Friday 2 June 2017

Fifty Years On...

So, here we are, a full half century on from the making of the Beatles' album Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The BBC is celebrating the anniversary on a grand scale, as you'd expect - it's 'iconic' and obvious, there's lots to be said about it, many people love and revere it and, yes, it's a very fine album. But is it the best ever, as many still claim? Was it the best Beatles album? (I certainly found Rubber Soul more exciting at the time.) Was it even the best album of 1967?
 Bryan, for one, thinks not, nominating John Wesley Harding and The Velvet Underground & Nico as better choices. Quite right too, I'd say - and 1967 was also the year of Songs of Leonard Cohen, Nico's Chelsea Girl, Tim Buckley's Goodbye and Hello, the Byrds' Younger than Yesterday (not to mention their first Greatest Hits album - one of the greatest Greatests), Captain Beefheart's Safe as Milk, Scott Walker's first solo album and the Grateful Dead's eponymous debut. Does that amount to a great year? Not as great as 1966, I'd say (see Best Year Ever?). And we had to wait until 1968 for one of the three greatest albums ever made - Van Morrison's Astral Weeks. The other two? Well, I'd say Pet Sounds and Blonde on Blonde, both from 1966. Whatever, those were surely golden years, all three of them - and probably 1969 too...


  1. Ah, yes ... Safe as Milk, with guitar work by the still amazing Ry Cooder.

  2. Not sure I could listen to it now, mind...

  3. I doubt that Cooder could listen to it now. Last I read, he was touring with Ricky Skaggs!