Friday, February 29, 2008

It was 40 years ago today
that the Beatles took the Grammys away

Most years, I yawn when I see the list of nominees for the Grammy Awards. It always seems to me that the more I like a song or an album, the less likely it is to be honored. And in the past, some of the winners have really seemed like somebody’s idea of a cruel joke.

But that was definitely not the case 40 years ago Feb. 29 when the Beatle’s eighth album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, took honors as the Album of the Year at the 1968 Grammy Awards.

The Beatles had played their last live show, in San Francisco, on Aug. 29, 1966. About three months later, on Dec. 6, they started rolling the tape at Abbey Road Studios. Their masterpiece was complete on April 21, after some 700 hours in the studio. It was released on June 1 in the United Kingdom and the next day in the United States. (Click on album cover for a short video.)

In addition to Album of the Year, Sgt. Pepper’s also was honored for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts; Best Contemporary Album; and Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical.

Rolling Stone magazine said "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the most important rock & roll album ever made, an unsurpassed adventure in concept, sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by the greatest rock & roll group of all time." Rolling Stone put it atop their
500 Greatest Albums of All Time list in 2003.

I recognize the greatness of Sgt. Pepper's, but I hardly ever listen to it. For pure listening pleasure, I'll take Revolver, Rubber Soul or the 2nd side of Abbey Road (cd cuts 7-17).

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