Friday, June 1, 2007

It Was 40 Years Ago Today...

On June 1st 1967, arguably the greatest LP in rock history was released... "There's A Kind of Hush All Over the World" by Herman's Hermits. Seriously, I am talking about the Beatles "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Because it has been 40 years since its debut, it's easy to forget just how innovative "Sgt. Pepper" was on so many levels. It was the 1st rock album to have its lyrics printed on the back cover. "Pepper" was also the 1st LP to have its tracks segue into one another, without the customary space in between.

Being great and influential does have its drawbacks. The success of "Sgt. Pepper" probably inspired many artists to make ill-advised jumps onto the psychedelic bandwagon. My guess is that The Stones prefer that we pretend that "Their Satanic Majesties Request"never even existed.

The 1st time I heard "Sgt. Pepper" in its entirety is when a college fling (thank you Shena!) gave me her copy. The funny thing is that I didn't even ask her if I could have it. I was in her dorm room checking out her record collection and came across "Sgt. Pepper". I think I let out something along the lines of "Ooh, Sgt. Pepper!" and she asked ME if I wanted it! My "Ooh" can probably be attributed to the fact that not only did I know the album was a classic, but I didn't expect to find "Sgt. Pepper" when her collection was littered with the likes of artists such as Barry Manilow and Shaun Cassidy. When she offered me "Sgt. Pepper", I did ask her if she had any idea what she was giving away. Come to think of it, the copy she had may have been given to her by her older brother so she didn't give a damn.

Unfortunately, I no longer have the vinyl copy that Shena gave me. Even though I have many of the "Pepper" tracks on other Beatle compilations, I might have to break down and buy the actual CD. It'll be cool to hear "Sgt. Pepper" again... from the opening crowd noise/band tuning up all the way through that final piano chord.

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