Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Best Album Ever?

The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' Turns 50: Is It The Best Album Ever?

14 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It's not even the best Beatles album, so no.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

One of the most influential maybe, but not the best. Not even the best Beatles. That would be Rubber Soul or Revolver. Best would probably be Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited or Blonde On Blonde. Or the first Velvet Underground album. Or Forever Changes by Love. Or Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. Or Exile On Main Street by the Stones. I could go on and on.

Deb said...

I always maintain that Rubber Soul and Revolver (like Steve, these are my favorite Beatle albums) should be classified as one double album. Musically and thematically, they're similar, representing the transition from Beatlemania to full-blown hippiedom. Those two albums also feature some of my very favorite Beatles' songs: Rain, She Said, Drive My Car, I'm Only Sleeping, etc.

Don Coffin said...

Maybe--MAYBE--the most influential rock album. (As noted, Rubber Soul might be better, but less influential; I like Abbey Road a lot, and the White Album is pretty special).

Musically, I think Miles Davis's Kind of Blue was (if anything) more influential in the jazz world that Sgt. Pepper was in the rock world, as was John Coltrane's A Love Supreme. And the Houston Opera's rendition of Porgy and Bess sets a very high standard for operatic works. And, musically, all three of those are (in my opinion) better.

So let's not fall into the trap of thinking rock is all t here is musically, please.

Rick Robinson said...

I agree with the other commenters, not even the best Beatles album. In addition to the others Steve listed, I'd add the Eagles Hotel California, the 1969 Crosby, Stills and Nash album, several others. I listened to quite a bit of Beatles a few days ago, and find I like the early stuff quite as much as Sgt. Pepper and after.

Bill Crider said...

Rick, I like the early stuff as much or better than some of the Sgt. Pepper's album, too. So much of what we like in music (as in reading) depends on personal taste that an objective "best" is impossible. I'm not sure that even a subjective "best" is possible, at least for me.

Anonymous said...

Pet Sounds. Without question. Then, Blood of the Tracks. Then, maybe, Sgt. Pepper.

sas

Anonymous said...

Blood ON the Tracks. Need to learn to proofread.

sas

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I've been listening to the reissued Pet Sounds a lot lately and I agree with Steve - it's right up there.

Deb said...

Possibly apocryphal story, but a good one: apparently, Paul heard an advanced pressing of "Good Vibrations" and went back to the other Beatles and told them they were going to have to hit their next one outta the park (or the equivalent Liverpudlian metaphor) if they didn't want to be left swimming in the Beach Boys' wake. So that gave them an added incentive to produce a killer record.

Todd Mason said...

So, Bil, what's your favorite album?

Todd Mason said...

Deb:
McCartney and Lennon famously heard an advance copy of PET SOUNDS (as fellow EMI artists) and PMc was apparently stirred to make sure they weren't outdone by that. PET SOUNDS was vastly better received commercially and critically in the UK on release than in the UA.

Bill Crider said...

As a contrarian, I like BEATLES '65 best.

Mike Dennis said...

It's nowhere near the best LP of all time, not even close to being the Beatles' best (to which I would award RUBBER SOUL). It's nothing more than a drug-induced mishmash of silly lyrics and let's-throw-this-in instrumentation. The only reason -- and I mean the ONLY reason -- this album has developed its hysterical following is due to the response of many drug-crazed young people at the time, MANY OF WHOM WENT ON TO BECOME MUSIC JOURNALISTS. And these music journalists -- the same ones who gave the world the endless swooning over Bob Dylan -- have kept that album alive for 50 years.

Widely-heralded as a "concept album", it had no central concept, just a feeling of increasing chemical stimulants. The album's principal accomplishment was being the first (I believe) to include printed lyrics to all its songs. This meant those future music journalists could sit back, light up a joint, and follow along with the lyrics, listening to the album in a smoky daze over and over again. These listening sessions were no doubt punctuated with comments such as "I saw God" or "Oh, wow". Anyway, these people never forgot those blissful moments and made it their life's work to hype that album as (waaaaay undeservedly) the "greatest LP of all time".