Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

I can remember it like it was yesterday. The year was 1967.  I was 14 years old.

Like other boys my age I was interested in girls, cars and Rock and Roll music.

Most Pop music of the time was either teenybopper or bubble gum.  Few ‘message’ songs were popular. The British Invasion was in full swing.

The Beatles were the head runners of the British Invasion and up until that point most of their music was about love and growing up.  There were tinges of social commentaries and observations, but overall the gist of their music was fairly conventional and non-threatening.
The group stopped performing live and were producing only studio albums.

Then ’Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ was released.  It was a revelation and a total departure from anything that had been done in the Rock and Roll music genre.

Phenomenally produced and orchestrated (literally) the album was an instant success.  Young people (particularly the hippie and flower power crowd) lauded its lyrics, hidden meanings, drug undertones and psychedelic imagery.

Remember this was the time of rampant drug experimentation with the youth of America and the world.  Pot and LSD were the drugs of choice.  Throw in anti-establishment mentality, counter-culture lifestyles, free sex and anti-war protests and it was easy to see why Sgt. Pepper struck such a cord with young people.

Considered one of the most influential albums ever produced, the record album is a classic in ever sense of the word.

It’s been 50 years since the album was released and in commemoration of the event Carlton Books and author Brian Southall have released a brand new tribute book called ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Album, The Beatles and The World In 1967.’

Inside readers are treated to vintage photographs, intriguing text and more.  As colorful as the album itself, the book is divided into both a ‘Side A’ and a ‘Side B.’

Side A offers an up-close-and-personal look at the personalities involved in the making of the album, its production, how it was received and how it has shaped popular music since its inception.
Side B looks at the world between the years 1966-68.  Learn about how societies were shifting, priorities changing, conflicts arising and how The Beatles played a part in the transformation of so many levels of society, especially in the Western World.

The book makes for a fascinating trip in time when everything was changing and The Beatles were at the forefront of the changes.