I discovered them, thanks to my friend Shlomo Dror, and so can you.
It’s hard to argue with their top 9, though you or I might put them in slightly different order.
What’s so striking to me, even now, is that the words and tunes play through my mind as I say the names.
- A Day in the Life (Sgt. Pepper’s)
- Strawberry Fields Forever (single)
- Penny Lane (single)
- She Loves You (single)
- Please Please Me (single)
- Dear Prudence (The White Album)
- Here, There, and Everywhere (Revolver)
- Norwegian Wood (Rubber Soul)
- Eleanor Rigby (Revolver)
They rank “Let It Be” and “Here Comes the Sun” at 15 and 16, “Hey Jude” at 20.
Amazing songs further down the list like “Blackbird” (31), “While My Guitar Gently Weeps (32), “Yesterday” (39).
And on and on. The last one on the list, #213, “Good Day Sunshine.”
Thanks, Shlomo. What fun reading this article and remembering those songs.
The album’s release began a brief, wild, frenzied few years of peace, love, and dope.
That cultural shift would have happened anyway, but Sgt. Pepper pushed it along and became an important part of the soundtrack.
Here are the iconic tracks:
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
- With a Little Help from My Friends
- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
- Getting Better
- Fixing a Hole
- She’s Leaving Home
- Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
- Within You Without You
- When I’m Sixty-Four
- Lovely Rita
- Good Morning Good Morning
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
- A Day in the Life
So many great songs, all still fixed in the collective memory of that generation, my generation.
Some, like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” became a kind of inside joke, shared by everybody who passed a joint or something more trippy in those hazy days.
Others, like “Lovely Rita” and “When I’m Sixty-Four” had a sweet, even innocent, humor.
The band itself never talked down to the audience or seemed crassly commercial.
Each album they released seemed new and truly original–none more so that Sgt. Pepper’s and, later, the White Album.
For Sgt. Pepper’s, the 50th really is a golden anniversary.
Belushi’s talent burst at the seams and included not only mimicry but mimicry in song.
His two best, in my opinion, are as Ray Charles and Joe Cocker.
The bit of his morphing from Beethoven into Ray Charles is really hard to locate, at least as a complete routine, but I managed to find it.
And the classic version of John singing “Feeling Alright” as Joe Cocker with Joe Cocker. Click on the video below.
Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
◆ The “inspired” has expired: “I’m here to die in the name of Allah,” and the attacker did just that at Paris Orly Airport (CNN)
◆ Chuck Berry, who helped create rock-and-roll, dead at 90. A full account here at ZipDialog, along with a recording of Johnny B. Goode.
◆ Trump wants to build a wall 30 feet high that is hard to climb or cut through and looks good from the US side, according to contract notices posted on a US Government website. (Associated Press) There will be automated gates for people and vehicles.
The government will award a contract based on 30-foot-wide sample walls that are to be built in San Diego. –AP
Pres. Trump’s proposed budget included an initial $2.6 billion request. The total cost is expected to be $12-15 billion.
◆ Hillary Clinton says she is “ready to come out of the woods.” (New York Times)
Comment: The woods are overjoyed.
◆ Republican House bill on healthcare would allow states to tailor some requirements, including whether to require able-bodied adults to work or engage in some substitute, such as volunteer work or education.
Here is how the Washington Post headlines that news. You be the judge if this is a fair headline:
“Republicans threaten to deny poor people medical care if they aren’t working” (Washington Post headline)
Many forms of public assistance, including food stamps, require recipients to work, look for work, volunteer or participate in vocational training. The work requirements vary from one program to the next and have varying requirements vary by the program and traits of the recipients, such as their ages and whether they have children.
Yet when it comes to health insurance, such requirements would be nearly impossible to enforce, conservative and independent experts on the Medicaid program said Friday. –Washington Post
Comment: If you wondered what Harry Reid is doing after retirement, he’s writing headlines for the Washington Post
Come on in and let’s be cozy. Showin’ off participation trophies
Watching CNN in safe spaces –Chad Prather and Steve Mudflap McGrew
◆ Finally, Donna Brazile admits that she was cheating at CNN.
She was doing it to help Hillary but still won’t admit that. (She says she did it to make “all our candidates look good.” A bald-faced lie. What did you leak to Bernie, Donna?)
Of course, Hillary still won’t admit she received the questions in advance.
For us Baby Boomers, the songs were the sound track of our misspent youth.
Just say the names:
- Roll Over Beethoven
- Too Much Monkey Business
- School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell!)
- Rock and Roll Music
- Sweet Little Sixteen
- Oh, Carol
- Little Queenie
- Back in the U.S.A.
- Memphis, Tennessee (whose cover by Johnny Rivers was even more popular)
- Nadine, Honey, Is That You?
- No Particular Place to Go
- My Ding-a-Ling
- Reelin’ and Rockin’
And what could be the best rock-and-roll song ever laid down: Johnny B. Goode.
It captures everything great about rock music at its inception.
Berry, who wrote the song, was born in 1926 . . . on Goode Avenue. He recorded it 4-5 miles from where I live, at the Leonard and Phil Chess’s studio, at 2120 South Michigan Ave. (The Rolling Stones had a great hit entitled “2120 South Michigan Avenue.” click here to hear it)
Here is Chuck playing Johnny B. Goode live in 1958, the year he released it–and doing the dances he loved!
LAGNIAPPE: SPECIAL BONUS
Here is Chuck jammin’ with Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Chuck Leavell (of the Rolling Stone and Allman Brothers Band), and Chuck’s longtime pianist, Johnnie Johnson, who is fabulous. You’ll recognize the songs and you’ll love seeing the joy of these greats playing together.
Late in the song, you’ll hear Chuck singing with a blues rhythm that underlay his work. And what a lyric: he’s glad his baby’s back, “it’s been a long, long time since I’ve heard my backbone crack.”
Hand-picked and farm-fresh–
⇒Linked articles in bold purple
“The film presents an image of the revolution that reduces it to an expression of intolerance and violence against culture and makes irresponsible use of our patriotic symbols and unacceptable references toward comrade Fidel,” said [Roberto] Smith — director of the all-powerful Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC).
Traditionally stigmatized in Cuba, homosexuality was fiercely repressed for many years under the communist regime, which interned gays in work camps in the 1960s and ostracized them in the 1970s. –AFP in Yahoo News
Personal note: One of my friends wrote me that his “cousin was expelled in the Mariel boat lift of 1980 for homosexuality.” Expelled from the country for his sexual orientation.
An authentic hero and genuine American icon, Glenn died this afternoon surrounded by family at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus after a remarkably healthy life spent almost from the cradle with Annie, his beloved wife of 73 years, who survives.
He, along with fellow aviators Orville and Wilbur Wright and moon-walker Neil Armstrong, truly made Ohio first in flight. –Columbus Dispatch
The picture here not as the distinguished Senator, not as the man who flew 149 combat missions in World War II and Korea (where his wingman was the greatest hitter in baseball, Ted Williams), but as the young man who, in February 1962, sat atop the Mercury launcher at Cape Canaveral, packed with one-quarter million pounds of rocket fuel, and became the first American to orbit earth. Rest in Peace.
◆ From the heights (John Glenn) to the depths (Harry Reid), who just completed his tenure in the Senate. “Harry Reid: A sculptor of partisanship, who was also molded by it” (Christian Science Monitor)
Comment: Reid was a noxious political figure, symbolized by his baseless attack on Mitt Romney, whom he tarred by saying “there were rumors” that Romney had not paid his taxes for a decade. That was untrue and, when Reid was asked later if he was sorry about it, said, “He lost, didn’t he?” His moral scruples summarized in four words.
◆ South Korean parliament votes to impeach country’s president (Washington Post)
◆ New York Times runs characteristic article in news section, headlined “Trump Is Still Not Very Popular, and His Problem With Women Could Return.” The first subheader is perfect Times-think: “Hillary Clinton, out of the woods.” The article is here.
Comment: At the Times, the paper’s editorial opinions too often suffuse their presentation of “hard news.” Too often, too bad.
◆ Gregg Allman celebrates his 69th birthday. (JamBase) Just shows the lasting benefits of living a good, clean life. Here’s Gregg, his late brother, Duane, and their eponymous band, in “Tied to the Whipping Post.” This early version shows how they merged acid rock and blues (as Jimi Hendrix did in another way) to create something real, true, and original. The sequence of still photographs in this video capture the era.
◆ Send interesting stories to
Charles (dot) Lipson at Gmail (dot) com