Meet The Beatles again. How will you celebrate the Pepper anniversary?


Over the next few days and weeks we will hear a lot of accolades thrown on our favorite group, and their vast body of work.  It really is an important and exciting time to be a Beatles fan.  Not only are we celebrating a musical legacy, marked with various anniversaries and milestones, but we are celebrating something which has very much become a part of us.  It has become part of our personal fabric.  It is as if it has, in a small part, defined who we are. 

How will you celebrate Pepper’s anniversary? Sadly, many of us had hoped to celebrate the album’s momentous birthday with an announcements about remasters, but instead we must listen on our treasured vinyl albums, and poorly mastered CD’s.  Hopefully that will change.

Let us know in the comments how you plan on celebrating the release of arguably the greatest moment in rock and roll history.

Here’s what we’ve read.

The Beatles’ groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released 40 years ago in June, and the band broke up three years later. Yet the band still sells millions of albums a year—many to fans born in the 1990s.

How popular are the Beatles?
By many measures, more popular than ever. The band sells, on average, 280,000 albums a month worldwide, and according to trade publications, Beatles songs still receive more radio airplay than any other group. Last year, the Beatles topped the Billboard album chart with Love, an album of remixed versions of some of their most famous songs. In 2000, the Beatles released 1, a compilation of all 27 of the group’s No. 1 singles. That album sold 12 million copies in the first three weeks of its release—making it the fastest–selling album of all time—and reached No. 1 in 35 countries. Except for the 1980s, the Beatles have scored at least one No. 1 album in every decade since the 1960s. Beatlemania just won’t die.

Is that because of baby boomer nostalgia?Not entirely. Martin Lewis, who organizes Beatles conventions in the U.S. and Britain, says that half of attendees at the conventions are under 25. Beatles fans, it seems, are getting younger all the time. “The Beatles are the greatest band of all time,” declares Alex Vickers of Los Angeles, age 12. “I heard my parents’ Beatles tapes in the car on the way to school. I liked them right away.” Like many kids and young adults, Vickers seems to sense that every pop band since the Beatles is, in some way, an imitation. Young people are buying Beatles CDs today, says Mark Shipper, author of the Beatles–themed novel Paperback Writer, because “they want to see the original model, instead of the endless watered–down versions on MTV.” The Beatles, agrees Bill Flanagan, senior vice president at MTV Networks, established “the iconography for all future rock bands.”

What made the band so distinctive?
It started with incredibly catchy tunes. But that alone doesn’t explain the Beatles phenomenon. As individuals, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr were good, but not great musicians; after the band broke up, none of them even approximated their earlier success. Collectively, though, their four distinct personalities produced something extraordinary. “Together they had this magical, almost nuclear fission,” Beatles producer George Martin says. The result a playful, questing attitude that, when communicated through music that changed with each album, tapped into a deep yearning for something fresh, vibrant, and liberating. That yearning, apparently, was not limited to their original audience, the boomers. “There’s something about the Beatles that for all of us keys into something about childhood and youthful aspirations,” says Judson Knight, author of Abbey Road to Zapple Records: A Beatles Encyclopedia. That could help explain why the Beatles’ sound doesn’t seem dated, like most music from the 1960s. Even their earliest hits somehow still sound original and fresh.
What else could account for this?
Cultural critic Charles Paul Freund thinks Beatles music endures because it drew on so many older and varied sources. The Beatles mixed established genres—rockabilly, rhythm and blues, and even 1930s music–hall tunes—into something entirely new and distinctive. By not adhering to the musical conventions of their time, Freund theorizes, the Beatles created something timeless. He also credits the Beatles’ skill as narrators. “With the release of Revolver in 1966,” Freund writes, “the Beatles began to transform themselves from teen idols into storytellers.” The pinnacle of this transformation may be “Eleanor Rigby,” in which McCartney’s vocals are backed by a string quartet to tell what Freund calls “a Brontë novel in miniature.”
Will Beatlemania ever die?
Not if the music industry can help it. When 1 was released in 2000, Capitol Records, the Beatles’ U.S. distributor, embarked on a strategy expressly designed to win younger listeners. It promoted the album heavily in family–oriented stores such as Wal–Mart, and it ran ads on such youth–geared cable networks as Nickelodeon. “It was our objective to reach a younger demographic, and not just people who watched the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in the ’60s,” says Capitol president Ray Lott. To mark the occasion of the 40–year anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’son June 1, current chart–toppers Oasis, The Killers, and the Kaiser Chiefs, among others, are all recording cover versions of the album’s songs for a BBC special. And a recent deal between Apple Inc. and the Beatles’ record company, EMI, could lead to a new surge in sales.
What does that deal accomplish?
It eventually will make Beatles songs legally available for downloading onto MP3 players, through iTunes. And since download sales are now included in the Billboard tabulations, the Beatles could very well challenge the astounding mark they set in April 1964, when the top five slots on Billboard’s singles chart were occupied by, in descending order, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “Please Please Me.” No performers before or since have matched that clean sweep, but more than four decades after they took America by storm, the Beatles may do it again.
You say you want a revolution
Rolling Stone magazine in 2003 named Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band the greatest album of all time. While that’s debatable, it’s widely acknowledged that Sgt. Pepper’s is rock’s most influential album. Instead of being a collection of one or two hit singles padded with filler, Sgt. Pepper’s had a unifying concept—an imaginary concert by the Beatles’ alter egos. Sgt. Pepper’s was also one of the first rock albums to take full advantage of multitrack recording techniques, by which discrete parts are layered on top of one another to create a depth of sound unobtainable in live performance. It was also the first album in which songs flowed into one another rather than being separated by a few seconds of silence, and the first album whose lyrics were reprinted on the record jacket. But all those firsts don’t capture the album’s impact on listeners. Critic Langdon Winner recalls driving cross–country right after it was released: “In each city where I stopped for gas or food—Laramie, Ogallala, Moline, South Bend—the melodies [from Sgt. Pepper’s] wafted in from some far–off transistor or portable hi–fi,” Winner writes. “It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever heard.

Source: The Week Magazine


25 Responses

  1. i completely agree with Judson Knight’s comment!teenagers loving the Beatles because they “told”in their songs about feelings,emotions,fears,worries etc that belonged at those times to four young boys and now is belonging to every young person!everyone can feel hiself or herself,like John felt himself,like Paul felt himself etc.the Beatles songs are everygreen because their message is always young!for this anniversary i’ll watchin the film:”sgt.Pepper(….)” with the soundtrack (sung by many artistsincluded the BeeGees)of all songs of this album,and theni i’ll listening “sgt.Pepper’s lonely hearts club band (but original version not made it by Oasis or somebody else!!!) maybe,about 100.000 times in a day! maybe i will become deaf but i ‘ll could tell one day :”…..i celebrated sgt.Pepper fourtieth anniversary!!!”

  2. Looks like no matter how we celebrate the 40th anniversary, it will be more than Apple will do…

  3. A little “celebration” of my own.
    Looks like we have to wait another 10 years for a decent EMI/Apple celebration
    ….will there be any Beatles left alive to witness it?

  4. for MP3J:LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!that’s very very very funny,crazy,and idon’t know what other kind of adjective could defining your site!but do you really have a group???what is the funniest thing is that in every Beatles song you put the word:”care”!that’s really original!good work,really good!congratulations!!! 🙂

  5. Yes, I am one of those teenage Beatle fans (13) and I heard about the 40th anniversary of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. I was at the store looking at CD’s and I saw the CD for it, since I didn’t have Sgt. Pepper’s CD yet, I bought it.
    When I got home I listened to it from beggining to end. I loved it. The background on my computer is currently the album cover! I got my best friend to listen to the Beatles, she didn’t want to at first but now she loves them. I can’t wait to show her this Cd.
    To celebrate the anniversary, I’m going to watch the special on BBC and listen to the album from beggining to end again. I live in the U.S. so I’m wondering if I should celebrate n June 1st or 2nd… I like this album a lot.

  6. sorry, I said 13, I meant 12…

  7. click on my name 4 my myspace

  8. honestly, apple needs to do something.

    and no, beatlemania will never die. as long as im alive it wont. and as long as there is always at least one person as in love as we are, then of course it will never die.

    but to celebrate…ill be taking a physics exam 😦




  9. and i think im celebrating JUNE 1st AND 2nd.

    and i will be watching teh BBC SPECIAL.

    im sooo exciteddd

  10. june will be month for celebrating.. ” SGT. PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND” 6-1-67, “SOMETIME IN NEWYORK CITY” 6-12-72, “SOMEWHERE IN ENGLAND ” 6-1-81, “OLD WAVE” 6-16-83, “FLOWERS IN THE DIRT” 6-5-89, ” VERTICAL MAN” 6-16-98, “CHOOSE LOVE ” 6-07-05

  11. To Ulla……
    It’s not a real band of course, just Beatles mashed up with Ramones.
    If you liked that…go here… for more Beatley mash-ups.
    ….and then come and say hi here! 🙂

  12. for MP3J: 🙂 nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!you are really incredible!!!!you have mixed for example the Beatles with the SEx Pistols!!!!that’s really original!i liked:”anarchy in the rain”,”the psicho murder of Eleanor Rigby”,and “you’ve got to hide yourself down”…..or somethin’like that!!!P.S.i’m sorry,but i’ve tried to enter in that blog you written me above ,but it says me that my username and password are wrong!anyway,never mind!i hope we’ll writing soon!see you!

  13. Ulla… me, ill explain the process.

  14. BEATLEMANIA WILL NEVER DIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. My brief but sincere wish for the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s…

    It was 40 years ago today
    That the Beatles taught the world to play

    It was 20 when they sang the song
    Can you believe that now it’s twice as long?

    So let me just announce to you
    Paul and Ringo have both made it through
    From Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Baaaaand…

    Russ DiBella

  16. i drank a few cold ones and danced in the rain. then as i was drying off i put on sgt. pepper. it still holds up so well. me and sgt. pepper both turn 40, but sgt. pepper holds up better.

  17. for awc1967:oh,don’t care about time is passing by,boy!just feeling yourself like in every way you want!and i think you are still young cause you’re listening evergreen music! so,don’t you worry!stay up!!!! 😉

  18. for awc1967: and remember,as John said:”LIFE BEGINS AT FORTY”!!!! NOTE:(he said always this,but the tragic thing was that he died just at forty!!!,really terrible!!!)

  19. Ya, John’s death was terrible…

  20. john’s death was the most detrimental thing to our world, not just terrible.

  21. for Alex:ithink a piece of our heart is gone with him,when he’s dead!i think there’s no life without John!

  22. there have been many great artists who have left, and we still cannot get over them…. the ones i still hold onto are…elvis presley…jim morrison….john lennon….george harrison….. and though he’s not a musician ..don knotts { barney fife}……..we still have paul and ringo……..heaven must be rockin tonight…….

  23. for awc1967:YESSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!there will be a show tonight at the most famous heavenly Albert hall!!! on stage there will be George playing sitar,Jimi (Hendrix) playing bass guitar,Bob (Marley) playing guitar,and who will singing will be Elvis,Kurt(Cobain),Jim,and our so much loved JOHNNY!!!!! doesn’t matter about what kind of music you’ll listening,because everybody there,”hope you will enjoy the show” and surely “a splendid time ,is guaranteed for all”!!!(i’m already travelling with my fantasy!do you?)

  24. for awc1967:and there will be some special guest star:Freddie(Mercury),James(Brown),Frank(Sinatra),and who will playing the trompet will be the unforgettable “satchmo”(Louis Armstrong)!and all the singers will sing” hey,what did you kill Bungalow Bill?”;-)

  25. so right ulla…..

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