While “Sgt. Pepper’s” probably wouldn’t quite crack my top 3 Beatles albums, there’s no denying the sheer impact it had on culture. It’s unequivocally one of the best albums of all time, and it pioneered an obscene amount of musical and production breakthroughs.
It’s also one of the band’s most consistent albums ever – how would I rank all of the songs?
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13 – Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite
I’m going to get a lot of hate for this one, but I think “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite” is one of the most overrated songs in their whole discography.
The production and zany musical ideas from Lennon are truly mind-blowing, but the song itself is just too weird and left-field for me to enjoy it. Still, it doesn’t detract from the album listening experience.
12 – Fixing A Hole
Probably the least remarkable song on the album, “Fixing A Hole” is a very mid-tier McCartney track.
It’s still fairly enjoyable, and the production is top notch.
11 – Within You Without You
The second of Harrison’s Indian-inspired songs, and “Within You Without You” is much better than his first effort “Love You To”.
Part of Sgt. Pepper’s entire appeal at the time was tracks like this, and the fresh dynamic it added to the album shouldn’t be understated.
10 – When I’m Sixty-Four
Lennon dismissed this McCartney track, labelling it as “Granny Music”, but I like its quaint charm and whimsy.
The lyrics are pretty funny too, with McCartney listing all the ways he would help his elderly father if it came to it.
9 – Good Morning Good Morning
One of the more off-beat songs on the album, but I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for “Good Morning Good Morning”.
The woodwind and brass arrangement are exceptional, and the entire track has a nice swing to it that always pulls me in.
8 – Getting Better
A great little track, it’s the contrast between McCartney’s and Lennon’s lyrics that I really like on “Getting Better”.
The back and forth between them “It’s getting better (can’t get much worse)” is lots of fun, and the Indian-infused verse near the end bumps it up a notch.
7 – She’s Leaving Home
The harp intro already lets you know that you’ll be in for a treat, and McCartney’s lyrics are just sublime – possibly the most emotive and mature he’s ever done.
Apparently the story of the titular home-leaver was based off of a true story in the newspaper at the time – I wonder if that girl knows how famous she became?
6 – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
Some people complain about this track, how it’s just a short snippet of a song, but I’d argue the entire album wouldn’t work without it.
It completes the whole “concept” of the concept album, harkening back to the opening song while providing a fresh, rocky take on it.
5 – Lovely Rita
There’s a really funny set of lyrics that goes along with “Lovely Rita”, with McCartney showing his cheeky side about a meter maid he met.
Most of McCartney’s songs aren’t as psychedelic as this (usually Lennon handles those types of tracks), so it’s a nice change of pace.
4 – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
The song that kickstarted the album and introduced the concept of the Beatles’ alter ego, the title track is a fantastic rock banger to get you pumped.
The whole idea of the Beatles using alter egos came about when McCartney wanted to push away from their predictable mop-top sound, and as a result they crafted possibly the first (or the first mainstream) concept album.
3 – With A Little Help From My Friends
There are three absolute crackers on Sgt. Pepper’s, and this Ringo-led track is one of the catchiest and most anthemic the Beatles ever did.
The plonking bassline is just as whimsical as Ringo’s vocals, and the chorus is one of the most sing-able and uplifting in the band’s discography.
2 – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
Is “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” an allegory for LCD? Probably.
This is one of Lennon’s most enduring songs, with a chorus that is instantly recognisable anywhere around the world. It’s peak Beatles psychedelia, and I’m shocked there’s a better song on the album.
1 – A Day In The Life
“A Day In The Life” is the Beatles’ best song with possibly their best set of lyrics, and it has a really strong case for being the greatest song of all time.
The production is absolutely sensational throughout, and both the Lennon and McCartney sections are pitch perfect. The part where Lennon’s ethereal vocals come in after the bridge, partnered with the swelling brass arrangement, is my favourite 30 seconds of music ever put to tape – I get goosebumps every time.
Aaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my other recent blog posts below:
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