Where does Sgt. Pepper stand in your Beatles hierarchy?

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So today’s the day — after months of hype, The Beatles’ classic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band band turns 50 years old today and is celebrating with the release of multiple special editions, which include a remixed version of the original album.

With the special editions now released, today was as good of a day as ever for me to go back and listen to Sgt. Pepper for probably the first time in a decade. I can say the new edition does this album justice, adding a glowing new coat of paint that will ensure it gets heard in its peak form by generations to come. The upgrade in sound quality is indeed noticeable; the title track blasts out your speakers to open the album, while the album’s high points shine brighter than ever, and the little details of the album stand out more than before. Yes, Sgt. Pepper still kicks the shit out of pretty much everything anyone in the modern era is capable of releasing.

Sgt. Pepper has been regarded in the past in multiple places as the greatest album ever made and certainly one that changed the game for rock albums. Yet it occurred to me while listening to the album again today that I don’t know if I’ve ever heard anyone actually call it their favorite Beatles album.

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The White Album (my personal pick), Abbey Road, Revolver, Rubber Soul… those are the ones I commonly see mentioned from fans, musicians, and writers as their personal Beatles favorite. I imagine there are certainly those out there who have Sgt. Pepper at the top of their list and maybe I just haven’t come across them, or maybe I’m just forgetting. It’s a curious thing though; it certainly isn’t due to the quality of the album, which to me shines as brightly as ever after going through it again today.

So, on the day it turns 50 years old, let’s discuss Sgt. Pepper. Where does this classic fall for you in your list of Beatles favorites? And where do you think it should be ranked in the overall scheme of things? And while you’re at it, give the newly remixed version a listen — you’ll be glad you did.

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One comment on “Where does Sgt. Pepper stand in your Beatles hierarchy?
  1. I love the album and what it stands for, but i think there are too many weak spots. “When I’m Sixty-Four” is lame, “She’s Leaving Home” wouldn’t have been so sappy if George Martin had arranged the strings, and i don’t think the title track stands out in any way (and we have to listen to it twice). Too much McCartney on this album, not enough Harrison.

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