You may be wondering why I’m ranking the 81-second reprise of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘s title track over the original version that oh-so-thematically kicks off the album. “Anthony, quit being so contrarian.” “Anthony, give it a rest with trying to subtly undermine Sgt. Pepper.” “Anthony, stop having hypothetical conversations with yourself on your weird Beatles blog. We’re worried about you. You haven’t eaten in days. You started saving your fingernail clippings in a jar because you said you’ll need them, and I quote, ‘if the snakes rise up.'”
Wrong. I said when, not if.
There are a couple reasons why I prefer the reprise. So many in fact, that we’re gonna go and enter list form. Buckle up, kiddos.
- (0:00) The chicken cluck-to-guitar transition. Obviously this technique has gotten way overused in popular music in recent years, but the Beatles did it first.
- (0:02) Can’t say no to a Paul McCartney count-in.
- (0:04) I love the little drum intro.
- (0:12) The Hendrix-inspired guitar is even more frenetic the second time around.
- (0:19) Listen closely for that “Woo!”
- (0:53) My favorite moment of them all, when they switch it up and sing, “Sgt. Pepper’s one and only lonely hearts club band.” I have no idea why I love this so much but it’s remained the definitive reason why I like the reprise more ever since I first heard it at age 12.
- (1:08) It’s hard to understand what exactly Paul is yelling in the background, but God bless him for keeping the energy alive throughout the whole song.