Exposé Online banner

The Beatles — Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
(Parlophone PMC 7027, 1967, LP)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2017-03-23

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Cover art

It seems almost silly to take this one on in writing — one of the era's most iconic albums along with one of the era's most iconic covers. It's almost superfluous to talk about the album's sheer brilliance and its quantum leap forward for pop as an art form. A good 75% of the album's songs are classics of how songwriting was enhanced in the psychedelic era, and most of them changed the game at the time, no doubt due to how the band's increasing popularity gave them access to all of the latest studio technology. And this technology really went to the service of the songs, allowing the creators to bring out a technicolor range of sounds and tones. And like with jazz, many of these songs went right into the common repertoire of the day, just off the top of my head, Hendrix redid the title track, Joe Cocker made "A Little Help" his own and William Shatner turned "Lucy" into a minor kitsch classic, all within two years of the release of the album. This album acted as the template for a lot of art music to come after, not least in its existence as a concept with a story, but few of those concept albums to follow held the same sense of joy, naiveté, and sheer wonder as this release did. It's probably hard to separate one's impression of this album due to the heavy radio play of most of the music here, but if you're interested in tracking down the lineage of a lot of your favorite music, it's unlikely the road won't go back through this masterpiece.

Filed under: New releases, 1967 releases

Related artist(s): The Beatles

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland – Robert Wyatt is so much an entity unto himself that comparisons to anyone else are more or less useless. Most listeners with a rock background would probably peg his music as jazz, though I suspect...  (2004) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues