The Beatles
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band


3.5
great

Review

by IronGiant USER (15 Reviews)
January 21st, 2014 | 116 replies


Release Date: 1967 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Truth? You can't handle the truth!"

Sgt. Peppers shows the Beatles at an awkward time in their career. The four Liverpool lads were still at the beginning stages of their experimentation with the numerous electronic effects, overdubs, varied instrumentation, and other-worldly lyrics found on Revolver, qualities that would still be found scattered in bits and pieces throughout the rest of the band's future catalog. This novelty shows, too, sounding at times awkward, such as in the acid-circus ascending keyboards of "Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite". At other times the experimentation seems forced, such as the completely unnecessary vocal hodgepodge ending the otherwise impeccably arranged and executed "A Day in the Life". "Good Morning, Good Morning" seems out of place entirely and is ultimately an unmemorable song, salvaged only by a nice little solo from George. When looking at Sgt. Peppers as a whole, people seem to view the album with rose-tinged lenses, often citing it as either the 'Big Bang' of contemporary pop or the 'best album of all time', two statements which desperately lack validity. While a good album, it is isn't even in the top three best Beatles albums, let alone the greatest of all time.

Instead, Sgt. Peppers is an album of cleverly-crafted experimental pop, boasting catchy sing-alongs ("Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"), varied instrumentation ("Within You and Without You"), or a combination of both ("She's Leaving Home"). The very latter of the songs mentioned stands as a highlight of the album and the entire Beatles discography, beautifully depicting the laments of two sad parents who have seemingly lost their daughter to the outside world, utilizing an array of harps and violins which vividly accent the parents' sorrow and worry with each staccato note played. "With a Little Help from my Friends" is a piano-driven ballad that shows Ringo at his happiest and most geuine moments; the three-part harmony in the chorus is an especially pleasant way to kick off the album. Surprisingly enough, the best songs on the album (the aforementioned "She's Leaving Home" and the McCartney-fueled "Lovely Rita") are the deep cuts, which wonderfully depict the lighter pop roots of the band, sounding almost like a more matured and experimental version of something you'd find on Hard Day's Night.

If I was rating the album based on influence alone, it would undoubtedly receive a 5. I'm instead grading it on purely its musical merit, which in its own regard, simply does not match up to the entire post-Rubber Soul discography or even Hard Day's Night, despite still remaining a greatly enjoyable album. Regardless of the lasting influence it has had on music, Sgt. Peppers needs to start being looked at eye level rather than from the 10-foot-high pedestal that most of us place it on.



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user ratings (4459)
4.5
superb
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
IronGiant
January 21st 2014


1744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wildly unpopular opinion above, please proceed with caution. Besides, a 3.5 perfectly describes this album to me: great. hope you guys enjoy, thought itd be a good break the usual reviews that praise the album until theyre blue in the face

emprorzurg
January 21st 2014


570 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

While I agree with your points, cultural significance has to be taken into consideration for a rating. I try to either find a middle point (like The Sex Pistols, because that album, musically is a flat out 2.5) or go with my gut (in this case)

IronGiant
January 21st 2014


1744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sgt. Peppers isn't a bad album, that's why it got a 3.5. It is however significantly more inconsistent and less enjoyable

than the aforementioned albums IMO. I feel like most people would agree that MMT does everything this album originally

set out to do but better. Strawberry Fields Forever alone is better than every song off this album save maybe for A Day in

the Life

IronGiant
January 21st 2014


1744 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

When we start grading albums based on sentiment or influence it represents something that isn't truly the music imo,

which is at the end of the day what an album is really about.

Mongi123
January 21st 2014


20941 Comments


Very nice review

mandan
January 21st 2014


13436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Good review, pos'd.



Out of curiosity IG, are you a Beatles fan?

Digging: Rush - Hemispheres

Kalopsia
January 21st 2014


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i'm not a Beatles fan, but this is a 5

avonbarksdale221
January 21st 2014


8298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great review. A Day In The Life might be close to the best song ever, but I agree that this album is

lacking and not even close to the Beatles best. They should've included Strawberry Fields and Penny

Lane.

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2014


44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Getting Better is just pure shit

Digging: Black Thought - Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane and Abel

avonbarksdale221
January 21st 2014


8298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Getting Better ain't bad. Second half is seriously lacking though. I've said it before and I'll say it again: since they were both released the same year, they should have just scrapped the MMT movie and album and combined the best parts of both records. Imagine a tracklist that looked like:



sgt pepper lonely hearts club band

with a little help from my friends

lucy in the sky with diamonds

the fool on the hill

she's leaving home

I am the walrus

hello goodbye

strawberry fields

penny lane

within you without you

all you need is love

sgt peppers reprise

a day in the life

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2014


44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

That would be legit but where the fuck is Blue Jay Way, mate

Kalopsia
January 21st 2014


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Getting Better is shit? j00r crazy dude, song rox

SgtPepper
Emeritus
January 21st 2014


4510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0



"Sgt. Peppers needs to start being looked at eye level rather than from the 10-foot-high pedestal that most of us place it on."



- I love that line. and your review is great too. I personally feel like you didn't really say as much as you could have in your critiques, but overall still good.



My feelings for this album are rather obvious, but I do feel that, despite being one of finest albums of its time, Sgt. Pepper's gets way more praise than it really deserves. This is a great album, an undeniable classic (for me at least), but The Beatles really didn't break any new ground here. The whole classical-pop sound was already perfected by Brian Wilson in Pet Sounds the previous year and Forever Changes and Days of Future Passed would go on to push it to greater heights. And as far as psychedelic tracks go, there's some imaginative trippiness and stellar production in "Mr. Kite" but Zappa's "Monster Magnet" from the previous year and pretty much anything from Floyd's Piper makes it look tame in comparison. "Within you without you" is an absolute masterpiece though, George was on a whole other level and no one touches him. To me, this is a classic because I absolutely love it, but I can agree with you in that it isn't all it's made out to be. It's got great tracks, it's a lot of fun, but not revolutionary in anyway. Revolver is more deserving of that title.

avonbarksdale221
January 21st 2014


8298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

slip it in after lucy and baby, we go a stew going



seriously that would have been the greatest pop album ever

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2014


44164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

Alright agreed avon we got it

Rawben
January 21st 2014


184 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Revolver might have been more consistent but no album off it was as good as "A Day in the Life." At least I don't think so,

perhaps I have poor taste.

TheSpaceMan
January 21st 2014


13002 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Pos'd, you back up a controversial rating really well but I think the album is a lot better than you are giving it credit for...



when you talk about the songs individually in the middle paragraph you tend to praise them more than your rating suggests you would... It seems like you might be holding your score back comparative to The Beatles' other albums, which is somewhat hypocritical after you call a higher rating unjustified comparative to the impact it made. Just my thoughts though, it was a really good review and I'm probably just looking too far into it

avonbarksdale221
January 21st 2014


8298 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty much no song ever is as good as A Day In The Life.



As it stands though, Revolver destroys this. 13 tracks off pure psych-pop brilliance. Oh and Yellow Submarine, too.

zakalwe
January 21st 2014


31812 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

The truth of the matter is this is a mind bending concept album that 50yrs later still gets spoken about and still carries influence to this day.

The second half/A day in the life is unbelievable stuff.

Show some respect.



SgtPepper
Emeritus
January 21st 2014


4510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

within you without you kills a day in the life for me personally. it's not even a contest there.



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