BIRTHDAY GREETINGS BOTTLE OF WINE

The idea of a brief album review is quite appealing. Can a meaningful commentary be jammed into, say 200 words? A little while back, a number of bloggers took up that challenge, with interesting results. Vinyl Connection’s contributions are here and here.

But what about reviewing an album using no words at all? That was the gauntlet recently thrown down in the #0wordchallenge.

After staring at said gauntlet for a while, Vinyl Connection decided to pick it up and give it a shake. But what record to choose?

What about an album released precisely 50 years ago and widely (though not universally) considered one of the greatest of all time? Is VC in speechless agreement with countless magazine and book ‘Best Ever’ lists?

Find out below as we rate [out of 10] each track of an album that needs no introduction from an act you’ve known for all these years…

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

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George Martin, Producer  [10/10]

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Geoff Emerick, Engineer, with his Grammy for Sgt Pepper  [10/10]

*

*

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The Beatles — Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band 

Label: Parlophone

Released 26th May 1967

Duration: 39:52

*

SCORERS

*

34 comments

  1. WOW. Just wow.

    Incidentally I predicted the wrong album. I was thinking Zappa. But to do THIS album? IN NO WORDS? Wow.

    I’m seriously impressed sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mike. Usually I avoid iconic albums as it’s so difficult to find anything new or interesting to say. And I don’t often rate albums either. So what went on in my head with this decision? Lucy only knows. As JDB says (below) it is a conceit, but hopefully an entertaining one.
      PS. Appreciate both your inspiration and tech advice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Entertaining indeed. And that comes across.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the conceit: fantastic!, and sensational timing to boot. (Did I miss it: what earned the Smithereens-esque11 rating?) I scanned an article about the 50th anniversary of Pepper this weekend. It noted that only Paul considered Sgt. Pepper his favorite of the Beatles’ albums. Ringo favored Abbey Road, George Rubber Soul and Revolver. Interestingly, John included “When I’m Sixty-Four”, “Lovely Rita” and “Good Morning Good Morning” among his least favorite numbers of the entire Beatles oeuvre. The author also reminded readers that Pepper wasn’t the first concept album, just the biggest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d been planning to pointedly avoid the 50th anniversary, but then when this idea gelled, I had to do it. Do you know, it took three times as long as a 1,000 word article? Guess that’s why I write and don’t do photography/graphic design.

      Thanks for adding in some contextual words, J. It’s always been Revolver for me, just as I mostly prefer John’s songs to Paul’s.

      Oh, the 11. (1) I was going to give the cover art / design a score of eleven, but decided that was a bit sycophantic; (2) The Smithereens stayed in to even up the ‘Scorers’ grid; and (3) It’s a nice little Spinal Tap reference.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice concept. I broadly agree with the ratings, although I would have maybe pushed Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite a little higher, and When I’m Sixty Four into the negative numbers where it belongs along with Octopus’s Garden…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha! I thought i might get pilloried for dissing WI’m64, so glad to have brought forth agreement. (And I wouldn’t argue vociferously about another mark or so for Mr Kite!)

      Like

  5. So glad you added the lyrics from the album as most consider Sgt. Pepper’s the first to print them. Awesome, as always, Bruce.

    Like

    1. It was a game changer to have the lyrics on the back cover, despite them being quite hard to read (especially when the band were overlaid)!
      Delighted you picked up on that Michael. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Great work of art – but “Sergeant Pepper” is overrated!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Was? Nicht vier Sterne?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. George Martin war davon überzeugt, dass “gross” mit “pompös” gleichzusetzen war. Drei Sterne!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Wonderful! The only Beatles album I care enough about to seek out on vinyl, y’know (I accept they have many very good albums, but I’m not too fussed).

    Really great work, though… truly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks J. When I’ve converted you to Revolver, my work here will be done. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Very clever! But actually I’m thinking it’s probably more work than actually writing a review! 🙂 – Marty

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘Never again!’ I moaned to Ms Connection.
      ‘I could have written two 1,000 word posts’ I bleated to Thom.
      ‘I’m neither photographer nor designer’ I whinged to JDB.
      ‘Build a frickin’ bridge and get over it’ roared the world.
      ‘But,’ I whispered, ‘It was a day in the life…’

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Brilliant! I just read to my wife and we laughed. Your blog comments are as good as the posts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wonderful Bruce, although if I liked you less we might have had to come to blows over ‘When I’m 64’ – I love that song so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seemed likely that someone would take me to task about ‘W I’m 64′, but in all honestly I wouldn’t have predicted it to be you. You ol’ softy.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Haha well done! And I like how A Day In The Life is both a 9.5 AND sexy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d love to turn you on…

      Like

  11. Exemplary review Bruce, really enjoyed this!
    Though it came to a screeching halt at When I’m 64 of course 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, Geoff. Hope I didn’t stomp on a fave.
      (Is there an emoticon for an evil grin?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There should be – and there ought to be one for a scowl when a fave is stomped on too!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great and fun concept !
    I won’t mention how long it took me to understand it (sigh i’m dumb).

    Regarding the ratings, I disagree with most, but that’s no surprise with an album we all have heard sooooo many times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Of course, disagreeing is part of the fun!

      Like

  13. 11/10 for coming up with this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Thanks CB.

      Like

  14. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

    Reminds me of the summer of ’67 listening to the chart show on the radio. Back then there was only one chart and it only featured pop singles. Counting down from 40 I was trying to predict what would be number 1. The DJ hinted that it would be a surprise. By the time we got to number 2 I just knew we had heard all possible candidates for the top slot and the tension was becoming unbearable. Had I missed a fantastic new single or had the radio station cheated somehow?

    Finally, the DJ spilled the beans. They had taken a track from an album that hadn’t yet been released and, breaking all the rules, installed it at number 1 on the singles chart. The song? It was A Day In The Life from Sergeant Pepper. And did it deserve that accolade? Yes, it most definitely did!

    This was, of course, something that only an off-shore (pirate) radio station could do. I still mourn for the old Radio London sometimes and your post just triggered another little tear in the corner of the eye. (Full story here: http://www.radiolondon.co.uk/rl/scrap60/fabforty/sgtpepper/sgtp.html)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a fab story (sorry!) Phil. Thankyou for enriching this word-free post with such a terrific anecdote.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. jeremy epstein · · Reply

    Amazingly, you found a fresh take on SPLHCB. Kudos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Hadn’t planned to mention it at all (for the exact reason your comment implies), until this idea gelled. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Like

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