Entertainment Sgt. Pepper....50 years later

Discussion in 'The Howard Stern Show' started by Shithead, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Shithead

    Shithead Well-Known Member

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    How Hitler was nearly on the cover, Mail stories inspired the lyrics and just who was the REAL Lucy In The Sky: Secrets of Sgt Pepper 50 years on from its release
    By Steve Meacham For The Daily Mail
    Published: 17:31 EDT, 20 April 2017 | Updated: 20:23 EDT, 20 April 2017

    Fifty years ago, John Lennon sat down at the piano in the sun-room at Kenwood, his mock Tudor Surrey mansion.
    He propped a copy of the Daily Mail dated January 17, 1967, on the stand and, inspired by two news stories, began writing A Day In The Life, acclaimed by Rolling Stone magazine as the Beatles’ best ever song.
    It became the last track on one of the greatest albums of all time — Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
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    Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band was ground-breaking in its musical daring, innovation and surrealism
    Sgt Pepper was ground-breaking in its musical daring, innovation and surrealism, all of which can be attributed in part to the quantities of drugs being taken by The Beatles at the time.
    Its gate-fold cover — by Peter Blake — is a pop-art classic. But it was the music that made it: With A Little Help From My Friends, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, She’s Leaving Home, Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite...
    Its release on June 1, 1967, was a cultural event on both sides of the Atlantic. And the 50th anniversary is being marked around the globe — including a reissue of the album on May 26 with remixed recordings from the Pepper sessions.

    A three-week Sgt Pepper arts festival is being held in Liverpool from May 25. On June 1, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic orchestra and tribute band the Bootleg Beatles play a sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
    Sgt Pepper — took 350 ‘Beatle hours’ to make.
    It was McCartney who was determined that their eighth studio album would push boundaries. But he had to push his fellow band members, too. Lennon (and Harrison to a lesser extent) was heavily into LSD. He rarely woke before 11am, so they recorded between 7.30pm and 2.30am, from November 1966 until April 1967.
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  2. Shithead

    Shithead Well-Known Member

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    When the Beatles released Sgt Pepper on June 1, 1967, was a cultural event on both sides of the Atlantic
    Two of the first three songs they recorded — Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane — never made the album because manager Brian Epstein wanted to keep the No 1 singles coming. (The third song was When I’m 64.)
    To his regret, their producer George Martin suggested putting out Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane as the first (and only) Beatles double A-side single because they were ‘the best [tracks] they’ve ever made’.
    But it stalled at No 2 in the charts in January 1967, behind Englebert Humperdinck’s Release Me.
    By then, Lennon and McCartney had embarked on A Day In The Life, the last — and greatest — collaboration between them.
    HOW THE ICONIC ALBUM COVER ALMOST INCLUDED ADOLF HITLER
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    Pictured: John Lennon and Ringo Starr during the shooting of the Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover
    The iconic collage on the album cover depicts more than 70 famous people — including writers, musicians and film stars — such as Marlene Dietrich, Bob Dylan, Edgar Allan Poe, Oscar Wilde and Laurel and Hardy.
    Record label EMI vetoed Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of India’s independence movement, fearing it would offend his followers.
    John Lennon’s request to include Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler was also judged too controversial, although the Fuhrer does appear in some out-takes.
    Three other figures of the time were included — but never seen.
    Albert Einstein is hidden by John Lennon, while actors Bette Davis (as Elizabeth I) and Timothy Carey are blocked by George Harrison.
    Film star Leo Gorcey’s picture was cut when a $400 fee was demanded. The Grammy Award-winning cover cost a record £3,000, around £51,000 in today’s money.
    ‘It was a good piece of work between Paul and me,’ Lennon said in 1968. ‘It just sort of happened beautifully.”
    And the rest is history.
    So here are ten fascinating facts about a modern classic...
    1. THE COUNT IN
    On most Beatle compositions, McCartney counted the band in. But it was Lennon on A Day In The Life, and he substituted nonsense words in place of the usual 1-2-3-4. You can hear him saying: ‘Sugarplum fairy, sugarplum fairy.’
    2. FIRST TWO VERSES
    In that copy of the Daily Mail was a report of a custody hearing for the two young children of Tara Browne, a 21-year-old Guinness heir who died in a car crash in London the month before.
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    John Lennon took inspiration from a story in the Daily Mail for the song A Day In The Life
    Lennon knew Browne but didn’t much like him. McCartney was much closer — his first LSD was with him. He recalled he’d grown a moustache in 1966 to cover up an injury after falling off a moped with Browne. The other Beatles followed suit, and all four sport them on the Sgt Pepper cover.
    The first verse of the album’s iconic track would come easily as Lennon’s scrawled draft shows:
    I read the news today, oh boy/About a lucky man who made the grade / And though the news was rather sad / Well I just had to laugh / I saw the photograph.
    The second verse was trickier:
    He blew his mind out in car / He didn’t notice that the lights had changed . . .
    Lennon admitted taking poetic licence with Browne’s death. McCartney had a different take in his biography, Many Years From Now (written with Barry Miles): ‘I was imagining a politician bombed out on drugs who’d stopped at some traffic lights, and didn’t notice the lights had changed.
    ‘The “blew his mind” was purely a drugs reference . .. [But], if John said he was thinking of Tara, then he was.’
    3. THE THIRD VERSE
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    Pictured: John Lennon and McCartney return home from a trip to Greece in 1967
    This begins with an oblique reference to a movie, rather than the Vietnam War as some claimed:
    ‘I read the news today, oh boy /The English Army had just won the war / A crowd of people turned away / But I just had to look / Having read the book.’
    In 1966, Richard Lester, who had directed two Beatles’ movies, A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, persuaded Lennon to co-star with Michael Crawford in How I Won The War, based on a book by humourist Patrick Ryan. This was the first time the chronically short-sighted Lennon was seen with his ‘NHS-style’ round glasses (And yes, he had read the book.)
    4. THE BBC BAN
    Lennon had the outline of A Day In The Life when he arrived at McCartney’s home in St John’s Wood, London, on January 17.
    The last line to be added — ‘I’d love to turn you on’ — was, said Lennon a ‘beautiful little lick’ created by McCartney.
    It was also one of the two lines which contributed to it becoming the first Beatles song banned by the BBC — because of a perceived reference to illegal drugs.
    5. THE ‘ORCHESTRAL ORGASM’
    The Beatles played their new song for George Martin at Abbey Road Studios on the evening of January 19, 1967. They presented him with a problem: how to negotiate, musically, the dramatic switch from the first three mournful verses penned by Lennon, to McCartney’s cheerful counterpoint of the fourth verse: ‘Woke up, fell out of bed . . . ’
    It was McCartney’s idea to have 40 classical musicians provide 24 bars of what Martin described as an ‘orchestral orgasm’, with each starting softly on the lowest note on their instrument, building to a discordant crescendo.
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    Pictured: The Beatles and their producer Sir George Martin at Abbey Road in 1968
    6. THE ALARM CLOCK
    Lennon had brought an alarm clock to Abbey Road to tease Starr who kept falling asleep. The Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans — charged with timing the ‘orchestral orgasm’ — set the clock to go off at the end of the 24-bar count. It can be heard on the album.
    7. McCARTNEY’S ‘57’
    McCartney would contribute just 57 ‘biographical’ words to A Day In The Life Of:
    Woke up, fell out of bed / Dragged a comb across my head
    Found my way downstairs and drank a cup / And looking up / I noticed I was late
    Found my coat and grabbed my hat / Made the bus in seconds flat...
    Up until that point, McCartney might have been describing the teenage rush to school, but the final two lines made it clear this was ‘a drug song’:
    Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
    Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.
    The reference to ‘a dream’ is what alarmed the BBC.
    8. AAAAH-A-AAAAH
    Lennon never sang better than he did on A Day In The Life, and his voice is most evident on this nonsensical link, which brings the song back to its main theme.
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    Lennon never sang better than he did on A Day In The Life, and his voice is most evident on this nonsensical link, which brings the song back to its main theme. Pictured, Lennon and McCartney arriving home from a trip to Greece in 1967
    9. THE LAST VERSE
    In that same edition of the Daily Mail was a‘News In Brief’ item: ‘There are 4,000 holes in the road in Blackburn, Lancashire, or one twenty-sixth of a hole per person, according to a council survey.’
    Few songwriters could work that into a lyric, let alone make one of the most celebrated verses in music history, but Lennon did.
    I read the news today, oh boy / Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire / And though the holes were very small / They had to count them all / Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall.
    ‘There was still one word missing when we came to record,’ Lennon recalled. ‘For some reason I couldn’t think of the verb. What did the holes do to the Albert Hall? It was Terry [Doran, later to become head of Apple Music] who said “fill” the Albert Hall.’
    10. ETERNAL CHORD
    The Beatles were masters of the iconic chord: think of the opening on A Hard Day’s Night. Yet none matches the final E-chord of Sgt Pepper which lasts 42 seconds.
    After nine attempts Martin was satisfied. He claimed that, as the chord faded ‘you could hear the air-conditioning’ in the studio.
    n the Anniversary Edition will be released on May 26. There’s also a £100 ‘Super Deluxe’ six-disc boxed set with previously unheard session recordings and lavish book with contributions from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane will be released as 7in singles tomorrow.
    A runaway girl... and the REAL Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds
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  3. Shithead

    Shithead Well-Known Member

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    Paul McCartney was inspired to write 'She's Leaving Home' by a story in the Daily Mirror on February 27, 1967, about a girl called Melanie Coe who ran away from home
    WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS
    ‘I get high with a little help from my friends’ was taken as a reference to marijuana, but Lennon later insisted that the song — sung by Ringo Starr — really was ‘about a little help from my friends, it’s a sincere message’.
    LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS
    Not, as is widely believed, a reference to LSD — the Beatles were genuinely surprised when this was suggested — the song was inspired by Lennon’s four-year-old son Julian, who came home from school with a painting he’d done. ‘What is it?’ Lennon asked. ‘It’s Lucy in the sky with diamonds,’ replied Julian. Lucy O’Connell, above, was a classmate.
    GETTING BETTER
    McCartney was walking on Primrose Hill in London with his dog Martha and friend, the journalist Hunter Davies (who wrote the only authorised biography of the group in 1968). As the sun came out, McCartney said that the weather was ‘getting better’. It sparked the idea for one of the album’s gems.
    FIXING A HOLE
    The word ‘fixing’ was initially believed by critics to refer to heroin but McCartney said the lyrics were largely a reference to his favourite drug marijuana, and the song’s imagery drew on repairs he’d recently been making to his Scottish farmhouse.
    SHE’S LEAVING HOME
    McCartney was inspired to write this track by a story in the Daily Mirror on February 27, 1967, about a girl called Melanie Coe, right, who ran away from home. ‘In the story, the girl left home and her father said: “We gave her everything, I don’t know why she left home,” ’ McCartney explained. Coe said the lyrics truly reflected her relationship with her family, especially the line ‘something inside that was always denied’. McCartney’s guess that she had gone off with a boyfriend was true, but he was a croupier and not in ‘the motor trade’.
    WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU
    George Harrison spent a lot of time in India and would sit in the Abbey Road studios for hours practising all the instruments he brought back. This track was probably the worst received on the album, but Lennon said: ‘This was one of George’s best songs. His mind and his music are clear.’
    BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR KITE!
    The Beatles were filming a promo for Strawberry Fields Forever in Sevenoaks, Kent, on January 31, 1967, when Lennon bought a Victorian circus poster, above, that provided the inspiration and many of the lyrics for this song.
    WHEN I’M SIXTY-FOUR
    McCartney originally wrote this when he was a teenager, living in Liverpool with his dad Jim. The Beatles used to mess around at The Cavern and sing ‘64’ when electrical equipment failed. But with new lyrics and a 1930s sound, George Martin turned it into one of the best-loved tracks.
    LOVELY RITA
    According to Beatle lore, McCartney was either inspired by a friendly encounter with a traffic warden called Meta Davis in Garden Road, North London, or by a newspaper story about a retired traffic warden. Lennon, McCartney and Harrison played combs lined with paper on it.
    GOOD MORNING GOOD MORNING
    A lennon contribution, which he later dismissed as ‘garbage’, this was inspired by an irritating Kellogg’s Cornflakes TV advert. He famously liked to work with the television on in the background.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4430454/Secrets-Sgt-Pepper-Intriguing-stories-album.html
     
  4. bossofbam

    bossofbam VIP Extreme Gold

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    50 years later and it still kicks ass!

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  5. Shivvy

    Shivvy Well-Known Member VIP

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    New Kids on the Block > NSYNC > The Beatles
     
  6. Ynnek4

    Ynnek4 Well-Known Member

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    Revolver and Abbey Road are better.
     
  7. Shithead

    Shithead Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. HS Cult Leader

    HS Cult Leader Elite Member Gold

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  9. TheHighHat

    TheHighHat Well-Known Member

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    There are at least 3-4 Stones albums that are better than Sgt. Peppers. :grad:

    It's wildly uneven; a couple of classics, a couple pleasant little tunes, a lot of experimentation, and a few completely forgettable numbers.
     
  10. gwartney

    gwartney Is there gas in the car? VIP

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    I've been listening to to this album most of my life. I see something new on the album cover almost every time I look at it.
    sgt pepper mike.jpg
     
  11. Flabo

    Flabo Well-Known Member

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    I say Abbey Road is the best. The fact that it is their swan song, and how they could create something so beautiful all while being sick and tired of each other, is amazing and sad. I will never understand how a group can't just let bygones be bygones for the sake of making/creating great music. I understand why they broke up, and they all(especially George) wanted to create their own music the way they wanted to and get it put on records, but cmon man, just get together and make it work.
    On the other hand if they did stay together and John never died, they would never have the legacy they have today. I never get sick of listening to their music, well maybe "number 9 revolution" from the white album(pure garbage)
     
  12. RaeRae

    RaeRae Rae Gold

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    All their albums are good.
     
  13. slipkid69

    slipkid69 AKA...Dick Delicious VIP

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    I have the super deluxe box set ordered. I'm a huge bootleg collector so the chance to hear some never released outtakes is exciting. Plus the remix of the album will be interesting to hear.
     
  14. AmishGirl

    AmishGirl Well-Known Member VIP

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  15. slipkid69

    slipkid69 AKA...Dick Delicious VIP

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    That's how I view most of the Stones catalog. I like them but can get by with a couple of their greatest hits packages. My go to album for them is Sticky Fingers. That's their masterpiece in my opinion.
     
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  16. Brokenbad

    Brokenbad Well-Known Member

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    nostalgic disgust
     
  17. crackerjackson5

    crackerjackson5 Well-Known Member

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    And the White Album.
     
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  18. kinneyjames

    kinneyjames Well-Known Member

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    One of my desert island albums.

    Good Morning (sorry, John) is my favorite followed closely by Getting Better.
     
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  19. hugh jasol

    hugh jasol foxxy Gold

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    Good album. Could use a little more organ.
     
  20. TheHighHat

    TheHighHat Well-Known Member

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    Also incredibly uneven. You've got 2 of the greatest songs ever written ("Something" and "Here Comes the Sun"), but then you've got over 10 dead minutes between "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" (Ugh!) and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer".

    "Revolver" is my fave, because, while the highs aren't as high as on some other albums, I can listen to that pretty much straight through.

    Mine, too. :beer:

    My point is, while Sgt. Pepper's is obviously a classic, I could easily do without half of it (at least).

    Does anybody really look forward to "When I'm 64" or "Lovely Rita"? I don't think so. I think those songs are just tolerated until the next $ tune on the album plays.

    And those types of songs litter almost every Beatles' album.

    But most will let "Sticky Fingers" play. Even the slow tunes are top-notch, imo: "Love in Vain", "Sister Morphine", "I Got the Blues", etc.

    The experimentation of the Beatles came at a price, and that price was an at times extreme unevenness in terms of quality. Paul's penchant for whimsical little melodic romps for the pensioners' set certainly didn't help matters, either.

    While the Stones were much less experimental, and leaned on covers and bluesy jams throughout their creative run, they didn't have those Achilles' heels, and I think they come out on top because of it.

    To me, a Stones jam/cover of an old blues song > the Beatles playing with sitars and backwards tapes
     
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