06.01.2017 07:39 AM

It was fifty years ago today

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  A half century.  Incredible.

I don’t remember it coming out, on June 1, 1967.  I was six, and we were living in Dallas.  Much later on, I recall, certain songs would start to leave a mark – Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, Within You Without You (I shared George’s fascination with Indian instrumentation and still do), the title track.  All genius.

And, much later, I’d be amazed that the Fabs did what they did with just four and eight analog tracks.  Eight!  Last weekend, SFH were in a studio that had 64, all digital.  What would Sgt. Pepper have sounded like with that, I often wonder. (And McCartney essentially created DI for his bass! Seriously!)

Anyway: it was this song that remains, to me, the crowning achievement of that extraordinary album – and which is still the greatest pop song of all time.  Some days, I felt like it was written just for me.  You know a song is brilliant when it makes you feel like that.

So – happy birthday, Sgt. Pepper, wherever you are.  You changed the world.


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    doconnor says:

    Because on one could hear the songs over their screaming fans, The Beatles stopped touring, which give them more time to work in studio and apply the latest technology to their music.

    Because of money grubbing record companies most bands didn’t make enough money to live on through record sales and had to keep touring even if they didn’t like it.

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    Eastern Rebellion says:

    The 1960’s and, to a lesser extent, the 1970’s, was the golden age of pop music. I’m old enough to have been a Beatles’ fan when I was a youngster. The first record albums my parents bought for me were an early Beatles recording and an early Beach Boys recording. I still remember listening to them on the little mono record player we had. The Beatles had a great advantage in that their producer was committed to bringing their musical ideas into fruition. Contrary to popular opinion, there was far more money in the music industry then than there is now. Musicians could actually make a decent living performing, and their publishing royalties and the mechanical royalties from sales allowed songwriters and the other supporting band members to pursue a carreer in music. Now with streaming services and digital downloading of music, the artists receive a pittance. As any performing musician will tell you, venues are paying next to nothing these days for live music. Younger artists have been conditioned to think that they should perform for nothing, and the attitude, unfortunately, among many young people is that music should be “free”, what ever that means. In the past, record labels would actually invest in their artists, and support them. There were many artists, such as Bruce Springsteen, who were not overnight successes, and it wasn’t until their third or fourth record that their career’s really took off. Additionally, the musicianship during the golden age was much higher than today. With digital technology and software such as Pro Tools, the audio tracks are manipulated to sound perfect. Sergeant Pepper was a landmark recording, and an excellent example of the amazing music being produces in the 1960’s. We are all much better off being able to enjoy it. Plus it’s really cool Paul has an OPP shoulder flash on his uniform!

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    Luke says:

    I love The Beatles, a point of contention in my marriage though it may be.

    For some reason, I am really fond of Fixing a Hole. But yes, A Day in the Life is fantastic.

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    Miles Lunn says:

    The song starts off with it was 20 years ago today. One of my favourite Beatles albums and I have seen Paul McCartney perform this live both in 2010 and 2015 in Toronto.

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