There’s a paradox here: although Pepper is easily the most famous of the Beatle’s albums (arguably the most famous album by anyone, ever), this has been one of the trickier of our Fabs comps to pull together since some of the tunes (eg Fixing A Hole, Mr Kite, Good Morning) have attracted surprisingly low numbers of covers.
By now the lads were operating at such a level of lysergic-fuelled creativity, their contemporaries and rivals needed full-magnification binoculars to keep them in sight. And with its borrowings from the music-halls, fairgrounds, India and God-knows where else, some were even beginning to question whether whatever it was they were up could still be classified as pop.
Luckily, there were still enough intrepid souls out there to rise to the challenge, enabling us to bring you volume 8 of the Beatles Project.
So welcome, please, to Jean-Luc Ponty’s Gallic jazz-fiddling; Quebecois av-gardery from L’Infonie; Yugoslavian new wave from Elektricni Orgazm (It means electronic orgasm); Davy Graham opting to showcase his voice rather than the usual digital dexterity and lots of other good folk (plus Bill Cosby) all looking to season our listening lives with a sprinkling of fresh pepper.
Parlophone PCM/S 7027 hit the shops in Britain on the 26th of May 1967, just in time to be played constantly, in full, throughout June’s Monterrey Pop festival and was instantly acclaimed as a, if not the defining moment in post-war culture.
Three months later, Brian Epstein, the cement that bound John, Paul, George and Ringo together, was found dead and the first faint fissures started to appear…
1 Bill Cosby-Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
2 Jean-Luc Ponty-With A Little Help From My Friends
3 Noel Harrison-Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4 Davy Graham-Getting Better
5 Jackie & Roy-Fixing A Hole
6 L’Infonie-She’s Leaving Home
7 Elektricni Orgazam-Being On Behalf Of Mr Kite
8 Sonic Youth-Within You Without You
9 The Thurston Lava tube-When I’m 64
10 Fats Domino-Lovely Rita
11 Peter Knight & His Orchestra-Good Morning, Good Morning
12 Jimi Hendrix-Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club Band (Live)
13 Affinity/the Fall/The Portsmaouth Symphonia/Charles Hawtrey & The Deaf Aids-A Day In The Life