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The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band CD (album) cover


The Beatles



4.33 | 998 ratings

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5 stars I am sorry, but I cannot see how anyone could give this less than five stars. I mean, this album really lays the groundwork for progressive rock itself. A Day In The Life may very well be the first Symphonic Rock song. Within You Without You is also very symphonic in nature. On top of that, the album has a sort of quasi-concept album feel to it with the Sgt. Pepper's theme starting out the album and then (almost) ending the album as well. So what if every song isn't "progressive"; every song is very well done, and very creative, especially for the time. The Beatles really pushed the boundaries of music here and were definitely pioneers of music. Even King Crimson had to send them off with a farewell after their breakup with the song Happy Family. The interesting thing about The Beatles to me is that they pushed other artists of the time to be more creative as well. I mean, albums like The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds were basically made to try and out-do The Beatles in terms of creativity, song composition, etc.; now Pet Sounds may not be progrock (that's for dang sure) but this is one of the greatest albums of all time, very introspective and full of emotion.

I am not going to do a song-by-song analysis because I'm sure most have grown up with this album and I'm sure others have done the analysis thing here on this website already. I would just like to make a few comments. There are definitely elements of progressive rock here. First, Sgt. Pepper's runs into With a Little Help From My Friends joining them into on seemless song (characteristic of many progressive rock albums). Also, there are many psychedelic numbers here such as Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite, and Within You Without You. There is extensive use of "sounds" throughout the album such as the farm animals in Good Morning, Good Morning and carnival sounds in Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite. This is a sort of concept album in that between the Sgt. Pepper's themes there are sort of fantasy songs that transport the listener from scenario to scenario, such as She's Leaving Home, Lovely Rita, Mr. Kite, etc. After this "fantasy" we are brought to the most progressive song on the album, A Day In The Life. This is probably my favorite Beatles song of all time. It really is like a mini-symphony with one part written by John and the other by Paul. The theme is reality and how we try to escape it ("somebody spoke and I went in to a dream"). After this masterpiece of a song, the album ends by repeating the phrase "never could see any other way" over and over again. This album is the blueprint for progressive rock. Not only that, but it is a highly enjoyable listening adventure that really taps into the collective unconscious and has struck a chord with millions upon millions of listeners around the world.

Happy 40th Birthday Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!

jfleischh | 5/5 |


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