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Is Sgt Pepper overrated?
28 January 2016
6.18pm
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Derek_Francis
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Very good album, but far from their best (and definitely not top 10 of all time material).  I can't say it's any better than TS, Rev, MMT, TWA, AR or LIB .  

It's cited as the progenitor to concept albums, but if you took out the first 2 tracks alone, one wouldn't even know it's a concept album.  Lennon himself said half of the tracks had nothing to do with the album.  Harrison's track as well as Lennon's final track were in a more experimental direction and Paul's soft-rock tracks were of mixed results.  But people believed it was a concept album, and that's what matters.

If we're talking about Sgt Pepper in regards to being a concept album, there's so many better picks out there.  Pink Floyd has Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, of course.  Ziggy Stardust was a complete reinvention - not just a rebranding.  If we can include rap music, there's plenty of better concept storytelling albums in the genre.

28 January 2016
6.29pm
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trcanberra
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It had a huge impact at the time - so the simple answer to the question posed in the thread title is - NO.

While I appreciate discussion on all topics musical I sometimes wish the terms underrated and overrated were removed from the English language. The yardsticks for measuring such things seem so hopelessly subjective that they render sensible debate almost impossible.

"far from their best ... I can't say it's any better than ..."

Well, I can - but where does that get us?

Sorry, nothing against your opinion DF - but I've seen so many similar threads lately that half of the planet seems underrated and half over these days.

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28 January 2016
7.38pm
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Derek_Francis
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I completely understand.  "Overrated" is one of those buzzwords and I could have said it better.

I also think enduring quality is fair grounds for discussion.  For example, Star Wars is one of the most influential films of all time, but in terms of enduring quality, I don't think it would even be placed in the top 500 films.

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28 January 2016
8.23pm
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trcanberra
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Derek_Francis said
I completely understand.  "Overrated" is one of those buzzwords and I could have said it better.

I also think enduring quality is fair grounds for discussion.  For example, Star Wars is one of the most influential films of all time, but in terms of enduring quality, I don't think it would even be placed in the top 500 films.

I like that enduring quality idea, or something similar. I like Pepper, and as noted it has been hugely influential and commercially significant - but it's not one of my top 5 Beatles albums either.

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28 January 2016
9.06pm
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Derek_Francis said
I completely understand.  "Overrated" is one of those buzzwords and I could have said it better.

Tell us how you would rephrase it and the thread title can be 'mod'ified a-hard-days-night-george-9

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30 January 2016
1.16pm
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I was the walrus
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Think about the time it was released though.  It set the standard and paved way for more concept albums, such as Dark Side of the Moon, which I would have to agree, is a slightly better album. 

It was the first of its kind that drew everyone to rave over it, and I understand why a-hard-days-night-john-3

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30 January 2016
8.32pm
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Derek_Francis
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Revolver came out in 66.  Was Sgt Pepper really more of a innovative album than Revolver ?

30 January 2016
10.02pm
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trcanberra
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Derek_Francis said
Revolver came out in 66.  Was Sgt Pepper really more of a innovative album than Revolver ?

I think it built up further anticipation - and the Beatles were so big then that it all just came together in one perfect moment.

And hey; it came with cutouts, gatefolds, lyrics, the summer of love ..

It was an event beyond what it might have been at any other time.

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31 January 2016
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Derek_Francis said
Revolver came out in 66.  Was Sgt Pepper really more of a innovative album than Revolver ?

I think the audience and times in 1967 were more open and ready for 'Pepper' than 'Revolver ' but i don't think 'Pepper' musically was more innovative. All the packaging was (cover, lyrics, pull-out bits and bobs)  but for me the music on 'Revolver ' was more varied and ahead of its time; the world caught up in 1967 and everything meshed.

 

Is 'Pepper' overrated? Not for me, a look back at that period shows it is not but for me it is very much a period piece and not the best Beatles album nowadays. But then best, greatest, rated and all such terms are variable and personal.

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15 June 2016
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With regards to the thread's title ........This suggests not.

 

http://observer.com/2016/06/49.....r-in-mono/

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16 June 2016
6.06am
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The Hippie Chick
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Short answer: no. I'm a Revolver girl, but there is no denying Pepper's impact and importance. 

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16 June 2016
8.33am
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georgiewood
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trc said it best:

"It was an event beyond what it might have been at any other time."

Viewed in a musical vacuum at a distance of almost fifty years, you might pick at SPLHCB and say it didn't really live up to its "concept" hype, or that it wasn't as musically tight or inventive as other albums. You wouldn't say that if you were an impressionable youth at the time it was released.  To use the timely vernacular, it was a happening: an event whose impact was at least as much cultural as muscal. It just seemed so different and innovative.

Joe, no mean Beatleologist, says: "The Beatles' eighth UK album caused a seismic shift in popular music."  Noted musical critic Paul McCartney says: "After the record was finished, I thought it was great. I thought it was a huge advance, and I was very pleased because a month or two earlier the press and the music papers had been saying, 'What are The Beatles up to? Drying up, I suppose.' So it was nice, making an album like Pepper and thinking, 'Yeah, drying up, I suppose. That's right.' It was lovely to have them on that when it came out. I loved it."  Jaded, cranky and drug-addled John Lennon , who didn't like hardly anything about the Beatles, described Sgt Pepper as "a peak, and Paul and I definitely were working together, especially on A Day In The Life ... I don't like production so much, but Pepper was a peak."

Sounds like people who really know what they are talking about do not consider it to be overrated.

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16 June 2016
9.00am
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Starr Shine?
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georgiewood said

Sounds like people who really know what they are talking about do not consider it to be overrated.  

I disagree with that. Anyone can look at a song or album and judge it for themselves. pepper isn't my favorite album compared to others. Things can change as time gets older and become overrated to people in the future.

The Beatles pioneered and popularized so many of the recording and musical techniques commonly heard in rock and pop music today that it can be hard for newcomers to truly appreciate how ground-breaking they actually were. In particular, Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band can suffer from this. (It was particularly impressive for being recorded with only 4 tracks. In today's digital world, where everything can be done on a computer, most people don't understand what that even means and why it's so impressive.)

Could in part be hype backlash.

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16 June 2016
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Instead of being frustrating, questions like these only re-assert my unhealthy passion for these beautiful men.

Sgt. Pepper is big with the critics and big with the public. There are so many albums that came out in 1967, and THAT'S the one people are going to remember most.

As for the album itself, I could go on for hours about the great writing, poetically and musically. The harmonies are strong and the instrumentals are phenomenal. Being in the studio a long time shows on this.

In particular, A Day In The Life stands not only as a feat of the time, but of modern day music too. It incoporates orchestration in pop music, and it's GOOD! It's also been edited to create that otherworldly feeling. Combining classical roots with modern sound (meaning vocally and edits in the studio) is something that had never been done before and hasn't since. 

In my opinion, it's not their best album, but I still love it. Even if you can only respect it, you have to understand what a feat it is musically. It was big for the Beatles and the world. Part of the fascinating part about this album (and basically all after Rubber Soul ) is that it tells a story. The songs progress in the way they do for a reason. They ARE Sgt. Pepper 's band. Look at the cover: can you really deny that genius symbolism?

Your opinion does have viability; I won't deny it. 🙂 They even said in the Anthology that it wasn't that big of a deal. But the point is, it was to everyone else.

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17 June 2016
6.05am
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georgiewood
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Yeah!a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 And BTW, wasn't the Sgt Pepper Reprise the number one song in the Canon Poll?  Or was that just on my ballot?

I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'.
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17 June 2016
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The Pepper (Reprise) polled join #33 with 'Hey Jude '. The highest placed track from 'Pepper' was 'A Day In The Life ' at #2, 'Strawberry Fields Forever ' was #1 and of course came from what grew to be the 'Pepper' sessions.

The full results are here.

Forgot these were posted. The placements of all the 'Pepper' tracks and the number of points they scored.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

And for completeness

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17 June 2016
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O Boogie
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I wouldn't say that Pepper is overrated, but I don't think it's the Beatles' best album. I just think that Revolver and Rubber Soul (up to a certain extent) are underrated.

 

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17 June 2016
7.55am
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Bongo
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Might be a tad, like the Beach Boys "Pet Sounds" album!

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17 June 2016
10.39am
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BluemeanAl
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I think if you didn't live through it, it's hard to fathom exactly how electrifying this album was when it hit the streets.  I can't think of another album that came close in the half-century since.  I was just 12 yrs old, and it totally freaked me out -- seeing the album cover, hearing that diverse set of songs, stylistically no two alike, that was amazing. 

(I had a friend who walked up to me one morning and declared that he'd started a new band...called "The Beatles."  After all the debating we'd done over the "meaning" of the album cover, he'd decided that the cover "coffin" meant that the Beatles were dead, had abandoned the name and would henceforth forever be known as "Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band."  Therefore, "The Beatles" was up for grabs, and he was grabbing it. But hey, we were 12, what did we know?  Note this is the same guy who walked up to me one day and said, "Paul McCartney is dead, and I can prove it!")

My favorite Beatles album?  Like many, not in my top 4.  Overrated (whatever that really means in this context)?  Based on just the songs, yeah, probably (if you add Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane , Only A Northern Song and give the boot to your three least-liked songs on the album, not so much).  Based on the impact on pop culture, no, no, no!

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17 June 2016
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If you read Jonathan Gould's excellent book, 'Can't Buy Me Love : The Beatles, Britain, and America', then you'll get a sense of how powerful and important a release at the time 'Pepper' was.

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