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Essential Albums You Need To Own On Vinyl: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

A good record collection is serious business. It must span decades and genres, constantly evolving as you and your tastes do. Like round vinyl snowflakes, no two collections are the same, nor should they ever be. But there are some records that anyone daring to call themselves “a collector” should not be caught dead not having on their shelves or in their milk crates. And there is a number one record that any serious collection should include, the one that stands out above all others as mandatory. The record that separates the “collectors” from the “people who have records.” It is, of course, the Beatles‘ 1967 masterpiece Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the psychedelic, semi-concept album that cemented the Beatles as the most important and influential band in the world.

From first glance Sgt. Pepper stands out as special. It’s colorful, cast-of-characters sleeve naturally draws people to it. The cover features the four Beatles, sporting mustaches for the first time, dressed like the neon-generals of a psychedelic army, surrounded by cardboard cut-outs of celebrities like Bob Dylan, Marlon Brando, and Marilyn Monroe. It’s the kind of album cover that demands people hear what’s inside. And what is inside is what really matters. 

Recorded between the winter of 1966 and spring of 1967, Sgt. Pepper’s immediately stood out as different from anything done before. Taking the new psychedelic genre and pop music in general to places it had never been before. With the Beatles officially retiring from touring in 1966, they decided to put all their efforts into their studio work. Along with the help of their long-time producer George Martin, the Beatles started their most ambitious and expensive album to date. At the time of the album’s recording, the Fab Four were in the midst of their experimenting with psychedelic drugs such as LSD. From this mind-altering state, Paul McCartney developed the idea of creating a concept album revolving around the fictional Sgt. Pepper’s Band made up of the Beatles’ alter-egos. Although this concept album was eventually scrapped as none of John Lennon’s songs fit this concept, the idea can still be heard in the unique album-opening that sounds like a house band warming up and starting a show which turns into the power-chord driven “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” This then blends into one of drummer Ringo’s best vocal performances ever in “With A Little Help From My Friends.” 

From there it is John Lennon’s turn to take the wheel as he delivers one of his most imaginative and trippy lyrical performances to date with “Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds.” Supposedly inspired from a drawing his son made, Lennon brings to life “tangerine trees and marmalade skies” showing how much he evolved as a writer since “I Want to Hold Your Hand” a few years before. 

Throughout the album, songs like “Fixing a Hole” and “She’s Leaving Home” show how the Beatles transformed the studio into its own instrument. Utilizing orchestras and George Martin’s classical expertise to deliver high quality and interesting work. Lennon closes out side-one with the eerie end-of-the-world circus show “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite.”

Side two of the album starts with a complete 180 from everything that precedes it. From the guitars, organs, and orchestras of side one comes something totally different. George Harrison, who was heavily inspired by Hindu culture, starts the album with his sitar and an arrangement of classical Hindi instruments in “Within You Without You.” After this the album again turns you on your head, delivering McCartney’s ragtime styled “When I’m Sixty-Four.” “Lovely Rita” and “Good Morning” the latter inspired from a cereal jingle Lennon heard and turned into song, are enjoyable solid tracks. 

After which the concept album reemerges with a show ending reprise of the first track “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” And right when you think the album is done, already left speechless, the Beatles pull out what many would say is one of their best songs ever written, “A Day In The Life.” The song is a mash-up of four terrific Lennon choruses and a middle part by McCartney. It ends in an orchestra crescendo that seems to take all the characters from the sleeve and songs and brings them to a whirling fantastical end. All said, it is one of the best albums ever made. It became the soundtrack of the summer of love, and still inspires musicians to this day. Much like a good record collection, it transcends genres and always leaves you satisfied. 

It is the foundation stone that a serious record collection should be built around. And luckily, because it is one of the highest-selling albums of all time, you can have in your collection very easily, so don’t waste another moment.

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Essential Albums You Need To Own On Vinyl: Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis

Kind Of Blue by Miles Davis

What does a fish tank with no water, a watch without hands a vinyl record collection without a jazz album all have in common? They’re all hopelessly incomplete! Hollow shrines of what could be. Sure, they may look nice, but they are missing an essential element that would make them significantly better. Jazz is made for vinyl, the light scratching of the needle on the record spinning underneath is the instrument the listener gets to add to every jazz song they listen to.

And when it comes to jazz albums that deserve a spot in any proper record collection there’s one that stands out above all others. If is consistently ranked as the most influential, best-selling, and best over-all work by the best jazz musician to ever live. Of course, we are talking about “Cracked Rear View” by Hootie and the Blowfish. Just joking, of course not, we will never talk about that. We are actually talking about Miles Davis and his magnum opus, “Kind of Blue.”

Remarkably, this album was recorded in just two days, March 2 and April 22, 1959. The short recording time gives this album a done-in-one-take feel, that makes the listener appreciate the incredible raw talent the musicians brought to this album. The ensemble is a sextet, that’s a group of six musicians for those not in the know. The ensemble consists of Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane on alto and tenor saxophone respectively, Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers slapping bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums, and Miles on his infamous trumpet. The first two names alone are giants in jazz, and the others were no strangers to success all being hand-picked by Miles.

One of the reasons Miles Davis is consistently considered the greatest jazz musician ever was his ability to change the direction of the genre many times. He was a disruptor of the status quo, constantly changing what was heard on a jazz record. One of the reasons he was able to do this was his willingness to bring in young musicians who played things differently than those that came before them. There is no better example of this than on “Kind of Blue.”

For this record, Davis brought in a young piano player named Bill Evans. Evans’ unconventional piano playing allowed Davis to experiment in a newer version of jazz called “modal.” To keep it short, modal jazz focuses more on musical modes, rather than musical scales as it was normally done before. Giving musicians more liberty with the notes and chords they play in a song. This allowed the musicians much more room for improvisation. Creating a setting in the studio where there were six incredibly gifted musicians and no rules. The results speak for themselves.

The album begins with one of the most instantly recognizable of Davis’ songs, “So What.” One of the first things that strikes the ear is the double bass that starts the main riff of the song. Evans. finishes the distinctive bass line with two piano chords that sound like they scream the words “So What!” By the time the sax and drums fall into place you are hooked on the album.

After this, the album takes a slightly faster tempo with “Freddie Freeloader.” Drummer Jimmy Cobb plays the high hats brilliantly on this one, as Evans goes rouge on the piano. But it’s around the four minute and thirty-three second mark when Davis jumps in with his trumpet that makes the song. This is followed by “Blue in Green” a low-tempo song that emphasizes Davis’ mastery of both the blues and jazz. This goes on to “All Blues” a song that stands out on the record for its opening piano riffs. The album ends with “Flamenco Sketches.” A terrific song with each horn player getting a chance to riff freely over Evans’ piano, and Chambers’ sinister bass line. The album finisher highlights these six men’s incredible abilities to play off each other.

To sum up, it’s not a record collection without a jazz record, and there is no jazz record like a Miles Davis jazz record. Vinyl is the delivery method of choice for jazz, the uniqueness of every record player and needle highlight the uniqueness and spontaneity of every jazz record, and this applies doubly to “Kind of Blue.”

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Essential Albums You Need To Own On Vinyl: Blue by Joni Mitchell

Blue - Joni Mitchell

Unfortunately, when people consider the greatest albums of all time, they are generally considering a catalog of music made mostly by men. In fact, in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the top 500 albums of all time there is not a single female musician in the entire top ten portion of the list. A female musician doesn’t even shop up on the list until number 13, and even then, it’s Nico, the co-lead singer for the all-male Velvet Underground. For a laundry list of societal reasons, female musicians are generally under-represented on the lists of the greatest musicians, albums, etc.

For the owner of a truly great record collection, this issue does not exist. A real record collector knows that great music is not bound by meaningless barriers like race or gender. To them, the only thing that matters is having the best, most important music in their collection, and ready to spin on the turntable. The boy’s clubs of the top-ten-best-whatever lists be damned, great music is what fills the shelves and milk crates of their record collection.

And no collector would be caught dead without one of the greatest singer-songwriter albums of all time, “Blue” by Joni Mitchell. The album, with its deep blue close-up shot of Mitchell on the cover is a must have for any serious collector. It’s one of the greatest break-up albums of all time, coming four full years before Dylan’s similarly themed “Blood on the Tracks.” Music fans have been arguing about which is the better ever since, and there may never be a definite answer. Mitchell’s lyrics are razor sharp and relentless, leaving little need for anything else.

As for the album, it’s absurdly intimate. It sounds like Mitchell and her small group of backing musicians are playing in a cafe outside your bedroom rather than through a speaker. It’s the perfect tone for Mitchell, who airs her vulnerabilities out like no other songwriter. Her troubled voice singing about her insecurities make for the some of the most honest songs ever put on vinyl. She leaves no thought, emotion, or hardship off this album. Giving the listener the purest idea of what the musician was feeling when she wrote the song.

The album begins with “All I Want” and immediately sets the tone of the album. Mitchell is grappling with the feeling of loneliness. She sings, “I am on a lonely road, and I am traveling” it is a perfect song to sum Mitchell at this point, she has been on the road performing, and on holiday overseas, traveling the world and feeling lonely. Now she states what she wants at home, her manifesto for happiness. Although it begins the album, it serves as a climax for the songs that are to follow.

The album continues with “My Old Man” and “Little Green.” The first of which offers beautiful piano playing on a love song about a relationship of free love, no signed pieces of paper are needed to keep Mitchell happy she sings, so long as her man is there to take her into his loving arms. “Little Green” is an intimate song with some classic skillful Mitchell guitar playing. By the next song, “Carey,” the album begins to pick up tempo. The upbeat guitars bouncing off the light drumming produce a magical sound. The song takes place on Mitchell’s holiday on the Mediterranean and in Europe. She sings about the joyful, in-the-moment love she finds there. Side one of the album closes out on a more somber note with “Blue.” “Songs are like tattoos” Mitchell sings, and this one is as unique and meaningful as any body art.

Side two of the album opens with one of the most well-known songs of Mitchell’s, “California.” If this song isn’t the state’s anthem someone needs to fix this immediately. Joni Mitchell is in Europe at this point in her album, Paris to be exact. She loves the fun, but she misses home and feels lonely “when the streets are full of strangers.” She is ready to head back home. Which she does nervously on the next song, “This Flight Tonight.” Mitchell sings of the anxiety of returning home over powerful guitars strumming. The next “River” is about loneliness during the holidays, featuring “Jingle Bells” in minor chords as the opening. But it’s the albums ending that may be the strongest. “A Case of You” and “The Last Time I Saw Richard” are where Mitchell’s lyrics are the sharpest and most memorable, bringing the album to a perfect ending that will have you picking up the needle to play the whole thing again.

When building an album collection, one may run to some of the male-dominated vinyl albums that everyone claims to be the greatest. But this album by Joni Mitchell is there, “waiting in the dark cafes” for those you know what albums are really great. And what albums truly belong in the best collections of vinyl.

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Essential Albums You Need To Own On Vinyl: What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye

What's Going On - Marvin Gaye

Most musical artists create music that will be appealing to as many listeners as possible. This was the case for most musicians writing in the genre called Motown. For years places like Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit turned out hit records faster than GM or Ford could roll cars off the assembly lines in the same city. Groups like the Temptations, the Contours, and the Supremes released hit after hit at break-neck pace. The somewhat cookie-cutter songs were usually about love, relationships, and other familiar pop themes.

By the late 60’s and early 70’s many rock groups began experimenting with more introspective and political topics on their records. People like Bob Dylan and John Lennon were writing music with a message about the world around them, and they were not afraid to get political. Meanwhile, Motown artists had resisted this change in favor of keeping records more pop focused.

This all changed thanks to Marvin Gaye. In 1971, Gaye released one of the most important albums in Motown history, and music history in general, “What’s Going On.” Gaye designed the album as an experience, immersing the listener into the issues of the day and delivering a commentary that is just as poignant today as it was at the time of its release. It was a huge undertaking and the work Gaye left for us speaks for itself how successful he was.

Like many great, forward thinking albums, recording was hard at the beginning. Gaye was going through a time of personal turmoil. His marriage was falling apart, his girlfriend had been diagnosed with a brain tumor, he had developed a cocaine issue, and he owed a small fortune in back taxed to the IRS, These are what many would refer to as trying times and at one point in the late 60’s Gaye attempted suicide, only to be saved by his producer’s father.

On top of Gaye’s personal issues, America at large in the early 70’s had its own set of obstacles. Many were left disillusioned after the end of the hope and promise of the late 60’s. The war in Vietnam still raged, there was civil unrest, and police brutality were everyday issues for African Americans. Gaye decided that he wanted to channel all this personal and external turmoil into his work and produce something that could have a valuable social impact under the label of Motown. His result is one of the most important albums one can have in their record collection.

The album begins with one of Gaye’s most recognizable songs, “What’s Going On.” The idea of the song is simple, yet intimate, Marvin Gaye asks the listener what is going on in the world for there to be so much suffering. The song was inspired by an incident of police brutality on a young African American man, and Gaye’s conversations with his brother, who was a veteran of the Vietnam War. About the song, Gaye said, “With the world exploding around me, how am I supposed to keep writing love songs?”

Gaye wanted this album to be a cohesive work, with all the songs depending on each other to make a full statement. To do this, Gaye has the songs blend from one to the other. From “What’s Going On” we transition to “What’s Happening Brother” which is a continuation from the first song’s theme. From there the albums blends into “Flyin’ High (In the Friendly Sky)” where Gays sings “I go to the place where danger awaits me.” He could be talking about the war zone in Vietnam or the one on the streets of America at this time, either way the song is about Gaye’s hope of a more peaceful world.

From there the album moves to “God is Love” a song that stands out for its funky drums and James Jamerson bass lines. Jamerson, an often-used studio bass player at the time, is at his best throughout the album, laying down roaring bass lines for the entirety of the album. The first side of the album ends with “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).” Gaye ends side one with what may be the best song ever written about environmental protection. With lines like “Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas” make this song just as relevant today as it was when it was written.

Side two of the album opens with “Right On” where once again Jamerson’s bass playing is on point. This leads into “Wholy Holy,” and then the album ends with “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler).” A fantastic song that depicts the bleak economic situation that affects predominately African Americans in the country’s inner cities. There is also a reprise of “What’s Going On” bringing the theme of the album together for a perfect ending.

Gaye’s work here is the passion of a lifetime. It’s the most important Motown album ever released, this alone makes it an essential part of any serious album collector’s library. But besides all that, there is quite literally nothing cooler than coming home with a date, pouring a couple glasses of wine, and putting the needle to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On.

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Essential Albums You Need To Own On Vinyl: Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys

Many of the vinyl albums that top the list for albums a good collector should have in their collection have a major thing in common; their influence on the world of music when they were released and ever since. The way they broke ground and left the world of music fundamentally different than it was before they’re released. Of these albums, one may hold the crown for changing everything and beginning the musical revolution of the late 60’s, and it may surprise you. It’s the Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds.

It may sound surprising because when it comes to the Beach Boys most people think of the happy-go-lucky surfer music of the early ’60s. The Beach Boys owned this genre. For years they mastered catchy pop songs centered around the familiar themes of cars, girls, and of course, surfing. Songs like “Surfin’ Safari” and “Little Deuce Coupe” perfectly captured the care-free feelings of the early ’60s.

The Beach Boys capitalized are the leisure of the early ’60s and the hit parade of songs penned by Brian Wilson told the story of the American dream for young people better than any other band at the time could. Possibly only Chuck Berry ever did as good a job at this. But by 1966, the idea of the American dream began to alter. The care-free days that marked the early 60’s giving way to an escalating war in Vietnam, civil rights protests, and end of the days where hot rods and girls were all that was on young people’s minds.

Enter Pet Sounds. No album better fits the old phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover.” The album sleeve, featuring four Beach Boys feeding goats as a confused Mike Love looks on, does not look like contains ground-breaking music. Honestly. it doesn’t look like it contains anything other than five men tripping at a petting zoo. But you would be mistaken to have these thoughts.

With songwriter Brian Jones sidelined from touring after a nervous breakdown, he began pouring himself into song writing. He also began tapping in to the deeper emotional feelings he had during his time with the Beach Boys. Wilson began writing about these feelings and issues at the same time the experience of American youth began to come face-to-face with issues like war and uncertainty.

In no time at all, Wilson went from writing about girls and surf boards to themes like self-doubt, emotional turmoil, and love stories that are complicated and messy. The album begins with “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” which perfectly sets the tone for the album. It’s Wilson asking, “Wouldn’t it be nice if everything we sang about up this point were real?”

From there we move on to the next song, “You Still Believe in Me.” One thing the Beach Boys had mastered at this point in their career was the ability to create intricate harmonies. They show it off in spades all over this album, but it is on this track, with the choir inspired tones that may show it off best. From there the next track features Wilson and Love sharing lead on a song full of self-doubt in “That’s Not Me.”

Side one continues with “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head on My Shoulder)” a beautiful orchestra-centered song with some of Wilson’s strongest lyrics to date, This followed by two more interesting songs. The first side ends with “Sloop John B.” This is the only cover on the entire album, and it closes side one of the album with a throw back to sound the Beach Boys made a few years previously. And with lines like “I feel so broke up, I want to go home” it says a lot about how Wilson felt in those prior years while touring with the Beach Boys.

The second side of the album opens with “God Only Knows” a fantastic piece about the fear of being alone, a subject many have written about, but pale in comparison to Wilson’s work here. Many of the themes of the first side of the album are expanded upon here, as the Beach Boys continue to dive into harmonies and orchestration no other pop band had ever imagined putting on vinyl. The album ends with “Caroline, No” a call of longing that perfectly sums up the album. “It’s sad to watch a sweet thing die” Wilson calls out in the heartbreaking ending this love story.

Pet Sounds is the kind of unassuming album that only those in know have. It’s the album that inspired Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, but it doesn’t carry all the fanfare. It’s the album a collector who appreciates the musical growth a band can under go must have in their collection. Plus, who doesn’t want an album with five guys tripping with goats on its cover?

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Essential Albums You Need To Own On Vinyl: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Album Cover

You’ve seen the poster hanging on the wall of nearly every dorm room you’ve ever walked into. The triangular prism set in front of a black background reflecting light and shooting out a rainbow through the other side. Maybe you thought it would be cool to own the album the artwork originates from. Maybe you think it would look good in an album collection, show it off to your friends.

If you have thought this, then you need to stop here, Dark Side is not meant for you. This is not an album you buy just to have, this “Dark Side of the Moon.” It’s an album that makes an album collection whole. This is the single-malt 30-year-old Scotch of your album collection. It’s mature, sophisticated, complex, and not to be wasted on someone who has not the taste to appreciate it.

“Dark Side of the Moon” is Pink Floyd’s 1973 masterpiece. It was the album that made Pink Floyd popular to their widest audience to date and sealed their fate as rock gods. But more than that, it showed how complex and groundbreaking Pink Floyd’s music could be.

For “Dark Side of the Moon,” Pick Floyd dove headfirst into themes that no other musicians were writing about at the time. The songs touched on subjects like the passage of time, human greed, helplessness, and how often life can seem without meaning or purpose. These are complex subjects that Pink Floyd tackles and artfully presents in a way that most artists can try their entire lives and never accomplish.

It was in the early 1970’s that Roger Waters came up with the idea to create a concept album focused on the things that make people angry. It would be focused on how arduous life can be, as well as mental illness, inspired by the often-difficult mental state of Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett.

The album’s songs themselves are what make such an ambitious concept work. True to concept album form, many of the songs run together seamlessly. Side one starts with “Speak to Me” a sound collage that sets the tone of the album and builds up to the intro of “Breath (In the Air.)” A lyrically beautiful song set over wonderfully cosmic guitars chords. This song then leads into “On the Run” a fast-paced instrumental that sound like the soundtrack for running from the end of the world.

After these three songs comes “Time” perhaps the highlight of side one. It begins with the overlapping sounds of clocks and alarms, and then turns to a fascinating song about time in general. It also features some of David Gilmour’s best guitar work to date, and ends with a throwback reprise to earlier in the album. Side one ends with “The Great Gig in the Sky” which is perfectly sung by Clare Torry.

Side two opens with the sound of coins and ringing cash machines as “Money” begins. The song explores the greedy side of show business like no other before it, or sense. After this, David Gilmour delivers one of his strongest vocal performances with “Us and Them,” which is probably the best song (so far) on the already excellent second side of the album.

This is followed by “Any Colour You Like” the synth heavy song clearly shows the inspiration Pink Floyd had on any band that dared touch a synth in the 70’s and 80’s, and features some more terrific guitar work. Next comes “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse” the two songs form one grand finale to the album. It is now, with these two songs, after the all the breathing, running, time, and greed we finally land on the dark side of the moon. Driven off the Earth by “lunatics on the run” it is here we find that we are just as crazy and alone on the far side of the moon as we were before we left. With cosmic guitars and overlapping melodies the destination is reached and madness reigns.

“Dark Side of the Moon” is more than an album, it is an experience. It’s more than just the songs it’s the noises, ambiance, and voices that weave through the album, creating an experience like no other. Placing the needle to this cosmic vinyl begins a journey to outer reaches of music. Where art is as black as the dark side of the Moon.

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Paul is Dead – Did Paul McCartney Die in 1966?

Paul McCartney died in a car crash in 1966 and was secretly replaced in the Beatles by lookalike Billy Shears (apparently). Throughout the second half of the 1960’s there were many clues discovered leading to intense speculation. Beatles fans the world over meticulously scoured The Beatles album covers and songs to discover the truth surrounding the death of Paul McCartney. Let’s look at some of the evidence…

Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

At the end of Strawberry Fields Forever, John Lennon can be heard in the runout saying ‘I buried Paul’. Some people counter this saying he’s actually saying ‘Cranberry Sauce’. If you listen carefully to the version on Anthology 2 it also sounds like ‘I’m very tall’. Have a listen yourself and make your own mind up. Strawberry Fields Forever was originally released as a single but was later available on Magical Mystery Tour.

There are a number of visual aspects to the cover and booklet within the Magical Mystery Tour EP that led to speculation. Some of them may be pretty tenuous but here goes…

The word ‘Beatles’ is spelled out using stars on the cover. If you look at this backward and think of it as numbers, you get ‘2317438’, which was said to be the number of a London mortuary. Some people claimed to have dialed the number and received a message saying “you’re getting closer”.

On the cover, there are four walrusses. Obviously, the top three are John, George, and Ringo. Paul is the black walrus as Paul is dead. This is further backed up inside the cover, in the picture where the Beatles are wearing white suits, Paul is wearing a black carnation, the rest of the band are wearing red carnations.

At the end of the song ‘I Am The Walrus’ you can hear the words “O, untimely death!”, taken from Shakespeare’s King Lear. The lyrics also confirm that ‘The Walrus Was Paul’, so there you have it!

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

According to ‘A Day In The Life’, he blew his mind out in a car, he didn’t notice that the lights had changed. A crowd of people stood and stared, they’d seen his face before. In ‘Lovely Rita’, he took her home, he nearly made it. In ‘Godd Morning, Good Morning’ there was nothing to do to save his life. Sgt. Pepper also introduced the world to Billy Shears.

The cover of Sgt. Pepper shows The Beatles, along with their heroes and other cultural icons stood over a grave.

On the inner gatefold of the Sgt Pepper album Paul has his back to the camera to hide his identity. This has been discussed widely as being symbolic of death.

The White Album

If you listen to Revolution No. 9 from the White Album backward you can hear ‘Turn me on, dead man… Turn me on, dead man’. The track is also decidedly creepy, with crash sounds, screaming, crying, very disturbing, especially to an audience in 1968.

Abbey Road

The cover of Abbey Road can be interpreted as depicting a funeral procession, with each Beatle having their own role to play. John Lennon leads the pack, dressed in a white suit, as the priest. Ringo follows behind as the undertaker, dressed in black. The left-handed Paul McCartney follows behind, holding a cigarette in his right-hand, indicating that this was an imposter playing the role of Paul. Paul also doesn’t wear shoes, he doesn’t need them because he’s dead. Paul is also walking out of step with the rest of the group, right foot first. George Harrison, in his workman’s denim, completes the procession as the gravedigger.

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[Song of the Day] – Hot Chocolate | Mindless Boogie

Amazing track from Hot Chocolate referencing atomic bombs and the Jonestown massacre, with a funky laid back groove and some classic synth sounds. This performance is taken from Top of the Pops in 1979. Remarkably, this track only reached number 46. I guess people weren’t totally into there dystopian disco back then!

 

 

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[Song of the Day] – Frank Sinatra | The Lady Is A Tramp

How can you not love a bit of Frank! Originally from 1937 and written by Rodgers and Hart for a show, this later featured in the movie My Pal Joey. It’s since been recorded countless times, but you can’t been the classic orchestration and Frank Sinatra’s laid back vocal here!

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Here’s an innovative marketing idea!

I found this curiosity amongst a box of very old records. It’s a drinks coaster advertising Idris Lemon Squash that doubles as a vinyl record. Unfortunately I don’t have a gramophone so have no way of listening to it. It name-checks ‘His Majesty’ so pre-dates Queen Elizabeth (1953). If anyone knows more about this please let me know!