Friday, June 1, 2007

Billy Shears, Rita, Mr. Kite, Vera, Chuck, Dave, etc.

40 years ago today, The Beatles released to their adoring fans in the UK one of the best albums in what would eventually be considered The Summer of Love, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Everyone knows that it forever to complete, all about the cover design and all the other random facts about Pepper’s that makes it such a great album, although it's not my personal favorite.

But, more so than any other Beatles album, I can remember the first time I really listened to it. I was spending Christmas at my father and stepmother’s house in Saratoga Springs, NY and my Dad’s good friend from New Mexico, Ron, came to visit. On Christmas morning, my Dad had gotten me a copy of Pepper’s and I can’t remember what my initial reaction was. But later, when we were taking Ron back to the airport, I was listening to the album on a pair of headphones I had borrowed from my Dad, and I fell in love with it. I believe that song that interested me the most, oddly enough, was “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite.”

For quite some time after this, whenever anyone asked me my favorite Beatles album, I’d automatically say Pepper’s, which Rubber Soul has since taken that role. But Pepper’s, very similar to Blood on the Tracks or The Velvet Underground & Nico, remains an album with great sentimental value that also happens to be quite good.

Five Best…Songs from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

#5. “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”

#4. “Lovely Rita”

#3. “Getting Better”

#2. “Lovely Rita”

#1. “A Day in the Life”