Realization: The Beatles Messed Up “Sgt. Pepper’s” Concert Idea


I was having a very 2018 thought today: I was considering listening to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s,” and the easiest way would be to download it from Amazon Music (available through with your Prime membership, check Amazon, the company that cares). The problem would be that when you listen to it on Amazon Music, there are half-second breaks between songs. So instead of having the opening song flow smoothly into “With a Little Help From My Friends,” it goes silent for a moment, then resumes.

Not the worst problem, of course, but it stopped me from going on because it was “not how they intended.” And I continued to think about the concept of this album, and how it was supposed to be like a concert, with songs transitioning into each other with barely a break at all.

And then it hit me: that’s not what concerts are like at all.

If the Beatles had really wanted to make a “Concert” album — something they tried twice — then the songs should have had LONGER breaks between them.

Ideally, the true concert experience of “Sgt. Pepper’s” would have yielded this track list.

Track 1. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:
Track 2. “With a Little Help From My Friends”
Track 3: Chatter with the crowd (“Thank you, thank you”) and tuning of instruments.
Track 4: More chatter like “This next song came to us*. . . “
Track 5: “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds.”
Track 6: More tuning of guitars…
And so on and so forth for likely 45 tracks. There could be starts and stops, encores, and a long pause to allow for the animal wrangler to help with the ending of “Good Morning, Good Morning.” If they truly wanted to record it like a concert, then they should have included more of the concert experience.

There you have it: another clear Beatles failure.


*In the history of rock concerts, I would bet that the ratio of Bands Telling Us About the Song’s Origins outnumbers the Times We Care To Hear the About the Song’s Origins by a ratio of 7 to 1.


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