Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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

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

Capitol, 1967

Acquired: Love Garden, Used, Shotgun Room, 2005

Price: $2

I really wonder how this record was received in 1967 because it is just so, so bizarre. It’s the Beatles under the influence of pot, acid, pills, and Ravi Shankar. Seriously, even today this shit is bizarre. At the same time, it’s one of those masterpiece pop records and has a lot of my favorite Beatles songs on it. But the transitions! From the sitared-out “Within You Without You” to the goofy “When I’m Sixty-Four” (but still great little pop tune, that vocal line! And the irony! Heather Mills divorced Paul McCartney when he was 64!) to one of my favorite Beatles tunes, the ode to a meter maid, “Lovely Rita.” Whenever I listen to this record it just sounds like a big “fuck you.” Not to the fans or anything, but to just old music in general. Like sharks, they must constantly move to stay alive and, while the constant sound changing might have failed in the hands of a lesser band, the Beatles are the greatest band of all time for a reason. Because they never really fucked up and all of their albums are pretty awesome. From the mop top pop songs to the tripped out stuff like this to all that weird shit on the White Album. No matter how bizarre it is, it’s still rooted in those amazing pop hooks and vocal lines and of course, studio innovation. I’m not a Beatles nut like a lot of people, but I will not deny the fact that they are the acme of everything a band can be. And how after all the druggy, trippy jams they still churn out “A Day in the Life” at the very end, one of my favorite songs of all time, THE song that got me into the Beatles when I was in high school.

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