Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

4.8 67
by The Beatles

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In 1967, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the biggest stars in the world. But Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys had just released Pet Sounds and in the process created a new landmark in ambition and beauty in rock. What were the British pair to do? They responded with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, by turns aSee more details below


In 1967, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the biggest stars in the world. But Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys had just released Pet Sounds and in the process created a new landmark in ambition and beauty in rock. What were the British pair to do? They responded with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, by turns a drugged-out, merry, intoxicating, funny, sad, nostalgic, psychedelic, obscure, and crystal-clear song cycle that sometimes played like a concept album (there's this band, see, that introduces this big star named Billy Shears...) and sometimes played more abstractly. In the latter case, the album reads as a personal odyssey through the windmills of a generation's mind: a mind full of music, ambition, societal pressures, childhood, dreams good and bad-and thoughts about getting to first base with a girl named Rita. More than 30 years after its release, the record still impresses any number of ways. There's McCartney's effortless mastery of all manner of pop styles, including the music-hall cameo "When I'm Sixty-Four," the ballad "She's Leaving Home," and the rock classic that is the title song; as well as Lennon's wild excursions into psychedelia ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Good Morning, Good Morning"); George Harrison's mystical, dramatic sitar composition, "Within You Without You" -- even Ringo Starr's steady drumming and his timeless, everyman vocals on "A Little Help from My Friends." And to conclude the record is "A Day in the Life," arguably rock music's most empathetic, sublime creation: a suicide, a ringing alarm clock, and the chord to end all chords.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
With Revolver, the Beatles made the Great Leap Forward, reaching a previously unheard-of level of sophistication and fearless experimentation. Sgt. Pepper's, in many ways, refines that breakthrough, as the Beatles consciously synthesized such disparate influences as psychedelia, art song, classical music, rock & roll, and music hall, often in the course of one song. Not once does the diversity seem forced -- the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm Sixty-Four" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita." There's no discounting the individual contributions of each member or their producer, George Martin, but the preponderance of whimsy and self-conscious art gives the impression that Paul McCartney is the leader of the Lonely Hearts Club Band. He dominates the album in terms of compositions, setting the tone for the album with his unabashed melodicism and deviously clever arrangements. In comparison, Lennon's contributions seem fewer, and a couple of them are a little slight but his major statements are stunning. "With a Little Help from My Friends" is the ideal Ringo tune, a rolling, friendly pop song that hides genuine Lennon anguish, à la "Help!"; "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" remains one of the touchstones of British psychedelia; and he's the mastermind behind the bulk of "A Day in the Life," a haunting number that skillfully blends Lennon's verse and chorus with McCartney's bridge. It's possible to argue that there are better Beatles albums, yet no album is as historically important as this. After Sgt. Pepper's, there were no rules to follow -- rock and pop bands could try anything, for better or worse. Ironically, few tried to achieve the sweeping, all-encompassing embrace of music as the Beatles did here.

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

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Beatles   Primary Artist
George Harrison   Guitar,Harmonica,Sitar,Tambourine,Vocals,Tamboura
John Lennon   Guitar,Percussion,Rhythm Guitar,Marimbas,Hammond Organ,Vocals
Paul McCartney   Guitar,Piano,Conductor,Bass Guitar,Harpsichord,Hammond Organ,Vocals
Ringo Starr   Harmonica,Bongos,Drums,Vocals
John Lee   Trombone
George Martin   Organ,Piano,Horn,Hammond Organ
Tony Randall   French Horn
David McCallum   Violin
Robert Burns   Clarinet
Monty Montgomery   Trumpet
Neil Aspinall   Harmonica,Tamboura
Lionel Bently   Violin
Dean Bradley   Violin
Sheila Bromberg   Harp
Ray Brown   Trombone
Jack Brymer   Clarinet
James W. Buck   French Horn
John Burden   French Horn
Barrie Cameron   Saxophone
Alan Civil   French Horn
Alan Dalziel   Cello
Henry Datyner   Violin
Bernard Davis   Viola
Gwen Edwards   Viola
Mal Evans   Harmonica,Piano,Tambourine
N. Fawcett   Bassoon
Tristan Fry   Percussion
Francisco Gabarro   Cello
Jose Garcia   Violin
Hans Geiger   Violin
David Glyde   Saxophone
Erich Gruenberg   Violin
Jurgen Hess   Violin
Alan Holmes   Saxophone
Harold Jackson   Trumpet
Derek Jacobs   Violin
Granville Jones   Violin
Roger Lord   Oboe
Henry MacKenzie   Clarinet
Cyril Macarthur   Double Bass
Marijke   Tambourine
T. Moore   Trombone
Alex Nifosi   Cello
Gordon Pearce   Double Bass
Raymond Premru   Trombone
Frank Reidy   Clarinet
David Sandeman   Flute
Sidney Sax   Violin
Ernest Scott   Violin
Clifford Seville   Flute
Stephen Shingles   Viola
Basil Tschaikov   Clarinet
John Underwood   Viola
Alfred Waters   Bassoon
Donald Weekes   Violin
Trevor Williams   Violin
David Mason   Trumpet
Bill Monroe   Violin
Neill Sanders   French Horn
Denis Vigay   Cello
Michael Barnes   Tuba

Technical Credits

Paul McCartney   Author
Mike Leander   Orchestration,Score
George Martin   Arranger,Producer
Malcolm Addey   Engineer
Geoff Emerick   Engineer
Richard Lush   Engineer
Alan Rouse   Liner Notes
Peter Vince   Engineer
Kevin Howlett   Liner Notes
Peter Blake   Liner Notes,Art Direction,Cover Art
Mark Lewisohn   Liner Notes,Text
Steve Rooke   Remastering
Graham Kirkby   Engineer
Guy Massey   Remastering
Ken Townsend   Engineer
Adrian Ibbetson   Engineer
Jann Haworth   Contributor,Cover Art
Drew Lorimer   Redesign

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