SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

 |   |  1 min read

SGT PEPPER'S MUSICAL REVOLUTION, a film presented by HOWARD GOODALL

Like millions of others, says classical musician Howard Goodall at the start of this hour-long doco, he was spellbound when hearing the Beatles' Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in June 1967.

Goodall has become the go-to guy for benign Beatle comment these days (he popped up in Ron Howard's Eight Days a Week also) and here he appears again as the smart, articulate and well spoken frontman who has access to previously unheard studio banter and outtakes alongside still photos, interview footage, archival films, videos and so on from the period.

He notes early on the innovation of Pepper (and the preceding single Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane) was that Рdespite the occasional clich̩ today that is was all hippie, acid-soaked trippy music -- half the songs were lyrically grounded in the real world (newspaper articles, the meter maid and so on). And that all styles were fair game (music hall, pop, brass bands and so on) in its musical ambition and scope.

beatles_session_picNone of this will be new to anyone who has had passing encounters with the album (let alone were there at the time), but Goodall – in the manner of friendly lecturer, “So what I hear you say . . .” who can illustrate ideas on a Mellotron and Little Richards' innovations on piano – offers a gentle guide through the background from the late Fifties and on into the period under consideration, the Abbey Road studio and the songs of '67.

What he does bring to life is just how clever the studio production was, especially given how basic the technology was at the time . . . and how an engineer Ken Townshend developed technology to seamlessly join the different speeds and keys of the two parts of Lennon's Strawberry Fields Forever.

And so on.

It is interesting, sometimes insightful and certainly enjoyable, even if for many tracks some familiar byways.

But if you or someone in your household is in the early teens then it's quite an ear-opener.

Sgt Pepper's Musical Revolution screens on Prime Rocks, Tuesday July 4, 8.30pm

There is a consideration of this album and its 50th anniversary reissue here. And its expensive and influential cover here.

THE_BEATLES_SGT._PEPPERS_LONELY_HEARTS_CLUB_BANDREVOLVER_474861

Share It

Your Comments

Ralph - Jun 30, 2017

Don't know aboiit you Graham but I've reached Peak Pepper! Enough already

post a comment

More from this section   Film articles index

THE BAND'S VISIT by ERIN KOLIRIN (Madman DVD)

THE BAND'S VISIT by ERIN KOLIRIN (Madman DVD)

This beautifully composed, delightfully understated Israeli film is at Elsewhere not because it is about music -- an Egyptian police band adrift in an unattractive town in Israel -- but because it... > Read more

CHANTS R&B: Christchurch's rare rock, rumble and bang captured on film

CHANTS R&B: Christchurch's rare rock, rumble and bang captured on film

Chants R&B out of Christchurch in the Sixties were a rare New Zealand band, on so many levels. Rare in that they played exciting, noisy, feedback-infused rhythm and blues rock at a time when... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . RAY CATHODE: Electronic pioneer or just another knob twiddler?

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . RAY CATHODE: Electronic pioneer or just another knob twiddler?

In the encyclopedias of electronic music one name stands out for its absence, that of the British experimenter, producer and musician Ray Cathode who, in the very early Sixties, made two... > Read more

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sammy Johnson

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE REGGAE QUESTIONNAIRE: Sammy Johnson

Sammy Johnson is a genuine New Zealand reggae star. His single No Sleep -- which is on his just released debut EP -- topped the local reggae charts and got into the Billboard Top 40 reggae chart.... > Read more