Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1st, 1967

It was 50 Years Ago Today ...  

That The Beatles' landmark album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was released in Great Britain.  It will be released in The United States the following day.  (I guess technically speaking that means that it was 70 Years Ago Today that Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play!)

Much like their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show  3 1/2 years earlier, the world will never be the same in its wake.  Once again The Beatles have turned the world of music, art, fashion and pop culture on its collective ear.

The progression from "Love Me Do", "She Loves You", "Please Please Me", "From Me To You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to the art form of "Sgt. Pepper in less than five years is both unfathomable and revolutionary … and yet we watched the whole thing happen before our very eyes. 

Now that The Beatles have completed their masterpiece, "Sgt. Pepper", The Zombies begin recording their second album at EMI Studios in London.  Eventually titled "Odessey And Oracle" (the title a misspelling by the sleeve designer, Terry Quirk), the LP will go on to achieve cult status decades later.

But The Zombies were not patient enough to wait in 1967 to see if the world at large would accept their new sound and disbanded shortly thereafter.  Two years later, Al Kooper (then heading Blood, Sweat And Tears) appealed to the honchos at CBS Records to release "Time Of The Season" as a single, stating that it was a sure-fire hit.  Reluctantly, the label did ... and, in early 1969, the record went all the way to #1 ... but by then, The Zombies had already split up and were no longer interested in touring together (or even talking to each other for that matter!)

For all the revolutionary good that "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" did for the industry ... and changed the way albums would be made from that day forward, the record became SO huge that it would overshadow other competent and time-changing releases like The Zombies' "Odessey and Oracle" and The Moody Blues' "Days Of Future Passed".  Fortunately for all of us, their record labels persisted and released tracks like "Time Of The Season" and "Nights In White Satin" years later when they felt the public was "ready for it" ... and both have gone on to become cultural classics.  What a pity it would have been had these tracks been buried and lost forever!

Fairport Convention performed their first live concert at St. Michael's Hall in London