Thursday, December 13, 2012

Top 5: Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band


For today's post, I thought I'd debut a new column or feature here @ The House.
It's my personal picks for the top 5 favorite songs on any album of my choosing. So it's kind of like an album review, but only lazier:)

Today's album pick is one of my personal favorites; the forever classic rock album, "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles.

For me, it's really hard to just pick out the top 5, since I really love and like them all. But for the purpose of this new feature, I'll put on my game and face and give it the old college try.

5).  Fixing A Hole/Lovely Rita

Yes, I know, I know; I'm already cheating by choosing two songs, albeit both of them tied for 5th place.
But really if I really had to pick a lower number to start from, these two would fit it.
I just really dig Lovely Rita because it's so Paul McCartney. It's poppy and trippy, and so well put together, even though it's a bit of a joke song. And I mean that in the nicest way. It's a silly song, but one that still sounds damn good to me every time I hear it. It has a very British humor vibe to it, with the crazy lyrics, but hey, they work.

Like-wise, "Fixing a hole" is also creatively written, with the idea that someone's head can have a hole in it big enough for rain to come in.

4). Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

LSD is probably more well-known, if nothing else for the title alone and the obvious drug reference attached to it.
Which the song's writer John Lennon vehemently denied, saying it was inspired by his then 4 year-old son Julian's drawing. And when asked who it was, Julian famously replied, "Lucy in the sky with diamonds."

I love the sheer imagination and imagery you get from the creative lyrics. And really, how can you not with stuff like these:
"Picture yourself in a boat on a river
With tangerine trees and marmalade skies
Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
A girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the sun in her eyes
And she's gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah

Follow her down to a bridge by a fountain
Where rocking horse people eat marshmallow pies
Everyone smiles as you drift past the flowers
That grow so incredibly high

Newspaper taxi's appear on the shore
Waiting to take you away

Climb in the back with your head in the clouds
And you're gone

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah

Picture yourself in a train in a station
With Plasticine porters with looking glass ties
Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile
The girl with kaleidoscope eyes

Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds
Lucy in the sky with diamonds, ah"

It gets really tough to single out the top , but I'm a trooper.

3). Within You/Without You

It was really hard to pick the top three, but since I made myself do it, I picked this one.
Written by George Harrison, you can tell right away what was influencing Harrison around this time period: drugs and Indian music. And when I say Indian music, I mean his life-long friend and mentor Ravi Shankar  who recently passed away earlier this week @ the ripe old age of 92.

I defy anyone to not want to light up a joint and just chill all day listening to this. It's just so spiritual and meditative to the soul, and we can all thank the "quiet Beatle", Sir George for that:)

2). She's Leaving Home

Yeah, this one's not so happy-go-lucky, and is a bit sad, depending on who you feel the most sorry for; the girl or her parents, but to me it's still a damn good solid song. Tackling the subject of youth and growing up, especially the kids that move out from under the security of their parents, and venture on into the uncertainty of the real world was an interesting choice by the Beatles. The song definitely tells a story, with both sides and perspectives being told. You get the child who wants to grow up and life her life, and the parents who just want their child to be safe and can't believe she's already leaving. 
Again, it's not the exactly the lightest of subject matters for a song, but it's realistic and so true in life. I still got emotional when hearing it, because really, haven't we all been there at time or another?

1). A Day In The Life

You may or may not agree with my other choices, and maybe not even with this one entirely, but there's no denying for me, what song is top dog in that album. Paul and John's masterpiece of a song, is divided up into 3 sections, but the way the song's composed and orchestrated, all of the parts flow together flawlessly.
As was typical in their songwriting partnership, either John or Paul would have the beginning and ending parts of a song written and laid out, with leaving or having the middle blank to be later be filled in. And such was the case with this song, with Paul coming up with the middle part that kind of sounds random when you think about it. But it works, and probably sounds even more epic when you're high or drunk, or tripping; much like the Beatles were for the creation of this album. An argument can be made to whether or not The Beatles invented Psychedelic Rock, but make no mistake, if not, they damn sure refined it.

Now some might ask, "So where's Sgt. Pepper's or With a little help from my friends on the list?" 
Again, personally for me, while I like those songs, I really like and love the others more. Especially when picking the top 5, I'm more inclined to leave those ones out of it. Yes, that might be deemed sacrilegious to many and most Beatles fans, and I can see why, but hey it's my list, so there:)

Feel free to leave your personal picks for top 5 songs from this album in the comments section. Don't worry, I won't judge. Promise;)

Speaking of the Beatles, I did stay up late to watch Paul McCartney perform in the 12/12/12 benefit concert for the Hurricane Sandy relief fund.

He was amazing as usual, even if he was a bit rough in some parts while performing his old songs. But I give the man some slack since he's in his early 70's. I highly doubt anybody else would sound as good that old compared to their younger days.

The big surprise for me though, was when Sir Paul performed with the remaining members of Nirvana.  Yes you heard me correctly, Nirvana. Well you know, minus Kurt for obvious reasons;)

I read rumors about it, and some people who were really skeptical about such a different clash of styles, and if McCartney was going to cover a Nirvana song. Well I'm happy to report Sir Paul proved the haters and doubters wrong in not only hanging with the band, but also rocking out with them as well. Seriously, listen to a better downloaded video of that moment, and you tell me he didn't fucking rock!

I was so proud:)

And I really liked that song too. And Paul seemed to be having so much fun, and with the strong, bombastic drumming of Dave Grohl, I think it made Sir Paul step up his game and really bring it, which he did.

If Kurt was looking down or up, I wonder if he thinking "Damn, should've held off on killing myself until I got a chance to jam with Paul McCartney. Fuck!"

Hey, I'm just typing out loud what some of you may already have though;)

Well that's me. Have a good weekend folks!


Randomnerd said...

I'm not the biggest Beatles fan. Not because I don't think they're a good band, or even a great one. I'm not going to argue that, I really think it has more to do with the fact that my brother played them ad nausea-um when I was at a formative musical stage in my life. It's also the reason that I can't listen to certain REM songs yet. But this is one album of theirs I do like. I might not agree with your order, precisely (I like "She's Leaving Home" quite a bit better than "A Day in the Life") but those are personal preferences and not really criticisms or your list. I do think The Benefit of Mr. Kite deserves a spot at Five and a half. But that's the problem with lists isn't it? Not enough room for all the favorites. I always liked the fact that it directly followed She's Leaving Home. It was like, we've just had this really serious discussion. Now let's get blitzed and say something silly. Because isn't that what we all did when we were 19 and 20?

Dale Bagwell said...

@Randomnerd I guess I can sympathize with your reasoning for not loving them as much as I do, due to your brother:)

I'm with you on wanting to include "For the benefit of Mr. Kite" on the list. Trust me, I really struggled with that decision not to tie up another spot, but I did for one, and didn't want to cheat myself again, so thus why I didn't include it. But that doesn't I don't dig that song either, especially the version of it on The Beatles' Love album.

That whole album was drug-influenced, so I don't hate on it for skipping around from fun to serious. Hey isn't that what most good/great albums do anyways?

The difference between most bands who are doped to the gills when making albums for me, is that it didn't hinder, but enhance their creativity. Unlike say when the Rolling Stones tried to do their own Sgt.Pepper's, with Her Satanic Majesty, and failed miserably. Although I did like "2000 light years from home" though.

Thanks for stopping by Random:)

Randomnerd said...

Always a pleasure, Mr. Bagwell. :)

Dan said...

It took me along time to get the Beatles. At first it was just Hey Jude and a few others. Then the radio station Manager walks in and says "Dan, 12-2 sundays is now the Beatles Brunch. Straight Beatles news songs and history, you'll pre-record each episode Thursday afternoons in Studio 3."

After that you kind of pick it up real fast :)

Nice post!

Dale Bagwell said...

@Dan: Damn dude! That's my dream job right there! I'd own that shit man!

How long did you have that stint?

Monday Memes: Hulkamania Edition

Here's some memes that really are Monday Memes , BROTHER! Finally got to watch Rob Zombie's horror flick ...