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Oh Look Out! Part 8, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
by John T. Marck

Truly a Beatles' masterpiece, we take a look in Part 8 at Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, released on June 1, 1967. Its influence came from The Beach Boy's album "Pet Sounds." As Paul McCartney said, "the album just flipped me." Although The Beach Boys were a good band, and "Pet Sounds," I believe is their best effort and a great album, there is no comparison to me between the two. What is he main difference you may ask? Simply stated, The Beatles.

 

 

 

Oh Look out! Songs and Albums of The Beatles

Part 8

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

 

"A Crowd of People Turned Away, but I Just had to Look, Having Read the Book..."

If there ever was a time that I could have attended a Beatles recording session, this would have been the one (although actually any would have been great). The brainchild of Paul McCartney, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was devised as if the Beatles were in fact that band, Sgt. Pepper. In the opening "act," Paul wanted this fictitious band to have the typical sounds, that is the musicians warming up, sounds of the audience settling in, followed by laughter and applause. Although an absolute recording masterpiece, Sgt. Pepper did have a few "firsts." It was the first time that an album had the entire printed lyrics on the album sleeve; the first time a "gatefold" sleeve design was used; the first to have something other than a plain inner bag, where the first pressing came in a sort of red designed psychedelic sleeve; and came with cardboard cut-outs of a moustache, picture card, stripes, badges and a stand up. Additionally, originally, it was intended to come with badges and pencils, but this was halted as EMI said that it caused too many marketing problems.

Sgt. Pepper, on the vinyl version, as it was originally released was famous as the sequence of songs is two continuous sides of music, without any pauses. The Beatles also intended that this sequence of songs be different than they eventually were released. Originally, Side A on the vinyl was to have Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; With A Little Help From My Friends; Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!; Fixing A Hole; Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds; Getter Better, and She's Leaving Home. However, this order had to be altered because the vinyl could not accommodate the combined length of these songs. The sequence was therefore then changed to what appears in the song sequence below, on both the vinyl and the CD versions. Had CD's been available in 1967, the album could have been delivered as the Beatles intended. I sometimes wonder why EMI/Capitol Records does not reissue Sgt. Pepper with the song sequence as intended. Maybe one day, but on the other hand, why fool around with such a classic!

The Beatles used a ton of trickery in the studio over the years, with very innovative recordings. On Pepper, besides the many sound effects throughout, you'll find the forty-second crashing piano chord after the last track, A Day in the Life, followed by what is a 15-kilocycle tone, placed there by John Lennon to "especially annoy your dog." This was followed by several seconds of nonsense talking by the Beatles that was recorded, then cut into several pieces of tape, then stuck back together to form these sounds. On the vinyl album, many people did not hear these sounds, as with the old turntables, the arm would return before these sounds could be heard, as this track was so far at the end, the arm would reject before this part was heard. However, on the CD version, these sounds can be clearly heard. Another first was the use of a 40-piece orchestra, that was recorded on a four-track system, and dubbed to sound as through a 160-piece orchestra was used.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band took about 135 days to record, commencing on December 6, 1966 with the song When I'm Sixty-Four and ending on April 21, 1967 after recording the final cut of A Day In The Life. These 135 days were easily the most creative for the Beatles and probably the most creative in rock history. The cover of Sgt. Pepper is unique in itself, containing cardboard 86-cut-outs depicting images of famous people, wax models of Paul, John, George and Ringo, and other objects such as a velvet snake, television, stone figures, a trophy, an Indian doll, a Hookah, Tuba, and more. When looking at the cover, you will see two larger spaces along the top row. The first is between the image of Edgar Allen Poe (8th from left) and after The Vargas Girl (11th from left). The first gap was intended, the second was not. After the Vargas Girl was supposed to be the image of Leo Gorcey, an actor who was one of the Bowery Boys. However, he requested a fee to use his image, so it was painted out. Also, the image of Adolph Hitler was originally to be included, but was nixed. The cover is MC Productions and The Apple, and was staged by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, and photographed by Michael Cooper. The wax figures of the Beatles are courtesy of Madame Tussauds. Listed below are the tracks in the order they were released on the CD version.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, on February 1 & 2 and March 3 & 6, 1967. The album version is mixed from take ten. By the summer of 1967, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, on June 2, unquestionably the Beatles greatest album ever. It was the brainchild of Paul, and took more than six months to complete. John, Paul and George contributed its songs, but in a more simple sense, they conceived all the songs from ideas and things in everyday life.

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 know for all these years, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, we hope you will enjoy the show

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, sit back and let the evening go

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

It's wonderful to be here, it's certainly a thrill, you're such a lovely audience, we'd like to take you home with us

We'd love to take you home, I don't really want to stop the show, but I thought you might like to know,

that the singers going to sing a some, and he wants you all the sing along

So may I introduce to you, the one and only Billy Shears , Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

With A Little Help Of My Friends

Lennon/McCartney -Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, March 29 & 30, 1967.Original Title: Bad Finger Boogie.The album version was mixed from take 11.

What would you think if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and walk out on me

Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song, and I'll try not to sing out of key

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends, mm, I get high with a little help from my friends

Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends, what do I do when my love is away, does it worry you to be alone?

How do I feel by the end of the day, are you sad because you're on your own

No, I get by with a little help from my friends, mm, I get high with a little help from my friends

Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends, do you need anybody, I need somebody to love

Could it be anybody, I want somebody to love

Would you believe in a love at first sight; yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time

What do you see when you turn out the light, I can't tell you but I know it's mine

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends, mm, I get high with a little help from my friends

Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends, do you need anybody, I just need someone to love

Could it be anybody, I want somebody to love, oh, I get by with a little help from my friends Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends, mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Yes I get by with a little help from my friends, with a little help from my friends

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, March 1 & 2, 1967. The album version was mixed from take 8.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, long thought to be about an LSD trip, was written by Lennon taken from an idea he got from his son Julian. Julian, a young boy, came home one day with a painting he had done at school of one of his classmates named Lucy O'Donnell. In explaining the painting to his father, he described it as Lucy, in the sky with diamonds, and the song was born.

Picture yourself on a boat in 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 taxies appear on the shores, 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

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

Getting Better

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, March 9, 10, 21 & 23, 1967. The album version is mixed from take #15. The phrase, "It's Getting Better All The Time," first came from a drummer named Jimmy Nichol who sat in for Ringo in June 1964, when Ringo was in the hospital having his tonsils removed. During this time The Beatles would ask Jimmy how he was getting along, and he would reply, "it's getting better." Upon writing songs for Sgt. Pepper, Paul was out walking one day with Hunter Davis, and it was the first nice spring day, and Paul said to Davis that the weather was getting better all the time, reflecting back on this phrase first said by Nichol.

It's getting better all the time, I used to get mad at my school, the teachers that taught me weren't cool

You're holding me down, burning me round, filling me up with the rules

I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time

I have to admit it's getting better, it's getting better, since you've been mine

Me used to be angry young man, me hiding me head in the sand

You gave me the word, I finally heard, I'm doing the best that I can,

I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time

I have to admit it's getting better, it's getting better, since you've been mine, getting so much better all the time It's getting better all the time, better, better, better, it's getting better all the time, better, better, better

I used to be cruel to my woman I beat her, and kept her apart from the things that she loved

Man, I was mean but I'm changing my scene, and I'm doing the best that I can

I've got to admit it's getting better, a little better all the time

Yes, admit it's getting better, it's getting better since you've been mine

Getting so much better all the time, it's getting better all the time, better, better, better

It's getting better all the time, better, better, better, getting so much better all the time

Fixing A Hole

Recorded at Regent Sound Studio, London, on February 9 & 21, 1967.The album version is mixed from take 3.

Fixing A Hole, another believed to be about drugs, was really about a house that Paul bought in Scotland called High Park near the town of Campbeltown. This property, containing 400 acres had a house in very poor condition. Paul noticed the condition and a hole in the roof where the rain came in, and thus the song was conceived.

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering, where it will go

I'm filling the cracks that ran though the door, and kept my mind from wandering, where it will go

And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right, where I belong I'm right, where I belong

See the people standing there, who disagree and never win and wonder why they don't get in my door

I'm painting my room in a colorful way, and when my mind is wandering there I will go

And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong I'm right, where I belong I'm right, where I belong

Silly people run around, they worry me, and never ask me why they don't get past my door

I'm taking my time for a number of things, that weren't important yesterday, and I still go

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering, where it will go, where it will go

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering, where it will go

She's Leaving Home

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, March 17 & 20, 1967.The album version is mixed from take 9.

Earlier in the year 1967, Paul came across a newspaper article in the Daily Mail about a seventeen-year-old girl who had been missing for weeks. The article quoted her father saying "I can't imagine why she should run away, she has everything here." Based on this article, Paul wrote She's Leaving Home.

Wednesday morning at five o'clock as the day begins

Silently closing her bedroom door, leaving the note that she hoped would say more

She goes downstairs to the kitchen, clutching her handkerchief,

Quietly turning the back door key, stepping outside she is free

She (we gave her most of our lives), is leaving (sacrificed most of our lives)

home (we gave her everything money could buy),

She's leaving home after living alone for so many years (bye bye)

Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown

Picks up the letter that's lying there, standing alone at the top of the stairs

She breaks down and cries to her husband daddy our baby's gone

Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly, how could she do this to me?

She (We never thought of ourselves), is leaving (never a thought for ourselves),

home (we struggled hard all our lives to get by)

She's leaving home after living alone for so many years (bye, bye)

Friday morning at nine o'clock she is far away

Waiting to keep the appointment she made, meeting a man from the motor trade

She (what did we do that was wrong),

is having (we didn't know it was wrong),

fun (fun is the one thing that money can't buy)

Something inside that was always denied for so many years

(bye, bye)

she's leaving home

(bye ,bye)

Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite

Recorded at Studio two, Abbey Road, February 17 & 20 and March 28, 29 & 31, 1967. The album version is mixed from take 9.

Somewhere along the way, John came across a poster, printed in 1843 that announced the appearance of a circus coming to town. They called it Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal, and boasted the "grandest night of the season," at Town Meadows, in the north of England. Directly written on this poster was "for the benefit of Mr. Kite," and featured Mr. J. Henderson, a well known Somerset. As a result, Lennon wrote Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite! All the characters in the song and the feats they would perform, came directly from this poster.

For the benefit of Mr. Kite, there will be a show tonight on trampoline

The Hendersons will all be there, late of Pablo Fanques'fair, what a scene

Over men and horses hoops and garters and lastly through a hogshead of real fire,

In this way Mr. K will challenge the world

The celebrated Mr. K performs his feats on Saturday at Bishopsgate

The Hendersons will dance and sing, as Mr. Kite flies through the ring, don't be late

Messers K. and H. assure the public their production will be second to none

And of course Henry the Horse dances the waltz

The band begins at ten to six when Mr. K performs his tricks without a sound

And Mr. H will demonstrate ten somersets he'll undertake on solid ground

Having been some days in preparation a splendid time is guaranteed for all, and tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill

Within You Without You - Harrison

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, March 15 & 22, and April 3 & 4, 1967. The album version is mixed from take 2.

During the recording of Sgt. Pepper, George Harrison, who had learned the sitar, studying under Ravi Shankar, and all The Beatles were spending time with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. George wrote Within You, Without You, which features these influences and the sitar. The first time the sitar was ever used in a popular song was on "Norwegian Wood..." from the album Rubber Soul.

We were talking, about the space between us all, and people who hide themselves

behind a wall of illusion, never glimpse the truth, then it's far too late, when they pass away

We were talking, about the love we all could share

When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love, with our love, we could save the world, if they only knew

Try to realize it's all within yourself, no one else can make you change

And to see you're really only very small, and life flows on within you and without you

We were talking about the love that's gone so cold, and the people who gain the world and lose their soul They don't know, they can't see, are you one of them?

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

When I'm Sixty-Four

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, December 6, 8, 20 & 21, 1966. The album version is mixed from take 4.

Paul wrote When I'm Sixty-Four as a tribute to his father and the music of the thirties, and actually composed the melody when he was only fifteen.

When I get older losing my hair, many years from now

Will you still be sending me a valentine, birthday greeting, bottle of wine

If I'd been out till quarter to three, would you lock the door,

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four,

You'll be older too, and if you say the word, I could stay with you

I could be handy mending a fuse, when your light have gone

You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings, go for a ride

Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four

Every summer we can rent a cottage on the Isle of Wight, if it's not too dear

We shall scrimp and save, grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line, stating point of view

Indicate precisely what you mean to say, yours sincerely wasting away

Give me your answer, fill in a form, mine forever more

Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four

Lovely Rita

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, February 23 & 24, and March 7 & 21, 1967.

The album version is mixed from take 11.

In 1967, England had just stated using meter maids to issue parking violation tickets, fashioned after the United States. Upon seeing them, Paul came up with the song Lovely Rita.

Lovely Rita meter maid, nothing can come between us, when it gets dark I tow your heart away

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

Lovely Rita meter maid, may I inquire discreetly, when are you free to take some tea with me

Took her out and tried to win her, had a laugh and over dinner, told her I would really like to see her again

Got the bill and Rita paid it, took her home and nearly made it, sitting on a sofa with a sister or two

Lovely Rita meter maid, where would I be without you, give us a wink and make me think of you

Lovely meter maid, Rita meter maid, oh, Lovely Rita meter, meter maid

Good Morning Good Morning

Recorded at Studio two, Abbey Road, February 8 & 16, and March 13, 28 & 29, 1967.

The album version is mixed from take 11.

As Sgt Pepper was the brainchild of Paul, and he dominated most of the album, not because he wanted to, but mainly because Lennon had become rather lazy as a songwriter. At this time John was not in the studio much, rather spending time at home, and getting his inspiration from things around him such as TV and newspapers. With prompting from Paul to contribute, John got the idea for "Good Morning, Good Morning," directly from the Kellogg's Corn Flakes television commercial. In describing the song, Lennon said that it was a song about having nothing to say, later describing it as "a piece of garbage." Originally the song sounded somewhat mundane until George Martin got hold of it and spiced up the backing vocals as well as added the animal sounds to the track's end. Good morning good morning, good morning, good morning, good morning, ah

Nothing to do to save his life, call his wife in, nothing say but what a day, how's your boy been

Nothing to do, it's up to you, I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.

Good morning, good morning, good morning ah, going to work don't want to go, feeling low down

Heading for home you start to roam, then you're in town

Everybody knows there's nothing doing, everything is closed, it's like a ruin

Everyone you see is half asleep, and you're on your own, you're in the street

After a while you start to smile, now you feel cool, then you decide to take a walk by the old school

Nothing has changed it's still the same, I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.

Good morning, good morning, good morning a

People running 'round it's five o'clock, Everywhere in town it's getting dark, everyone you see is full of life

It's time for tea and meet the wife, somebody needs to know the time, glad that I'm here

Watching the skirts you start to flirt, now you're in gear, go to a show you hope she goes

I've got nothing to say but it's O.K., good morning , good morning, good morning, good morning

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, April 1, 1967. The album version is mixed from take 9.

To finish the album, The Beatles needed something short, so George Martin suggested writing the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise), and the album was complete. It would be during the recording of Sgt. Pepper that McCartney met Linda Eastman, an American photographer, whom he married in 1969.

We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, we hope you have enjoyed the show

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, we're sorry but it's time to go

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, we'd like to thank you once again

Sgt. Pepper's one and only Lonely Heart's Club Band, it's getting very near the end

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band

A Day In The Life

Recorded at Studio Two, Abbey Road, January 19 & 20, and February 3, 10 & 22, 1967.

The album version is mixed from takes 6 and 7.

A Day In The Life , another Lennon composition, came mostly from several newspaper articles in the Daily Mail. Paul contributed to this song in the section, "Woke up, got out of bed..." from an unfinished song he had been working on. Rather than complete the song, it's short verse was added here. Lennon's inspiration for the line "he blew his mind out in a car," came from the death of their Irish friend, Tara Browne. In truth, Browne did not kill himself as the song implies, but rather Browne was killed in a car accident on December 18, 1966. He had been driving his Lotus Elan on Redcliffe Gardens when a Volkswagen pulled out in front of him, causing him to swerve his car, striking a parked van. Browne died on the way to the hospital. In writing the song, John reflected on this tragedy, yet the phrase, "blew his mind out in a car," was in his mind when he was writing the verse. The details of the accident, such as he did not notice the traffic lights as well as a crowd appeared, were made up by Lennon. Although considered a turn-on song referring to drugs, it actually was a turn-on song, to the truth in the world.

I read the news today oh, boy,

About a lucky man who made the grade

And though the news was rather sad, well I just had to laugh, I saw the photograph

He blew his mind out in a car,

He didn't notice that the lights had changed

A crowd of people stood and stared,

They'd seen his face before,

Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords

I saw a film today oh, boy,

The English army had just won the war

A crowd of people turned away,

But I just had to look, having read the book,

I love to turn you on.

Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head

Found my way downstairs and drank a cup, and looking up, I noticed I was late

Found my coat and grabbed my hat, made the bus in seconds flat

Found my way upstairs and had a smoke, somebody spoke and I went into a dream,

ah

I read the news today oh, boy,

Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire

And though the holes were rather small,

They had to count them all

Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall,

I'd love to turn you on

NOTE: All lyrics contained herein are Copyright 1967 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. The lyrics contained herein are for the sole use of reference for the readers of this article. All other uses are in violation of international copyright laws. This use for educational reference, falls under the "fair use" sections of U.S. copyright law. The same such reference applies to images/photos of album covers used herein.

Copyright John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author, or the registered copyright holders. Except as otherwise stated above, all information contained in this article, EXCEPT song titles, lyrics, and photographs, John T. Marck.

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