Pet peeve time: when I listen to music, there are a number of factors that almost inevitably will drive me crazy and shrink the odds of me appreciating a song: stupid rhymes (“dustbin lid,” really?). Unnecessary whistling. And fake audience noise on studio recordings. Especially fake laughter. What hilarity took place 47 seconds into “Sgt. Pepper” that caused the (fake, if I need to remind you) crowd to guffaw so heartily? Were they all on drugs?
Take one look at the album cover and I think you know the answer.
I understand that the original (mostly abandoned) concept for Sgt. Pepper was to mimic a concert featuring multiple acts, but it feels so cheesy. That said, while the lead-off song possesses strong vocals and a cool guitar part, the main reason I’m ranking it so low is because I feel like “Magical Mystery Tour,” the title track of the Beatles’ next project, is essentially a stronger, more cohesive rewrite of “Sgt. Pepper.” The concept is the same: introduce a quirky idea via Paul McCartney’s raw, shouted vocals. Normally I award points for originality, but the second time was the charm in this case.