Off Topic Messages

Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 1:55 am

This is probably the most famous and iconic album ever! The striking cover, the first of it's kind, alone is an attraction by itself. The first time ever the lyrics to the songs printed on the album sleeve. It was also the first "concept album" of it's kind-The Beatles pretending to be another band. Very much way ahead of it's time. Once this was released, every other Rock band tried to come up with similar "concept album" idea's. Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" being an example.

It's said that the idea for the album was mainly Paul's and i would agree with that as the song "Sgt. Pepper" was written by Paul. Having said that, the best songs on there, imo, are John's-"Lucy", "Mr. Kite", "Good Morning" & "A Day In The Life".

Personally, i don't think it's there best album and i don't play it that often. Musically, the one before it (Revolver) is better, the one after it (White album-The Beatles) is also better.

I'd love to hear other peoples views on this Album. Do you think it's overrated and that other Beatles albums are better than this, musically?

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:15 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:This is probably the most famous and iconic album ever! The striking cover, the first of it's kind, alone is an attraction by itself. The first time ever the lyrics to the songs printed on the album sleeve. It was also the first "concept album" of it's kind-The Beatles pretending to be another band. Very much way ahead of it's time. Once this was released, every other Rock band tried to come up with similar "concept album" idea's. Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon" being an example.

It's said that the idea for the album was mainly Paul's and i would agree with that as the song "Sgt. Pepper" was written by Paul. Having said that, the best songs on there, imo, are John's-"Lucy", "Mr. Kite", "Good Morning" & "A Day In The Life".

Personally, i don't think it's there best album and i don't play it that often. Musically, the one before it (Revolver) is better, the one after it (White album-The Beatles) is also better.

I'd love to hear other peoples views on this Album. Do you think it's overrated and that other Beatles albums are better than this, musically?


I agree with most of your thoughts on the album. However, a credible argument may be made for almost any of the U.K. Beatles LPs being tops. My personal #1 is Revolver, still so fresh, innovative and exciting almost 47 years later!

Pepper was a huge experience when released, and has survived the test of time as a significant rock 'n' roll event. But it is a bit of a dark ride, with a lot of minor-key melodies and some heavy-at-times instrumentation. Yet, it remains exhilarating in its scope and ambition. These guys were only 24 to 26 years old, for goodness sakes!

Pepper was indeed mainly Paul's inspiration, but John did come up with his own compelling numbers. And note that "A Day in the Life" is fairly seen as a true collaboration between Lennon and McCartney, and what a stunning achievement it is! Author Mark Hertsgaard wrote an outstanding biography of the music of the Beatles in 1995. Note the title:


Image

A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles (New York: Delacorte Press, 1995)


Hertsgaard's look at "A Day In The Life" itself is brilliant. The finale to Pepper is, without question a masterpiece of 20th century recording, and so amazing to have come from four guys who had cut "Love Me Do" just five years before.

Ironically, two of the best numbers created for Pepper were issued 4 months before the album, since EMI was clamoring for a new single release. Those two tracks may well comprise the greatest single of the rock 'n' roll era: "Strawberry Fields Forever" b/w "Penny Lane." That disc, the first music since Revolver the previous summer, blew everyone away.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:41 am

It's ambitious but DOUBLE TROUBLE certainly gave it some competition.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:48 am

Great parallel topic:

Double Trouble--Do you think it's overrated?

Go for it, Bobbie!

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:03 am

Pepper was certainly Paul's album. But if you really analyze it, the songs that John contributed to the album are the most innovative ones, let me try and explain this the best way i can. The songs that Paul wrote for the album such as "She's Leaving Home", "When I'm 64" etc are pretty basic arrangements with mainly a orchestra behind them, all good songs, btw.

Then look at John's, "Mr. Kite" with it's fairground music in the background. "Lucy" with it's amazing surreal lyric's, then it changes sound when you get to the middle 8th of the song "cellophane flowers"...As for "A Day In The Life" the song was mainly johns (best song on the album, i think) Paul contributed the middle bit "woke up, fell out of bed". The orchestral of "life" where it starts off with the lowest note and working it's way up to the highest note was John's idea, he called it his "musical orgasm".

Yes, it's a shame that "Strawberry fields"/"Penny Lane" weren't used for the album. Wish it was now, considering it was beatten to the number 1 spot by Englebert Humperdinks "Release Me". Again, "Strawberry" is the most innovative of the two songs, double tracked vocals etc.

I agree with you Doc, "revolver" wins, musically, hands down. As you say, all their albums are winners. My personal favourite album is "Rubber Soul" and "Norwegian Wood" always knocks it out for me.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:57 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:Pepper was certainly Paul's album. But if you really analyze it, the songs that John contributed to the album are the most innovative ones, let me try and explain this the best way i can. The songs that Paul wrote for the album such as "She's Leaving Home", "When I'm 64" etc are pretty basic arrangements with mainly a orchestra behind them, all good songs, btw.

Then look at John's, "Mr. Kite" with it's fairground music in the background. "Lucy" with it's amazing surreal lyric's, then it changes sound when you get to the middle 8th of the song "cellophane flowers"...As for "A Day In The Life" the song was mainly johns (best song on the album, i think) Paul contributed the middle bit "woke up, fell out of bed". The orchestral of "life" where it starts off with the lowest note and working it's way up to the highest note was John's idea, he called it his "musical orgasm".

Yes, it's a shame that "Strawberry fields"/"Penny Lane" weren't used for the album. Wish it was now, considering it was beatten to the number 1 spot by Englebert Humperdinks "Release Me". Again, "Strawberry" is the most innovative of the two songs, double tracked vocals etc.

I agree with you Doc, "revolver" wins, musically, hands down. As you say, all their albums are winners. My personal favourite album is "Rubber Soul" and "Norwegian Wood" always knocks it out for me.


Hard to argue with your thoughts, many of them mirror mine.

I do feel Paul's contribution to "A Day In The Life" is significant, if not 50-50. And sometimes I enjoy Pepper for the tremendous drumming by Ringo throughout, or his wonderful vocal on "A Little Help From My Friends," or for George's transcendent "Within You, Without You." Sonic Youth later covered that one in marvelous fashion, and made me appreciate the Harrison original in ways I never had before.

This page has some great anecdotes:
A Day In The Life | The Beatles Bible
http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/a-day-in-the-life

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:38 am

I like Pepper a lot. I like the 1965-66 stuff more, but in mono especially Pepper is a great album. Over rated? I suppose because they and many other groups had been already making solid full albums and trippy music, but the cover and concepts were really fresh and it remains a fine LP.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 12:06 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:Pepper was certainly Paul's album. But if you really analyze it, the songs that John contributed to the album are the most innovative ones, let me try and explain this the best way i can. The songs that Paul wrote for the album such as "She's Leaving Home", "When I'm 64" etc are pretty basic arrangements with mainly a orchestra behind them, all good songs, btw.

Then look at John's, "Mr. Kite" with it's fairground music in the background. "Lucy" with it's amazing surreal lyric's, then it changes sound when you get to the middle 8th of the song "cellophane flowers"...As for "A Day In The Life" the song was mainly johns (best song on the album, i think) Paul contributed the middle bit "woke up, fell out of bed". The orchestral of "life" where it starts off with the lowest note and working it's way up to the highest note was John's idea, he called it his "musical orgasm".

Yes, it's a shame that "Strawberry fields"/"Penny Lane" weren't used for the album. Wish it was now, considering it was beatten to the number 1 spot by Englebert Humperdinks "Release Me". Again, "Strawberry" is the most innovative of the two songs, double tracked vocals etc.

I agree with you Doc, "revolver" wins, musically, hands down. As you say, all their albums are winners. My personal favourite album is "Rubber Soul" and "Norwegian Wood" always knocks it out for me.


Hard to argue with your thoughts, many of them mirror mine.

I do feel Paul's contribution to "A Day In The Life" is significant, if not 50-50. And sometimes I enjoy Pepper for the tremendous drumming by Ringo throughout, or his wonderful vocal on "A Little Help From My Friends," or for George's transcendent "Within You, Without You." Sonic Youth later covered that one in marvelous fashion, and made me appreciate the Harrison original in ways I never had before.

This page has some great anecdotes:
A Day In The Life | The Beatles Bible
http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/a-day-in-the-life

Yeah, Ringo's drumming is fabulius throughout (who say's he couldn't play the drums? Idiots!) the album. Let's not also forget Pauls wonderful bass playing...think it was the first time that bass & drums became more prominent in music, rather then being right back in the mix were it was barely audible.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:45 pm

My personal 2nd favorite Beatles album

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:25 pm

Not one of my favourites of theirs at all but it's still good with some truly great moments. Best tracks are "When i'm 64", "She's leaving Home", "A Day In The Life", "Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds" and " A Little Help From My Friends".

Ringo is terrific throughout.

My favourite Beatles albums are Help, Rubber Soul and Revolver. Three consecutive fabulous albums!

I like Pepper more than The White Album, Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour, but not as much as Let It Be, Abbey Road, Hard Days Night, With The Beatles and Please Please me or Beatles for Sale.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:42 pm

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:Not one of my favourites of theirs at all but it's still good with some truly great moments. Best tracks are "When i'm 64", "She's leaving Home", "A Day In The Life", "Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds" and " A Little Help From My Friends".

Ringo is terrific throughout.

My favourite Beatles albums are Help, Rubber Soul and Revolver. Three consecutive fabulous albums!

I like Pepper more than The White Album, Yellow Submarine and Magical Mystery Tour, but not as much as Let It Be, Abbey Road, Hard Days Night, With The Beatles and Please Please me or Beatles for Sale.

Abbey Road,thats my favorite of theirs

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Tue Jul 30, 2013 8:14 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:Pepper was certainly Paul's album. But if you really analyze it, the songs that John contributed to the album are the most innovative ones, let me try and explain this the best way i can. The songs that Paul wrote for the album such as "She's Leaving Home", "When I'm 64" etc are pretty basic arrangements with mainly a orchestra behind them, all good songs, btw.

Then look at John's, "Mr. Kite" with it's fairground music in the background. "Lucy" with it's amazing surreal lyric's, then it changes sound when you get to the middle 8th of the song "cellophane flowers"...As for "A Day In The Life" the song was mainly johns (best song on the album, i think) Paul contributed the middle bit "woke up, fell out of bed". The orchestral of "life" where it starts off with the lowest note and working it's way up to the highest note was John's idea, he called it his "musical orgasm".

Yes, it's a shame that "Strawberry fields"/"Penny Lane" weren't used for the album. Wish it was now, considering it was beatten to the number 1 spot by Englebert Humperdinks "Release Me". Again, "Strawberry" is the most innovative of the two songs, double tracked vocals etc.

I agree with you Doc, "revolver" wins, musically, hands down. As you say, all their albums are winners. My personal favourite album is "Rubber Soul" and "Norwegian Wood" always knocks it out for me.


The importance of McCartney's roll in the making of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' shouldn't be understated. The concept was his and he had a huge hand in the overall production — from the opening to the last chord. He even had the initial idea for the incredible cover! (Source: http://www.beatlesbible.com/1967/03/30/ ... gt-pepper/)

I agree with Rolling Stone that it's the most important rock & roll album ever made. ("…unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by the greatest rock & roll group of all time.") The album swept the world because there was nothing like it ever before.

"She's Leaving Home" is more than just a "good" song. It is an incredibly intricate piece of work that even has a greek chorus! I agree with composer Ned Rorem who described "She's Leaving Home" as "equal to any song that Schubert ever wrote." Conductor Leonard Bernstein compared McCartney's work to Schumann.

I'd also say that "A Day in the Life" was definitely a 50/50 collaboration between Lennon and McCartney. Paul came up with the whole orchestral bit at the end. (George Martin aptly described it as an "orchestral orgasm.") He figured out how to fill in the 24-measure gap. Lennon said, "Paul's contribution was the beautiful little lick in the song 'I'd love to turn you on.' I had the bulk of the song and the words, but he contributed this little lick floating around in his head that he couldn't use for anything. I thought it was a damn good piece of work." Paul took a great (albeit unfinished) song and made it extraordinary. I could not imagine the song without the "orchestral orgasm" and the exhilarating "Woke up, fell out of bed…" middle. Anyone who has read Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years knows McCartney's vastly significant role in the making of "A Day in the Life."

Great story & pics:

http://www.beatlesebooks.com/a-day-in-the-life

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:06 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Great parallel topic:

Double Trouble--Do you think it's overrated?

Go for it, Bobbie!


It Won't Be Long, Johnny.

Yeah, yeah! :wink:

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:16 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Great parallel topic:

Double Trouble--Do you think it's overrated?

Go for it, Bobbie!


It Won't Be Long, Johnny.

Yeah, yeah! :wink:


Cool.

The title track is obviously the best Pomus and Shuman song in the Elvis catalog.
And your analysis of "Old MacDonald" is greatly anticipated.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:49 am

Here I go, I'm on a one way trip...

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:58 am

To answer the thread's question: Nope.

It is my favourite Fab Four album, followed closely by "Revolver" and "Abbey Road".

I'm glad Ringo provided only one lead vocal for this album, and I would consider it his best work with the Beatles (and I also love the Joe Cocker cover version). :wink:

For me he kinda ruined "Rubber Soul" and "Help!" a little bit with his contributions of "Act Naturally" (which I can't stand) and "What Goes On" (yuck!), respectively.

And I actually never liked "Octopus's Garden". But I like "Yellow Submarine".

I kinda love "If You've Got Trouble" though.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:38 am

luckyjackson1 wrote:
For me Ringo kinda ruined "Rubber Soul" and "Help!" a little bit with his contributions of "Act Naturally" (which I can't stand) and "What Goes On" (yuck!), respectively.


I kinda love "If You've Got Trouble" though.


"If You Got Trouble" sounds far better in place of "Act Naturally" on HELP! I like "What Goes On" though, even though it sounds undubbed - sorta unfinished.

"Act Naturally" is great but out of place on "Help".

PEPPER is definitely Paul's brainchild and has his mark all over it. I kinda wished they'd really carried the concept initiated by the first two tracks (Sgt Pepper followed by applause and Billy Shears introduction into Little Help). From there on, it's just a collection of songs until the reprise of Sgt Pepper.

She's Leaving Home is certainly a classic, as is "When I'm 64" which is practically a standard. Ringo's "Little Help" is another sure-fire classic and the best version by anyone ever.

John's songs are a bit of a let down other than "Lucy In The Sky" and the magnificent "Day In The Life" (which is as much Paul's although it's John's delicious vocals that really make it).

George's track kinda bores me. I actually prefer the remix on the "LOVE" album, featuring the drum part from "Tomorrow Never Knows". It sounds lovely and relaxing as an instrumental track on Anthology 2, but the lead vocal is monotonous.

There are certainly better albums from around the same time, such as The Zombies ODESSEY & ORACLE and Harry Nilsson PANDEMONIUM SHADOW SHOW - but ironically, neither would probably exist without the influence of Pepper.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 2:13 am

A great album and certainly not overrated.Innovative production,Ringo sounding fantastic,wonderful use of instruments and sound effects,well written lyrics and melodies,well worked harmonies and of course some great songs.It's not my favourite Beatles album,I have it behind Rubber Soul and Revolver but it deserves it's reputation as one of the great albums.


norrie

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:32 am

I have to confess that I'm not a huge Beatles fan, although that doesn't mean I hate them either. But Sgt Pepper is an album I have never "got". I like Lucy in the Sky and Day in the Life very much, but other than I find it to be rather a case of style over substance. Give me Abbey Road any day.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:10 am

Sgt. Pepper isn't my favorite Beatles album but I don't think it's overrated and I don't think it was the music alone that made it the legendary achievement that it's still regarded as today. I think the music undoubtedly was part of the greatness of the record but it was also absolutely the artwork and the concept of The Beatles being another band. The color and execution of the LP, the contrasts of all of the historical and cultural figures placed in the background of the image challenged any kind of historical and/or visual continuity or context. On top of that The Beatles were young people borrowing an early 20th century military style. Taking an 'old' look of 'old men' and mixing it with psychedelia. All of these elements together reflected the free expression and free thinking ethos of that time. A cultural critic could probably do a better job of analyzing all of the vehicles at work in that LP cover than I can, but to make a long story short it was just absolutely brilliant and has stood and will probably always stand the test of time long after we're all gone.

But back to the 'overratedness'. I don't think anything The Beatles did is or was ever overrated. They probably have the most consistent output of excellent material of any band ever. The Beatles had few…if any..'duds'. That's why their music is still very relevant today. With that said my favorite Beatles album is 'The White Album' which also has an interesting cover as well. Just think about it. The two albums prior to that, 'Pepper' and 'Magical Mystery Tour' both incredibly visual then followed by an album cover that had NOTHING on it. Amazing!!!

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 4:47 am

poormadpeter wrote:I have to confess that I'm not a huge Beatles fan, although that doesn't mean I hate them either. But Sgt Pepper is an album I have never "got". I like Lucy in the Sky and Day in the Life very much, but other than I find it to be rather a case of style over substance. Give me Abbey Road any day.


Do you own a copy of Pepper?

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:16 am

Here's my order, the way I would rate them:

1. A Day In The Life (5/5)
2. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (5/5)
3. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (5/5)
4. Within You Without You (4.5/5)
5. Lovely Rita (4.5/5)
6. With A Little Help From My Friends (4/5)
7. Good Morning, Good Morning (4/5)
8. When I'm Sixty-Four (4/5)
9. She's Leaving Home (4/5)
10. Getting Better (4/5)
11. Fixing A Hole (3.5/5)
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (3.5/5)
13. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (3/5)

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:32 am

luckyjackson1 wrote:Here's my order, the way I would rate them:

1. A Day In The Life (5/5)
2. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (5/5)
3. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (5/5)
4. Within You Without You (4.5/5)
5. Lovely Rita (4.5/5)
6. With A Little Help From My Friends (4/5)
7. Good Morning, Good Morning (4/5)
8. When I'm Sixty-Four (4/5)
9. She's Leaving Home (4/5)
10. Getting Better (4/5)
11. Fixing A Hole (3.5/5)
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (3.5/5)
13. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (3/5)


Good way of doing it. Here's my order:

1. A Day In The Life (5/5)
2. She's leaving Home (5/5)
3. When I'm Sixty-Four (5/5)
4. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (4/5)
5. With A Little Help From My Friends (4/5)
6. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (4/5)
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! (3/5)
8. Lovely Rita (3/5)
9. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (3/5)
10. Good Morning, Good Morning (3/5)
11. Fixing A Hole (2/5)
12. Getting Better (2/5)
13. Within You Without You (1/5)

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:05 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:I have to confess that I'm not a huge Beatles fan, although that doesn't mean I hate them either. But Sgt Pepper is an album I have never "got". I like Lucy in the Sky and Day in the Life very much, but other than I find it to be rather a case of style over substance. Give me Abbey Road any day.


Do you own a copy of Pepper?


Have you thought about replacing your stylus? It seems to be getting stuck.

Re: Sgt. Pepper--Do you think it's overrated?

Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:12 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:I have to confess that I'm not a huge Beatles fan, although that doesn't mean I hate them either. But Sgt Pepper is an album I have never "got". I like Lucy in the Sky and Day in the Life very much, but other than I find it to be rather a case of style over substance. Give me Abbey Road any day.


Do you own a copy of Pepper?


Have you thought about replacing your stylus? It seems to be getting stuck.


Thank you.

I suggest you buy a copy of the music being discussed, and listen to it, before dismissing it here via second-hand experiences.