Thursday, March 03, 2005

Business as usual.

After my last rant on Scorsese, I thought it would be a good idea to get back to the typical writing you see on this page. I'm back to the business of music, specifically, The Beatles. For this band considered to be the greatest of all time, there is a lot of dispute about which of their albums is their best. This is definitely a tough question to tackle. I've heard it said that Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are in the running, as well as the running for best album ever. I can't disagree with this claim. So I ask myself, which album do I think of these three could be the best ever?
I'd have to go with Sgt. Pepper's. While it is not my favorite of these three albums and I acutallly like the other 2 a little better because of particular songs, it works the best as an album and produced serious innovations in modern music. Don't get me wrong, the songs on the album are great. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," "Help From My Friends," "A Day In the Life," and "When I'm Sixty-Four" are probably the most well known songs on this album, but you can't say they're the best. While these songs are great, its the experience of listening to the whole album together that makes it unique. In my opinion, a group of songs has never hung together as well as this group of songs, making it what many people refer to as a concept album. While each song might not blow you away after the first listen, listen to it again and the range and nuance of the music will get your attention. The variety of songs on the album is amazing. Another aspect that many people consider when claiming this is the best album of all time is the innovation involved. No one had ever arranged an album to be listened to the whole way through before, as one large work. The Beatles made the album as a whole an artform. Odd production and musical arrangements are also what make this album great. Some songs feature a harp, a clarinet, a kaliopie, full orchestra, and sitar. Few albums ever can compare with the experimentation present here, and in my opinion, no one experimenting this much with sound has ever made an album nearly this good, maintaining pop sensability.
While some Beatles albums may feature better songs to listen to a song at a time, no album ever is tied together as well as Sgt. Pepper's. When listening to this album you can appreciate the songs for how good they are, but you do not truly realize the impact this album has on you until you've listened to it start to finish and let the experience sink in. In my mind, The Beatles will be considered in the same paragraph as the likes of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart in the future for their contributions to art. This album will likely stand as their crowning achievement.


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