The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band


3.5
great

Review

by SethPutnam USER (7 Reviews)
August 28th, 2011 | 42 replies | 4,790 views


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An important album, but far from The Beatles best work

12 of 13 thought this review was well written

I'm a massive Beatles fan, but yet I hardly find myself coming back to this album. Why is that? Quite simply because I find Revolver, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, The White Album, and even Magical Mystery Tour to be far more inspired. Sgt. Peppers does have its merits. It was a landmark album conceptually, and arguably the forebear of both the concept album and the rock opera. It also marked a massive step forward for recording technology, being one of the first albums to incorporate automatic double tracking, varispeeding, flanging, wah, fuzz, and other effects. Where Sgt. Pepper's comes up short is in the actual songwriting, which is not up to snuff with The Beatles, albeit high, standards.

The first three tracks, and the last, are bona fide classics- I'll leave them alone. The mediocrity is to be found in, well, just about everything else. A problem running rampant throughout the album is what John Lennon would later decry as "Paul's granny sh*t," which I interpret as Paul's fetish with the kitsch music hall genre, seen here on "Fixing A Hole," "She's Leaving Home," and "When I'm Sixty Four." Though I wouldn't fault anyone for enjoying these songs, I consider them to be painfully corny, and among the worst material ever written by The Beatles.

Overall, Sgt. Pepper's just feels a bit too much like "The Paul Show," with negligible influence from other band members. Lennon is woefully absent, taking lead vocals on only three tracks, whereas McCartney takes lead on six. "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" are the only the songs which even feel like "John songs," the latter being unfortunately every bit as camp as "When I'm Sixty Four."

I don't hate Paul McCartney by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, he's the Beatle I most admire- the undeniable powerhouse of the group for those who have actually researched the band. But what made the Beatles exciting was his songwriting partnership with the slightly more colorful John Lennon. Likewise, Lennon needed the more traditional McCartney, and only when things were balanced between these two creative forces did the true magic occur (see Rubber Soul and Revolver). Sgt. Pepper's to me, represents a point at which McCartney was too dominant, which is not to accuse him of being cold and calculated. It seems to me that in light of the "bigger than Jesus" controversy, Lennon's drug abuse, and changing dynamics in the music industry, Paul rose to the occasion, and took helm of the band. A noble- thing to do, but it resulted in an unbalanced sound.

McCartney even intruded into George Harrison's territory by playing most of the lead guitars on this album, a task for which I believe Harrison was more qualified. To its detriment, Sgt. Pepper's is not an album on which George shines, featuring only one of his compositions instead of his usual two or three. That one song is of course, "Within You Without You," which always struck me as a boring rehash of "Love You To." His composition, "Only A Northern Song" seemed like a much better fit for the album, but I suspect it was rejected for being somewhat of an invective against Lennon and McCartney's monopoly on songwriting.

Despite my nitpicking, Sgt. Pepper's is still a great album with a slew of creative ideas. I simply feel it's overrated, and certainly not worthy of the "greatest album of all time" status it's often elevated to. The importance of the album seems to hinge more on style than substance, and therefore, it's not surprising why so many critics are taken to it.



Recent reviews by this author
Opeth HeritageDream Theater A Dramatic Turn of Events
David Bowie David LiveThe Cure Bloodflowers
Scatman John Take Your TimeLed Zeppelin In Through the Out Door
user ratings (3045)
Chart.
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
coneren
August 28th 2011



11111 Comments


show penis pictures

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2011



6319 Comments


Great analysis, very interesting read.
This album represents indeed the problems I have with a lot of Beatles albums, namely the inconsistencies...

Digging: Sully - Blue

LepreCon
August 28th 2011



3562 Comments


Good review though obviously I disagree

eyehategod
August 28th 2011



644 Comments


sodoesgod

Paradiso
August 28th 2011



313 Comments


good review tbh

eyehategod
August 28th 2011



644 Comments


sonic dont give him what he wants thats my job

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2011



6319 Comments


I give a 3.5 to all pop albums, it's not my fault this is the most ignorant music genre of all time.

Really bad generalisation, tbh...

eyehategod
August 28th 2011



644 Comments


are you a lady? pics come on sonic you are the best for looking. come on pics

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2011



6319 Comments


Alright let's say one album of The Beatles is a 5/5. Then Led Zeppelin IV is what, a 15/5?

Depends on if you only rate based on technicality

tarkus
August 28th 2011



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stairway isn't even that good

eyehategod
August 28th 2011



644 Comments


reported

Drsmith4
August 28th 2011



1710 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well written.

Pos.

Paradiso
August 28th 2011



313 Comments


as long as the testosterone is boiling in here, someone feel free to report my ratings - i'm trying to get them reset

tarkus
August 28th 2011



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"What's wrong with that? Stairway alone is better than any album ever conceived."

You just called it stairway

eyehategod
August 28th 2011



644 Comments


lol shit

tarkus
August 28th 2011



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

we all think that

tarkus
August 28th 2011



5560 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck off and die

SowingSeason
Staff Reviewer
August 28th 2011



15303 Comments


this is good but it doesn't even compare to some of their other stuff

Digging: Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus

jefflebowski
August 28th 2011



7340 Comments


Good review, but still.

No mention of 'A Day in the Life'? Best song ever written?

Within you Without you is pretty crud though

Digging: The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour

Nomad
August 28th 2011



247 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Within you Without you is pretty crud though

BURN HIM! BURN THE HERETIC!!



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy