The Beatles classic album ’Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ turned the ripe old age of 40 on Friday (June 1), and with that in mind, we decided to ask you, NME.COM users, for your verdict on the record.
A seminal classic record or an overrated relic from the 1960s? You replied in your droves, and the results were defiant.
The response was widespread, touching on all age groups as well as showing just how widespread the album’s worldwide notoriety really is.
Stewart McGill remembers what it was like to hear ’Sgt. Pepper’ when it was first released in 1967, buying the record on vinyl exactly 40 years ago. He described just how relevant the album is in today’s music scene. Speaking about the ground-breaking sound the band created he wrote:
“Sgt Pepper paved the way for much more experiment in concept, design and theme. Without Pepper the notion of album art and conceptual overview would have stayed much further off. Think of Pepper as a step in a continuing evolution……..to celebrate and to anticipate what may come tomorrow.”
Fans of the record are not just restricted to the original Beatles supporters. Stewart’s sentiment was echoed far and wide, even reaching as far as Argentina. 24 year-old Romina in Buenos Aires explained the huge impact ’Sgt. Pepper’ had on South America, despite the restrictions of language and geography.
“The Sgt. Pepper´s back cover featured the lyrics to all the songs, and their meaning in Spanish. That´s one of the first ways I started to speak this language. What these people did, was to create something that would transcend time: it´s wonderful to see that their music is a legacy to us as well as an addiction: once you hear The Beatles, it´s ALWAYS The Beatles.”
However, the debate was equally argued from those who believe that the album is undeserving of the degree of “hype” it so regularly receives.
Self-confessed Beatles fan Emma Doyle wrote, “While still enjoyable, is not my favourite. While this is a matter of opinion, it seems to me that Sgt. Pepper is still not the most deserving album to be so talked about – just because the ‘twenty years ago today’ bit makes a quotable current event for the anniversary doesn’t make it a fantastic album.”
Elaine Sherwood from Birmingham failed to agree that the album holds the same magic in 2007, arguing “I think that Sgt Pepper is ultimately a disappointment for people hearing it now for the first time. I heard it for the first time in the 80s and even then it sounded dated and I wondered what all the fuss was about.”
Surely what cannot be denied, is the ability the record still has to divide fans and sceptics right down the middle. Proving once and for all that The Beatles still hold a few controversial cards up their sleeves.
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