50 Essential Albums of 1967

From the Doors' debut to Aretha Franklin's first smash

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The Beatles, 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'
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The Beatles, 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'4/50

The Beatles, 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

One of the many remarkable things about the Concept Album Heard 'Round the World is how modest its individual parts are – as modest as the antiquely unhip touring band they pretended to be. Beyond the cosmic "Within You Without You," the all-encompassing "A Day in the Life" and the overtly fanciful "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," every unforgettable song is literal and legible, and not one truly rocks out. Another thing: This consciously cross-generational youth-culture summum is at its very strongest in Side One's three maturation texts – "With a Little Help From My Friends," "Fixing a Hole" and "Getting Better." Another: It runs under 40 minutes, climactic diminuendo included.

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