Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Song by The Beatles

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is a song credited to Lennon/McCartney, and first recorded and released in 1967, on the The Beatles' album of the same name. The song appears twice on the album: as the opening track, and as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)", the penultimate track. As the title track, the lyrics introduce the fictional band that performs in the album.

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  • "Dylan and LSD were a big factor in the evolution from R & B to psychedelic," says Joe Boyd. The Pretty Things, for instance, went from a Stones-like band to resembling Pink Floyd as a result of tripping. "The Laughing Gnome" was released on June 1, 1967 … the same day as the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. In terms of vision and inspiration, the divide between the two pop products could not have been greater. There was a genuine darkness and intensity descending. You could hear it in post-Pepper Beatles tracks like "I Am the Walrus" and the Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (which seemed to disavow all of England's psychedelic foray as woefully naïve in just over three and a half minutes). In America, there were bands like the Doors, Love and the aforementioned Velvet Underground. David, a fan of all of these bands, seemed to understand this in theory but lacked the formula to put it to any use. The blithely Newley-esque Bowie compositions bore no trace of this wisdom, and the more gothic tracks were fanciful but empty.

    Marc SpitzBowie

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