Speed Reads

It was 50 years ago today...

Here's why Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is worth celebrating 50 years later

It was 50 years ago today (almost) when Sgt. Pepper taught the world to play a different kind of record. On July 2, 1967, The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the United States, a week after its release in Britain, and people credibly argue that popular music, and recorded music, was never quite the same. Here's the short version:

On PBS NewsHour, Anthony DeCurtis gave a longer explanation of why Sgt. Pepper was such a seminal album for the music world, and for The Beatles. It may not be the band's greatest collection of songs — "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were recorded during the same sessions but released as a single first, for example. "But when you're assessing an album's importance, or whether or not it's the best," DeCurtis said, records like Revolver and Rubber Soul are great, "but they did not alter the culture. Sgt. Pepper altered the culture."

If you want a deeper dive into the album and how it was made, from "Penny Lane" to the magnificent "A Day in the Life," PBS is airing a documentary on Saturday. Peter Weber