I had one of those rare days when I found myself alone in the house all day, so I decided that I would do something that I hadn’t done for quite a while, opening the cabinet door I flicked through the albums, suddenly one album stuck out like a sore thumb, it was called.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
I have most of my treasured music backed up onto CD but when it comes to real listening pleasure there is nothing quite like taking out that precious jet black vinyl disc from its sleeve making sure I only hold it on the edge between my fingers, the shiny reflection, mirroring my face and in turn making me shine, let’s face it when one shines ones inner light shines brighter.
I placed the flat circular disc onto my turntable set it up to the first track, Oh that sound when the stylus hits the vinyl, you don't get that with a CD. I poured myself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc (Did you know that The Latin for vinyl is vinum meaning wine) and so began a journey of pure unadulterated ecstasy.
Track one side one "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They've been going in and out of style
But they're guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The act you've known for all these years
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles wanted to cut an album about a fictitious band with fictitious characters for each band members.
I followed track after track, from the melancholy song from “Billy Shears (Ringo) “With a Little Help from My Friends” to the psychedelic "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (a lot of people at the time thought the title had a hidden connotation namely LSD, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, anyway I was quite happy with my glass of wine, that’s as far down the drug road I am willing to go.
Moving onto the heartening "Getting Better" followed by "Fixing a Hole" so clever those words
“I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go”
And as with all good stories you should always introduce along with the happy-go-lucky a little sadness to bring the reader (listener) to their senses. So with the expertise the Beatles were so well known for, you are suddenly brought down to earth with the sad saga of "She's Leaving Home" after which side one ends with a taster for side two "Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!"
I quickly slurped my glass dry and turned the disc over, poured another glass of the clear crystal nectar and sat back in enthusiastic anticipation. I wasn’t disappointed the reverberations of the sitar, transporting me onto a transcendent plane "Within You without You" hit me and I was on a magic carpet.
When you've seen beyond yourself-then you may find, peace of mind,
Is waiting there and the time will come when you see
We’re all one, and life flows on within you and without you.
The track is recorded with instruments such as, sitar and acoustic guitar; the other instruments included tabla, dilruba, swarmandel, and tambura the lyrics have stayed with me all my life.
I was soon awakened and brought right back home with "When I'm Sixty-Four" I can remember playing this track on my 64th birthday, little thinking that I would wish I was 64 once again, however I digress back to the music.
The next track is a lively number from the master Paul McCartney with his love story of a meter maid entitled "Lovely Rita"
Standing by a parking meter,
When I caught a glimpse of Rita,
Filling in a ticket in her little white book.
In a cap she looked much older,
And the bag across her shoulder
Made her look a little like a military man.
Roused by the next rendition "Good Morning Good Morning" followed by a repeat of the title track "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. the lryrics lead you to believe its the last track, than Wham! the” Fabulous Four” hit us with the lamenting lyrics of my all-time favourite "A Day in the Life"
Do you remember turning up the volume to see just how long that last cord would sound for?
No wonder in 1968 this album won.
Album of the Year
Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts
Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical
Best Contemporary Album
It made number one in the albums charts in Australia, Norway, The UK and the US Billboard 200, the album entered the UK Albums Chart on 3 June 1967 and remained there for a total of 201 weeks, that's nearly four flipping years. In the US the album stayed in the Billboard 200 chart for 175 weeks.
It remained at number one in the US for a total of 15 straight weeks.The album sold more than 32 million worldwide.
I took my treasured album off its turntable and lovingly placed it back into its sleeve. What a wonderful voyage of unadulterated pleasure that was and I thought I just had to share it with you.