What was the impact of SGT PEPPER at the time it was released?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by thestereofan, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. thestereofan

    thestereofan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Jose
    Just read these articles and it made me interested.

    "The closest Western Civilization has come to unity since the Congress of Vienna in 1815 was the week the Sgt. Pepper album was released. In every city in Europe and America the radio stations played [it] ... and everyone listened ... it was the most amazing thing I've ever heard. For a brief while the irreparable fragmented consciousness of the West was unified, at least in the minds of the young Sgt. Pepper was widely perceived by listeners as the soundtrack to the "Summer of Love." The album "drew people together through the common experience of pop on a larger scale than ever before".American radio stations interrupted their regular scheduling, playing the album virtually non-stop – often from start to finish."

    UK Number ONE album 4 different times:

    10 June – 18 November 1967 (for 5 straight months)
    25 November – 2 December 1967
    23 December 1967 – 6 January 1968
    3–10 February 1968

    What was it like to be a part of the release of this great album?

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  2. PsychGuy

    PsychGuy Forum Resident

    It was amazing, as described above, and the music was everywhere for a couple of months. Everyone was waiting for the Beatles' statement on peace, love, drugs, etc., and when it finally came it landed like a UFO on the White House lawn.

    But for sheer impact, the Ed Sullivan appearances couldn't be topped.
  3. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    In America.
    The Ed Sullivan Show appearance had zero impact everywhere else in the world.
    Sgt Pepper was international.
  4. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    A 'Pepper' respect thread for a change.
  5. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    The response was incredible, it was hailed as a masterpiece, Time Magazine gave it a cover story, and was an important moment in the standing of rock and roll music as an art form.

    The Beatles were hailed as geniuses, and were viewed as invincible. Then, less than six months later, the Beatles, for better or for worse, basically punctured that bubble by broadcasting the publicly reviled Magical Mystery Tour on Boxing Day 1967.
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  6. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    It wasn't "publicly reviled". It was met with interest, delight, puzzlement and confusion. Nobody reviled it. Some critics called it rubbish. It wasn't shown in the US. The vast majority of the US public had no idea it was a movie, to them it was just an LP.
  7. Mai Tem Baht

    Mai Tem Baht Forum Resident

    I was 16 when it was released.

    The most astonishing thing about it was its difference to every thing that had come before. It wasn't merely two steps forward, like Rubber Soul and Revolver, it was a game-changing quantum leap.

    No one had heard anything as different as it before. At the time it was truly revolutionary.
  8. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Just to be clear, I was talking about the Magical Mystery Tour film, not Pepper or the U.S. Album. I reviewed the original reviews on microfiche back in the day and they were scathing. It was pretty much unanimous, with the exception being David Frost, who saw it in color. I think Paul went on David Frost and explained/apologized to the public.

    There's been a reconsideration over the years, but I never saw any positive reactions from the time.
    showtaper likes this.
  9. numer9

    numer9 Beatles Apologist

    Philly Burbs
    That was a magical Summer. Nothing had sounded like it, looked like it or felt like it.
  10. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Well I purchesed the double ep' after viewing the TV show.
    Just a consumer reporting.
  11. let him run...

    let him run... Forum Resident

    Colchester, VT USA
    My strongest memory was the night at midnight when radio stations were allowed to play it prior to release for sale.
    It wasn't my experience that radio stations stopped and played the whole thing. My experience was laying in bed with my transistor radio moving up and down the radio dial and stopping whenever I heard what might possibly be a new Beatles song. Even though it was the Beatles, you still had to work to hear it. AM still ruled the airways and they still stuck to a rather ridged formula.
    By the time the album came out i still hadn't heard the whole thing, nor had I seen the cover.
    Music was changing all the time, not just Beatles music, but so many artists in so many ways. So much so that as a teenager it was what I wrongly assumed was what music always did and always would do. Imagine my surprise when it turned out that this kind of growth was an anomaly.
    But back then, as far as I was concerned, I expected every Beatles album to go someplace new. Amazingly they always did.
    Although there may have been some who weren't blown away by the album, I didn't know any of them.
  12. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Satisfaction Guaranteed.:righton:
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  13. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    You seem very confused. Understood it was the movie, that was the whole point of my reply. I just reminded you that 'The Public' saw 'Magical Mystery Tour' as an EP set and a TV movie in the UK, but in the US 'The Public' saw it was solely as an album. Got it now?

    Reviews are by critics.' They are by definition NOT 'The Public'.
    'The Public' found it, as I said, entertaining/daft/fascinating/waste of time/exciting/awful/lovely. There was no unanimity at all from 'The Public', which, to be very clear, was the constituent you originally quoted, NOT critics. Many millions watched it on TV and a large proportion liked it, including myself (only saw it in colour in 1979).
    You are aware that following the critics' articles. 'The Public' wrote in to newspapers and magazines and told of their reactions, which were as I described- varied.
    It's very dangerous to read critics and suppose that they reflect the views of 'The Public', which they do not do, and have never pretended to.

    Nothing to do with the album, which was not released in the UK at that time.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  14. Macman

    Macman Forum Resident

    The response was massive and unprecedented. I can't think of another album that got the kind of response it did on release. It was everywhere that summer and was a game-changer, both good and bad.
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  15. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Burlington VT USA
    Nor has anything since...
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  16. gkella

    gkella Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Not just the music....the iconic front cover captivated everyone as well.
    Also, I believe, the first album with printed lyrics.
    The insert cut out sheet.
    The whole package was a mind blower.
    angelo73, theMess and jon9091 like this.
  17. seilerbird

    seilerbird Forum Resident

    I saw MMT in a movie theater in 68 and was blown away. IATW is still my all time favorite song and that clip alone made the whole thing worth while. SP merely changed everything. Everything.
  18. CCrider92

    CCrider92 Forum Resident

    Cape Cod, MA
    I didn't care for much of the album at first - I was about 23 at the time. I do remember that everyone seemed to be talking about it and playing it. The most striking image I can recall is seeing parents and their kids discussing the album in a very civil manner and the number of parents who very much liked the album.
  19. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Salem, MA
    Beautifully said.

    I'll only add that back then, EVERYBODY listened to the radio. There weren't IPods and the like where you only end up listening to songs you like.

    And The Beatles cut across lines. All but Classical and Jazz stations would play their songs. So you'd have Top 40 stations, rock stations, even alternative playing their songs. And their songs were revolutionizing music.
    angelo73, theMess and notesfrom like this.
  20. Robin L

    Robin L Musical Omnivore

    Fresno, California
    KRLA played all the tracks even though there were no "singles". The hyperbole, initially, was overwhelming. It took a while for the critical community to realize that 'Pepper' wasn't the second coming of Franz Schubert.
    angelo73 and notesfrom like this.
  21. greenwichsteve

    greenwichsteve Well-Known Member

    There was a tremendous buzz about it leading up to release date. I duly bought it on 1st June, took it home and listened to it with a close friend and fellow Beatles nut. I remember us just gawping at each other - we couldn't believe what we were hearing. We probably played it half a dozen times in succession and agreed that it was absolutely the best thing either of us had ever heard. Both 16 at the time - no drugs or alcohol required!
  22. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Because the Beatles took risks while pushing the artistic envelope. Sometimes you fail. That's what made them so interesting in the second half of their cycle.
  23. MidnightRocks

    MidnightRocks Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    Serious question folks: what is so remarkable about the album? Aside from the quality of the songs.

    I mean The Hollies released a psych drenched album on the same day with a psychedelic cover so it can't have been all that out of the blue in terms of sound and image.
  24. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Liverpool, England
    Evolution? Not THAT psych drenched!
    Anyhow, it's obvious you weren't around in June 1967, as you'd know that when The Beatles released a record, it didn't really matter who else had one out that day.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  25. mrwolk

    mrwolk One and a half ears...no waiting!

    Ottawa, Canada
    I can remember buying the album the day it was released...removing the shrink wrap...that fresh cardboard smell!...i marveled at the packaging...gatefold cover, lyrics printed on the back...sgt pepper insert...and trying to figure out the cast of characters featured on the front cover...all while the record played loudly in the background....guaranteed to raise a smile!

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