine; but by itself, it's not necessarily a portent of ill omen. This could still potentially work as an opener. But "Lucy in the Sky" is next, and here is where things are looking rough. The chorus is repetitive and musically inert, and probably isn't the focus of the song. The verses have a psychedelic bent to them, and this is my hangup. 166 album ratings in, and the 60s as a decade is sitting a solid 0.68 points below my second-lowest-rated era. It's the only decade that falls below a 3-star average for me, and this right here is why. I don't understand what is supposed to be appealing about psychedelia. Is this because I've never done drugs? Is that the key that would unlock an entire musical generation for me? That is followed up by "Getting Better", which is rather appropriately-named, because this is more of a return to their roots and is actually pleasant to listen to. That said, it's also a fluff piece, hands-down. "Fixing a Hole" has a good guitar riff, actually, although I didn't notice it right away. That's about the best I can say for it; otherwise it's basically filler. "She's Leaving Home" would really be a perfect track to mellow us out... except we haven't been amped up since the intro, so it's not accomplishing anything here. Er, now hang on, that's a point. Wasn't I sold an experience? Because from my point of view, after that intro faded out, nothing has truly landed for me so far. We're halfway in already, and every single song has either been put sorely out of place, or should be functioning as the glue that would string along and prop up the memorable tracks—which are inexplicably absent. The rest of the album plays on in a similar manner; I'm already checked out, and that was supposed to be the GOOD half. Eventually, the Club Band reprise outro comes crashing in, acting like that was a hell of a show you just heard. Honestly, it's so confident in its approach that I could almost imagine it was true. But if you compare the intro/outro to the rest of the album... I don't know. It's discordant; it doesn't match the tone at all; it makes me wonder if the opening and closing act knew what they were opening and closing FOR. Maybe if my expectations had been different, I could have found more merit here. But the only thing louder than the hype from this album's introduction is the hype from the wall of 5-star reviews, many of which proudly proclaim "What can you say about this album?" But I suppose somebody in that mix should say *something*, because there are still a few dense people like me out there who just don't understand how to appreciate this work.

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Sat May 01 2021
5

Here we go - song by song for the 1st time Sgt Peppers . . .  I love how raw the opening guitar riff is. What a great way to start the album. I understand Paul took lead guitar duties away from George on the Sgt Pep. song. He lays down some excellent lead. I can’t imagine George was happy about he mates in the sandbox  that day. With a Little Help ... This is the most famous song Ringo sang. He makes it  so much fun as only he could do. Lucy in the Sky. This is a wonderful Lennon tune. Lucy and Day in the Life are the two highlights of the LP. (I know, you guys probably think When I’m 64 is the shit. Call me crazy). Listening to Lucy makes me feel like I’m stoned. Paul lays down some interesting bass flows and some intricate finger work particularly during the last few seconds of the fade out. (I need to give Paul compliments early before I say what I really think about some of his songs to come). Getting Better. Paul’s Fluff-O-Matic songs begin! OK not complete fluff. The harmonies and George’s tambura playing make it a damn good song. The tambura seems to be made to generate feedback. Fixing a hole: Paul’s fluff factor is turned up a couple of notches  Again the upbeat guitar work makes the song good. The guitar solo between versus around half way through is conspicuous but more interesting is the solo while Paul is signing the verses. Ahh, Paul taking one for the team to make the song better. She’s Leaving Home  I always liked this one especially the last verse where the parents wonder what they did wrong. It’s a kinder / gentler version of Yusuf Islam’s (aka Cat Stevens) Father and Son written a few years later.  Paul sure can hit the high notes on the chorus. I doubt Paul would attempt to hit these  when playing live but if he could he would be in the same building as Art Garfunkel. Not the same floor as Art,  but the same building. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! For all of John’s songs on this LP  I wonder where on earth he came up with the bizarre lyrics. Mr. Kite is a great example. Apparently he is singing about a random circus he read about. ?? Within You and Without you. This song is crazy.  The rock and roll world wasn’t ready for the sitar. I remember  George  assembled some sitar players for a benefit concert  a few years later. The audience broke into an ovation after the musicians finished tuning their sitars since they thought the tuning process  was the first song.  Whoops! That demonstrates how foreign the instrument was. When I’m 64 This is complete, 100%, unadulterated fluff from Paul. But totally cute I guess. Perhaps one day I'll have grandkids named Vera, Chuck and Dave. Lovely Rita  Another whack of Paul's fluff. The short piano solo is sick! This solo is one of many snippets of absolute brilliance on this LP. Also, the moaning at the end of the song is priceless. I guess Lovely Rita took a short break from writing parking tickets that afternoon. Hmmm. May I enquire discreetly? Good Morning Good Morning  Another excellent guitar solo. It sounds like the guitar Paul played on Sgt Pep. Perhaps more mumbling, bumbling  and stumbling from George about that sandbox. That guitar  has such a vicious sound. The animal sounds at the end are wonderfully ridiculous. The rooster segue to Sgt Pep. reprise is a joy to behold! I'm glad that little  rooster wasn't too lazy to crow today.  A Day in the Life is a masterpiece. Well,  except for the middle eight that Paul wrote and deposited between verses 3 and 4. The good thing about Paul’s bit being slipped in is it highlights how amazing John’s verses are. This song demonstrates how John's writes his songs in a way that invites the other players to be at their creative best. Ringo’s drumming on the Sgt Pep LP is at its creative peak during A Day in the Life. More specifically, during John’s verses on this song. (His drumming is kinda lame during Paul’s contribution.  When in Rome . . . - or shall I say when not in Rome . . .).  The intricate drum work on A Day in the Life was also possible only because Ringo uses Pearl drums. That amount of drum strokes on a fairly quiet song would have been infuriating  if he used less subtle drums. I’m probably at a 4 based solely on the music but give it a 5 due to how influential this album was. It opened another musical door that copious amounts of excellent music walked through. I understand that  "Their Satanic Majesties Request" also walked through that door but I can't hold back the 5 because of that. OK Alright OK Alright.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

This is the Beatles' masterpiece. When they decided to stop touring and become solely a studio band in 1966, they had a brilliant idea for their next record: let's bring the performance home to the record-buyers. Everything about Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is spectacle, from the album cover to the audience cheering at the opening tracks and then some. I love how this album plays with unique and fresh ideas that still sound like a fitting part of this technicolor album. Off the top of my head, Within You Without You, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, and a Day In The Life do drastically different things and they're all excellent without feeling out of place. More than anything, I would describe Sgt. Pepper's as a showcase of sorts. The Beatles want to convince you of all the cool new songwriting and production tricks they've learned, fully committing themselves to developing an album that is impressive on all accounts (and, subsequently, impossible to play live at the time). This the the Beatles with no restrictions whatsoever. Fully free to make the greatest possible album that they can, with a whopper of a closer to go with it. Goosebumps.

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Sat May 07 2022
5

Sgt. Pepper remains one of The Beatles’ most impactful artistic achievements, as a landmark in the development of art rock, a predecessor to the progressive rock movement, and as a defining moment in 1960s pop culture. Sgt. Pepper finds the Fab Four melding brilliant pastiches of circus, music hall, avant-garde, and classical (both Western and Eastern) with an overwhelming sense of optimism and empowerment which heralded the impending Summer of Love and managed to bridge the gap between popular music and high art. The influence of this record is still felt today, even in ways which may not seem so obvious at first, such as the revolutionary usage of sound effects and tape manipulation, innovations in graphic design, the use of cyclic form in popular music, and advancing the importance of the producer. This is a record which managed to define and shape its era. It stands the test of time as an important and effective work of art, while also remaining fun, listenable, and lively. The instrumentation is rich and expressive, and it is an absolute joy to experience the multifaceted music of The Beatles, whether it be Paul’s pristine pop sensibilities, John’s inner monologues, George’s experimentalism, or Ringo’s happy-go-lucky whimsicality.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
3

Comme vous le savez tous très bien, j'ai longtemps considéré les Beatles comme un groupe extrêmement surcoté. Néammoins, le White Album écouté il y a de cela une poignée de semaines m'avait bien rabattu mon clappe merde. Aujourd'hui, les Beatles sont retombés dans leurs travers. Un album absolument commun, sans rien de bien particulier, adulé par la communauté décérebrée du générateur. Je vous décris ci-dessous ce qu'il s'est passé chez chacun des auditeurs imbéciles utilisant ce générateur: *coupe son enceinte diffusant un solo d'orgue de 6mn de Manzarev* "Au jour d'aujourd'hui nouvel album!" (vous noterez que ceci n'est même pas du français correct) "Bittles!!!" (ceci n'est pas l'orthographe correcte du groupe susmentionné, une nouvelle preuve flagrante de la débilité des auditeurs) "Bittles, c'est 6/5!!!" (il n'y a que 5 notes selectionnables sur le générateur, de plus il est mathématiquement impossible d'obtenir une note supérieur au denominateur) *relance son solo de Manzamerde* Si vous analysez bien la situation, vous noterez qu'aucun auditeur n'a lancé l'album du jour, ils se sont simplement contentés de grassement noter cet album moyen à la vision du naming "Beatles". J'attends vos réponses en commentaires.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Hot take: if this album came out today, I'd give it a 4. But it's The Beatles' magnum opus and perhaps the most important record of all time, so it has to get a 5. Maybe it only feels so weird to me because I wasn't there in the psychedelic era to understand it, but to my ears it's a bizarre kaleidoscopic tapestry of sound, throwing influences around like a Jackson Pollock painting. Whatever it may be to me though, it is so much more to so many more people. Perhaps more so than any other album on this list, this is one of those albums you Must Listen To Before You Die, if only to understand this thing so many other people have heard and feel so strongly about.

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Sat Mar 27 2021
5

(Listened to Before) Not much to say other than this is a classic. Love most of it and how the Beatles maintain their identity through some somewhat psychedelic stylings. Top 5 Beatles album. Favorite Tracks: Fixing A Hole, Getting Better, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Least Favorite Tracks: When I’m Sixty Four

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles (1967) Is this the greatest album of all time? Yes and no. Considered as to its historical setting and its advancement of the artistic form, yes. Considered as to its musical and artistic merit, listenability, structure, poetic depth, and engagement of the human condition, no. But even here, it’s still on the list of the top five ‘greatest albums ever’. Young listeners today should be made aware of the chronological context of what preceded and followed the date of this album’s release. It was 1967. The world had never heard anything like it (‘groundbreaking’ would be an understatement). And the world liked it and continued to like it, to imitate it, to develop from it, and to return to it as an evaluative standard, making ever new discoveries in its creative tapestry. That is what we mean when we use the word ‘classic’. And I can’t think of an album that is more of a ‘classic’ in this defining sense. “Sgt. Pepper” is supremely well crafted. Its conceptual setting (a fictional concert by an amateurish military-style band from early 20th century Great Britain) is strong enough to stand without requiring a narrative. In this way, the work invented the form of the ‘concept’ album—a forward-looking creative mode advancing beyond opera and Wagnerian ‘music drama’. In this artistic mode, the listener’s ears are the stage. The visualization is in the mind, not through a proscenium. And the mind targeted by this album is a broad canvas, stretched on a frame from the Indian classical strains of George Harrison’s “Within You Without You” to the genre defying “She’s Leaving Home“. To explore this just a tiny bit, listen to the opening title track on headphones. A serious listener will discern that the fictional audience (representing the listener him/herself) is included in the recording of the fictional concert, which, after sounds of the band ‘tuning up’ and anticipatory crowd assembly sounds, begins with a well balanced four-bar rock intro. But something is intentionally amiss. The fictional emcee begins his introduction of the band seemingly stuck in the right channel of the audio. Then the brass/vocal ensemble enters, and now suddenly, it is seemingly stuck in the left channel. But when the vocals begin to express the band members’ fondness for the audience, the balance slowly, expansively, and captivatingly shifts to the center, culminating with the line “We’d like to take you home with us; we’d love to take you home”. The effect of this recording strategy is to create a bond. I mean, consider: the listener has just returned from the record store (taking The Beatles ‘home’) and lovingly lowered the disc onto the turntable, and has ardently put the needle into the opening groove. Then The Beatles begin the album with corresponding affection. [If you missed the progressive eroticism in this paragraph, read it again.] Did anyone ever have the audacity to turn it off at this point and never listen to it again? I don’t think so. This masterful overture is suitably followed by the comfortably pop “With Little Help from My Friends”—meaning a group of friends which, by this point, already includes the listener. With these two beginning tracks, is there a better album ‘hook’ in the history of recorded music? I don’t think so. Like the start of any concert (or party), the appropriate mental mood is essential, and so we have the decidedly non-pop psychedelic “Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds” to help the artists “get high with a little help from my friends”. Has there ever been a more artful reference to hallucinogens? I don’t think so. And it gets better with “Getting Better”, right about the time that the listener notices the audience is gone (but not forgotten), and the community now consists only of him/herself and the musicians. Does he/she mind? I don’t think so. “Fixing a Hole” is a song for meditative old farts who are “taking the time for a number of things that weren't important yesterday”. Does that mean that young people should skip this one? I don’t think so. Full stop. “She’s Leaving Home” is superlatively poignant, vivisecting loneliness, disappointment, the willful pursuit of limited happiness, and an incommensurate attachment to gratitude—lessons in love that are meaningful not just for the good-looking, the popular, the successful, the wealthy, and the wannabe characters in gothic romance, but also for the rest of us. This why we weep when we hear it. Could the song have been accompanied by anything other that a mournful string ensemble? I don’t think so. Now, can I give you a ready explanation as to why “Mr. Kite” is stuck in the right channel? Well, maybe I’ll be able to when I’m seventy-four, but as for now, I don’t think so. But listening to “When I’m Sixty-Four” on the far side of that reverie-inducing benchmark gives the song a completely different effect. Would I like to go back? (All together, now), I don’t think so! And should we dispense with a consideration of the symbolism of “Lovely Rita” and the nihilistic banality of a simple “Good Morning”? We shouldn’t think so. In the “Sgt. Pepper” reprise, the crowd is suddenly back, and the listener is summoned to prepare for the sad but necessary return to the artless and sober existence he/she had before starting this enterprise. But not before “A Day in the Life”, which is a mini opera in itself, requiring full orchestra and some of the best drumming Ringo Starr ever drummed. John Lennon’s lead vocal moves oh so slowly from the right channel to the left, followed by Paul McCartney’s bridge, in which he remains stubbornly and steadfastly in the right channel (Was this the beginning of the end for these two?). The discordant but progressive orchestral climax shouts a reverberating triumph before the mechanically repeated “never could be any other way” (paced at the panic-inducing 33 1/3 rpm) ends the album with both an exclamation point and a question mark. God, the artistry. On top of all this, one could spend hours meditating on the cover photo alone. Are there any negative things to say about this album? I don’t think so. 5/5

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Wed Dec 15 2021
5

A Michelin starred restaurant can serve any old slop and, out of deference to the tastemakers, someone will say it's the best meal they've ever had. But can it be both?

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Tue May 17 2022
5

Easy 5! This is my second album where I am able to listen to it on Vinyl and this is easily my most valuable record in my collection. I don't think there is a bad track on the album. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is a great opening track and leads into what is one of my favorite Beatles songs in "With a Little Help from My Friends" for uh certain relatable reasons. Then you have "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" which is an amazing song and as much as John insisted it wasn't a euphemism I do not believe him. The song flows way too much like an actual acid trip to not be 100% about one. I mean this is the Acid album afterall. "Getting Better" and "Fixing A Hole" are two of the weaker songs on the album, though neither is in anyway a bad song they just don't stand out as much. "She's Leaving Home" is one of the Beatles more underrated songs in my opinion, if you can even call a song that popular underrated. "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" is certainly one of the stranger songs, but feels right as a summation of the A side of this album. "Within You Without You" also lands as one of the stranger songs, but I think these 'weird' songs are the beauty of The Beatles' studio bound years. The exploration of world music instruments and styles really is the beauty of the latter years. "When I'm Sixty Four" is certainly a departure from the sound of the previous two tracks. It's a fun bouncy track that if it weren't for the general strangeness of this album doesn't feel like it should fit. That and "Lovely Rita" both fit into the category of weaker songs on an amazing album. "Good Morning Good Morning" while maybe not your regular listening type of Beatles song is still a really great and fun song. Though the animal sounds on it do take it down a peg. The "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Reprise" I almost like more than the originating track. "A Day In The Life" is a great track and a good way to end the album. Listening to albums I've heard before is great too because I get something new out of them. The exploration of different instruments and techniques in this album is what makes it one of my favorite albums. The mixing on the album is also very masterfully done. The hard panned vocals certainly throw you for a loop at times. Especially if like me you grew up on the bad digital stereo mixes that hard panned every sound and had no blending. If I weren't listening to the vinyl I would have assumed that was just the case. This is one of the few albums I have ever seen where every single song has its own Wikipedia article. Truly a masterpiece. All in all this is an amazing album that should be rated no lower than a 5 and anybody that puts it lower than a 4 just shouldn't be trusted in their judgement of music.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
4

This one is going to be hard to review because it's practically wired into my DNA. Sgt. Pepper's was one of the most played records in my house when we were kids, and of course it was constantly on the radio for 30 years at least. It's going to be hard to approach this with fresh ears from a critical perspective, but I'll try. The first thing you have to talk about is what Sgt. Pepper's is not: it's not a rock album, although it does have rock in it, and it's not an album of psychedelia, although it has psychedelia in it. Sgt. Pepper's is a pop album through and through, although with pretensions to art music. It draws from rock, psychedelia, music hall, classical, and even carnatic music traditions. Now, generally, the lessons from Sgt. Pepper's have been thoroughly absorbed, as you can tell by listening to any Sufjan Stevens album or any number of other modern artists. Fans of these artists would tell you that Sgt. Pepper's is boring and irrelevant and while it's historically significant, the Beatles have long since been surpassed. And in a way, they're right. Studio trickery is far more advanced. Artists confidently layer on dozens of tracks for any given song. But what they're leaving out is taste. Listening to Sgt. Pepper's for the first time in a long time, and critically at that, I was surprised at how sparse the music was for the most part. The Beatles don't dump everything but the kitchen sink into their tunes for the most part, not that they had the option--Sgt. Pepper's was made on a four track recorder. I was amazed at how much mileage they get out of so little. The music sounds really full if you aren't paying super close attention. And the variety of textures and styles they manage to eke out is kind of mind blowing. This speaks to incredibly cunning arrangements. Then there's the skill and taste of the playing. Listening to Sgt. Pepper's with a critical ear, I was in awe of McCartney's bass playing. He rarely explicitly maps out the bass notes of chords. More often than not, he's playing counter melodies and counter rhythms while still keeping the pulse and giving a sense of the harmonies. And all this with distinctly simple bass lines. And he has a beautiful, bell like tone. His work on Sgt. Pepper's is some of the most economical and tasteful I've heard. Then there's Harrison. Again, his solos are simple, economical, but iconic. You could never mistake his guitar playing for anyone else's. And he has a genius for finding just the right guitar tone for any given situation. But what about the songs themselves? They generally have strong melodies and structures, not terribly complex, but memorable nonetheless. Modern audiences are certain to be bored by When I'm 64 because it refers back to a music hall tradition that was 30 or 30 years old back in 1967, and so completely irrelevant to them. I don't blame them for that, but for me, the music hall influence in When I'm 64 strikes me as a charming throwback, basically because I'm old. Likewise, many will have a problem with the classical art music pretentions of She's Leaving Home. I don't because of what I'm assuming is McCartney's light touch and sense of humor about the material, reflected in melodramatic strings that accompany the lyrics \"She breaks down and cries to her husband 'Daddy, our baby's gone!'\" which recalls film melodramas McCartney would have grown up with. I have a bigger problem with Within You Without You. The philosophy in the lyrics, while not ridiculous in and of itself, comes off as second hand, heavy handed, and often clumsy. When paired with quasi-carnatic music, given its association with gurus, it's way too on the nose, and even a bit embarrassing. So, you've got a solid slate of songs with one clunker, gorgeous, clever, and economical arrangements, and first-rate musicianship. I'll dun Sgt. Pepper's half a star for Within You Without You, but it's hard to fault it otherwise.

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Sun Jul 11 2021
4

Je n'ai absolument rien à déclarer au sujet de cet album, un peu à la manière de Messi lorsqu'il était interrogé sur Griezmann.

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Wed Jul 21 2021
4

There are great tracks - title track, She’s Leaving Home, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- and there are ok tracks - When I’m 64, Lovely Rita - and there is The Beatle’s masterpiece A Day in the Life, which is one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century. The production on the album is excellent throughout and Ringo’s drumming is superb. A surprising mixed bag but something about The Beatles is always compelling even at their less successful.

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Thu Sep 01 2022
2

So what is wrong with me that I don't LOVE LOVE LOVE the Beatles? I've always known this, of course. But the time had come to listen to my first Beatles album from beginning to end. Maybe it's just this one that doesn't resonate with me? But once "Fixing a Hole" kicked in I steadily became more and more irritable and impatient. I felt like I was listening to some Sesame Street knock-off (which, OK, Sesame Street music is obviously a Sgt. Pepper knockoff but whatever). Maybe its something about the Dee-Do, Dee-Do, Dee-Do rhythm that just disagrees with my personal frequency. I tried to like it, I really did. But truthfully, it just puts me in a bad mood.

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Fri May 07 2021
5

One of the best albums ever made. Every song is the best on the album. A true classic, one of my most listened to in my collection. The cover itself is amazing.

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Tue Sep 29 2020
5

I mean, it's Sgt. Pepper's Motherfucking Lonely Hearts Club Band, what do you expect. Ps: Lennon fucking sucks.

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Thu Mar 04 2021
5

A classic. Definitely in the top half of the Beatles albums for me, and a long-time favorite of mine.

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Mon Mar 15 2021
5

Still impressive for the time and a great listen every time

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Wed May 19 2021
5

It's fricken the Beatles. not my first listen, never could be another way-never could be any other w-Never could be any other...

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Sun Nov 15 2020
5

Listened to this since I was a little kid

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Tue Nov 17 2020
5

This album is amazing and will continue to be amazing until the end of time. All the songs are great, perfect length, and absolute jammers. The only downside to this record is 'Within You Without You' which is a boring slog of Indian song. Overall I would give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars. thanks for coming to my ted talk.

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Fri Jan 01 2021
5

the songs are a good length i really like the beatles i think its cool that there's cheering the background with a little help from my friends is fire

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Sat May 08 2021
5

What more is there to say?

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

I really do love this album, great songs that go even better together.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

It's The Beatles. Classic album.

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Tue Jan 26 2021
5

годный альбом! и вообще, тяжело найти человека, которому не нравилась хотя бы одна песня битлов

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Zero notes required.

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Fenomenalno, kompletno. Lucy in the sky with diamonds; Lovely Rita; A day in life

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Tue May 25 2021
5

BEATLESSSSSS

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

Just great

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Amazing She's leaving home deserves another listen

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Sun Mar 14 2021
5

Didn't realize how many great songs there on there. Some experimental stuff that must have been crazy back when it came out. Really good album.

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Mon Mar 01 2021
5

Every song is so transformative, didn't realize so many of the classics were on Sgt. Pepper.

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Sat Jan 30 2021
5

HA. Really.. Rate this masterpiece?

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Mon Jan 18 2021
5

I remember being a little kid, maybe seven years old and listening to this on headphones and enjoying the space it creates. Fun to listen to it again, it's been too long. Great memories!

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Fri Jan 15 2021
5

Great album, had heard it already and it was a delight to revisit it. The fact that the whole album is a unit is nothing short of a masterpiece before its time.

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

While I don't absolutely love every single song on here I find myself going back and listening to it over and over again. It's hard not to imagine how mind blowing this must have sounded to a Beatles fan (and the rest of the world) post Beatlemania . Although they weren't the first to do it, the commercial implications it had for psych rock's emergence into the mainstream is worth five stars in itself. She's Leaving Home is probably my highlight, followed closely by With a Little Help and When I'm Sixty Four.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Classic!

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

Fem av fem. The original concept

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Very good but it does sound like lots of things from the past 50 years.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

Fantastic. What it must have been like to hear this for the first time back in the 60s. It holds up now as a clever and interesting album that moves through genres and tempos. Loved it.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
5

superb

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Tue Feb 02 2021
5

Really?

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

I don't think I have ever hear "Within you without you" before... I could have sworn I had listened to this album before, but I must have only listened to the A-side. "When I am Sixty-Four" is great. "Lovely Rita"- Are the Beatles boot-lickers? I want to rewatch "Across the Universe". There are so many little nods to this album in the show. "A Day in the Life" Is a bit too on the nose for me this week, but damn it is good.

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Wed Jan 20 2021
5

Obviously a classic. Heard it a million times.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

Such a great collection of songs. Been a while since I've heard them.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

All-time classic! Great production quality

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Tue Feb 09 2021
5

yes!

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Very very good. Where do we get some LSD?

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Mon May 24 2021
5

A little overrated in Beatles' discography but still amazing. 9/10 1. A Day in the Life 2. She’s Leaving Home 3. With a Little Help From My Friends

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

Greatest classic

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

It’s just a classic. Timeless and still amazing today. I need to listen to The Beatles more man...

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Superb

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Thu Jun 24 2021
5

I mean, it's a classic.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

The obvious answer for when someone asks what a 5/5 album sounds like. Never a dull moment and couldn't possibly be any better.

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Mon Feb 08 2021
5

Top tier album. The variety of sounds on here and the quality of every song are amazing. Favorite Track(s): I honestly love each and every song on this album for various reasons, but “A Day In The Life” takes the top spot

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Wed Feb 24 2021
5

Je n’ai même pas besoin de justifier. 5*

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

A true classic + unique and experimental for the time

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Classic, what more is there to say. * Italianesq kisses fingers to mouth motion* 🤣

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Thu May 20 2021
5

Waited for my turntable to be delivered to finally listen to this album completely. It is a 5 from start to finish, even the last loop, which is sadly lost in the cd's and streaming services versions, is amazing.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Fro got me onto The Beatles at 190 George, before that- just a famous old band. I think out of their albums, this is the best ale. No 2 songs alike

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Wed Mar 17 2021
5

Always

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Clasicazo

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Sun Jan 17 2021
5

One of the Beatles high points, but not the only one. There are few bands anyone can say this about. This band a 2 or 3 high points. They continually defied the odds. This album blew every critic out of the water.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

Marvellous!!!!

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Wed Jun 09 2021
5

500

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Tue Jan 19 2021
5

Sonics:8 Music: 9 Feel: amazing and groundbreaking production, classic album with lots of fantastic songs

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

A milestone in the history of pop music. It still sounds as great as usual!

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Sat Mar 06 2021
5

Pues eso

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Sun Jul 11 2021
5

5.0 + Just the fact that so many bands heard this album and immediately decided to try and make a similar one of their own “in response”, is telling.

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

i love it!

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

Banger after banger. A Day in The Life is 1 of my Tippy Toppy Beatles songs

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Sun Feb 07 2021
5

Great album

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Wed Jun 09 2021
5

I love this album. I think it's my second favorite Beatles album behind the White album.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
5

Epic trendsetter. A lot of good songs, and a few really good, but not their best (because they sacrificed Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane as a single).

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Sat Mar 20 2021
5

One of the greatest albums to exist. Not my favorite Beatles album, but there are no weak songs. It even get's funky with the orchestration near the end, so high marks from me. Fav song: A Day in the Life

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Mon Mar 08 2021
5

good

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Tue Apr 06 2021
5

On its own, a really good album. I read up and dug into its history and it is the Citizen Cane of albums. So much happened based on this one. Takes it from 4 to 5 for me despite not being a Beatles fan.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
5

2nd June 2021 Listened on my phone in the living room as we have Melyl staying with us. Post FT interview whilst eating a very late lunch. What can you say that hasn't been said already?!

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Love

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Thu Jul 01 2021
5

Weirdly, this has never been one of my favorite Beatles albums. Like, obviously it’s great and everything, but ive always preferred others over it.

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Thu Apr 29 2021
5

OG

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Tue Apr 27 2021
5

Within You Without You is a highlight.

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Sat Jul 17 2021
5

Groundbreaking. This really doesn't need words.

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Sun May 16 2021
5

The best álbum of one of the greatest bands in history.

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Probably the Best Beatles Albumn, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite and Within You Without You stand out.

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Wed May 26 2021
5

I've listened to this album for so much of my life and it's amazing.

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Mon May 31 2021
5

All around brilliant!

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Tue Jun 08 2021
5

Otroligt album Bästa låtar: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds When I'm Sixty Four Lovely Rita A Day In The Life

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Sat May 29 2021
5

Bona fide classic

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Fri May 14 2021
5

love the instrumentation and singing the middle eastern or persian flutes and the horns on the intro track. It was all very well put together and attention grabbing! :)

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Mon May 31 2021
5

Always a favorite a mine. Instant 5/5

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