Today marks 40 years since the release of the album that for me, sets the standard for what an album should and can be. Sgt. Pepper’s is not just my favorite Beatles’ record (all apologies to you Abbey Road and Revolver folks… argue with me in the comments) it is my favorite record, period. And I’m not the only one who thinks so…

I have fond memories of holing up in my room as a teenager, reading novels (most notably Irving’s The World According to Garp) and listening to Sgt. Pepper on repeat — over and over again until each song became part of my deepest self, never to see any other way. Never to see any other way

There’s the little things that make Sgt. Pepper’s great, like the fact that it was the first album to include the lyrics in the liner notes, but really it’s the songs and the cohesiveness of the production that make it so timeless. Pepper’s might not contain the biggest of the Beatles’ hits, but, for me, it works together as a whole so much better than any of their other albums. Sgt. Pepper’s breathes and flows from one song to the next so well that it elevated the mere collection of pop songs to the sublime art form we call the album.

If your Beatles collection is limited to the hits, do yourself a favor and get your very own copy of Sgt. Pepper’s to cherish. And for those who want the very best, get hold of the Dr. Ebbett’s mono transfer of Sgt. Peppers, if you can find it

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