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


The Beatles



4.33 | 972 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Released in 1967, this album is considered by more than a few to be both the archetypal forerunner of all things prog, and the finest thing that The Beatles ever released. In reality, I think that both statements are partially true. It certainly introduced the concept album to the mass market, although that is not the same as prog, and it does contain some of the finest material ever put out by this legendary band, although my personal favourite remains The White Album.

What is absolutely true is that the band were pushing the limits of popular music as no other act had dared try, and it is this which makes this album a true progressive great - pushing boundaries and daring to do something new, and, for that, bands such as King Crimson, Yes, et al would be forever grateful.

So, some 44 years later, does it still have the punch it did back then? Well, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, whatever it is about, still has the capacity to bring the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up. The production and Lennon's ethereal voice stands up as fresh now as the first time I heard it. The title track is great fun, When I'm Sixty Four is as relevant in its observational prose as it ever was, and the album closes with perhaps the finest opening lyrics in rock history; mournful, regretful, and as strange in its experimentation today as it was then. I don't think that Lennon ever sounded better.

George Martin's production and arrangements would not shame any LP released in 2011, but, overall, I think that the remainder of the album is a collection of Beatles tracks ranging from the mundane to the very good. As a concept, it is pretty disparate, to be frank, but we cannot, and should not deny its importance in rock music's history. And, of course, we should not forget Ringo's finest moment in With A Little Help From My Friends - it's a pity it came as a singer, not a drummer!

Four stars for this moment of history. Excellent, and very worthwhile in revisiting every now and again. You can also have a damn good dance to some of it, no bad thing!

lazland | 4/5 |


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