Monday, August 8, 2016

What About Sgt. Pepper?

Revisionist history at work:

Released 50 years ago (it came out on August 5, 1966 in the UK and three days later in the us), ‘Revolver’ is considered by many to be The Beatles’ finest work – and yes, we know they’re all good – but come on, this one is really something. A huge leap in the band’s creativity and inspiration, their seventh studio album saw them drawing on their experiences with drugs as well as their interest in eastern religion. Here are 20 things you probably didn’t know about it. 

Herman's Hermits sold more records in the states than the Beatles, so I don't know why everyone suddenly proclaims Revolver as the "best" out of what should really be one long continuous series of recording sessions. Albums meant something vastly different in the 1960s than they do today. In three years, the Beatles would put out five, six or seven different albums; nowadays, they'd be putting them out once every four or five years, if that.

Rolling Stone championed Sgt. Pepper as the greatest Beatles album. You couldn't go anywhere in 1987 without being clobbered over the head with proclamations about how Sgt. Pepper was the greatest thing ever made. It's all so foolish. And then you get into the maturation of Rubber Soul, the majesty of Abbey Road, and the innovation of the White Album. Really, there is no "best" Beatles album. There are only different ones.

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