Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, setting the pace

It is necessary to say that the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is brilliant and ahead of its time? No, all music lovers know and confirm it. But, it's fair to say that it's The Beatles' best album, maybe not. It has been cataloged as his masterpiece, as the most what any pop artist wants to aspire to, and maybe they are right. Much of the album represents the maximum point that has been reached by composers of the genre pop and rock in the past century and what is going on this millennium, taking into account the time and technological resources with which it was made. It is not only about the intricacies of the compositions in the musical part, it also has to do with the lyrics and everything they mean for many and all their hidden signs, it also has to do with the ability that the songs have to reach a huge number of people in the world, which is not easy when it comes to works of art. However, listening one by one to the songs on the album, trying to find a connection between them and picking up all of them to keep them in one's heart, could be difficult. When you have a disk in your hands, several things can happen: that you hate it, that you love it all or that you like only part of it. You may also like the whole album, but you may not find that all the themes fit into the concept. In my case, this last is what happens to me. I think that when listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band I inevitably skip some songs included and at other times I do not find a connection between them. I'm not saying they're bad, I'm just saying that it would not be a musical work that I could hear fully even when I'm in the right frame of mind to do it. Maybe the purpose of The Beatles was that the work was appreciated as a whole, I can not assimilate it that way. It's not from my time, I was barely a year old when it was launched, however, I consider myself a big enough fan of the "Fab Four" to be able to say that there are things I understand and things I do not understand in their discography. I can say freely and feel really calm to say that there are things that I like and others that I do not. I'm not like many who only see things in black and white, I like to see all the grayscale and so I have formed the musical criteria that I have, good or bad, but it is my way of thinking. That's why I think that closing our eyes and listening to this complete album, we will come to the conclusion that, although it has brilliant and sublime moments, it lacks connection, which, in my opinion, do have Revolver and also Abbey Road.


I do not think there's a brighter start on a record prior to their era than Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Start with the song that bears the name of the album with the idea of presenting a show similar to a circus. Things take a lot of sense when it comes to the second song "With a Little Help From My Friends" and continues with all the sense that I guess The Beatles wanted to give their work with, "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds", "Getting Better" and "Fixing a Hole.” Then comes a huge, simply incredible song that, however, is not relevant to the show that was being created for us: "She's Leaving Home.” A theme that speaks of the problems that were experienced in those times with women's liberation and orthodox and traditional families. Probably it should have been a theme for other records, but not for this one. Not at this moment. Immediately after that follows a song that has all the spirit of the album: "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" that is to be in the matter that inspired this album. After the psychedelia and the brief pause we suffered with "She's Leaving Home", came "Within You Without You", a frankly bad song, I'm sorry. I do not know why they included this theme of George Harrison, after having witnessed his portentous way of composing in Revolver. Was it one of George Harrison's creative holes? Or was it the professional jealousies of Lennon and McCartney that did not let include another subject of him, like "Taxman"? I do not know. But the point is that this does not look good in the work that is supposed to crown pop music of the twentieth century. Perhaps the lyrics are mystical and profound, and the music reflects a stage in the life of its author, but the truth is that no matter how hard you want to make an effort, the song does not connect with the masses as the first songs masterfully do. I do not think most of The Beatles fans will spend listening to this song as they do with "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds" or others. The contrast with the next subject is not pleasant. It arrives "When I'm Sixty-Four" that seems a song included by force and not because it is part of the psychedelic concept of the album. It is a playful and based on a personal and family experience of Paul McCartney that perhaps should also be part of another album with themes that do not pretend to be a whole as many wants to label this work. Again, I'm not saying it's a bad song, it just seems to me that it's not part of the album.


Fortunately, and after a hole in the record, the songs that close the album arrive and they give meaning to the concept: "Lovely Rita", "Good Morning Good Morning", "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)” and "A Day In the Life.” This is part of what I began to hear at the beginning of the album and they close it in a divine way. The psychedelia of Revolver and the good rock of previous albums is heard in a mature and determined to make history. The new recording techniques of the studios at that time and the hand of the other genius, George Martin, end up leaving everyone with their faces in the sun. A "Day In The Life" is a song that leaves the mind spinning until it throws you to the floor of the dizziness that causes, you can not believe the enormous capacity to compose of these two geniuses.

Opinions go and opinions come on an album that still has a lot to talk about and the ideas and feelings that come from it are as diverse as those who listen to it in different moods and stages of life around the world. It is, without a doubt, one of the best works written in the music of the twentieth century, however, I differ from many who claim that it is the best album of The Beatles. For me, the best ones are Revolver and Abbey Road ... and you, what do you think?

By: Jorge Diaz

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