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Author Topic: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?  (Read 4214 times)

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Brynjar

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Klang

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 10:03:46 AM »


Disagree. I always enjoy a listen.

Just another self-appointed arbiter spouting off.

Zzzzzzzzzzzz...

 :P

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ibanez_ax

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 04:13:04 PM »

While it is not my favorite Beatles album it is by no means overrated.

"As such, it's now in a position where it cannot ever be truly loved as an album."  Of course you can. When you strip away everything that's been written about it, it is first and foremost a great album and if accepted as such, nothing else matters.

And don't even get me started about what he said about The Who.  Them's fightin' words!   >:(
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 04:23:37 PM by ibanez_ax »
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TomMo

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2012, 03:23:37 PM »

For the record, "Sgt. Pepper's" places third on my list of favorite Beatles albums, after "Rubber Soul" and "Abbey Road". And to be completely candid, I didn't like the album the first two times I listened to it (back in 1967).

All that aside, in some ways it might be the Beatles' most important album. It's true that it didn't live up to the original concept of the album, that of being music created by a fictional band. Only the first two tracks and the reprise support that concept. But then, there was the secondary concept: the idea that under the guise of being a fictional band, the Beatles were free to write and record songs that didn't fit into the Beatles' usual niche. They were free to write in any style or genre of their choosing.

Lennon complained that the album was just another Beatles' album and that any track from Pepper's could easily have been included on "Revolver". I don't see it.

Others have criticized the album over the years. Maurice Gibb, of the Bee Gees, said (at the time the Sgt. Pepper movie was being filmed) that he thought the album was passe'. Even Sean Lennon has panned the album.

In the years immediately after its release, other bands borrowed from the overall sound of Pepper's, which turned out to be the wrong move for them. Examples: "The Rascals", "The Buckinghams", and "Tommy James and the Shondells". The Rascals and the Buckinghams pretty much folded up like a cardboard suitcase soon thereafter. Tommy James squeezed out a few more hits, then did a Houdini from the music business.

Why? Because they wanted to SOUND like Pepper's without investing the time into writing in their own chosen styles. That's not to say that I didn't like those bands. I thought the Rascals' "Once Upon A Dream" had some merit. But these bands went for style over substance. Epic fail.

Bob Dylan has often been hailed as the most influential songwriter of the 60's, and there is some truth to that. But his influence on the Beatles, mostly John, was just that: Influence. John didn't try to sound like Dylan. He freed his mind to add more imagery to his lyrics, yet maintain his own personality in the process.

The bands who truly learned from "Sgt. Pepper" were the ones who began to think outside the box, not reproduce the box.
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2012, 05:43:42 PM »

I don't agree with most of the article, but I do agree with the final sentence: "It signalled the beginning of music taking itself far too seriously, and that is something pop may never quite recover from." Maybe that's why I prefer Rubber Soul and Revolver over Sgt. Pepper's (I still love it). However, despite not being their best album (a subjective opinion) it's certainly their most important record because of its impact in rock music (almost an objective fact), and as such it cannot be overrated.
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RubberSol

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2012, 01:43:10 AM »

Maybe the people who think it's severely overrated never really listened to it.
I don't think this album is overrated. Not their best in my opinion, but it's still a very good album.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 01:46:45 AM by RubberSol »
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7 of 13

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 05:41:24 PM »

i think the word over-rated is over-rated.
 ;sorry
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 05:50:03 PM by 7 of 13 »
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tkitna

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 11:50:40 PM »

In the years immediately after its release, other bands borrowed from the overall sound of Pepper's, which turned out to be the wrong move for them. Examples: "The Rascals", "The Buckinghams", and "Tommy James and the Shondells". The Rascals and the Buckinghams pretty much folded up like a cardboard suitcase soon thereafter. Tommy James squeezed out a few more hits, then did a Houdini from the music business.

The bands who truly learned from "Sgt. Pepper" were the ones who began to think outside the box, not reproduce the box.

Great response TomMo. I enjoyed reading it. I just wanted to add that I would take 'Portraits' from the Buckinghams over Pepper anyday, but thats just me.

walrus_21

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 09:13:35 PM »

I think people confuse "over-rated" and "over-praised."  A lot of people hate the Beatles simply because there's been so much written about them.  They're entitled to that.

Measuring the impact or importance of one work of art versus another is a fool's errand, but I think it is not too much to say that Pepper was the most arresting record of its time.  Pop star after pop star, and people who were there at the time, talk of hearing it everywhere when it was released.  And not too many records get even a mention outside discussions of artifacts from their year of release, yet Pepper continues to be this touchstone.

It's a fine record, and if it inspired awful "concept albums" in its wake, that's not the fault of the Beatles or Pepper.  I think it's one of their best; if some of the songs aren't the strongest, the atmospherics somehow hold it together. 
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Joost

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2013, 08:44:43 PM »

Yes, it's great. Yes, it's pleasant. Yes, it's an important album that probably changed the course of pop music history more than any album ever did. But is it one of the best albums ever made? Well, can an album that includes at least four songs that are not particularly great (Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, Within You Without You, When I'm Sixty-Four, Good Morning Good Morning) and two versons of the same song really be one of the best albums ever made? I personally think that song material wise, Pepper can't hold a candle to, say, Pet Sounds or Odessey & Oracle.
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tkitna

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2013, 12:18:55 AM »

Yes, it's great. Yes, it's pleasant. Yes, it's an important album that probably changed the course of pop music history more than any album ever did. But is it one of the best albums ever made? Well, can an album that includes at least four songs that are not particularly great (Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, Within You Without You, When I'm Sixty-Four, Good Morning Good Morning) and two versons of the same song really be one of the best albums ever made? I personally think that song material wise, Pepper can't hold a candle to, say, Pet Sounds or Odessey & Oracle.

I'm going to have to agree with you.

Ovi

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2013, 06:56:36 AM »

I can't really agree with Joost's picks of "not so great songs" - love them all, except maybe for 'Good Morning Good Morning', which is just OK.

The album overall is not a personal favourite, but I think it can effortlessly compete with any other album ever made. It's incredible, but then again, hundreads of albums are. It's that "far, far superior than anything ever attempted, by anybody, at any time" tag associated with it that bothers me. But I wouldn't say it's overrated, other than that.

« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 06:58:49 AM by Ovi »
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2013, 01:01:12 PM »

Yes, it's great. Yes, it's pleasant. Yes, it's an important album that probably changed the course of pop music history more than any album ever did. But is it one of the best albums ever made? Well, can an album that includes at least four songs that are not particularly great (Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, Within You Without You, When I'm Sixty-Four, Good Morning Good Morning) and two versons of the same song really be one of the best albums ever made? I personally think that song material wise, Pepper can't hold a candle to, say, Pet Sounds or Odessey & Oracle.

I agree that songwriting is not a main force of Sgt. Pepper's, always talking in the context of Beatles albums, of course. The innovation of the album was the sound and production. In that line, I agree that albums like Pet Sounds and Odessey And Oracle (I would add Forever Changes) were written with a more refined pen. I still think that Sgt. Pepper's is a wonderful album with several strong tracks, I still enjoy it when I sit down and listen to it. But I do care a lot about songwriting, that's why I prefer albums like Rubber Soul and Revolver.

By the way, what's not great about "Within You Without You"? It has awesome lyrics, a mystic ambient and I can't get tired of those intense sitars. It's one of my very favorite songs, actually. But beyond a subjective opinion, I think it's a fantastic song in the context of Indian music (I guess that you don't like that genre).
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Dcazz

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2013, 01:31:50 PM »

I agree with you Hombre. I always liked this album and when I put it on in my truck the first pounding notes just scream at you. I don't think the writing is so far off anything else that they did, it's just the phsycadellic era in full bloom. I saw a documentary on MMT not long ago here and the underlying theme (that no one got!) was that rock (youth culture) was here and part of your lives now. I think SPLHCB could be a prequel album to that The Beatles tried to expand on with MMT. Maybe I'm dreaming!
I have heard SP described as the musical version of The Wizard of OZ when it goes from Black and white to color! Pretty cool I think!
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Ovi

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 01:58:18 PM »

I agree that songwriting is not a main force of Sgt. Pepper's, always talking in the context of Beatles albums, of course. The innovation of the album was the sound and production. In that line, I agree that albums like Pet Sounds and Odessey And Oracle (I would add Forever Changes) were written with a more refined pen. I still think that Sgt. Pepper's is a wonderful album with several strong tracks, I still enjoy it when I sit down and listen to it. But I do care a lot about songwriting, that's why I prefer albums like Rubber Soul and Revolver.

But I do think that Sgt. Pepper is consistent and well-written. Your last sentence sounds a bit weird to me, because I also care about song-writing a lot, yet I'd take Pepper anyday over 'Revolver' and 'Rubber Soul'. If you like the songs on the latter more than the ones on Pepper, that's fine and I can't argue with that, but I think the band's main objective in 1967 was still writing strong songs, as opposed to atmospheric pieces or conceptual links (with the sole exception of the Reprise). In fact, I think 'Rubber Soul' is the last Beatles album where the song-writing was still so-so, with tracks like 'Think For Yourself', 'Wait', 'What Goes On' and 'Run For Your Life', which are just average to me.

I think the fact that Pepper has been presented as a concept album for so long now, fools the people into thinking that the songs don't stand if taken on their own or that they wouldn't have made it on a Beatles album if not for the "we can do everything!" concept. Me, I just don't see that. I like each and every one of the songs even if taken on their own (again, bar the Reprise). With albums like 'Tommy' or 'The Wall', yes, the abovementioned complaints are true. But I think Pepper is as consistent as any Beatles album before or after it.
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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2013, 12:35:48 AM »

It flows ok as far as albums go. Most of the songs have the same theme for the most part. The only one that truly kills the flow is 'When I'm 64'. Its way out of place here. I hate 'Within You Without You' but it even carries the same type of atmosphere as the rest of the album. I've said it a million times that if the Beatles would have left off 'WYWY' and WI64' and added 'Strawberry Fields' and 'Penny Lane' (if it were possible) then Sgt. Peppers would easily have been the greatest album ever. Its somewhat flawed as it is though.

Brynjar

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2013, 04:23:39 AM »

Yeah.. stupid rule, or whatever to call it, to keep singles off the albums back then. And as we all know, George Martin now regrets it.
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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2013, 04:37:04 AM »

I have heard SP described as the musical version of The Wizard of OZ when it goes from Black and white to color! Pretty cool I think!

I like that analogy too, Dave.
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Klang

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2013, 09:05:16 AM »


Something I really like about 'Pepper' is how no two songs are very much alike, and almost each one is fairly unique in style from anything else done before. For that reason I think that 'WYWY' and '64' are perfect inclusions. I wouldn't change a single thing about the album. Then again, I'm not Sir George Martin. Just another fan.

 :P

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nimrod

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Re: Is Sgt. Pepper...´ Over-Rated?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2013, 12:19:39 PM »

It flows ok as far as albums go. Most of the songs have the same theme for the most part. The only one that truly kills the flow is 'When I'm 64'. Its way out of place here. I hate 'Within You Without You' but it even carries the same type of atmosphere as the rest of the album. I've said it a million times that if the Beatles would have left off 'WYWY' and WI64' and added 'Strawberry Fields' and 'Penny Lane' (if it were possible) then Sgt. Peppers would easily have been the greatest album ever. Its somewhat flawed as it is though.

Ive always thought it a crime that these 2 songs were not on this album

Whether its overrated is entirely subjective, for me its not but for a non Beatles admirer it probably is, but thats art isnt it.

I personally dont agree that the 3 albums mentioned earlier were superior song writing wise. But again this is subjective, if Im not a Beach Boys fan Im hardly going to rave over Pet Sounds.

One thing that cant be argued is the fact that it was probably THE most important and influential pop/rock album ever
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