Disintegrating the Beatles

A few years ago I had disintegrated the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles for my university class midterm. Obviously, I am as much of a lay man as any other, but just have had a keen interest in Beatles and their music since a very young age. I have revamped the same and share it for your reading pleasure. This was originally written on 20 April 2008.

The midterm asked us to evaluate the songs of any album and then restructure the album listing as per what we thought was more suitable for the songs and flow of music.

In order to evaluate the songs and structure I created a few metrics that would help differentiate one song from the other. The criteria were ‘Happiness Quotient', ‘Musical Value and Effect', ‘Lyrical value and content' and a ‘Craziness/Catchiness Bonus'. Each criterion (except Craziness Bonus) is on a scale of 1 to 10. The Craziness bonus (1 or 2) is given to a song that I feel stands out amongst other songs and has a special effect of its own. The values for each criterion is assigned based solely on my personal views about the songs and the overall values are relative only to other songs in the table.

I use this process to reorder the playlist for the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band. You could try listening to the songs in this order and see if you agree with me.

Side 1:

1. With a little Help from my friends

2. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

3. Penny Lane

4. Strawberry Fields Forever

5. When I'm sixty-four

6. Fixing a Hole

7. Good Morning, Good morning

Side 2:
1. Being for the benefit of Mr. Kite

2. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

3. Within you, Without you

4. Lovely Rita

5. She's Leaving Home

6. Getting Better

7. A Day in the Life

8. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

By such an ordering scheme I have tried to create two balanced sides of the LP. The first side has one of the best songs along with a couple that are lower value relatively. “With a little help from my friends” is a great song to start off the album as the lyrics sets the theme for the album. It has a catchy melody and is upbeat. “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts club band” following right after completes the introduction of the theme. Penny Lane then provides a great build up for Strawberry Fields. “When I am Sixty-Four” is the least catchy of all songs on the album and is thus placed with the better songs on Side A, in order to balance the quality of each side. The side ends with Good Morning, Good Morning which promotes positive energy and the listener is compelled to carry on with the next side.

“Being for the benefit of Mr. Kite” has quite the vivid imagery along with the persistent beats and orchestral atmosphere makes it ideal to begin side 2. Following right after is my favorite song on the album “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”. This song has an equally vivid imagery and is more likable with multiple interpretations and lets you get absorbed in it. The instruments playing during the verses are complex and almost makes you feel. “Within you, without you” is placed third as it has a very unique sound (with the use of Indian music) and is very good but cannot be placed first. It allows for a greater breadth of songs to be covered on the second side. “Lovely Rita” has been moved a song down to accommodate this. “She's Leaving Home” talks about an occasional phenomena during that time and has a very well composed music which goes along with the story being told. The vocals are also extremely well done, and have been thought through. “Getting better” has been added right after to balance out the previous song. “A day in the Life” and “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise)” have been switched so that the lyrics of Sgt. Pepper's is not taken literally and can be open to more interpretations.

Criteria Evaluation Table for songs from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Sorted by Highest First):



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