Cirque de Soleil’s “Love” at the Mirage

By |2020-09-10T10:58:03-07:00June 30, 2020|Uncategorized|

Back on March 7, my husband and I saw Cirque de Soleil's Beatles-themed show Love at the Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas. I've been meaning to write this post for a while now, but the way things snapped shut right after that trip due to covid-19 has made it hard to figure out what to say about the experience. Please bear with this somewhat rambling account. I'd wanted to see the show for quite a while, and my husband proposed that we finally just go to Las Vegas for a weekend. We could combine seeing Love with catching up with [...]

Getting Better (Take 1)

By |2019-09-23T14:23:14-07:00September 23, 2019|Uncategorized|

A quick check-in with two goodies from the Pepper Super Deluxe Edition. Ooh, Take 1! I love how HEAVY the heavy part is, and how bright and optimistic the pianet is. Nobody did dynamic range like the Beatles. You can see how easily they could've done "heavy" rock, if the mood had struck. I've always felt that a lot of what sounds light or poppy about The Beatles' later stuff is simply their polishing process in the studio. "Penny Lane"-era Macca was apparently looking for a very "clean" sound; but I love this dirtier one, too. And Take 12 below shows [...]

Sgt Pepper Versus Revolver

By |2019-09-22T22:38:45-07:00September 22, 2019|Uncategorized|

Friend Stephen Kroninger sent me this list of the Beatles best albums today; not surprisingly, Revolver edged out Sgt. Pepper (with Abbey Road at #2!). This led to some interesting thoughts regarding Sgt Pepper versus Revolver, which I wanted to share. I've written about my love for Pepper many times before (probably most lucidly here), and Nancy has written nicely here. It's not as though the album needs defenders. Or does it? For the record (ha), I definitely prefer Pepper; I listen to it more frequently, think it's more interesting, and feel it is—decisively—a greater artistic achievement. I also think the songs [...]

Critic Amanda Marcotte: Sgt. Pepper’s made rock “music for men”

By |2020-09-10T11:22:31-07:00June 1, 2017|Uncategorized|

Amanda Marcotte, critic and politics writer for Salon. Yeah, no surprise that the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's has everybody out there opining. But I find Amanda Marcotte's take in Salon worth calling out, if only to say that as someone who considers herself a feminist I'm thoroughly tired of this kind of facile, oversimplified finger-pointing. Her claim that Sgt. Pepper's "was the point when rock stopped being the music of girls and started being the music of men" is potentially defensible. Certainly the critical reception the album received made it clear that popular music could be considered serious art. If Marcotte stuck to analyzing what critics at the time said about the [...]

Critic Richard Goldstein’s 1967 pan of Sgt. Pepper

By |2017-05-22T13:23:45-07:00May 22, 2017|Uncategorized|

Richard Goldstein, back in the day. The Washington Post has published this intriguing piece about how a 22-year-old critic came to write a negative review of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the New York Times when the album was originally released. Richard Goldstein, the critic in question, has the complete review on his website: you can read it here. Although he was a young freelancer at the time, Goldstein was an important figure in 1960's music criticism. Robert Christgau says that Goldstein "invented rock criticism. He was the first rock critic. I mean, it turns out Paul Williams was publishing his [...]

Sgt Pepper and Psychedelic Utopianism

By |2016-05-03T11:04:41-07:00May 3, 2016|Uncategorized|

"Did you hear that, lads? It's...HISTORY" In a comment on Starostin's latest review of Sgt. Pepper, Dullblogger Karen wrote the following: Part of the charm of this album, as it relates to the construction of an alternate reality, is that it was borne of out a felt need. It wasn’t just conceptual; it was an “only if” type of reaction to the group’s growing disenchantment with their own fame. No other group had ever done that, and with the exception of Prince (who changed his name a few times for the same reason) no-one else has done it since. This [...]

Starostin re-reviews Sgt. Pepper

By |2016-05-02T15:09:50-07:00May 2, 2016|Uncategorized|

Online reviewer George Starostin has just posted another review of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, this time as part of his working down the list of the RateYourMusic site's "Top Albums of All Time" list. (Pepper is currently at #18). I love the whole review, but here are a couple of my favorite song-by-song comments: ʻLovely Ritaʼ - oh, that triumphant cry of "RITA!" leading into the piano solo break. It's one of McCartney's most Pythonesque numbers ever, a hilarious send-up of, let's say, "traditional British values", and the exuberant piano chords of the break are the climactic peak. Although the [...]

Hitler on Sgt. Pepper

By |2015-09-12T14:24:27-07:00September 12, 2015|Uncategorized|

We've discussed peak Brian Wilson versus peak Beatles before, but you gotta admire the guy's passion. Now, clearly this is unfair. As I've said many times before, the scale of an LP can only be measured by examining its every dimension -- packaging, conception and historical/industry impact do count -- not just in terms of songwriting and performance. If you want to know the difference between Sgt. Pepper and Pet Sounds, see how SMiLE is different; Brian Wilson saw the improvements that "mere McCartney" and his own Wrecking Crew had wrought. * * * I've been noticing a lot of site [...]

Keith Richards on Sgt. Pepper

By |2015-08-09T22:49:21-07:00August 8, 2015|Uncategorized|

EMi studios in 1966; the Beatles, working on "Revolver," get a visit from Mick and Keith. NANCY CARR * That headline about Keith Richards calling Sgt. Pepper's "rubbish" in an Esquire interview -- I've finally seen it enough times to post about it. I'm mostly inclined to give Richards' opinion of the album the big shrug. Some people are going to prefer the Beatles, others are going to prefer the Stones, and that's how it's going to remain. But here's the relevant quote, and a few observations about it. [Note: Scott Raab is the interviewer; one of the first things he says [...]

The Fab Five: My Top 5 Beatles Albums

By |2015-04-26T19:10:32-07:00April 26, 2015|Uncategorized|

By Jack Cornes, Guest Dullblogger  •  I should just add before I run through this list that the Beatles were genial from their origin to the day they disbanded. Every album they made is magical, sensual and transforming. I adore all of them. The strange thing with the Beatles is that they were and are so unique that they can’t be described; they exist within the heavens of the musical dynasty. These are my five favourite albums that make these four lads from Liverpool more than just musicians but something quite addictively beautiful. 5. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band I can [...]

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