Thursday, July 26, 2007

Within You, Without You

John Lennon always dismissed the whole idea that Sgt. Pepper was a concept album. He said, more or less, that the whole concept of it being presented as a show with Sgt. Pepper and his band fell apart after the first two cuts, and then pops up again with the "Sgt. Pepper (Reprise)" track.

But at the end of "Within You, Without You", you hear the chuckle of laughter from the audience. So that makes one other piece of the album being "like a show". Also, the fact that some tracks blended into each other also made it seem more "live" and not like the normal dozen or so separate songs previously experienced on all former Beatles' albums.

Also, if it was intended or not, the album does have a melancholy mood, a sense of "loneliness", which ties in nicely with the fact that the fictitious band is from the "Lonely Hearts Club".

Maybe Lennon was being a bit coy to dismiss it all. And putting the concept idea down might have been a jab at Paul since the album was his "baby". But I think it was right to tone down the original idea of "instead of touring, we send the album on tour" idea. It would've been silly to have more talking (e.g., "And now we'd like to do a song about a meter maid!") and audience sounds. It's perfect the way it is. A great studio album with a little presentation thrown in to give us a taste of something different.


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