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

SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.32 | 717 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Ace Face
4 stars If this were not a progressive rock website, this album would have 5 stars as it is a masterpiece album. Unfortunately, i have to review it as a progger, and because of that, it must lose one star. Hailed as "The first concept album" and "the first prog album", i tend to not care so much as i care about the music itself. So Here we go again:

Sergeant Pepper's ...: A great opener, mixing hard rock riffs with classical horn sections, as well as mixing hard, rough vocals with softer ones. The lyrics are cool, talking about a fictional band performing. this leads into I Get High with a little Help from my Friends, a nice, lovey ballad type thing, nice vocal harmonies and bass line. this is the most infamous reference to drugs in the whole Beatles Mantra, succeeded only by...

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: allegedly an LSD reference, im not here to dispute that. im here to review the music. Very good use of effects on this album, and John Lennon sounds like a little boy singing about his fantasy world. Fantastic music.

Getting Better: One of those songs that you just know is the Beatles. good harmonies, and some cool percussion work from Ringo, very rare indeed. Overall, a pop song, but one of the kind i like.

Fixing a Hole: amazing Harpsichord intro, followed by one of the more interesting songs in the Beatles catalogue.the lyrics use a fixing up a house as a metaphor for agreeing and disagreeing with people? im not exactly sure. but, its a very nice song, again, a pop song in the style that i like. song very good guitar fills by george harrison, a very underrated guitarist.

She's Leaving Home: Gorgeous, purely string song, with some of the best lyrics they ever wrote. it tells a tale of a girl who sneaks out of her house at night to escape and be free to have fun. Her parents realize that shes gone and are sad, but she is happy to be free.

For the Benefit of Mr. Kite: A very silly song, seemingly nonsensical, but it has some story to tell, about a Mr. Kite who has a show tonight? again, im not one to interpret lyrics, but this is the equivalent of "Willow Farm", from Genesis' "Supper's Ready.

Within You Without You: A Harrison-influenced Eastern song, with introspective lyrics (as eastern songs tend to do), very nice spacey sitar work. A thought provoking song indeed.

When I'm Sixty-Four: Another silly song in the vein of Mr. Kite. subtle orchestration makes this song a gem, along with some lyrics that seem to accurately depict life as a Senior Citizen. Its a nice song that seems to be silly, but is great.

Lovely Rita: After a multitude of experimental songs, the Fab four return to their classic pop/rock sound on this one. Some very interesting chord progressions, lovely harmonies, and a great piano solo make this one of my favorites on the album. the lyrics are typical lovey-dovey lyrics of Lennon and McCartney. the ending section with strange use of breathing and "Ah" by the singers is funny.

Good Morning: A song that I wish would come on everytime I wake up. Very upbeat, but progressive at the same time. Some Hard drumming and some great horns make this a great pseudo classical gem. when the electric guitar solo kicks in, it couldnt fit better. again, Harrison is very underrated, and the solo is quite good, and may be the only one on the album.

Reprise of Sergeant Pepper: signalling the near-end of the album, the drums kick in hard, and the band seems to be saying goodbye to the audience. a good retake on the first track, leads us into the greatest song ever recorded:

A DAY IN THE LIFE: This is probably my favorite Beatles song, as well as one of my favorites ever. Masterful orchestration from George Martin fill it out. The first section with John singing and writing the words, reflect his current feeling on the world: slightly pessimistic, and sad about the future. Hence the lyrics move you to tears along with the melody. Ringo's best drumming moment, and in fact one of his only good drum moments, he seems to be playing the tymphani at times. The first section leads into the dissonant orchestral build up, as all that can be heard is strings and Ringo's high hat. The next part is written and sung by Paul, which contrasts to the first part in that its more upbeat, silly, and the lyrics make you smile. this is short though, and John comes in with the ahhhhh, and the orchestra rears its dramatic head once more. it cuts out as John begins to sing again, with the same melody as before, and it is short as the orchestra comes back in to lead us to the final dissonant climax. The piano chord played after the split second of silence is perfect. it takes a lot out of me to listen to this song, but it is worth it.

Overall, a landmark in rock history, if only for A Day in the Life. The Beatles truely were the greatest rock and roll band, eclipsing Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, and the Rolling Stones in my book. And this, this is where they hit it perfectly on the nose in terms of everything. it may not be true prog, but it certainly was progressing popular music at the time.

The Ace Face | 4/5 |

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