It was forty-five years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play - the Beatles' eighth studio album was released on June 1, 1967. It was the first big concept album, the first rock album to win the Grammy for Rock Album of the Year, the first album with lyrical liner notes, one of the best-selling albums of all time with over 32-million copies sold, and its cover is one of the best-known works of pop art.
'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was recorded at Abbey Road studios at a moment when John, Paul, George and Ringo "were fed up with being the Beatles" said Paul McCartney - so the answer was to create ficticious characters and alter-egos. It topped Rolling Stone magazine's list of the '500 Greatest Albums of All Time' and was praised as "an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology."
PLAYLIST: 25 Reasons to Love the Beatles - January 8, 2012
Make sure to listen to The Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2 this evening. As well as the usual mix of great tunes chosen by us and yourselves, we have the story of this amazing playlist, which Catherine was compelled to create to settle a debate over why she feels the Beatles are better than the Stones. She explains below...
By Catherine Stockhausen
The other day my friend Randy stated that, "The Beatles are overrated". I used to agree with him, when I was young and foolish.
Like almost everyone I know I grew up with the 'Red' and 'Blue' Beatles compilations (who really knows what those are actually called?). To me The Beatles were the childish 'Octopus's Garden', the poppy 'Can't Buy Me Love', the sappy 'Michelle', the precious 'All You Need Is Love', the wanky 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and the dated 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.
I listened to these songs 5 billion times, then grew out of them. Then in my twenties I took another listen. I got all the albums. Thank God. I heard the real Beatles, behind the singles, and I discovered with older more educated ears that the singles were damn good too. Yes, 'Strawberry Fields' is dated, and it is also miiiiiind blooooowing...
I knew Randy needed to know what I know. So I made him a playlist of my 25 must-hear Beatles songs (chronologically of course... with a bit of a cheat at the end).
If I Fell
The Night Before
We Can Work It Out
If I Needed Someone
Here, There And Everywhere
And Your Bird Can Sing
She Said She Said
Tomorrow Never Knows
Got To Get You Into My Life
I'm Only Sleeping
Magical Mystery Tour
I Am the Walrus
Strawberry Fields Forever
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
Mother Nature's Son
I've Got A Feeling
Two Of Us
And the final entry (a bit of a cheat, admittedly): The end of side two of 'Abbey Road': (Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window/Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End/Her Majesty)
Definitive by no means and certainly subjective. Hopefully it will spark some debate and turn some non-believers on to the The Beatles. BTW, Randy's new favourite song is 'Blackbird' (his favourite song by The Beatles, that is).