Tag Archive | Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

U is for Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

U is for Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.  I understand that I must justify the Beatles connection.  First, I have to admit that I’ve loved this song for a very long time for a couple of different reasons,  both of which directly relate to the Beatles catalog and are a part of the reason why I love their music so much.

  1. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is really two songs or more, in one, connected by a bridge.  The Beatles used this to great effect in both on both “A Day In The Life” and “Happiness Is A Warm Gun.”  Paul McCartney discusses this technique in his recent interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.  I discussed the interview here.  I’m fascinated by this technique.  I’m not sure whether it was Paul McCartney or John Lennon who first decided to try and combine songs, I’m just happy it worked.  The Beatles used a slightly different version of this technique on Abbey Road.  The entire second half of the album is a medley of snippets of songs.  It all blends together well.
  2. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” also makes extensive use of sound effects, such as a thunderstorm and an answering machine.  The Beatles did this well – and to great effect – on Sgt. Pepper, the song “Piggies,” among others.  This seemingly small point really does help the lyrics tell a true story.  It is the fact that most of the Beatles’ music tells a story that fascinates me as a writer.

Released on 1971’s Ram, “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1971.  Although not technically a Wings’ release, it is featured on several later Wings compilation albums.  It was the first #1 hit for Paul McCartney as a solo artist in the 1970s/1980s.  It is very easy to imagine Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey as a Beatles song.

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

S is for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/Strawberry Fields Forever

S is for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band/Strawberry Fields Forever.  Well, where do I even begin?  Sgt. Pepper is the Beatles album, the album period.  Today it is recognized as one of the most influential popular music albums ever made.  While I am not normally a fan of psychedelic rock, Sgt. Pepper is something else altogether.  It is widely considered one of the first examples of the concept album.  I do not know how a true music fan can listen to just parts of the album.  You have to listen to the entire thing.  Included below is the album in its entirety.

Released 1 June 1967 on Parlophone, it quickly influenced everything – and I mean everything – that came after it on both sides of the Atlantic.  To date it has sold 32 million copies worldwide.  Within days of the album’s release, Jimi Hendrix learned the title track and performed it live in front of an audience that included Paul McCartney, who was both flattered and impressed.

There is so more I could say about Sgt. Pepper.  It is already a huge part of my memories, both childhood and otherwise.  I don’t know where the inspiration comes from to write a song like “A Day In The Life.”  I’m just glad that it exists in this world.

As much as I could say about Sgt. Pepper, I felt I had to include “Strawberry Fields Forever” too.  Released with “Penny Lane” as a single February 1967, it one of John Lennon’s most autobiographical songs with the Beatles.  Strawberry Fields refers to a Salvation Army home for children around the corner from John Lennon’s childhood home in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool.  Both “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” were originally to be included on Sgt. Pepper.

Front cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Clu...

Front cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, “probably the most famous album cover in popular musical history”Ashplant Smyth 2001, p. 185. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Q is for Quality and Quantity/Her Majesty

Q is for Quality and Quantity.  No, it isn’t a long-lost Beatles track.  It refers to the two reasons why I believe the Beatles are still influencing pop music and pop culture at large, nearly 50 years on.  First off, almost all of the Beatles albums contain hit after hit after hit.  Each new album expanded on the last.  They didn’t simply rest on what they’d already accomplished.  They kept on innovating.  Check out the first track below.  It sounds like it came out of the 1980s.  Nope.  Off of Sgt. Pepper 1968.  While they kept on innovating, they also kept up the quality.  They had standards and really didn’t put their label on much filler.

Also, since I’m on Q, I couldn’t help but bring up Queen Elizabeth II.  They Beatles were children when she became queen in 1952.  I never fully understood why Paul felt it necessary to write and record this riff, originally intended for the medley on Abbey Road.  Well, it turns out, like many preteen/teenage boys, the Beatles appreciated a beautiful young woman.  It is so easy to forget Queen Elizabeth II was only in her 20s when she came to the throne.

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K is for Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey

K is for “Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey.”  One of the many covers off of Beatles for Sale, “Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey” demonstrates just how influenced the Beatles were by the blues, Little Richard, and the pioneers of rock and roll.  I have to admit, I just love this video.  You may not exactly know it yet, but Paul McCartney is my favorite Beatle.  This video demonstrates why.  It also helps explain why so many women, like myself, who are young enough to be the children or even grandchildren of the Beatles, still find them to be the sexiest band ever.

As hard as I tried, I couldn’t get through this challenge without bringing up just how damn cute they were.

F is for Fab Four/For No One

I was at a loss when it came to F and Fab Four.  The origins of the nickname are pretty dull.  It somehow cropped up in the UK in the years 1960-1963 when the Beatles were becoming famous, and yet still playing The Cavern Club in their hometown of Liverpool.  No great legendary Beatles’ story, unlike the naming of the band, or more accurately, the story John Lennon made up about the band name due to lack of interesting story, exists.  Just read about the man on the flaming pie here.  Paul McCartney later turned it into a song and an album, both much underrated in my opinion.

Anyway, due to lack of a good story behind the nickname, I’m going to present you with the Top 10 Reasons Why The Beatles Are Still Fab In 2012.  Here it goes:

10 – Both surviving Beatles are still out there active in the music industry.  Paul McCartney released Kisses On The Bottom in February 2012.  Ringo Starr is releasing his new album, Ringo 2012, later in the year.

9 – The Beatles do not rest on their success.  Much of their entire back catalog was remastered just in 2009.  Their music just keeps getting repackaged, remastered, remixed in a myriad of ways that effectively gets it in front of an entire new generation of fans.  It is enough to make old fans rather dizzy.  One of the best examples of this in recent years is the Cirque de Soleil show Love, which is not only inspired by the Beatles back catalog, but also features new incarnations of their songs.

8 – Much imitated, never duplicated.  No matter how hard people have tried, no one has come even close to matching the commercial, popular, and cultural success of the Beatles.  No one.  Not in nearly 50 years.  Below is one of the many great imitators, one that happened to be popular when I was in high school.

7 – Post-Beatles Superstardom.  While most people would think of John Lennon and Paul McCartney being the most successful post-Beatles, Ringo Starr and George Harrison also found success without the Beatles.  Here are some highlights from each.

John Lennon – Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)

Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed

George Harrison – Got My Mind Set On You

Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey) – Photograph

6 – Groundbreaking, 50 Years On.  The Beatles did it first and did it best.  That applies to such things as writing their own songs for the band, creation of the concept album with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and so much more.  In recent years that includes the entire Anthology project, creation of the Cirque de Soleil show Love, and the release of a new take on their final album, Let it Be, Let It Be Naked.  I don’t foresee it ending any time soon.

5 – The original rock music videos.  The Beatles released A Hard Day’s Night and Help! long before MTV made music videos commonplace.  There is much more to come on both Help! and A Hard Day’s Night.

4 – There is always more to discover.  The Beatles back catalog is staggering.  They had so many hits that genuinely great songs, like For No One, get overlooked.  As a result, there is always an opportunity to rediscover hidden gems, even in 2012.

3 – Drama.  The life of the Beatles hasn’t exactly been perfect since their break-up in 1970.  Failed marriages, jealousies, and tragedy are as much of the history of the Beatles as Sgt. Pepper or Abbey Road.  Unfortunately, it all continues today.  It’s too bad things weren’t resolved before John Lennon was gunned down in 1980.

2 – The Next Generation.  This week Paul McCartney’s son, thirty-something musician James McCartney stated that he’d like to form a band with the sons of John Lennon (Sean Lennon), George Harrison (Dhani Harrison), and Ringo Starr (Zak Starkey).  It could be great or horrid.  You decide.  Interesting concept to say the least.  All of the sons are accomplished musicians in their own right.

The Beatles 2.0: Paul McCartney’s Son Tries to Kill Music « The Life and Times of Nathan Badley…

Beatles sons consider forming new band

1 – And In The End …  The music.  The music still holds up.  I don’t see the Beatles’ music going anywhere for a very long time.

C is for Can’t Buy Me Love

Can’t Buy Me Love may not be my favorite Beatles song, but it is an important one.  The entire soundtrack – and movie – A Hard Day’s Night is classic.  The video below is just a fun, tiny taste of an entire movie of great music, fun antics, and classic comedy.

Can’t Buy Me Love


John Lennon/Paul McCartney

Can’t buy me love, love

Can’t buy me love

I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend
If it makes you feel all right
I’ll get you anything my friend
If it makes you feel all right
‘Cause I don’t care too much for money
For money can’t buy me love

I’ll give you all I’ve got to give
If you say you love me too
I may not have a lot to give
But what I’ve got I’ll give to you
I don’t care too much for money
For money can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love
Everybody tells me so
Can’t buy me love
No no no, no

Say you don’t need no diamond rings
And I’ll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of things
That money just can’t buy
I don’t care too much for money
Money can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love
Everybody tells me so
Can’t buy me love
No no no, no

Say you don’t need no diamond rings
And I’ll be satisfied
Tell me that you want the kind of things
That money just can’t buy
I don’t care too much for money
Money can’t buy me love

Can’t buy me love, love
Can’t buy me love, oh


The Beatles – A Hard Day’s Night Album Lyrics
1. You Can’t Do That** Lyrics
2. A Hard Day’s Night Lyrics
3. And I Love Her Lyrics
4. Any Time At All Lyrics
5. Can’t Buy Me Love Lyrics
6. I Should Have Known Better Lyrics
7. I’ll Be Back Lyrics
8. I’ll Cry Instead Lyrics
9. I’m Happy Just To Dance With You Lyrics
10. If I Fell Lyrics
11. Tell Me Why Lyrics
12. Things We Said Today Lyrics
13. When I Get Home Lyrics

The Beatles Lyrics provided by SongLyrics.com

Can’t Buy Me Love is also a classic 1980s teen movie, using the original Lennon/McCartney song.  I have to admit, as a very young child, I was a fan.  Check out 80s tech in the trailer below.

B is for Beatleology

Urban Dictionary:  beatleology

Beatleology:  Embracing Your Inner Beatle

The Beatles

The Paul McCartney FUNsite – macca-central.com

I know a little late with this post, but I wanted to make sure I got it right.  First, let me explain a little something about The Beatles.  It may be tempting for Gen X and Yers to disregard The Beatles as just another important ‘60s pop band, although an influential one.  Wrong.  There is so much more to The Beatles than meets the eye.  It is so easy for those of us born long after the band dissolved to take their heavy influence on pop culture for granted.  We shouldn’t.  We largely grew up in a pop culture shaped by The Beatles and everything around them.  They were among the first pop bands to write their own songs.  They also pioneered the concept album.  If you aren’t extremely familiar with the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, do yourself a favor and become familiar with it.  It is the original concept album.  And now for Beatleology…

There are a few definitions of Beatleology, check out the Urban Dictionary definition if you want to have some fun, but for the purposes of this post, we will consider it to be the study of anything and everything related to The Beatles.  There are thousands of books, websites, etc. dedicated to The Beatles as a band and as solo artists.  There are biographies, authorized and unauthorized, anthologies, books of photography, children’s books, and so much more.  It is impossible to keep tabs on all of the new information, much less read/listen to all of the new books, interviews, etc. produced each and every year.

After a while it gets to be a bit of a game.  Actually, if you really wanted to get into it, you could easily play a version of The 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon with anything relating to The Beatles, including music, movies, books, etc.  So, as a tribute to The Beatles’ massive influence on all aspects of pop culture on both sides of the Atlantic, I’ll leave you with a few items to explore.

–          Through their Apple Records venture, The Beatles helped launch the careers of James Taylor and Badfinger.  A few Badfinger songs sound as though they belong on a Beatles album!  See for yourself.

–          While The Beatles themselves did not play at Woodstock, Joe Cocker did play With A Little Help From My Friends at the festival.  He used the lyrics of Lennon/McCartney, but completely reinterpreted the music, making it completely his own.  It later became the theme song to popular 1980s sitcom The Wonder Years.  They used different parts of the Joe Cocker version of the song for the various opening credits to the series – with very different effects.

–      Paul McCartney supposedly saw Jimi Hendrix play in a London club a few days after the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Jimi Hendrix had already learned several of the songs on the album.

–          The creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groeing, is a huge Beatles fan.  Paul McCartney guest starred on the animated series more than once.  During his first appearance on the show, along with his late wife Linda McCartney, Lisa becomes a vegetarian.  As part of the stipulation for the McCartneys appearing on the show, Lisa is to remain a vegetarian for the rest of the series.  There are hundreds of references to the Beatles in The Simpsons.  My personal favorite is the huge Beatles collection of Homer’s frenemy – Ned Flanders!

–          Both George Harrison and Eric Clapton, friends, ended up marrying Patti Boyd.  Both Something and Layla were written for her.

–          Saturday Night Live producer Loren Michaels once jokingly offered Paul McCartney and John Lennon $1,000 each to reunite on the show.  They happened to be watching and seriously considered doing it as a stunt.

–          The American band Cheap Trick was heavily influenced by the Beatles, and even did their own remake of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 2009.  Cheap Trick influenced a generations of 90s alternative bands, many of which I grew up with, including The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Gin Blossoms, Foo Fighters, among many others.

–          While Yoko Ono popularly gets all of the credit for breaking up the band, a combination of things actually broke up The Beatles, including Paul McCartney’s desire to release a solo album and disagreement over financial management of the band.

–          The Beatles briefly considered reuniting shortly before John Lennon’s untimely death in December 1980.

I could go on indefinitely, but I won’t.  There is always something new to learn when it comes to The Beatles and pop culture.    The Beatles and macca-central.com offer tons of great information to get started.  While macca-central.com concentrates on Paul McCartney, there is tons of Beatles related information there as well.

For extra credit, watch the video below.  In this incredibly so-cheesy-its-good video from 1980, Paul McCartney parodies several people, including former band mates, musical influences, and even himself.  Name them!  By the way, the video only includes Paul, his wife Linda, and a Wings band mate or two.  The band name on the drum set is pretty priceless too.  I wonder how he convinced Linda to do this video!  Very funny.  No cheating.  There are discussions of this very topic in the comments section of YouTube.