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Murph

All This Sgt. Pepper Stuff......

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It was 50 years ago, etc.etc.....

 

Sirius Beatle channel has been blathering away all week, and then I saw a PBS (begging for money) special last night.

 

What they did with George Martin and Co. back in those days with 4 track machines WAS truly remarkable, but one thing missing from all of this is the "WHY".

 

And I'll give it to Paul (and Ringo), for never really elaborating about the need and being pretty darned humble.

 

I truly feel, even then, that they knew this run was going to be ending sooner than later and that they had built a reputation that was not yet on tape. "Pet Sounds" was to be a thorn in Paul's (and surely John's) side and they absolutely HAD to create a Masterpiece. The show I saw last night said they spent 55 studio hours on "Strawberry Fields" which was during the same sessions.

 

I also think this kind of production is what led them to want to do "Let It Be" much more naked. But, they simply couldn't let it end on that note. (although it still sort of did.....)

 

Still, what they did at the time, with the equipment available is pretty darned impressive and goes beyond just music. Some of it truly was a painting, a portrait of "time".....

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We watched that last night, and despite the fund-raising interruptions, it is a pretty amazing film. Howard Goodall was the perfect person to present it, given that he is a composer, musician, and music historian who can do more than read a script. He can play the music, analyze it, and understand and convey how it was created.

 

I almost learned more about music in that single film than in my 60+ years of playing it.

 

Truly a stunning tutorial, and highly recommended to anyone with more than a casual interest in creative genius.

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We watched that last night, and despite the fund-raising interruptions, it is a pretty amazing film. Howard Goodall was the perfect person to present it, given that he is a composer, musician, and music historian who can do more than read a script. He can play the music, analyze it, and understand and convey how it was created.

 

I almost learned more about music in that single film than in my 60+ years of playing it.

 

Truly a stunning tutorial, and highly recommended to anyone with more than a casual interest in creative genius.

Damn, Nick - that's one fine endorsement! Wish I'd seen it now....

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Damn, Nick - that's one fine endorsement! Wish I'd seen it now....

 

 

I suspect you can watch it online. Go to pbs.org.

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It's on BBC iPlayer for us folk over here

 

Will watch that later. Thanks for the heads up

I'm a casual Beatles fan .. when they're good they're great. All the octopus garden and when I'm 64 and all that nonsense always grates on me

I adore the white album

But I totally understand that sgt pepper can't be judged the same as many other albums

Murph put it very well , it's a work of art .

I can appreciate constable paintings without wanting one above my fireplace

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...Howard Goodall was the perfect person to present it, ...

 

Yep, also caught it last night.

 

The host was fantastic. I had no idea who he was (still don't), but even my wife's interest was held by the script and the way it was presented. I made the comment that this guy was obviously not just another talking head, and clearly knew the technical and musical aspects of what he was explaining. Just enough tech info for me, just enough musical info for her.

 

Highly recommended viewing.

 

As a companion read, you should check out Geoff Emerick's book; "Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles". He was George Martin's recording engineer at EMI for the Beatles from about "Rubber Soul" on.

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Was waiting all day excited about this programme....[thumbup]

 

Knowing how good a presenter/musician/educator Howard Goodall is....

 

He has done several similar presentations about popular and classical music....always totally engaging IMO....

 

Learnt for the first time how The Beatles finished their touring in '66 for a variety of reasons....mainly it was frustrating and no fun anymore

 

And went straight in to the studio and began creating Sgt Pepper....

 

The broad palette of styles, history, sounds, studio techniques, humour and sheer good songwriting is mind boggling....

 

And the continuing admiration for George Martin.....facilitator extraordinaire

 

Howard Goodall has written classical and popular music....including the 'Black Adder' comedy and 'QI' quiz programme themes....[thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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I am among the people who believe Sgt. Pepper is a mastercrown that shook modern culture and instantly became a game-changer of the highest format.

With shorter or longer breaks, the record has been on the grammophone all my life - latest last Saturday where a couple of old friends dropped by for an all-nite session. The title-track naturally was played on max volume ^ Harrisons gem half as loud.

 

Could speak for ages about the peppered Sergeant, but won't, hehe, , , instead I'll recommend 9 favorite points >>>

 

1 - "Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain

where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies

Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers

that grow so incredibly high" from Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds

 

2 - The 'I used to be cruel-passage' in Getting Better

 

3 - Fixing a Hole's unparalleled elegance and complete originality

 

4 - John & Pauls vocal interplay during She's Leaving Home

 

5 - The entire Within You Without You's shocking yet needed and important contra

 

6 - When I'm Sixtyfour's just as spiritual clarinet

 

7- Sgt. Pepper reprise's intro and extended energy

 

8 - A Day in The Life's enormous room and the moment where the symphonic crescendo is sucked into third verse

 

9 - Plus of course the absurd run-out-loop

 

 

Add your own (and the envelope-pushing overall bass-approach)

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

 

 

I happen to have 3 versions in my collection - all stereo.

 

The one I got for X-mas as a kid in the wake of the release or perhaps 1968. Just found out it's a second edition (that never had the slightly psychedelic inner-sleeve).

 

The replacement bought in London in the mid-70's. Almost a copy of the real thing - including cut-out-figures sheet.

 

And the 2009 re-mastered CD.

 

 

Here's the first with its gatefold clipped out for the teenage walls back in 1974.

Might have lowered the official value ;-), but to me only makes it even more authentic.

 

 

 

 

Yesterday ~ FB%20-%20Personal%20Pepper%20it.jpgIt's certainly a thrill

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I braved the annoying PBS begging for donations, and was rewarded with an excellent show. Geo Martin is a wizard...4 tracks, WOW! Those Liverpool boys did some amazing innovation. But, the star of this show, was the man that mc'd it. Obviously musically trained and very knowledgeable on theory etc, his explanations and info were well donemsp_thumbup.gif

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I guess I might be in the minority that prefers Pet Sounds to Sgt Pepper. But I always prefer The Beatles over Beach Boys, no question. Rubber Soul for me...

 

Many in the UK love the music of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys.....IMO the vocal harmonies of both bands are particularly strong.....

 

Paul McCartney heard Pet Sounds and was shocked into realising how hard they would have to work to get anywhere near it....

 

Recommended to have both albums....IMO good that they are different.....[thumbup]

 

V

 

:-({|=

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They already had. It was Revolver.

 

While I think Revolver was one of the best, I'm also a fan of Let It Be, (either way naked/or not) and Abby Road for a "put it on and let it go" album/cd (work).

 

Pepper is just different.

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Recommended to have both albums....IMO good that they are different.....[thumbup]

 

While Beatles and Beach Boys may have been in severe competition, I'm not a part of that race.

So both albums - good idea ^

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I love The Beatles.

That said, I never owned the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band LP.

 

Listened to the hits from it on the radio in the 1960's.

Admire George Martin and The Beatles enormously.

 

I don't watch television, so I look forward to watching youTube videos on the 'making of Sgt. Pepper' some day on my computer, when I have the time.

 

Thanks for the thread.

Anything that keeps The Beatles in the here and now gets a thumbs-up from me.

 

 

:mellow:

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Sgt. Pepper was the only Beatles LP I did not rush out and buy immediately upon its release. I just did not like it near as much as Rubber Soul and Revolver.

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Sgt. Pepper was the only Beatles LP I did not rush out and buy immediately upon its release.

How about the Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields single, , , ?

 

 

 

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We watched that last night, and despite the fund-raising interruptions, it is a pretty amazing film. Howard Goodall was the perfect person to present it, given that he is a composer, musician, and music historian who can do more than read a script. He can play the music, analyze it, and understand and convey how it was created.

 

I almost learned more about music in that single film than in my 60+ years of playing it.

 

Truly a stunning tutorial, and highly recommended to anyone with more than a casual interest in creative genius.

 

I agree 100% Nick. Howard Goodall has enthralled me since I first saw him dissect and discuss Penny Lane. It was some

. Now I studied music in high school, learned (poorly) to play the piano with lessons and the whole schmeer. My Mom would ALWAYS comment on a key change in a piece of music when she heard it ... "Modulation!!!". I do it all the time now (in my Mom's voice) to the annoyance of my family.

 

So when I learned from Goodall that Penny Lane modulates SEVEN TIMES, I was flabbergasted! The brilliance of McCartney's modulations is how well they are hidden. When moving to the chorus "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes", Paul modulates DOWN while his voice and the tune rise UP. Then at the next verse, he modulates back UP as the voice goes down but the effect is of a whole new chapter of the story.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQS91wVdvYc

 

The section on Penny Lane and modulations occurs in the above video around the 18 minute mark.

 

For those of you that are, like me, a total geek where The Beatles and musicology are concerned, here is another fascinating collection of analysis of Beatles songs. In fact, it is analysis by the musicologist Alan W. Pollack on EVERY single Beatles song written.

 

Alan W. Pollack's "Notes On" Series

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I enjoy Pepper but I've never loved it for some reason. Revolver and Abbey Road are two of my favourite albums of all time, I'd go to the grave clutching them both, but I've never been able to embrace the psychedelic atmosphere of Pepper in the same way. I APPRECIATE it as a work of art and I RESPECT it massively though. Maybe I need to watch the docs and attempt to burrow into what it is a little more.

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I enjoy Pepper but I've never loved it for some reason. Revolver and Abbey Road are two of my favourite albums of all time, I'd go to the grave clutching them both, but I've never been able to embrace the psychedelic atmosphere of Pepper in the same way. I APPRECIATE it as a work of art and I RESPECT it massively though. Maybe I need to watch the docs and attempt to burrow into what it is a little more.

 

You should certainly watch the iPlayer show

I can't recommend this show high enough. Fascinating to anyone who had a passing interest in music

To someone like you jinder , who does it for a living it's an hour well spent

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Every time that I think I know which Beatles album is my favorite, I hear a different one and have to change my mind. I go back and forth between Rubber Soul and Revolver all the time, then I remember how great Pepper is. That's usually when I remember how much I love the White Album, then I go listen to it and declare it the greatest of all time...then Abbey Road crosses my mind...

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How about the Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields single, , , ?

 

 

Never bought that 45 rpm either. I just liked the music that came before better.

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