Tuesday, January 02, 2007
It was 40 years ago today, that Sergeant Pepper told the band to play...
Actually it wasn't 40 years ago today since the Beatles released Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The real date is June 1st, but I just couldn't wait. It is hard to believe that this album was released such a long time ago, particularly when it sounds so fresh and innovative compared to many of today's bands. But this post isn't a homage to Sergeant Pepper, as I have to confess that I think it doesn't deserve its status as the greatest rock album of all time.
Sergeant Pepper has some fantastic songs: A Day in the Life, She's Leaving Home, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and A Little Help From My Friends, but let's not forget Good Morning Good Morning, Lovely Rita or indeed the title track, which have B-side written all over them. I'd sooner have the White Album which, with the exception of the appalling Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, is a masterpiece. And what about Revolver?
Come June, middle-aged music journalists will be in clover writing about Sergeant Pepper in 1967 and the Sex Pistols in 1977. (What happened in 1987? Oh yes, Rick Astley) Indeed, if I look into my crystal ball, the fog is lifting and I can see a bookshop table with a selection of retrospectives by some of our finest rock journalists (at this point I must confess to having an irrational prejudice against rock journalists). If I look further into the future I can see a stock room with a lot of books waiting to go back to the publisher.
So if Sergeant Pepper isn't the greatest album of all time, what is? I love the Beatles, but my choice would be Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. Oddly enough, quite a lot of rock journalists agree with me.