It was 40 years ago today…

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band   Super Trouper

… that The Beatles landmark album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released.

Sgt. Pepper has, for all the years since 1967, been considered by music critics and music fans as a peak of pop/rock music, something for all other artists to aspire to.  It was the album that changed the focus of popular music from the single to the album, that lasted up to the download era of the Naughties.

Björn and Benny have both said that The Beatles, particularly the song-writing partnership of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, inspired them first individually, and then together, to compose their own songs.

In some interviews in the 1970s, Björn and Benny had said that many expected them to create their own Sgt. Pepper with each next ABBA album.

There are a remarkable number of similarities between Sgt. Pepper and ABBA’s Super Trouper album:

  • Both front covers show the group surrounded by a crowd – The Beatles, by life-size cut-outs of various friends and heroes; ABBA, by friends and circus performers.
  • Both album covers involved elaborate staging.
  • Both title tracks refer to a band performance.
  • Both title tracks cast a thematic aura over the whole album.
  • Both albums have several songs with a nostalgic air.
  • Both albums have the final two tracks cross-faded as a “grand finale”.
  • Both have sound continuing into the run-out groove, so that those whose record players didn’t have automatic lifting arms would hear sound infinitely (on Sgt. Pepper, specially recorded gibberish; on Super Trouper, the applause following ‘The Way Old Friends Do’). [the CD of Sgt. Pepper recreates this effect; no CD version of Super Trouper does this]
  • Both albums came at the popular peak of each group’s career. Afterwards, both groups fell into a downward spiral.
  • Both albums were each group’s first after their final concert tours.
  • Both are considered by many fans and critics as the group’s finest achievement.

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4 Responses to “It was 40 years ago today…”

  1. Scandiaca Says:

    Hi, Ian! That´s interesting observation… – Although I originally came just to tell you that this blog was great idea. It´s truly interesting and enjoyable to read; so keep it up.. Best regards 🙂

  2. Ian Cole Says:

    Thanks so much for the encouragement, Scandiaca.

  3. Bonnie Says:

    Definitely interesting! Never looked at these two albums like being similar. You said both title songs cast a thematic aura over the albums and I’m sure it was the intention of Lennon and McCartney but how about B&B? Wasn’t it just a coincidence? What if they had left on Put on your white sombrero instead of Super Trouper, to mention another possibility.
    Anyway, it turned out very well, I think I’ll put on the Super Trouper CD right away.

  4. Ian Cole Says:

    Bonnie, you’re right of course, with ‘Super Trouper’ it was just a lucky coincidence, but what a coincidence it was! With ‘Put On Your White Sombrero’ instead of the title track, Super Trouper would have been a very different album.

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