The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967 - #1 on Rolling Stone list)
John Lennon - Guitars, Pianos, Vocals
Paul McCartney - Bass, Guitars, Pianos, Vocals
George Harrison - Guitars, Sitar, Vocals
Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Many critics and fans alike have picked out this album as the greatest of all time. Great lineup in songs, and great cover art. It was masterful in its use of effects and mixing (which won the album a grammy), utilizng only four tracks of audio. That in itself is an achievement. But what should be covered is the songs; they were revolutionary. Not only in lyrics but also in sound. Just two years before The Beatles were singing Another Girl and Dizzy Miss Lizzie. Now they had songs from across the spectrum, from hard rock to classical ballads.
I personally do not think this album is their best. Yes, it is revolutionary, and if one is to base reviews and list off of what the album was for the time, then this certainly would win. But compared to the White Album and Abbey Road, which are probably some of the best albums ever made, this is a fairly decent albums with some good tracks, some mediocre tracks. Now the song-by-song review.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - 5/5
I love this song. I'm more of a rock 'n roll guy, so this song fits perfectly into my likings. Its hard and driving at points, and mellows down with the inclusion of some french horns in certain passages. Great song, but like most Beatle songs, its too short :(
With a Little Help from My Friends - 3.5/5
This song isn't too bad. Its nice and relaxing, thanks to the singing of Ringo. Very easy going, but doesn't stand out to a lot of the other more potent songs.
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - 4/5
Another classic track. This is more of what I call a 'Sgt. Pepper's' song, because it doesn't really follow traditional rock/pop standards. Seems dreamy with the harpsichord/organ playing in 3/4, then when the chorus comes, Ringo comes in, and drives a harder rock edge that adds greatly to this song, until the verse comes back in.
Getting Better - 4/5
I heard this song live :) Anyway, not the best song on the album; I don't really care for the beginning with the spacious hit hat hits, but the rest of the song isn't too bad.
Fixing a Hole - 3/5
A slower song, this, although it makes me yawn every single time I listen to it. Even though Paul sings a fairly good vocal track, the instruments seem to be playing boring uninteresting parts behind him. Not a highlight.
She's Leaving Home - 4/5
Lyrically, this is the best song on the album. Even though it is farther out from rock then any other song on the album, I love the creppy cellos and the beautiful harp in the beginning. The story that is told is a good, tragic tale, that I think any teenager can relate to.
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! - 4/5
One of the more funner tracks, this bouncy tune is unique through its use of pipe carnival organs and the chaotic 'carinval noise' in between verses created through ingenious ingeniouity (cutting and pasting together random pieces of tape). Another 'Sgt. Pepper's' song.
Within You WIthout You - 3/5
One of George's three Indian songs he did. It seems too long and boring, but I like how the strings and George's vocals hit the same notes to make a haunting sound. The Inner Light is definitly the better of the Indian songs, if not one of the better Beatle songs.
When I'm 64 - 2.5/5
A very warm, easy going song, much like A Little Help from Friends, except instead of guitars and drum fills its filled with clarinets. I hate clarinets. This song is too calm, and the clarinets don't help. Great kids song, moreover.
Lovely Rita - 4/5
Finally done with the long boring stretch of this album, and onto some good tracks. Being a drummer, I have this thing about a basic rock beat, and when its added to a piece of music, I think the song gets better tenfold. I don't care for the annoying 'wah' stuff (whatever instrument that is), but the rest of the song is not bad material.
Good Morning Good Morning - 4.5/5
Even though its not bad, the low brass/saxaophone orchestra just doesn't really cut it for me. I love John's vocals in here, and the switch from straight time to triplet time. Finally some distorted lead guitar licks that seem to be missing in the rest of the album.
Sgt. Pepper's Reprise - 5/5
The god of the album. This short minute long reprise of the title track is killer, being even better then the first song. Better then anything before this, its a fast paced guitar riffed song straight into its quick end, then leading into:
A Day in the Life - 5/5
Like the reprise, A Day in the Life is better then anything before this; yes, its the supergod song of the album. I can't really describe this song, just hear it yourself. Its full of awesome drum fills, mesh of piano and guitar, badass Lennon vocals, and oh god! The grand crescendo! Even though the weak part is Paul's middle bit, it is immediately followed by the best part of the song; a dreamlike sequence that goes straight back into the Lennon verses. And nothing can beat the record holding E Major piano chord at the end that lasts for 53 seconds. Yes, that is sweet indeed, for I love E Major.
Overall - 4/5
I know I'm gonna get harsh critisism for not giving this album a 5/5, but I have to be honest.....not all the songs on here are all that great. Even though Sgt. Pepper's does have some truly killer songs.