I have written quite a few reviews of films and a couple of books over the years. That’s not to say that they’re any good but I am more experienced reviewing those. So when I decided to try reviewing an album, a Beatles album no less, I wasn’t sure where to start. I have no musical ability or technical knowledge, so that only left me with how the songs and overall album make me feel, which let’s be honest, is the only thing that really matters.
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released in June 1967. It is considered the height of the Beatles creative collaboration and one of the greatest albums of all time. So is it any good? Actually yes, it is very good and I was able to listen to it repeatedly over three days without getting bored of it.
This album can be dropped into and the songs listened to and enjoyed individually. There are several that I really enjoy, “Lucy in the sky with Diamonds”, “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” and “A day in the life” all of which are predominantly credited to John Lennon. I wasn’t aware of this until after listening to the album and doing the research for the podcast on the Beatles. In my opinion these are the songs that feel the most contemporary, even today. It would appear that John Lennon may have been my favourite Beatle.
However the real joy comes from listening to the whole album. This is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Yes the songs are good but the album is a great show. You are welcomed with energy and joy to the show. It then continues from there with ups and downs, all the time with energy and creativity. This album is a tour of styles and imagination from each of the members combined.
When the show is over there is an encore, “A day in the life”, a combination of Lennon and McCartney Lyrics telling two different stories. The tone of the song is different from the rest of the album. A coda highlighting the creative brilliance of the band and how they cover so many different styles and had the ability to balance artistic merit with humour and fun.
If you want to get into the Beatles start at the beginning and experience them as they evolve and grow. If you are looking for the best from a band at its creative height then I strongly recommend enjoying the show put on by Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.