It Was 40 Years Ago Today...Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Fab Four performing at Abbey Road on the River Festival in Louisville, KY. A medley from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The album was released 40 years ago today, June 1, 1967 -- just as I was getting ready to graduate from high school and the summer of love was kicking off. The times, they were a changing.


The album served as the shot heard 'round the world, alerting all other musicians that the game had changed.

"There were so many components that were revolutionary, from the cover — there had never been a cover like that — to the storybook lyrics," says Lee Abrams, the 55-year-old senior vice president and chief programming officer for XM Satellite Radio. "The lyrics weren't about cars or girls or surfing. It was very cinematic. You could listen to it and it was almost like an audio movie.

"I think all of those groups, like Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd, really saw that album as a real kick in the butt. After 'Sgt. Pepper,' you find everyone from the Who to the Stones to Zeppelin opening up and using different instruments on their albums."

As the memories come flooding back, I have to say, the music was so much better in the late 60's and early '70's than it is today.

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    Class of '67 here too. (none / 0) (#1)
    by rdandrea on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 06:00:20 PM EST
    June 16, to be exact.


    The Monterey Pop Festival (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 07:04:05 PM EST
    was June 16 - 18, '67.

    Here's Buffalo Springfield doing For What It's Worth at the festival, and a bunch more far out videos from it!


    Never been a better piece of pop culture (none / 0) (#3)
    by janinsanfran on Fri Jun 01, 2007 at 07:58:17 PM EST
    But I'm an old foggy -- junior  in college that amazing spring.

    Well, I wasn't at Monterey... (none / 0) (#4)
    by LarryE on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 12:57:51 AM EST
    ...being on the wrong coast and all. I had to settle for Woodstock.  ;-)

    As for the video clips (thank you, Edger), the instant from the original movie that stayed with me was Cass Elliot going "oh, wow!" at the end of Janis's performance.

    Why that moment stayed with me as opposed to any other, I dunno. But it did.

    Heh. (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 12:29:51 PM EST
    I pretty say the same thing too,  every time I hear her sing. :-)

    erm... "pretty much" (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 12:32:21 PM EST
    I was in the Army (none / 0) (#5)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 01:46:22 AM EST
    We laid on the floor with speakers on each side of our head.  No headphones.

    As A Tribute (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 11:56:43 AM EST
    I watched Yellow Submarine, again. Great flick and great music.

    Better then? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Gisleson on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 03:08:52 PM EST
    Sorry to rain on your soft parade, but I really can't agree that music was better then than it is now. Thanks to our cultural revolution then, musicians have been freed up to explore entire universes of new music these past forty years, and it shows.

    Now if you mean what's on the radio, you may well be right thanks to Clear Channel. But I seriously suspect that you, Jeralyn, do not own a single CD by an artist who began recording in this century. No matter what you're into, it's out there, and there's lots of it.

    actually (none / 0) (#10)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 04:17:26 PM EST
    I don't buy cd's any more, I just download from iTunes to my ipod.  And yes, there's plenty of music by people who weren't recording before 2000.  But no album I could  listen to hundreds of times like those of decades past.

    There's good music now.... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 09:55:22 AM EST
    for sure.  But around 1965-73, that was the freakin' golden age of rock-n-roll music man.  The sheer magnitude of unbelievable music released in that time frame may never be equaled.

    But of course, its all a question of taste.

    As for Sgt. Peppers, its not one of my fav. Beatles albums.  I think the White Album, Revolver, and Abbey Road are all superior.  Then again I'm a Stones guy...


    Same here (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 12:49:25 PM EST
    "then again I'm a stones guy"

    best line from (none / 0) (#11)
    by cpinva on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 07:14:42 PM EST
    "yellow submarine": "funny, you don't look bluish."

    I remember it well (none / 0) (#12)
    by Khun David on Sun Jun 03, 2007 at 12:21:15 AM EST
    I was beginning to construct sentences of two words like "want milk" or "kitty bad" or "Daddy, up".

    oh, and walking on my two feet.