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Old May 30, 2007, 11:36 AM   #1
Maggie Mae
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Join Date: Dec 23, 2002
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
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Default Sgt. Pepper articles - Edmonton Journal, 30 May 2007

Just some interesting articles I found in today's paper. Most of it isn't really news, but it's fun to see the Beatles in the paper nonetheless! Enjoy! :)

It was 40 years ago this week
Saturday is anniversary of Beatles LP that changed music world
Jennifer Fong
Journal Culture Writer
EDMONTON

In the summer of 1967, Holder Petersen was probably listening to CHED, then Edmonton's top station for pop music.

And more likely than not, he was humming along to a song by the Beatles. "You could count on hearing a Beatles tune once every half hour," he remembers of that era of CHED.

That year, the Beatles' most talked-about album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, was the soundtrack to the Summer of Love. Today, it remains one of the most influential albums of all time, even as it turns 40 on Saturday.

"The whole thing was quite an amazing piece of work," says Petersen, founder of roots, folk and blues label Stony Plain Records.

"It really pushed all the boundaries," says Petersen. "It included George Harrison's fascination with Eastern music and orchestration, and novelty music. It just was hitting on all cylinders and so many levels."

Petersen bought Sgt. Pepper's the week it was released and it has stayed at the top of his record collection ever since. He says it could be the greatest pop record of all time.

"It was the Beatles at their peak," he says. "Combined with absolute brilliant songwriting within the band, George Martin's arrangements and production and state-of-the-art sound, there was nothing really, in my mind, that touched it."

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Salute to Sgt. Pepper
The Beatles' most famous album was released 40 years ago this week and changed pop music
Bernard Perusse
Montreal Gazette

Peter Fonda's memory of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band speaks volumes about the unifying quality of the Beatles' eighth album, released in Britain 40 years ago June 1.

Interviewed for the 1987 Granada TV special It Was Twenty Years Ago Today, the actor reminisced about the record's release. "Everywhere I drove, I could hear one of the songs from the Sgt. Pepper's album playing out of (the) window of a passing car, or an apartment that we were passing," he said. "It was like a mass tune-in."

Unlike many of the album's much-played psychedelic contemporaries, however, Sgt. Pepper's is still being talked about after four decades.

It would be tough to argue that the album's kaleidoscopic overreach didn't change pop music. Sitar, music-hall clarinets, harpsichord, reassembled bits of tape, fuzz guitar, horns and orchestras -- only some of its ingredients -- had been used on rock records before, but never to serve the kind of songs John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison were dreaming up, or the kind of seamless soundscapes envisioned by producer George Martin.

Where the debate comes in is over where Pepper's influence was a positive one.

In recent years, the album's predecessor, Revolver (1966), seems to have edged it out as the group's most acclaimed effort.

For some scribes, Sgt. Pepper's is dated -- an artifact of the age of miniskirts, peace medallions, bellbottoms, love-ins and LSD.

Others make the more serious charge that the album's effect on rock was, ultimately, negative in that it made the perfect three-minute single vaguely obsolete and ushered in the age of the album as Big Statement. That seismic change, the argument goes, opened the door for a new breed of pretentious art-rock groups and bad concept albums.

In other words: you hate Yes or Genesis? You can blame the Beatles for them.

"Any door you open will create some stuff that people don't like," says Patrick Krief, guitarist for Montreal indie-rockers the Dears. "People could say James Brown started hip-hop, and people who don't like hip-hop will say that was a bad movement."

Writing about the Beatles album in the March issue of Mojo, John Harris drew a more flattering connection. "All told, it's thanks to the Pepper inheritance that we still expect worthwhiles careers to 'progress', to ascend to a watershed point at which influence, experience and ambition cohere into something that just might blow our minds," he wrote.

Perhaps not so surprisingly, John Lennon was among those adopting a less reverent tone. "It wasn't that spectacular when you look back on it," he said during a taped interview used in the Beatles' Anthology DVD. "Like anything, it was great then -- but people just have this good dream about Pepper. It was a good for then, you know."

The drummer's glasses, however, were a tad more rose-coloured. "Sgt. Pepper was a special album, for when the time came for the sleeve, we wanted to dress up, we wanted to be these people, all the 'Peppers'," Ringo Starr said in an interview for the Anthology book, published in 2000. "It was Flower Power coming to its fullest. It was love and peace; it was a fabulous period, for me and the world."

********

Celebrated cover made history
Gandhi, Hitler failted to make cut as band's imaginary guests
CanWest News Service

It's probably the most famous album cover of all time. Parodied within months on the jacket of We're Only In It For The Money by the Mothers of Invention and later lampooned by such arbiters of pop culture as The Simpsons and MAD Magazine, the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band packaging has an instant-recognition factor.

Designed by Peter Blake and his wife, Jann Haworth, and photographed by Michael Cooper, the cover was shot at Chelsea Manor Studios on March 30, 1967.

According to Blake's reminiscences in the liner notes of the album's 1987 CD reissue, the concept was that the Beatles were another band. "Paul (McCartney) and John (Lennon) said I should imagine that the band had just finished the concert, perhaps in a park. I then thought that we could have a crowd standing behind them," he wrote.

"To help us get into the character of Sgt. Pepper's band, we started to think about who our heroes might be," McCartney said in an interview for the Anthology book, published in 2000. "'Well, then, who would this band like on the cover? Who would my character admire?' We wrote a list."

W.C. Fields, Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw and wax models of the beatles in their earlier incarnations (Blake's idea) were among the imaginary guests. Their images were blown up to life-size cutouts and set up behind the group.

There were glitches. Three of Lennon's choice -- Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ and Adolph Hitler -- were nixed, with EMI chairman Sir Joseph Lockwood personally intervening to keep Gandhi off the cover. Bowery Boy Leo Gorcey was painted out because he requested a fee. Mae West initially refused, offended by the idea that she would be in a lonely hearts club, but the actress relented when the Beatles sent her a personal letter. George Harrison's selections were all gurus, and Ringo Starr made no contribution.

The cover went on to make its own history. Several sources identify it was rock's earliest gatefold sleeve and the first to include lyrics.

********

Outlandish band names inspired McCartney
CanWest News Service
MONTREAL

By the time Sgt. Pepper was recorded, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were rarely writing together in a truly collaborative sense -- even though they continued to share the credits.

While one might still make a contribution or two to the other's compositions, most Beatle songs were basically either-or situations. Here's the principal writer of each song:

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: McCartney, who was weeking an alter-ego for the Beatles and because intrigued by the outlandish names of psychedelic bands on the U.S. West Coast.

2. With a Little Help From My Friends: mostly McCartney, with an assist from Lennon (The "What do you see when you turn out the light..." part)

3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds: Lennon, inspired by his son Julian's school drawing. He always insisted the song initials were mere coincidence.

4. Getting Better: McCartney, with some lyrics by Lennon, notably the "I used to be cruel to my woman..." section and "It couldn't get much worse" in the chorus.

5. Fixing a Hole: McCartney

6. She's Leaving Home: McCartney

7. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!: Lennon, with lyrics lifted from an old circus poster.

8. Within You Without You: George Harrison. No other Beatles perform on the song.

9. When I'm 64: McCartney

10. Lovely Rita: McCartney

11. Good Morning Good Morning: Lennon

12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise): McCartney

13. A Day in the Life: Lennon wrote the main verses and McCartney came up with the middle section ("Woke up, got out of bed"), the "I'd love to turn you on" part and the orchestral crescendo.
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