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Overrated and underrated Albums
26 September 2012
7.37pm
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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Yeah, it really is too bad George had so little to do on that album (which I really think is one of their best), with Paul appropriating so much of the lead guitar for himself. Think of "A Day In The Life" frequently being named as the band's absolute masterpiece…and George having been allowed to shake maracas and do nothing else.

I think "Only A Northern Song" was certainly Pepper-worthy. It wouldn't have been the worst thing there.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
26 September 2012
8.17pm
Inner Light
Friar Park
Shea Stadium
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Von Bontee said
Yeah, it really is too bad George had so little to do on that album (which I really think is one of their best), with Paul appropriating so much of the lead guitar for himself. Think of "A Day In The Life" frequently being named as the band's absolute masterpiece…and George having been allowed to shake maracas and do nothing else.

I think "Only A Northern Song" was certainly Pepper-worthy. It wouldn't have been the worst thing there.

I agree. It's okay though. George has had many great songs, played some great guitar on many and will always be my favorite. That's all that matters to me. 

The further one travels, the less one knows
27 September 2012
1.22am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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I'd be willing to bet that if either John or Paul had mustered up just ONE more song during the Revolver sessions, THAT song would've made it onto the album and one of George's (most likely "I Want To Tell You") would've ended up staying in the vaults until Anthologyahdn_paul_02

 

"Only A Northern Song" is definitely one of the group's more underrated songs.  I LOVE the organ sound they got on it.  Surely it's not just the simplistic lyric that's the reason for its lack of love.  Maybe it's just too cacaphonous for some people?  You can't tell me this wouldn't have been a better addition to Sgt. Pepper than the fairly maudlin "She's Leaving Home" or the rather slight "Lovely Rita."  a-hard-days-night-paul-3

 

There were just so many other albums that came out in '67 that I feel met, nearly met, or even surapssed Sgt. Pepper in greatness:

Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? and Axis: Bold As Love

Cream - Disraeli Gears

The Doors – The Doors and Strange Days

The Pretty Things – Emotions

The Rolling Stones – Between the Buttons and Their Satanic Majesties Request

The Who – The Who Sell Out

Jefferson Airplane – Surrealistic Pillow and After Bathing at Baxter's

The Kinks – Something Else By The Kinks

Love – Da Capo and Forever Changes

The Byrds – Younger Than Yesterday

Procol Harum – Procol Harum

… and, if it had been finished back then… The Beach Boys – Smile

27 September 2012
2.20am
meanmistermustard
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With Pepper its the whole package and more. People talk about the cover, the inner sleeve with the cutouts, the lyrics, the concept, but it was so so so much more. It aligned with and fit perfectly with society and where people were in the US and UK, read the related section of Cant Buy Me Love by Jonathan Gould and you begin to get a sense of just how much of an effect this album had.

Yes the songs arent the best the beatles put out there and its not their best album song by song compared to others but there is far more to it than meets the eye.

Going by songs its overrated, going by its impact and social relevance its not.

 

As for Only A Northern Song, i think it was in LITMW where George Martin told George it wasnt a great song, more a dirge, and that he could do better. George H went off and wrote Within You, Without You. Its a better song and OANS doesnt work as part of Pepper; its an ok song made better by being on a throwaway album of oddsorts.

Would George have had more songs on Pepper if he had wrote more – who knows.  He did have a few things lingering in 1967 which finally appeared on ATMP, maybe he didnt offer them to four for some reason or John and Paul rejected them.There was no set rule and i think if he had had anything else at the time of Rubber Soul Wait would have been ditched (same goes for Paul and John), and he does have 3 lead vocals on With The Beatles and Revolver so 2 was never the standard.

(His lead vocal song tally goes PPM 2, WTB 3, AHDN 1, BFS 1, H! 2, RS 2, RVR 3, SP 1, MMT 1 (Ep & album), TB 4 (or 2 per album), YS 2, AB 2, LIB 2, PM 2.)

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
27 September 2012
3.14am
Holsety
God Only Knows
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bluesubmarine said 

The songs in Sgt. Pepper are great, but people glorify the album far too much just because it's a "classic" that a lot of people haven't listened to in the first place.

I feel that exact same way about Abbey Road, personally. Before I listened to the Beatles, I vaguely recognized the cover to Abbey Road and the rest of them would have been brand new to me.

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
27 September 2012
7.08am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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meanmistermustard said
With Pepper its the whole package and more. People talk about the cover, the inner sleeve with the cutouts, the lyrics, the concept, but it was so so so much more. It aligned with and fit perfectly with society and where people were in the US and UK, read the related section of Cant Buy Me Love by Jonathan Gould and you begin to get a sense of just how much of an effect this album had.

Yes the songs arent the best the beatles put out there and its not their best album song by song compared to others but there is far more to it than meets the eye.

Going by songs its overrated, going by its impact and social relevance its not.

I'll agree with you on this.  Maybe the extravagant packaging and the unheard-of-back-then 10-month gap between albums blinded people to the core fact that this is not the best batch of songs with which the group would ever come up.  But the album still ends up at the top of most 'Best Albums Ever' lists.  You'd think after all this time the music would carry the most weight.  a-hard-days-night-paul-4

As for Only A Northern Song, i think it was in LITMW where George Martin told George it wasnt a great song, more a dirge, and that he could do better. George H went off and wrote Within You, Without You. Its a better song and OANS doesnt work as part of Pepper; its an ok song made better by being on a throwaway album of oddsorts.

I don't think "Only A Northern Song" would've sounded that out of place on Sgt. Pepper; not any more than Within You, Without You" does, anyway.  It would've surpassed "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" as the album's most psychedelic track, but that's about it.  And, sure, its more experimental nature made it easier to cast aside for Yellow Submarine, but I don't consider it a complete toss-off like "All Together Now" or, to a lesser extent, "Hey Bulldog." And "It's All Too Much" is sooo not a throaway tune it's not even funny.  I still consider it the group's all-time most criminally underrated song.

Would George have had more songs on Pepper if he had written more?  Who knows?  He did have a few things lingering in 1967 which finally appeared on ATMP, maybe he didnt offer them to four for some reason or John and Paul rejected them.There was no set rule and i think if he had had anything else at the time of Rubber Soul Wait would have been ditched (same goes for Paul and John), and he does have 3 lead vocals on With The Beatles and Revolver so 2 was never the standard.

I know there was likely never a quota for George's contributions; the 'one song per side' that ultimately happened may have just been coincidental.  But it still annoys me to no end that even when it was becoming evident that George was starting to catch up to John and Paul songwriting-wise (and let's face it -- we now know that 1968-70 was easily George's most prolific period as a songwriter), they still basically treated him like a second-class bandmember.  I mean, if Paul really thought "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" was a better choice to be on Abbey Road than, say, "Let It Down," he's off his rocker.  ahdn_george_05  I'm really kinda pissed that several of the songs on All Things Must Pass the predated the group's break-up ended up never being recorded by them.

27 September 2012
10.52pm
lettherebbeatles4ever
Casbah Coffee Club
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overrated: sgt peppers its a great album, and many critics argue its there masterpiece. its true in the respect of the design of the album, (the cover and the lyrics on back etc) but i dont think its there masterpiece musically, and i cant compare songs like Fixing A Hole and when im 64 to stuff on Rubber Soul and revolver. 

underrated: a hard days night, the perfect introduction to the Beatles with the exception of tell me why all the songs on here are brilliant pop songs, a must for all fans of the Beatles and the films good too 

1 October 2012
12.23pm
bluesubmarine
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Holsety said
bluesubmarine said 

The songs in Sgt. Pepper are great, but people glorify the album far too much just because it's a "classic" that a lot of people haven't listened to in the first place.

I feel that exact same way about Abbey Road, personally. Before I listened to the Beatles, I vaguely recognized the cover to Abbey Road and the rest of them would have been brand new to me.

I suppose the album itself and the cover are overrated, but not the songs. I actually find the songs in Abbey Road rather underrated.

"The marks humans leave are too often scars"
1 October 2012
4.43pm
fabfouremily
Sitting in an English garden
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Yeah, I agree with Bluesub. Good point made there.

Everyone seems to know about Abbey Road, the album, the packaging (by that I mean the famous crossing cover) etc… but not many people that I know know of the songs on there, and how EPIC they are. For that reason, they are underrated.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

6 October 2012
4.04am
Elmore James
The Jacaranda
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Overrated:

(1) SGT PLHCB. Starts great. Ends sublimely. quite a lot of Whimsical Paul crap in between.

(2) The White Album. Cripes there are quite a few stinkers on this double set. I wish George Martin had got his way, pared out some of the worst stinkers, and kept the better stuff. Wild Honey Pie? Honey Pie? Revolution 9? Oblah di Oblabarf? (ok not so bad if it were not played to death). Of course there are some outstanding pieces on this set (e.g., While my Guitar…). 

 

Underrated:

(1) I farking love Let it Be. Two of Us, Across The Universe, I got a Feeling, Let it Be, One After 909…there are some really great tunes on this album. Everyone says Phil Spector ruined it; I disagree.

(2) I really enjoy Magical Mystery Tour. Some of the best stuff by John (Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am The Walrus, All You Need Is Love) and Paul (Fool on the Hill, Penny Lane). No idea why it is panned so. I prefer it to SPLHCB.

 

Yellow Submarine is a sinker, I mean, a stinker. 

Abbey Road (my personal favorite Beatles Album), Rubber Soul and Revolver are worshipped, but not nearly enough to commensurate with their impeccable quality.a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

6 October 2012
4.53pm
The Walrus
Working for the national health
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Elmore James said

(2) I really enjoy Magical Mystery Tour. Some of the best stuff by John (Strawberry Fields Forever, I Am The Walrus, All You Need Is Love) and Paul (Fool on the Hill, Penny Lane). No idea why it is panned so. I prefer it to SPLHCB.

There seems to be differing opinions on this album on each side of the Atlantic. In the UK, the album was an EP, without the singles. It still contained I Am The Walrus, The Fool On The Hill and Your Mother Should Know, but it wasn't even a full album.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
6 October 2012
4.57pm
...ontherun
Massachusetts
Ed Sullivan Show
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…ontherun said

Overrated: Pepper by casual fans of the Beatles and music in general
Underrated: Pepper by Beatle fanatics (In response, I think, to the overrating)

That make sense to anyone else?

Me… Love pepper but it's NOT their best. That's Revolver. And then Abbey Road, which I think is underrated by most.

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
6 October 2012
6.30pm
meanmistermustard
Apple rooftop
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…ontherun said

…ontherun said

Overrated: Pepper by casual fans of the Beatles and music in general
Underrated: Pepper by Beatle fanatics (In response, I think, to the overrating)

That make sense to anyone else?

Me… Love pepper but it's NOT their best. That's Revolver. And then Abbey Road, which I think is underrated by most.

If you mean that the casual fans overrated because the music isnt as good as is said but is also underrated by fanatics because its better than they think then yes.

Personally if i play certain songs from the album they are all of Johns and Fixing A Hole. Some of the others have their moments – Lovely Rita for Martin's solo and the end piece, The Pepper Reprise is better than its cousin, Getting Better has great vocals – but if i was to put together my essential list of beatle tracks they wouldnt appear.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
6 October 2012
11.36pm
Long John Silver
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meanmistermustard said

…ontherun said

…ontherun said

Overrated: Pepper by casual fans of the Beatles and music in general
Underrated: Pepper by Beatle fanatics (In response, I think, to the overrating)

That make sense to anyone else?

Me… Love pepper but it's NOT their best. That's Revolver. And then Abbey Road, which I think is underrated by most.

 The Pepper Reprise is better than its cousin,

Great, I thought I was the only one who likes Reprise over original.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
8 October 2012
3.28pm
Zig
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Long John Silver said

meanmistermustard said

 The Pepper Reprise is better than its cousin,

Great, I thought I was the only one who likes Reprise over original.

Count me in. Although just briefly, it rocks.paul-mccartney

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

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8 October 2012
8.02pm
Long John Silver
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Too bad it's so short though :) .

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
21 November 2012
11.25pm
Linde
The Netherlands
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Yeah I agree on Pepper being overrated. I do like the album, don't get me wrong, I just think there are better albums indeed.

I also hardly listen to a lot of the songs on it, some of them get kinda annoying or boring after a while.

 

And I love the reprise. Yes.

22 November 2012
2.12am
unknown
ay, qué pesado
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I used to think Pepper's was overrated, then I listened to the whole album again and changed my mind. It's a magical kind of feeling I get listening to the whole album, which I don't always get listening to the individual songs.

All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
22 November 2012
2.24am
SatanHimself
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I think it's cute that here we are looking at the most innovative and influential band the world has ever known, and trying to decide which one of their life-altering albums is in some way "overrated".

E is for 'Ergent'.
22 November 2012
2.39am
Holsety
God Only Knows
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Even though Pepper is not overrated (in my opinion), I can see why people think so. You have to hear it several times before you appreciate it. It took me a while until I realized how good it really was. Before I didn't really get it. In other news, With the Beatles is underrated.

Please don't wake me, no don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping~.
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