65: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (The Beatles)

Album: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Artist: The Beatles
Year: 1967

1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. With a Little Help from My Friends
3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
4. Getting Better
5. Fixing a Hole
6. She’s Leaving Home
7. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
8. Within You Without You
9. When I’m Sixty-Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning Good Morning
12. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13. A Day in the Life

Considered the best album of all-time by more than one publication run by Baby Boomers, Sgt. Pepper is also one of the best-selling albums of all time. I hesitate to call it overrated because that only comes off as snobbish, but it’s not even my favorite Beatles album. Perhaps I’m not that big of a fan of psychedelic rock, but I think the album’s biggest problem is that despite having the appearance of a concept album, it is very disjointed.

Both Sgt. Pepper songs contribute nothing to the album, being essentially the same boring, uninspired song twice. Thankfully, the rest of the album makes up for it. While I don’t like it as much as Joe Cocker’s cover, With a Little Help from My Friends is a pretty sweet album opener. Lucy has a pretty boring melody, but then the album takes off with seven solid songs in a row. She’s Leaving Home has great harmony and a nifty little message about runaways. Harrison’s Within You Without You, an Indian song (complete with Indian instruments such as the dilruba, tabla, swarmandal. and sitar) has grown on me over the years.

But the reason Sgt. Pepper makes this countdown is A Day in the Life. Rolling Stone ranks it as the 28th greatest song of all time. In my top 100, which includes genres besides 60s and 70s rock, I have it as the 37th greatest song of all time. John and Paul are never more perfect together, and the orchestral glissandos and final sustained piano chord round out the lyrics–and the album–beautifully.

6 thoughts on “65: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (The Beatles)”

  1. Used to have the vinyl album (your dad should still have it?), now I have the CD, and it is on my IPOD, I love it. My favorite song on it is When I’m Sixty-Four . . . maybe when you turn 64, you’ll like the one more? :}

  2. My dad’s college roommate spent the time to figure out the local radio station’s algorithm so that he could predict within a few minutes when “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was going to play. For a few weeks, he would turn on the radio for just that song, apparently.

    I’m not sure there’s a song I’d claim that level of devotion to.

    1. Yeah, me neither, but then again, ever since I was a kid, if I wanted to hear a song I could just tape it and listen to whenever I wanted.

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