Saturday, June 03, 2017

Club: class

It was 50 years ago today - well, last Thursday - that Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released. And, for my money, it's an anniversary entirely deserving of celebration.

I won't rehearse at length all the reasons why Sgt Pepper's is great or all the factors that contributed to the creation of a groundbreaking and enormously influential album (Lennon and McCartney's songwriting maturity and embrace of the studio, George Martin's genius, experimentation with LSD, the arms race with the Beach Boys that had stepped up several gears with the release of Pet Sounds). Suffice to say, simply, that it's the best Beatles album. OK, so that might not be "cool", but it's the truth. Admittedly, 'When I'm Sixty-Four' briefly threatens to throw a spanner in the works, but 'She's Leaving Home' is enough to outweigh pretty much any musical sin on its own.

Rolling Stone have published articles telling the story behind every song on the album - well worth a read. Certainly more so than this piece from the Guardian's John Higgs, who makes some reasonably astute points about the record itself but then tries to assert its relevance to Brexit Britain in a rather grating and laboured way.

Of course, it should also be remembered that 1st June 1967 also saw the release of the debut LP from one David Bowie - even if it was a record he was quick to disparage and disown.

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