It was 40 years ago today …

Posted on June 28, 2007
Filed Under Culture, Main, Music | Leave a Comment

sgtpepper_cover.jpg … Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.

It’s hard to believe that the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” turned 40 this June. Undeniably one of the greatest — if not greatest– albums of all time, the music on this 12-inch LP altered the path of rock music and impacted popular culture in innumerable ways. According to Rolling Stone:

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is the most important rock & roll album ever made, an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by the greatest rock & roll group of all time. From the title song’s regal blasts of brass and fuzz guitar to the orchestral seizure and long, dying piano chord at the end of “A Day in the Life,” the thirteen tracks on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” are the pinnacle of the Beatles’ eight years as recording artists. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were never more fearless and unified in their pursuit of magic and transcendence.

Issued in Britain on June 1st, 1967, and a day later in America, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is also rock’s ultimate declaration of change. For the Beatles, it was a decisive goodbye to matching suits, world tours and assembly-line record-making. “We were fed up with being Beatles,” McCartney said decades later, in “Many Years From Now,” Barry Miles’ McCartney biography. “We were not boys, we were men … artists rather than performers.”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band[audio:Pepper_01.mp3]
With A Little Help From My Friends [audio:Pepper_02.mp3]
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [audio:Pepper_03.mp3]
Getting Better [audio:Pepper_04.mp3]
Fixing A Hole [audio:Pepper_05.mp3]
She’s Leaving Home [audio:Pepper_06.mp3]
Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [audio:Pepper_07.mp3]
Within You Without You [audio:Pepper_08.mp3]
When I’m Sixty-Four [audio:Pepper_09.mp3]
Lovely Rita [audio:Pepper_10.mp3]
Good Morning Good Morning [audio:Pepper_11.mp3]
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [audio:Pepper_12.mp3]
A Day In The Life [audio:Pepper_13.mp3]

Need any more be said? Check out the links below, and then ponder what you were doing with your life when you first heard the album.

The Beatles

Rolling Stone: Sgt. Pepper

Sgt. Pepper Album and Recording Information (information on each track as well as identification of all the people and images on the cover)

NPR Homage to Sgt. Pepper


Leave a Reply