Sgt. Pepper is maybe the first album I ever touched. Sometimes my mother would bring my brother and I to spend the day at the library she worked at; there was a record player there with a single record. And it was this one:
Yet while “Sgt. Pepper” has been both praised and blamed for raising the technical and conceptual ante on rock, its best aspect was much harder to propagate. That was its impulsiveness, its lighthearted daring, its willingness to try the odd sound and the unexpected idea. Listening to “Sgt. Pepper” now, what comes through most immediately is not the pressure the Beatles put on themselves or the musicianly challenges they surmounted. It’s the sheer improbability of the whole enterprise, still guaranteed to raise a smile 50 years on.
And of course imagine how much more amazing it would be had they bothered to put Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane on it.
Happy Sgt. Pepper Day everybody! :)