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Ranking the songs on Sgt Pepper
22 May 2020
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sir walter raleigh
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Yeah, A Day In The Life is really good. How could any song compete?

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

23 May 2020
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Timothy
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The best closing track of all time.

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1.The Beatles 2.Sgt. Pepper 3.Abbey Road 4.Magical Mystery Tour 5.Rubber Soul 6.Revolver 7.Help! 8.Let It Be
9.A Hard Day’s Night 10.Please Please Me 11.Beatles For Sale 12.With The Beatles 13.Yellow Submarine

2020 Most Avid John Fan: john.png

30 June 2020
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Monkberry Moon Delight
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beatlemaniacs_02_gif MORE RANKING beatlemaniacs_02_gif

 

Two things are very important: One, almost every track down to the number 10 or 11 spot is freaking awesome. Two, I was thinking if I could use the first two tracks and the reprise as basically a single song, but then decided, to really rank all the individual tracks. So here we go.

 

13. Good Morning Good Morning - I like rocking out, weird stuff and noises but this song still never really connected to me. It has nice parts and lesser parts and it is the only one on the album I leave out of some playlists or even skip on the album occasionaly. Decent effort, but I could easily pass on it for a second Harrisong on the record.

 

12. SPLHCB (Reprise) - It works as a reprise to close the show and lead in the final masterpiece, but as a standalone song it has always been the much weaker version of the track for me.

 

11. Lovely Rita - Nothing bad I can say about this song. It's catchy and cool, and even rocks, and that instrument or effect that I can't identify right now, just after "Nothing can come betweeeeen us" is awesome. And so is the piano solo. I told you the awesome tracks go down to the number 11 spot.

 

10. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - I really would have liked to have it higher, because the only thing I can critcize is that for me, as far as pictorial, colourful and quirky Lennon psych rock efforts go, I Am The Walrus is the definitive song. But Lucy ist still awesome and does a great job, taking me into its bizarre dream world.

 

9. Fixing A Hole - Same as with Lucy, why can't it be higher? The harpsichord is such a great instrument to give the song the definitive baroque flavour.

 

8. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite - Even weirder than Lucy and I love it. The soundtrack of being on drugs at a supernatural vaudeville circus that has fallen out of time and possibly even space.

 

7. SPLHCB - Great little overture, super cool melody, vocals and ambiance. It just works fine as an intro song for the concept of what's basically a bizarre, baroque vaudeville show. And the horns!

 

6. With A Little Help From My Friends - Ranks just a notch above its companion piece because it's a full, self-contained song. It's catchy, memorable, and gives Ringo a real opportunity to shine in the spotlight. Plus the great vocal interplay between good ol' Ringo and his Friends doing the harmonies.

 

5. Getting Better - I never think of this as a really great song, but when I hear it, it's just that. Great melodic structure, the right blend of pop and weird, and of course the vocals and harmonies are superb. The icing on the cake is George's tambura drone.

 

4. When I'm Sixty-Four - My apologies, fellow Beatlemanics, but I have to lash out here. I'll never understand how so many people jump on that bandwagon of a quote Lennon once dropped about "granny music" (whatever that means). The Beatles (and Lennon) did several records of "Love Me Do I love you girl, yeah yeah, let me hold your hand" goody pop that by 1967 probably would have bewitched every granny on the planet to become their well-behaved son-in-law. Sixty-Four is lyrically miles ahead of everything they did before No Reply or even Norwegian Wood , in the way it uses eloquent phrasing and little wordplays to describe the scenery of aging and happily retiring McCartney. Plus the melody is wonderful, with the interplay of vocals, harmonies and the baroque sounding of the clarinets, the bridge sends shivers down my spine, it's so lovely in a creative and harmonious way. Y'all don't know what you're missing on your bandwagon...

 

3. Within You Without You - Yeah sure, George. You are a 23 year old lad from post-war Liverpool. Now go ahead and compose an orchestral piece of a dozen classical instrument from foreign india. And add an instrumental bridge with a melodically stunning, never heard before interplay of those different eastern sounds and an eight-headed string backing. Oh, and before and after that do some lyrics that are gonna touch souls for generations. Nothing unusual about that.

 

2. She's Leaving Home - No long comment needed. The fact this is a lesser known song says everything about the Beatles, how truly brillant they were. The storytelling, the melody, the strings and harp, the vocals and how they intertwine when John joins Paul, a baroque ballad that's both heartbreaking and beautiful, and so far ahead of its time, a few young rockstars and everything else in this or any universe. Perhaps the Beatles song that's the nearest to making me cry.

 

1. A Day In The Life - Let's not waste any time and just say that Lennons and McCartney ideas embrace perfectly to shatter the universe with every second of it up to the otherworldly crescendo exploding into the final chord. The title alone makes me shiver. A... Day... In... The... Life... Strong contender for the best thing that ever happened in the history of anything.

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28 October 2020
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Tony Japanese
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Sgt. Pepper ’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - James Salten Pepper rose to the rank of Sergeant in the Lancashire Third Regiment, he saw action in both world wars and was present during the siege of Clitheroe in 1924.  Whilst in the army he taught himself to play the French Horn during a particularly quiet few weeks in Flanders. In fact, that’s him you hear on the record. In 1939 he formed his own band, Lance Corporal Pepper’s Popular Hearts Club Band; with promotions and circumstances forcing a name change after the end of the war. Over the next twenty years, the band drifted in and out of popularity until they were re-discovered towards the end of 1966. This version of the band’s theme song is worth 9/10

With A Little Help From My Friends - William ‘Billy’ Shears was a barber from Pontefract and, according to legend, had the finest razors outside Sheffield. He also lacked confidence, had chronic stage-fright and an intense phobia of tomatoes. With a potato sack over his head, his solo performances were always a highlight, even if he always had to be encouraged to sing by his colleagues, relations and the audience. His version of With A Little Help From My Friends would’ve been the first UK number one if the charts had begun a week earlier. Thanks to the backing vocals, this gets a 10/10

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - It is said that this song is about LSD, but this has since been disproven by its author. It was written at the height of rationing, and is far more likely to stand for Librae, Solidi, and Denarii (or pounds, shillings and pence). As well as food, is other things were rationed too and replaced with ‘cheaper’ alternatives – blue skies, black-cabs and yellow/green flowers were replaced with marmalade skies, newspaper taxis and flowers made of cellophane respectively. 9/10

Getting Better - ‘It’s getting better’ and ‘it can’t get much worse’ were political slogans used by the two main political parties in in the UK’s first post-war General Election. The former, coined by the Conservative Party’s campaign team was quickly pounced upon by the Labour Party, who came up with their own memorable riposte. Getting Better was a popular song for Pepper and his band, thanks to its audience participation and occasionally ironic lyrics. 8/10

Fixing A Hole - Following his demobilisation from the army, Pepper began working as a roadman in Accrington before moving west to Blackburn. Part of his responsibilities involved filling in potholes; an impossible task given the number in the area at the time. Fixing A Hole was written and recorded during this time. 8/10.

She’s Leaving Home - When he was a boy, Pepper’s older sister went missing from the family home for three nights. She was later found hiding behind a haystack in the neighbouring farm. Pepper’s own parents inspired lines from the chorus, as he recorded their complaints and remarks over the three days their daughter was missing.  7/10

Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite - During a hiatus between shows, Pepper’s trumpet player found a Victorian poster, advertising a performance for Pablo Fanque’s Flying Circus in Rochdale. Short of material one evening, the band decided to read the promotional material out word for word. The audience were not amused with this act, accusing the band of ‘clowning around’. Still, the band persevered and having trained a Shire horse to waltz along to the music, they played it at every show to rapturous applause. 9/10

Within You Without You - During the recording of the album, an unknown engineer accidentally taped over a song (rumoured to be called Only a Carnival of Northern Light Song) with an extract of Indian music from the BBC World Service network. Financial and time constraints meant Pepper was forced to keep the recording on the album. It was credited to the band’s trombonist. 7/10

When I’m Sixty-Four - Pepper wrote his first song on the piano, aged four-and-a-half. Originally titled When I’m Six, it went through a number of redrafts over the next sixty-years, with Pepper updating the title annually. Recorded a few months before his sixty-forth birthday, this whimsical version introduces Pepper’s grandchildren to his audience for the first time. 8/10

Lovely Rita - Pepper met his wife, Rita Easter-Ashman during the war. She worked as a traffic warden and had ticketed Pepper’s illegally parked motor vehicle when the sergeant made his move. This song details incidents during their first flush of romance including Pepper’s comical misassumption that Rita was an officer in the army, and that she looked a lot older than she actually was. 9/10

Good Morning Good Morning - One of the weaker tracks on the album, Pepper was inspired to write this song whilst eating a bowl of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. The original call-and-response chorus gave the song its eventual title:

Good morning (Good morning)
Would you like a cup of tea? (Yes please dear)
I’ll just pop the kettle on, we’ve got lamb for dinner tonight
(Oh, that’s nice dear, thank you).

When performed live, a hand-picked female from the audience would take the role of Mrs Pepper. Occasionally she would continue the role after the show too, if she was attractive enough. 7/10

Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise - Traditonally played at the end of the show – though sometimes Pepper would subvert expectations and open with this number, the reprise was written three years before the band’s theme song. When performed live, the band would mention the name of the town they were in, to applause and cheering. It was said to be a favourite of Pepper’s mother-in-law, who would heckle, ‘yes, sod off you cheating rat!’ from the wings whenever the band played at her local concert hall. 8/10

A Day In The Life - Often considered the band’s ‘greatest triumph’ or ‘not as good as that one by the funny-looking, gap-toothed fella’, A Day In The Life was written around the two newspaper articles that appeared in a January edition of The Daily Mail. The first, headlined, LUCKY MAN MAKES GRADE was subtitled, BLOWS MIND OUT IN MOTOR CAR. This was followed further down by an article about the number of a**holes in Blackburn, Lancashire, written by a Burnley-born journalist.
Struggling for a middle section, Pepper persuaded one his band members to read an extract from his diary before asking orchestra musicians to play their instruments like they’d never played them before. Some took this literally, and the result was a chaotic mess. The final chord, an E major, was discovered by a quirk of fate when a stray bomb landed on the piano during a wartime performance. The pianist died, but the audience loved it. 10/10

Overall - 8.38

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vonbontee, octopaige_garden, Sexy Sadie
28 October 2020
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Sexy Sadie
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My personal ranking is:

1.- A Day In The Life

2.- Within You Without You

3.- Lovely Rita

4.- Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band

5.- Getting Better

6.- Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

7.- Fixing A Hole

8.- She's Leaving Home

9.- Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

10.- When I'm 64

11.- With A Little Help From My Friends  

12.- Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite

13.- Good Morning Good Morning

Would you like to do it too, may?, Would you like to do it too?  
Me oh my, country dreamer, Make a country dream come true

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