The Beatles, "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" Cover

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US), 1967

I can’t even imagine how mind blowing this album was in May 1967 when this came out. One of the first concept albums, certainly the first ‘popular’ concept album, it was sophisticated enough to impress the literati and artists of the time and brimming with enough melody and hooks to enchant generation after generation of rock music fans.

Using the studio as an instrument, and the talismanic qualities of LSD as a compass, the Fab Four changed the architecture of pop music forever, and completely reoriented the way we listen to records. Were it not for this singular achievement, it is quite possible I would not be engaged in this kind of music journal, and the idea of contemplating rock music literarily would be an absurdity.

There is nothing new I can say about the significance of “Sgt. Pepper’s” but it’s impossible to overstate it. “A Day In The Life” may well be the greatest pop song ever recorded; it’s my favorite Beatles song. I never cease to be in awe of how such magnificently rich and textured songs were created on what was essentially just four tracks. It was indeed a case of necessity giving birth to awe-inspiring ingenuity. The origin of a sea change in record making, it is an unassailable landmark in pop music and it only continues to inspire.

Ladies and gentlemen, “The act you’ve known for all these years!…”

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