cjlasky7: (Default)
[personal profile] cjlasky7
Recommended: "Sgt. Pepper's Musical Revolution" (BBC Two; U.S. public broadcast channels)

It's the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band": tributes are flooding the newspapers, and a super-deluxe 6-CD set is topping the charts in the UK. Everybody describes Sgt. Pepper as "groundbreaking," but an essential question usually remains unasked: why is it groundbreaking?

In a one-hour special, British composer and music historian Howard Goodall digs into the Sgt. Pepper recording sessions of 1966-67 and shows how the Beatles (along with producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick) used their extensive time in the studio to literally create new sounds, and to invent recording techniques that are now commonplace in the music industry.

Goodall looks at the inspirations for the songs (John and Paul's childhood, newspaper articles and 19th century circus posters), their use of modulation and counterpoint, and how they borrowed from Stockhausen and John Cage to create the orchestral finale to "A Day in the Life."

I could have used more archival film clips, audio and stills from Abbey Road (can never get enough of those). Otherwise, this special is an advanced class in music theory that anyone who loves the Beatles will find completely fascinating.

Date: 2017-06-13 01:58 am (UTC)
shadowkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowkat
When's it on, or did I miss it?

I'd agree about Sgt Pepper's. I once got into a debate with frenchani (over on lj) over which was better Rolling Stones or the Beatles. And while I do love the Stones, they just don't have the same versatility as the Beatles, few if any bands did. The Beatles wrote songs about literally everything, and not one, but three of the Beatles were able to have successful solo albums and separate careers when they broke up.

Their music which originally borrowed heavily from Chuck Berry and Elvis, went it's own route and you can listen to them and not recognize them from decade to decade. Their music sounds so different.

I mean we go from iconic love songs sung practically a capella with a bit of guitare, such as Love Me Do or She loves me, to a song like A Day in the Life, or She's So Heavy, or We All Live in A Submarine, or Number Nine.

A co-worker adores them and John and Yoko Onos experimental music, which was the forerunner of electronica.

Date: 2017-06-13 12:38 pm (UTC)
shadowkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowkat

Ah, I wasn't certain about Ringo, haven't followed his career or run across his albums. Did know about the others.

While the Kinks and the Who are excellent bands. (I actually worked on the release party of the "Kids Are Alright DVD" for the Who, with Martin Lewis, long time friend of the Who. Roger Daltry came to party and there was a moment where he and one of the fellow band members embraced and made up. Apparently they'd had a falling out. Can't remember which one, it wasn't Townsend. And I saw the Broadway version of Tommy. So, I met Daltry in person.) But, they just don't have the same longevity, and versitality of the Beatles. Or range in music stylings. Also not all their band members went on to have successful solo careers. (I personally love Pink Floyd and preferred them to the others, but ditto.)

I think my favorite is a toss-up between Revolver and The White Album. But it's hard to choose, I pretty much have all their music on my ipod. Along with oh so many others. I think one of the reasons I love the Beatles is I'm as eclectic on music style as they are.

Date: 2017-06-13 03:01 pm (UTC)
shadowkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowkat

There's actually a documentary on The White Album. I downloaded it along with the songs for the remastered version on ITunes a while back. It's about 5:30 running time. And it details what happened, and involves a recording session, etc. It also explains how The White Album was where everyone was allowed to do their own thing, and why there were fractures within the group. Paul wanted to work, John wanted to play, Harrison wanted to have a voice in the proceedings...and did Ringo, who felt sidelined a bit.

From a purely "objective" standpoint, I think The Beatles is the best of the bands.

From a purely subjective standpoint? It's a toss-up between Floyd, Beatles, Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Cold Play, ABBA, The Who, Led Zepplin (although they get really repetitive (I actually like HEART's rendition of Stairway to Heaven better...) , and oh so many others. I've never been a fan or a groupie of any one band or artist. I jump around too much. Did date a Deadhead in college -- who literally had a million bootleg tapes. He traveled behind the Dead. I never quite understood his blind devotion. The Dead was good, but it wasn't very versatile.

My test of a really good artist or band is versatility. And a willingness to take risks and jump outside of the box. (ie. do all their songs sound similar after listening to them for a day?) It's why I think Lady Gaga is better than Madonna -- more range. Or The Beatles better than The Rolling Stones, although both bands reference each other as influences.

The Who is good, but I liked Pink Floyd better in regards to psychedelic sound and relateability. Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, or especially Albatross (my favorite Floyd album) just had a tad more resonance than say Tommy or Quadraphrenila.

Unfortunately Floyd lost some of one of their key players, so was unable to have the longevity of The Who. But I like Roger Waters better than Daltry. (Of course I saw Daltry in person, so that may have an effect -- it's better if you don't meet these people in person. ;-) ). Townsend was my favorite of The Who.

But, it's worth noting I'm more into lyrics than audio/sound. So a lot of the complicated sounds that you are picking up on, are most likely lost on me. But I like the poetry of the words set to the music. One of my favorite rock songs is Rush's "Tom Sawyer" which has some amazing turns.

Then there is U2's iconic song about Martin Luther King, and Sunday, Bloody Sunday. Not to mention the Joshua Tree album, I really wish I'd seen them when they played Red Rocks in the 1980s.

Date: 2017-06-13 05:00 pm (UTC)
shadowkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowkat

No, Floyd didn't really make it much past the 70s. I saw their reunion tour in 1988, and it was sorely lacking. Not the Floyd I'd listened to via a mix tape of their albums from my brother. He introduced me to Floyd, Zepplin, and various others. Because it was a mixed tape, I think less in terms of albums, and more general.

Actually, I think most of the great bands are done. Stones...might still have something, they toured again recently. Beatles? Everyone is dead but Paul and Ringo. Floyd -- what you said above. The Who -- similar issues. Zepplin did get together recently for the John F. Kennedy Center Honors, but I don't see a tour in their future.

Date: 2017-06-14 02:01 am (UTC)
shadowkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowkat
They were better together. All they needed was a touch of humility, of personal grace and they could have been a force today....

This can be said of so many bands. The problem is the industry isn't exactly conducive towards humility. Fame is toxic to the human condition. And front-men are very susceptible to becoming asses.

Not helped by the industry's fetish for pushing people to do solo acts. Or grueling concert tours -- that take their toll.

Fleetwood Mac, the Mammas and the Papas, Jefferson Starship, The Runaways, The Ramones, The Doobie Brothers, The Beach Boys, etc.

Although, Stevie Nicks did well splitting off from Fleetwood Mac, and Joan Jett has done well away from the Runaways. Not sure about Brain Wilson, who unraveled but is doing better now.

I think it's really hard when you are working in an ego driven industry to keep a group together long term. I give U2 and the Rolling Stones credit for sticking it out like they have.

Date: 2017-06-14 01:50 pm (UTC)
shadowkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowkat

P.S. Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie are on tour together. There's a joke here about "getting away from the exes," but that kind of humor is beneath me.


Re: Because I Couldn't Resist...

Date: 2017-06-14 07:09 pm (UTC)
shadowkat: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shadowkat

Looks good. I think, I'd have gotten rid of Piggies and Glass Onion, and gone with Bungalow Bill and Don't Pass Me By. But I'm admittedly not a fan of the other two songs.

Curious have you even seen the Beatles themed musical - Across the Universe, starring Rachel Evan Wood? It's not bad, a bit surreal in places, but that's also the Beatles music.


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