on December 21, 2014
Nice to hear the mono version again. I have mixed feeling against the stereo version from 1968, not the one from 2009. Yes it is different in some ways, but the grand picture is lost some what, and I don't care about this is how it should have sounded, who knows? by 1968 stereo was in full gear here in the states, and what they reviewed it by then it was the stereo version that was reviewed and given to reviewers by Capital records, and I was lucky to own both back then and I gave the mono version away.
I do like that they used the analog master tapes for this release, and they need to use them again for CD reissue of both the mono and stereo instead of the digital masters mixes. You then have the best of both formats. I was not impressed with either mono or stereo releases in the CD format, the presence was missing, and they sounded flat where their release back in the 60's did not, though many were quite bright. This as nothing to do with the CD format, in fact the stereo LP's also used the digital mixes also, but it is what they chose to use as the master for the transfers to both formats that is the true issues same for the newest American boxset. They should have taken the same care with them as they did with the mono LP releases.
The reason to buy the Mono box which is way over priced is for how the mastering was done. As in any recording garbage in and you get garbage out. Good job on the mono's.
on August 27, 2015
This is one of my favorite albums, and I thought it would sound as good as the original.
On side two, track two, the vocals in "When I'm Sixty Four" have been mixed out.
I requested a replacement, but it too, is defective.
I believe it is a studio error, and I am surprised no one else has caught this major defect.
on September 12, 2009
A friend of mine bought this cd today and brought it over to my house. We compared his new "remastered" copy with my original. The only difference is that his was louder. That's it. No clearer, no more noticeable bass or drums. Nothing. Don't waste your time buying this "remastered" version, since you're not missing out on anything but a few decibels. The reason I still give this a 3 star is because it is one of my favorite Beatles albums, and is well worth your time to listen to.
on July 5, 2008
It's funny how history works. When it came out in 1967, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was a seismic event. It was an instant cultural touchstone, a musical icon, a psychotropic chunk of pop art product that glistened with possibility and newness. It was, famously, the album that signaled the rise of rock `n' roll as an artform rather than a teenage flavor-of-the-decade. It was bold, energetic, and state-of-the-art. It was conceptual- even the packaging and cover art were part of the journey. It was innovative. In a visionary synthesis of Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan, Brian Wilson and Karlheinz Stockhausen, the Fab Four sought to combine experimentation and melody, innovation and whimsy, futurism and present...ism. It was the album that made it officially OK for popular artists to use tape loops and weird (read: non-European) instruments and genre hopping. Sure, other bands had been experimental before them, but the Beatles were the first megastars to do it over the length of a full album. Impressive.
So, I'm not going to deny the historical significance of this album. I'm not quite insane enough to do that. I won't try to refute its influence, either. But what I am going to complain about is its listenability. Its raw musical value, if you will. Evaluating music on an intellectual level is interesting and useful, but it's all academic if the stuff doesn't make for a good listening experience. And by that measure, the Beatles have done much, much better than Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
It hasn't aged all that well, you see. I can do without a lot of this stuff: "When I'm Sixty-Four" is a cutesy music hall exercise that, all these years later, sounds cheeky and not all that entertaining. "Lovely Rita" and "Good Morning Good Morning" sound absolutely generic, and "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!" is (how do I put this delicately?) annoying and stupid.
Even some of the album's better songs aren't exactly top-drawer material: "She's Leaving Home" is sad and pretty, "Getting Better" is pleasantly bouncy (good lyrics, too), and "Within You Without You" shows off George's sitar fascination to trippy effect, but none of those three are particularly special. Same goes for the rocking title track.
But having said all that, I still do think that this is a pretty good album. If the review so far has seemed harsh, it's because I've learned to hold the Beatles to a pretty high standard. A five-star Beatles album (Rubber Soul, Revolver, etc.) needs to be saturated with pure gold. On this disc, I only count a few true gems. "A Day In The Life" is the shiniest. It's an absolutely gorgeous song, a symphonic tale of quiet desolation and muted melancholia. I also like the quintessentially psychedelic "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," and the inexplicably delightful "Fixing A Hole."
Rock historians, Beatle maniacs, and those who are trying to collect all of the obvious touchstones of musical history should certainly pick this up. Otherwise, think twice.
on February 16, 2013
this is a good one, although i feel like the title song is a little uninteresting, i love what it leads into, "A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS" is a fun time song, one of Ringo's best. i love "LOVELY RITA" its sweet and innocent just like the beatles are known to be, i wish music today was innocent like this. "WITHIN WITHOUT" id say is a little strange but it is really cool, its not radio worthy but its pretty cool, "FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR. KITE" is just plain wierd, its interesting. i love the album cover, its packed with things to look at, this is a great album, its a classic and always will be remembered as such
on June 3, 2007
Be prepared for a less than satisfying audio experience. Don't get me wrong, the music, performance, and production are everything you've already read about. It's just that this album (and the rest of the Beatles catalog for that matter) haven't been remastered in twenty some years. Back then, digital audio was still pretty new, and a lot of generations of computer technology have come and gone since then. We've seen what this technology can do with other releases, but none of this technological muscle has been used to clean up this or any other Beatles release. Why hasn't Pepper or any of the other essential albums of the Beatles catalog received the same audio upgrade that Pet Sounds has received? Aren't McCartney, Starr, and Martin embarrassed by how their records sound when compared with the remastered Stones or Dylan catalogs? It makes absolutely no sense that you have to wade through an inch of audio mud and tape hiss to listen to one of the most influential catalogs in the last fifty years of pop music, but there it is. Please guys, Martin isn't getting any younger and neither are your master tapes. Get it all remastered and put it out on SACD or DVD audio before its too late! Until that day happens though, put on your hip wading boots and dig in. It's still worth the mess.
on March 27, 2014
Originally a great album, however, George Martin's remastering removes a lot of the imperfections of the original album and purifies it to something that becomes homogenized to affect perfection of the recording. If you like the Beatles try to purchase an original pressing in good condition, both the record and jacket cover.
(All links in this review are to LPs, not CDs.)
Yes it's true that SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND epitomizes the Summer of Love, yet with the hindsight of four-plus decades it's also clear that save for some exceptional cover art this album is too inconsistent for the "legendary" status that so many accord it. Several Beatles works are superior, such as the American MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR or HEY JUDE / THE BEATLES AGAIN. For British editions, HELP!,RUBBER SOUL and REVOLVER all surpass this anachronistic "concept" piece in quality, likeability and attitude.
Following a nicely done brief intro, the set opens with two weak tracks in a row. Side Two repeats that pattern with -another- couple of mediocrities right at the top. "A Little Help From My Friends," "Lucy In The Sky," and "When I'm 64" are weak substitutes for "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." George's "Within You Without You" is tediously long. "It's All Too Much," which was slated for this record, was a better choice, and "The Inner Light" certainly would've satisfied his penchant for sitar and tabla.
Paul's "Getting Better" and "Fixing a Hole" could be the same song, while "She's Leaving Home" is a bit whiny. John's best contribution, the driving "Good Morning, Good Morning" was the result of a Kellogg's cereal commercial. His "Mr. Kite" is mellotronically trivial and "A Day in the Life" lacks direction: John reads or hears bad news, but wants to give you drugs (or get you aroused, if you'd rather believe that). Then Paul joins in with some more "Ain't life a rut? Guess I'll smoke a doob" silliness. Despite fine orchestration, this track is ultimately too incohesive.
For a "concept" record, Side Two of ABBEY ROAD is supreme-- that entire album has held up far better over time than this one. It wouldn't be surprising if a hundred years from now "Sgt. Pepper's" is considered an anomaly in the Beatles canon and not the ultimate '60s rock album. The distance of time often brings with it this sort of clarity.
[2:02] Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
[2:44] With a Little Help from My Friends
[3:28] Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
[2:47] Getting Better
[2:36] Fixing a Hole
[3:35] She's Leaving Home
[2:37] Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
[5:05] Within You Without You
[2:37] When I'm Sixty-Four
[2:42] Lovely Rita
[2:41] Good Morning Good Morning
[1:18] Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
[5:33] A Day in the Life
TOTAL TIME: 39:45
on February 8, 2016
As a young guy growing up in the 1960s The Beatles were what Rock/Pop music was all about, so why am I only giving 3 stars?
It's difficult for me to understand, let alone explain in this review, but I will try!
I've heard that Paul McCartney listened to The Beach Boys album Pet Sounds and that Sgt. Peppers grew out of that.
Post Sgt. Pepper and clearly influenced by it, came The Byrds album The Notorious Byrd Brothers, which is one of my top 5 albums of all time.
Listening to Sgt. Pepper today after a long time of not hearing it, I'm surprised that the quality of recording is not better.
Favourite track is She's Leaving Home.
To get this up to 4 or 5 stars, the earlier double single Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever could have been added as bonus tracks.
Thanks for reading!
on November 19, 1999
Concerning musical content, this album is O.K. I would not rate it the best album of all-time, of the 1960s, or of 1967. I don't think it's the best album by the Beatles either, but it's memorable for a variety of reasons, and I'd give it 3-stars.
People are noting that this album is the #1 choice in amazon.com's Best of the Millenium poll. The popularity of this album is attributable more to demographics (the study of population trends) and nostalgia than musical content. The baby boomers were at impressionable ages and the world was experiencing significant change in 1967. These factors combine to create vivid memories of where people were, what they were doing, and what they were listening to. An attraction to those times by this large population has lifted this album, and a lot of 60s and 70s music to the top of these polls. As time passes and this population decreases in size, this album too, will fade.
Put more simply, the same amazon.com poll rates Millenium by the Backstreet Boys as the #3 album of the century. So, if you choose to cite this poll as support for your view of Sgt. Pepper, you imply support for the Backstreet Boys at #3.
In summary, this album is not as bad as some say and not as good as some claim.