year - 1967
genre - rock, pop, art-rock, psychedelic
Sgt Pepper is the 8th album released by the world's most famous band, The Beatles. the album acts as the first of the Beatles more artistic effort compared to the straight forward pop-rock elements of before, this is because it acted as the first Beatles record to be made after the band's 1966 decision to permanently stop touring; this decision allowed the band to explore using new instruments, knowing they'd not have to play the tracks live.
produced by George Martin in Abbey road studios this album has a grand sound that could only be produced from the best quality equipment and producer, and Sgt. Pepper has that, with every track feeling richly unique.
The unique and massive sound from this album is why it seems to connect so well with its audience, being oddly weird yet emotional, creating a juxtaposition is tone that is easy to get lost in and with the albums concept, any listener can get immersed in the story, which adds to the enjoyment of this colossus of an album.
An album needs a strong opening track and The Beatles hit the bull's-eye with a title track, that is oddly heavy with distortion and Lennon's almost shouted vocals. from this point on the album does not fall in quality at all, despite its constant change in styles, The Beatles accomplish this feat in a way no other band has or could.
Lennon truly shines on this album, with his incredible vocals, guitar playing and writing style that was ahead of its time. As always the Lennon-McCartney writing duo works well, album closer "a day in the life" being a great example of the duo at a peak. McCartney, while vocally not as good Lennon, certainly shows off his writing abilities (writing the excellent opening track), McCartney's bass playing is also great, adding a smooth bass-y "thud" to each track. Starr, often left without a compliment, has his usual simplistic drumming but truly shines through on the track he wrote, "with a little help from my friends", which is a highlight on this already great album. George Harrison shows off his guitar playing even more, which is often ignored and on "within you Without you" the listener is given an Indian style tone with beautifully played sitar, played and written by Harrison, the true unsung hero of the world's most popular band.
Sgt Pepper acts a shift in style for The Beatles that truly cemented them as the artistic geniuses they are known as, if they had stuck to their bubble-gum pop-rock style of before, the Beatles would not be the band that is praised so highly today (to clarify, I love the pop-rock style just as much as the art-rock style). Sgt Pepper did not only change the way people saw The Beatles but changed music forever, showing that boundaries can be pushed and that oddness can be a multi platinum mainstream album for the masses to enjoy. Truly a piece of musical and cultural history, Sgt Pepper is a masterpiece.
best tracks - "Sgt pepper's lonely hearts club band", "Lucy in the sky with diamonds", "with a little help from my friends", "64".
for fans of - Music.
by D.A. Clarke.