Sgt Pepper the McNabb way
In a post on Facebook Ian McNabb, Liverpool singer and songwriter (and former frontman of The Icicle Works) wrote that Sgt Pepper did not stand up as the masterpiece people usually hail it as. He argued that The Beatles blew it by including the wrong tracks from those available, and thus fatally weakening the album. He implied that they could (and probably should) have recognised this at the time and fixed it. He then suggested how they could have done this.
Sgt. Pepper is a fine LP that pioneered the ‘concept’ album. However it is not a masterpiece. If the below would have happened, it WOULD have been the Beatles best LP, and a masterpiece.
a) Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band ~ With A Little Help From My Friends ~ Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds ~ She’s Leaving Home ~ Strawberry Fields Forever ~ Getting Better ~ Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite.
b) Within You Without You ~ Penny Lane ~ Fixing A Hole ~ Good Morning Good Morning ~ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) ~ A Day In The Life.
I recently acquired the new 50th anniversary reissue CD and transferred disc 1 to my phone for mobile listening. I decided to make a playlist of Ian McNabb’s suggested version, and I found myself agreeing with him. This does make a much better album. In fact, in my opinion, it does turn Sgt Pepper into a Beatles masterpiece!
For those who cannot immediately work out what has gone missing, this version removes When I’m 64 and Lovely Rita which both interrupt the flow because they sound like songs from a different, and much less interesting, project.