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Old Aug 02, 2006, 01:34 PM   #1
4No1
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Default Was Sgt. Pepper robbed?

As we know, while the Beatles were recording Sgt. Pepper, the record company decided it was time to release a new single, so it was decided to release Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane. Oddly enough, if I remember correctly, it was the first Beatles single not to reach #1.

Do you agree with the decision?

Personally, I don't. I've always been of the opinion that Sgt. Pepper is overrated. I think it's great, but I also think that songs like Good Morning, Good Morning, Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite, and Lovely Rita bring it down somewhat. (Btw, I actually enjoy Lovely Rita, but I just consider it a guilty pleasure.)

But imagine if Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane had been saved for the album instead. Those songs, along with A Little Help From My Friends, Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, She's Leaving Home, and of course, A Day In the Life would've made for an album that I believe would've deserved all the praise it gets to this day.
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Old Aug 02, 2006, 02:01 PM   #2
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Interesting.
But for me, no. I like it that SFF and PL are in isolation to the album yet are so linked to the sound of it.
I think Sgt Pepper should be left as is. No need to mess with perfection.
I think it is Paul himself who has said it was a great album for it's time and it has since held on to that reputation, causing it to be over-rated.
But I love it. Enjoyed listening to it today, in fact.
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Old Aug 02, 2006, 02:29 PM   #3
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A friend of mine thinks that "Within You Without You" and "Good Morning" were weak songs and should have been replaced with "SFF" and "PL".

I disagree. Just like all their other albums, "Sgt. "Peppers" is prefection as is!

Like Lucy said above, I like the fact that those two songs are "stand-alones" (even though they eventually ended up on the "MMT" LP). Kind'a like "Good Vibrations" not being on "Pet Sounds" even though it was recorded during the same time (or was it recorded during the "Smile" sessions?).
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Old Aug 02, 2006, 02:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 62hofner
A friend of mine thinks that "Within You Without You" and "Good Morning" were weak songs and should have been replaced with "SFF" and "PL".

I disagree. Just like all their other albums, "Sgt. "Peppers" is prefection as is!

Like Lucy said above, I like the fact that those two songs are "stand-alones" (even though they eventually ended up on the "MMT" LP). Kind'a like "Good Vibrations" not being on "Pet Sounds" even though it was recorded during the same time (or was it recorded during the "Smile" sessions?).
ya thats wat whould do i agree 100%
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Old Aug 02, 2006, 02:37 PM   #5
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I think Good Morning Good Morning might be the second best song on the album.
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Old Aug 02, 2006, 04:35 PM   #6
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It would've been quite difficult (in my opinion) to make room for those two songs in an album which is so varied and wide in its musical background. And that is because of the fact that each one of them tells a complete story which is absolutely independent of the context. They are sort of linked together in my mind (mostly because where "Penny Lane" is, there's also "Strawberry Fields Forever" before it, except in the 1 CD of course), but they are closed entities as well.

"Strawberry Fields Forever" narrates a hallucinating story about John's dreams as a child, it's a precious ode to his own childhood and a bright way of approaching those visions and shadows from his past. I believe it was quite brave of him to be constantly battling with his own little ghosts and monsters.

"Penny Lane", one of the most beautiful Paul-written songs, also is a closed story, even with an instrumental development that makes it difficult to link to anything else (my opinion is that he never managed to surpass The Beatles sound when performing this - I've always hated every single live version I've heard!)

Add to this the fact that Sgt. Pepper's works in an excellent way, even if you don't believe the "concept album" official version. I've always thought that "Only a Northern Song" could have had a place on it as well, but where? Replacing the solemnity of "Within You, Without You", so much needed for the mysticisim and the ballance of music styles? In between "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" and "Getting Better", breaking up the contrast between bright psychedelic imagery and straightforward autobiographical happy rock?

I will take back my opinion if anyone shows me a tracklisting that features SFF and PL included in Sgt. Pepper's, preserving the feel of it. The continuity. Without breaking a glass, without messing around with it.

In other words: it's impossible.
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Old Aug 02, 2006, 05:36 PM   #7
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Not only do I really like "Good Morning" (which has great oddball lyrics and a funky little groove) and "Within Without You;" I have always felt that "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were kind of over-rated. SFF is a great song, marred (I feel) by drastic over-production and experimentation. It should have been treated like "Yesterday" and instead it got made up like the Bride of Frankenstein. "Penny Lane" is a terrific little song, but not substantially better than any of Paul's other A-Sides, or even a fun throwaway like "Lovely Rita."

Tony

P.S. I also agree emphatically with Dark Horse about how disruptive they would be to the flow of the existing Sgt. Pepper to try and fit them in somewhere. The only place I have ever been able to think of is as a kind of side 1.5, between Mr. Kite and Within Without You. But suggesting a third album side isn't really fitting them at all, is it.
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 07:05 AM   #8
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I think both "SFF" and "Penny Lane" would have fit in nicely on "Sgt. Pepper" (after all, they were the first songs to be written for it, and were meant to establish the album's original theme of recalling childhood memories in Liverpool). However, as things turned out, the two songs created the greatest single of all-time, as most music critics agree. So, to me, it's a toss up. I don't think "Sgt. Pepper" suffers from their absence. I think the weakest song on the album is "Within You Without You" because it is a bit of a drag and slows down the overall momentum ("She's Leaving Home" might be accused of the same thing, but the lyrics are far more compelling, and it has more Beatles participating on it). I wouldn't replace any of the other songs on "Pepper", so, even if "Within You Without You" would have been replaced by "SFF" or "Penny Lane", that would leave one song sort of dangling by itself. But the way everything fell into place as it did is probably for the best.
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 08:25 AM   #9
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People here think too anachronically,

The reason why "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were not on the main album is that in the 1960's single was still a very powerful format. People bought first the single and then the album if they wanted to. The same is due with other songs like "She Loves You", "I Feel Fine" and "Day Tripper" etc. Also remember that there was only limited space on a vinyl disc and putting the abs best onto single was a good decision both commercially and artistically. It was only after Sgt Pepper that albums became more powerful than singles.

And as another topic does anyone know what song was #1? (I know, that is probably the greasiest song ever recorded).
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Old Aug 14, 2006, 12:12 PM   #10
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"Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck? Yuck.
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Old Aug 15, 2006, 01:08 AM   #11
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Yes. The theme tune for "The Fast Show".
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Old Aug 15, 2006, 08:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BadLittleKid
People here think too anachronically,

The reason why "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were not on the main album is that in the 1960's single was still a very powerful format. People bought first the single and then the album if they wanted to. The same is due with other songs like "She Loves You", "I Feel Fine" and "Day Tripper" etc. Also remember that there was only limited space on a vinyl disc and putting the abs best onto single was a good decision both commercially and artistically. It was only after Sgt Pepper that albums became more powerful than singles.
And this, in turn, was partly because of Sgt. Pepper.

Excellent point about the singles-culture, BLK. I often wonder if the digital music revolution won't move us back in that direction. I think it might even be healthy development: how many albums have each of bought in our lives, for the sake of just one or two songs?

Tony
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Old Aug 15, 2006, 11:29 PM   #13
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I think this track order preserves the intent and feel of the album, and maybe even improves it.

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. With A Little Help From My Friends
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4. Getting Better
5. Fixing A Hole
6. She's Leaving Home
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8. Penny Lane
9. Within You Without You
10. Strawberry Fields Forever
11. When I'm Sixty-Four
12. Lovely Rita
13. Good Morning Good Morning
14. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
15. A Day In The Life

Last edited by Lt. Pepper : Aug 15, 2006 at 11:33 PM.
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Old Aug 16, 2006, 05:45 PM   #14
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the intent and feel of the album is there because that's what happened and that's what we know.
If the album had evolved around SFF and PL like it set out to, it would have been different. Most likely different songs would have been written in theme, not only production,. to the first two.

With that being said, I think SFF and PL would be at the high end of a Sgt pepper's album.
Lovely Rita is one of my favorite Beatle songs, it just feels so good.
Good Vibrations was written for Smile.
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 07:26 AM   #15
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Yeah, for such a classic album, it's too short, IMO. In reading the booklet in Anthology 2, it states "Only A Northern Song" was supposed to be somewhere between "Fixing A Hole" and "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!", it's odd that George didn't get his "two song quota" on Sgt. Pepper.
SFF & PL also should have been added, somewhere I read or heard that George Martin regretted leaving them off the album.
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 04:27 PM   #16
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Cool pepper

it is agreat album i think the other 2 could ahve worked on it but what would you leave off? day in the life is amasterpiece of a song one of the best theydid
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Old Aug 21, 2006, 07:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt. Pepper
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. With A Little Help From My Friends
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4. Getting Better
5. Fixing A Hole
6. She's Leaving Home
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8. Penny Lane
9. Within You Without You
10. Strawberry Fields Forever
11. When I'm Sixty-Four
12. Lovely Rita
13. Good Morning Good Morning
14. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
15. A Day In The Life
So... side 1 would end with "Penny Lane" instead of "Mr. Kite"? I think that the revolving circus is perfect for closing side 1 so it just HAS to be the last track on it. Then "Strawberry Fields Forever" still mantains some of the solemnity that "Within You Without You" has, so you have to wait too long for the needed relief ("When I'm Sixty Four"/"Lovely Rita").

Anyway it's one of the best efforts I've seen... I still prefer the 13-song album and both sides of the single in the Magical Mystery Tour CD.
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 06:34 AM   #18
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In similar way we could add "Day Tripper", "We Can Work It Out" and "12 Bar Original" onto Rubber Soul, but then you would think that 17 track album would contain too much information.

There is also another alternative - remove the fade outs and make a 12 song album!
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 08:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkhorse
Anyway it's one of the best efforts I've seen... I still prefer the 13-song album and both sides of the single in the Magical Mystery Tour CD.
That raises an interesting point. Adding anything to Pepper takes music away from another canonical album. MMT may be weak compared to Pepper, but it would be hobbled by losing those two songs. If you filled the gap with songs from Yellow Submarine, that just passes the problem a little further down the pipeline, to an even weaker album, that can afford to lose even less.

Tony
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Old Aug 22, 2006, 08:23 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMBOISVERT
That raises an interesting point. Adding anything to Pepper takes music away from another canonical album. MMT may be weak compared to Pepper, but it would be hobbled by losing those two songs. If you filled the gap with songs from Yellow Submarine, that just passes the problem a little further down the pipeline, to an even weaker album, that can afford to lose even less.

Tony
But to tie in with another recent thread, if the problem is in turn passed on to the White Album, could that in fact have led to a killer single LP release? Hmmmm...
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