Turn Off Ads?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 24

Thread: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

  1. #1
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,284

    It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Nice op-ed piece from the Washington Post today. It's hard to believe the Beatles Sgt. Pepper album is twice as old as how long they've "taught the band to play".



    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...053101848.html

    It Was 40 Years Ago Today

    By Daniel J. Levitin
    Friday, June 1, 2007; A15

    Yes, it's been 40 years exactly since Sgt. Pepper, having labored the previous 20 years teaching his band to play, arranged for its debut in full psychedelic regalia. He leveraged a little help from his friends, notably the vocalist Billy Shears and a riverboat owner named Lucy who had apparently made her fortune in the diamond business. Pepper realized that good music-making requires the expanding of horizons. A recent "trip" inspired him to incorporate tabla and sitar into the music. The band exhorted us to sit back and let the evening go so that they could turn us on, musically, lyrically, and blow our minds for the next several decades.

    It has been 45 years since Mitch Miller, head of A&R (artists and repertory) at Columbia Records, dismissed the Beatles as "the hula hoops of music." Will Beatles songs still be loved when baby boomers are 64? Will they inspire future generations? Or will their music die with those who became intoxicated by their wit and charisma during the mind-expanding '60s?

    A hundred years from now, musicologists say, Beatles songs will be so well known that every child will learn them as nursery rhymes, and most people won't know who wrote them. They will have become sufficiently entrenched in popular culture that it will seem as if they've always existed, like "Oh! Susanna," "This Land Is Your Land" and "Frère Jacques."

    Great songs seem as though they've always existed, that they weren't written by anyone. Figuring out why some songs and not others stick in our heads, and why we can enjoy certain songs across a lifetime, is the work not just of composers but also of psychologists and neuroscientists. Every culture has its own music, every music its own set of rules. Great songs activate deep-rooted neural networks in our brains that encode the rules and syntax of our culture's music. Through a lifetime of listening, we learn what is essentially a complex calculation of statistical probabilities (instantiated as neural firings) of what chord is likely to follow what chord and how melodies are formed.

    Skillful composers play with these expectations, alternately meeting and violating them in interesting ways. In my laboratory, we've found that listening to a familiar song that you like activates the same parts of the brain as eating chocolate, having sex or taking opiates. There really is a sex, drugs and rock-and-roll part of the brain: a network of neural structures including the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala. But no one song does this for everyone, and musical taste is both variable and subjective.

    Today the Beatles catalogue is loved cross-culturally -- the product of a six-year burst of creativity unparalleled in modern music. The Beatles incorporated classical elements into rock so seamlessly that it is easy to forget that string quartets and Bach-like countermelodies and bass lines (not to mention plagal cadences) did not always populate pop. Music changed more between 1963 and 1969 than it has in the 37 years since, with the Beatles among the architects of that change.

    Paul McCartney may be the closest thing our generation has produced to Franz Schubert -- a master of melody, writing tunes anyone can sing, songs that seem to have been there all along. Most people don't realize that "Ave Maria" and "Serenade" were written by Schubert (or that his "Moment Musical in F" so resembles "Martha My Dear"). McCartney writes with similar universality. His "Yesterday" has been recorded by more musicians than any other song in history. Its stepwise melody is deceptively complex, drawing from outside the diatonic scale so smoothly that anyone can sing it, yet few theorists can agree on exactly what it is that McCartney has done.

    The timelessness of such melodies was brought home to me by Les Boréades, a Quebec group that has recorded Beatles music on baroque instruments. The instruments give the sense that you're hearing Bach or Vivaldi, and for moments it's possible to forget that you're listening to Beatles songs. We're so used to hearing Beatles songs that for many of us they no longer hold any surprises. But when they're stripped of their '60s production and the personal and social associations we have with them, you can hear the intricate and beautiful interplay of rhythm, harmony and melody.

    On the bus recently the radio played "And I Love Her," and a Portuguese immigrant about my grandmother's age sang along with her eyes closed. How many people can hum even two bars of Beethoven's Fourth Symphony, or Mozart's 30th? I recently played 60 seconds of these to an audience of 700 -- including many professional musicians -- but not one person recognized them. Then I played a fraction of the opening "aah" of "Eleanor Rigby" and the single guitar chord that opens "A Hard Day's Night" -- and virtually everyone shouted the names.

    To a neuroscientist, the longevity of the Beatles can be explained by the fact that their music created subtle and rewarding schematic violations of popular musical forms, causing a symphony of neural firings from the cerebellum to the prefrontal cortex, joined by a chorus of the limbic system and an ostinato from the brainstem. To a musician, each hearing showcases nuances not heard before, details of arrangement and intricacy that reveal themselves across hundreds or thousands of performances and listenings. The act we've known for all these years is still in style, guaranteed to raise a smile, one hopes for generations to come. I have to admit, it's getting better all the time.

    Daniel J. Levitin, a former record producer, is a professor of psychology and music at McGill University in Montreal and the author of "This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession."

  2. Turn Off Ads?
  3. #2
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    16,599

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Say what?

    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  4. #3
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,284

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Well, he looks like he could use a little help from his friends there, no?

  5. #4
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    16,599

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by redsmetz View Post
    Well, he looks like he could use a little help from his friends there, no?
    Yep. I'm a big Beatles fan, too. The first thing I thought when I read that article was "what would Ringo say to all that?"

    A quick google search gave me the picture that I think best expresses what I think would be his reply.

    Actually, I think he'd follow up "say what?" with "I was just in it for the birds"
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  6. #5
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Mason, OH
    Posts
    12,374

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Funny, but I was at a school function a couple nights ago where they had a sax quintet play before the program. I recognized a few of the songs (Schubert, Scott Joplin, Sam Hazo) that people listened to without much response. But when they played "When I'm 64", everyone applauded.

    I remember my brother bringing Sgt. Peppers home from college and listening to it. It wasn't like "Help" or "Beatles '65". I must have listened to it 50 times over that weekend.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  7. #6
    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Piqua
    Posts
    4,429

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Still one of my all-time favorite albums. I sometimes wish I had been around at the time to appreciate what was being done - if I am not mistaken, this was probably one of the more anticipated albums in rock history - and this is something you simply do not see any more today. It would have been so much fun waiting to see what new sounds the guys could come up with - especially since they had been in hiding for almost a year after four years ('63-'66) which they released at least two new albums a year - including 7 in '64. The fans were hungry - and The Beatles fed them.
    I have a video called It Was 20 Years Ago Today..., released in '87, about the album. My favorite comment came from Beach Boy Brian Wilson who said "I was working on the ultimate album. But, after listening to Sgt. Pepper, I gave up. The ultimate album had already been made". Smile was released 35 years later.

    Music changed more between 1963 and 1969 than it has in the 37 years since, with the Beatles among the architects of that change.
    Ain't that the truth? In fact, I would go as far to say much of today's more popular forms of music have actually taken several steps back in the last 20 years.
    I like the group Jet a lot - but if Revolution was silently inserted into one of their CDs, I sometimes wonder if anyone would be able to tell the difference? It seems too many are trying to copy what others are doing, rather than searching for more ways to be original (pop music and country music - I am looking at both of you).

  8. #7
    Hey Cubs Fans RFS62's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    16,599

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCinatit View Post
    My favorite comment came from Beach Boy Brian Wilson who said "I was working on the ultimate album. But, after listening to Sgt. Pepper, I gave up. The ultimate album had already been made".

    Pretty strong coming from the guy who gave us "Pet Sounds"
    "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
    ~ Mark Twain

  9. #8
    breath westofyou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    43,281

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Pretty strong coming from the guy who gave us "Pet Sounds"
    "It was Pet Sounds that blew me out of the water," "I love the album so much."

    Paul Mcartney


    Sgt. Peppers is fraught with brilliant pop songs like Lovely Rita, awesome Hula Hoops eh?

  10. #9
    Man Pills
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    25,083

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    [I]

    Sgt. Peppers is fraught with brilliant pop songs like Lovely Rita, awesome Hula Hoops eh?
    And one of the saddest but most beautiful songs ever written, "A Day in the Life." One of the great moments in musical history when John's plaintive acoustic strumming/piano collides with Paul's giddy-up bass intro at the song's beginning.

    Plus the album uses probably my favorite instrument ever: the Chamberlin.

  11. #10
    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Olathe, KS
    Posts
    13,832

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Falls City Beer View Post
    And one of the saddest but most beautiful songs ever written, "A Day in the Life." One of the great moments in musical history when John's plaintive acoustic strumming/piano collides with Paul's giddy-up bass intro at the song's beginning.
    What a brilliant song -- a great example of John and Paul's personas. John's painful and bitter look at the world around him is countered by Paul's jaunty "Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head..."
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

  12. #11
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Winton Place
    Posts
    11,284

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    What a brilliant song -- a great example of John and Paul's personas. John's painful and bitter look at the world around him is countered by Paul's jaunty "Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head..."
    The same goes for "Getting Better", where Paul writes "Getting Better all the time" to the back up singing trailing with "can't get no worse". That almost presages Redszone!

  13. #12
    breath westofyou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    PDX
    Posts
    43,281

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    The greatest irony that this great album created is that it also helped create perhaps the worlds worst movie.


  14. #13
    Be the ball Roy Tucker's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Mason, OH
    Posts
    12,374

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool View Post
    What a brilliant song -- a great example of John and Paul's personas. John's painful and bitter look at the world around him is countered by Paul's jaunty "Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head..."
    I read this somewhere this week about "A Day in the Life" (grabbed this from wiki on Mal Evans, long-time Beatle roadie)

    On "A Day in the Life", Mal Evans controlled an alarm clock and counted the measures in the original 24-bar break. The intent was to edit out the alarm clock when the missing section had been filled with music, but as it complemented McCartney's piece (the first line of McCartney's section began with, "woke up, fell out of bed") the decision was made to keep the ringing, although George Martin later commented that editing it out would have been unfeasible. Evans was also one of the five piano players simultaneously hitting the last chord of the song.

    Pay attention to the open sky

  15. #14
    High five! nate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Irvine, CA
    Posts
    6,976

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    The greatest irony that this great album created is that it also helped create perhaps the worlds worst movie.

    What could go wrong? Peter Frampton AND the Bee Gees!

  16. #15
    2009: Fail Ltlabner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Posts
    7,441

    Re: It was 20 years ago today (plus 20) - Sgt. Pepper at 40!

    Quote Originally Posted by nate View Post
    What could go wrong? Peter Frampton AND the Bee Gees!
    Hey! Don't leave out Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Billy Preston and George Burns.
    a super volcano of ridonkulous suckitude.

    I simply don't have access to a "cares about RBI" place in my psyche. There is a "mildly curious about OBI%" alcove just before the acid filled lake guarded by robot snipers with lasers which leads to the "cares about RBI" antechamber though. - Nate


Turn Off Ads?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Board Moderators may, at their discretion and judgment, delete and/or edit any messages that violate any of the following guidelines: 1. Explicit references to alleged illegal or unlawful acts. 2. Graphic sexual descriptions. 3. Racial or ethnic slurs. 4. Use of edgy language (including masked profanity). 5. Direct personal attacks, flames, fights, trolling, baiting, name-calling, general nuisance, excessive player criticism or anything along those lines. 6. Posting spam. 7. Each person may have only one user account. It is fine to be critical here - that's what this board is for. But let's not beat a subject or a player to death, please.

Thank you, and most importantly, enjoy yourselves!


RedsZone.com is a privately owned website and is not affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds or Major League Baseball


Contact us: Boss | GIK | BCubb2003 | dabvu2498 | Gallen5862 | LexRedsFan | Plus Plus | RedlegJake | redsfan1995 | The Operator | Tommyjohn25