Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Under The Influence: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

I decided to use the blog to expand upon the intentionally vague Facebook posts about the top 10 albums that influenced my musical tastes.  Just the covers are posted there but I figure context is pretty important and why not rant a little on them.

The early 1980s in Las Vegas were an interesting time for radio as we had stations regularly playing older music.  I believe a lot of this could be due to the 1981 release of the "Stars On 45 Medley" single which started with a few other songs ("Venus" and "Sugar, Sugar") which lead into The Beatles songs ("No Reply," "I'll Be Back," "Drive My Car," "Do You Want To Know A Secret," "We Can Work It Out," "I Should Have Known Better," "Nowhere Man" and "You're Going To Lose That Girl.")  The following year, The Beatles would be behind the release of  "The Beatles' Movie Medley," which would include "Magical Mystery Tour," "All You Need Is Love," "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away," "I Should Have Known Better, " "A Hard Day's Night," "Ticket To Ride" and "Get Back."  This resurgence also saw two reissued singles, "Love Me Do" in 1982 and "Twist And Shout" in 1986 (mostly due to the success of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.)  So, amidst the embers of disco and emerging New Wave was something retro and different.

The song "Nowhere Man" from Stars On 45 stuck in my head.  I don't know why but I would even harmonize with a friend in elementary schoold singing the song and a few others.  But, it is funny that I only knew the snippet that was from the medley.  But my interest in the songs and the Beatles' music would later inspire my mother to pick up a copy of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hears Club Band on cassette for me.  I delved deep into the 1967 creation until the wheels on the cartridge seized and tape spewed everywhere.

I am a true believer in music challenging the listener's ear.  My 3 listens rule definitely applied here but I think the pop sections reel you back in for more.  The stylistic range of the album is as wide as the subject matter and vocal styles.  I think this really this opened me up to accepting a lot of different sonic templates which you will see on this list.  That's what an influence is, isn't it?

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