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Old May 20, 2006, 11:34 AM   #1
nigel64
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Default Sgt Pepper Concept Or Concert Album!!!!

When Sgt Pepper first came out many People considered this Rocks First Concept Album Concept meaning the album features a Story instead of Individual songs but listening to it I consider it more of a Concert album because it doesnt really tell a story its more like The Band Sgt Pepper being onstage and performing a concert closing with the Reprise and going into the Encore song A Day in ther Life !!! I consider the album that came out after Sgt Pepper The Moody Blues album Days of Future Passed the First Concept albums or one of the Early Concept Albums !!! Id like to know what other fans feel about this !!!!
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Old May 20, 2006, 11:49 AM   #2
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the concept is Sgt Pepper's Band playing the music but I never thought of it as a concept album.
the breakthrough on this album was for the musical textures, not the concept, in my opinion anyway.
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Old May 20, 2006, 02:05 PM   #3
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I agree the concept is the concert,I must never the less say I love that as a concept,Sgt.Pepper was the first Beatles release I got when I was 18 and it will always have a special place in my heart.I mean yes its not a concept in that its not a story,one story told threw all the songs on the record but it has that feeling of being tied together via a concert concept.Either way,a brillant record.I would also agree that 'Days of Future Past' is at least one of the first concept albums,another one,2 years later if I recall right was 'Tommy' by The Who,of course one could also count 'The Who Sell Out' as at least a loose concept,in that its set up as if all the songs are being played on a radio station.
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Old May 20, 2006, 07:26 PM   #4
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Johnny Cash made a couple of concept albums in the early sixties, most notably: "Ride This Train" (1960). But if you're just talking about Rock, then that's a different story.
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Old May 20, 2006, 08:05 PM   #5
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I have my own theory

http://www.beatlelinks.net/forums/sh...light=escapism
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Old May 21, 2006, 04:31 AM   #6
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What does an album have to be or have, in order to be a "concept album"? When we debate these things without defining them, we can't get anywhere. Setting the bar at "Tommy" seems to be a bit high. An album (like Tommy) that has a narrative to it is better labelled a Rock (or Pop) Opera. What Sgt. P has (like the Who Sell Out, or Dark Side of the Moon, or The Village Green Preservation Society) is something that holds the disparate songs together as an album that is more meaningful as a whole than as individual songs. In the case of Sgt.P or The Who Sell Out, the unifying element is what literary critics call a "frame": a larger narrative (a concert, a radio station, a group of Pilgrims going to Canterbury) within which the smaller stories are set. We would hear the songs differently if they were not in that particular frame (imagine a Sgt.P that opened with "A Day in the Life"). So, in a sense, of course the songs have nothing to do with each other, just like in a real concert.

On the other hand, I like Matt's idea about escapism. There is another kind of "concept" album where the songs, without telling a story, are thematically related (eg Dark Side of the Moon, or almost any Kinks album after 1967 that ISN'T a rock opera). Maybe Sgt. P. is a concept album in this sense too.

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Old May 21, 2006, 05:01 AM   #7
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I think that Sgt Pepper was a concept album.
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Old May 21, 2006, 05:07 AM   #8
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Sgt. Pepper might more accurately be described as the remnant of a "concept album" idea. We know that in the early stages, "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were originally to be part of an album of songs recalling the Beatles' years growing up in Liverpool. But when those two songs were released as a double A side single ahead of the album,the idea evolved into Paul's notion that they should record an album as a sort of fictional band other than the Beatles. The title song certainly did the trick, and it was a nice touch to have the "Sgt. Pepper reprise" near the end (before the encore "A Day In The Life). A listener could easily imagine that it is this fictional band playing "When I'm Sixty-Four", or even present at the circus for "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite", but the concept of a Sgt. Pepper band doesn't really extend beyond that.

Another "concept album" idea that they toyed with but then also abandoned was having the songs crossfade into each other without a break. It occurs with "Sgt. Pepper/A Little Help From My Friends"--and again with "Good Morning, Good Morning"/"Sgt. Pepper reprise"/"A Day In The Life", but not throughout the rest of the album. There is, however, no more than a second of silence between most of the songs.

Still, it could be argued that the album as a whole does have a distinctive overall sound unlike any other the Beatles recorded, but it's difficult to pin down. Nicholas Schaffner, in his fabulous book "The Beatles Forever" (in my opinion, still the best book about the Beatles ever written), compares this period in their career to the moment in "The Wizard of Oz" when the film "dramatically changes from black-and-white to glorious technicolor."

So, as a concept album, perhaps "Sgt. Pepper" didn't exactly follow through from beginning to end, but all of the individual songs on it really "belong" there.
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Old May 21, 2006, 08:31 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMBOISVERT
What does an album have to be or have, in order to be a "concept album"? When we debate these things without defining them, we can't get anywhere. Setting the bar at "Tommy" seems to be a bit high. An album (like Tommy) that has a narrative to it is better labelled a Rock (or Pop) Opera. What Sgt. P has (like the Who Sell Out, or Dark Side of the Moon, or The Village Green Preservation Society) is something that holds the disparate songs together as an album that is more meaningful as a whole than as individual songs. In the case of Sgt.P or The Who Sell Out, the unifying element is what literary critics call a "frame": a larger narrative (a concert, a radio station, a group of Pilgrims going to Canterbury) within which the smaller stories are set. We would hear the songs differently if they were not in that particular frame (imagine a Sgt.P that opened with "A Day in the Life"). So, in a sense, of course the songs have nothing to do with each other, just like in a real concert.

On the other hand, I like Matt's idea about escapism. There is another kind of "concept" album where the songs, without telling a story, are thematically related (eg Dark Side of the Moon, or almost any Kinks album after 1967 that ISN'T a rock opera). Maybe Sgt. P. is a concept album in this sense too.

Tony
I agree with everything this man has said.
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Old May 21, 2006, 10:07 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input this really helps me out a lot !!!!!
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Old May 21, 2006, 11:38 AM   #11
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Originally, "Sgt. Pepper's" was intedned to be a "concept" album about the band's youth. Hence the "retrospective" tracks "Strawberry Fields Forever", and "Penny Lane" - two songs about childhood landmarks/locations.

But, as recording progressed, it turned into more of a "concert" album. Neil Aspinal recounts in detail how the idea came about on a plane trip with Paul. Ringo even says that eventually, the "childhood" concept gave way to just recording tracks... "Sod it! Lets just record tracks!"
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Old May 21, 2006, 01:23 PM   #12
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Well even the Who's TOMMY grew to swallow tracks that didn't originally have anything to do with the story of the Deaf Dumb and Blind Boy. Now, of course, I am trying to remember exactly which songs those were. "Sally Simpson" was one and I believe that "I'm Free" was another. So just because its a concept album, doesn't mean that some songs aren't "just tracks" (as Ringo put it).

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Old May 23, 2006, 08:04 AM   #14
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It is not a concert album.
A more apt concert album would be The Beatles at Carnegie Hall, for one.
Sgt. Pepper, no matter what you think it is, is just one damn fine album with some good cuts. 'Nuff said.
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Old May 23, 2006, 12:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanBeatle
It is not a concert album.
A more apt concert album would be The Beatles at Carnegie Hall, for one.
Sgt. Pepper, no matter what you think it is, is just one damn fine album with some good cuts. 'Nuff said.
Of course it's not a true concert album (i.e. Live at the Hollywood Bowl, etc.). But, the fact that they introduce themselves as a band other than The Beatles showed that they were thinking of the album as a "live" performance album - an album that replicated a live act instead of actually going out and performing the songs live. This intention is recounted in detail on The Anthology. They wanted an album that would "tour" - much like how Elvis sent his motorcycle on tour. LOL!

Of course, they ended up just recording tracks. But, the feel of the original intention is still there.

Yes, it is a d*mn fine album.
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Old May 24, 2006, 08:32 AM   #16
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Cr*p!
Hollywood Bowl!
Carnegie Hall. . .what a neophyte-fan thing to say~! - Sheesh - (Thanks for not slapping me on this foulup, Hofner!)
It's funny, but to me the whole album always sounded, if anything, more like something taking place at a a county fair or carnival in atmosphere. Even the opening with Sgt. Pepper. In my mind, I always see the band (Sgt. Pepper) performing from a big Gazeebo or something.
I see your point about their intentions, though. . .'course trying to recreate A Day In The Life on stage in the late '60s would have been a fair-to-middlin' problem, but this song probably came about after they decided to "sod it" and just record songs, eh?
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Old May 24, 2006, 10:20 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmericanBeatle
Cr*p!
Hollywood Bowl!
Carnegie Hall. . .what a neophyte-fan thing to say~! - Sheesh - (Thanks for not slapping me on this foulup, Hofner!)
It's funny, but to me the whole album always sounded, if anything, more like something taking place at a a county fair or carnival in atmosphere. Even the opening with Sgt. Pepper. In my mind, I always see the band (Sgt. Pepper) performing from a big Gazeebo or something.
I see your point about their intentions, though. . .'course trying to recreate A Day In The Life on stage in the late '60s would have been a fair-to-middlin' problem, but this song probably came about after they decided to "sod it" and just record songs, eh?
LOL! Your "Carnegie Hall" foul-up went right over my head.

It's strange, but I am glad that they never "toured" the Sgt. Pepper album like bands do today - release and album, you tour it - no question!

Having those songs forever "performed" ONLY on record (by The Beatles, that is) retains its legendary status for me. I have trouble imagining The Beatles performing "Sgt. Peppers" in their satin band costumes at.... Carnegie Hall - Ha! (Sorry... couldn't resist!). Again, I know it sounds strange, but for some reason, I cringe at the thought of John putting down his guitar and walking over to a piano - amid cheers - to commence performance of "A Day In The Life" (granted he put his guitar down and walked over to a Hammond organ at Shea in '65).... or, the lights dimming and then a spotlight shines on some Indian musicians as they break into the opening strains of "Within You and Without You"... followed by another light hitting George sitting on a pillow as he begins to sing... or The Beatles having to travel with an orchestra in order to perform these shows properly. YICK!!!

For me, The Beatles were two guitars, bass, and drums (Get a load of me! "For me"! I was 6 months old when "Sgt. Peppers" was released!).

Anyone else get where I'm coming from?

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Old May 24, 2006, 02:56 PM   #18
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I think so. I was just thinking about how funny it is to choose a conceit like a concert (Uh... I am using "conceit" here in its literary sense, as an extended metaphor or trick. Maybe a better word would be "concept" as in, errr..., "concept album") for this particular album, which is almost certainly the LEAST "live" thing the Beatles ever recorded. It adds an additional layer of irony to the whole thing. Its almost presents an argument against touring in its studio-based complexity.

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Old May 24, 2006, 03:20 PM   #19
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Right-o!

It was even said, by the likes of George Martin, that the intention was for the songs to NOT be possible to be performed live within the context of what the band always was - or as they saw themselves: A little four-peice "dance hall" band.

Teaming-up with Billy Preston for the "Let It Be" sessions (or, "Get Back" sessions, as they were) was about as much of an "augmentation" to their sound that I could imagine. To have added orchestras and multiple backing musicians - in a live setting - would have tainted it all - for me, at least. That approach would have made it all very, oh..... "regular". And they were not "regular".
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Old May 24, 2006, 03:39 PM   #20
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I can only agree with the two previous posts. Sgt. Pepper done live on a tour would not be Beatles. Now when I see a sound-a-like band do it live today- well- I can accept that somehow more easily than when the same band performs the early material the Beatled did actually play live.
For me, nobody, but nobody does the Beatles better live or vinyl than the Beatles themselves! (My apologies in advance to all members of tribute bands, including the one I sing in from time to time- )
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