The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by Allan F Moore (Cambridge University Press, pounds 7.99)
Of course, it had to be Sgt Pepper, though many pop aficionados rate Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys as a more significant achievement; and Revolution has come to be regarded as the finest of all the Beatles' records, despite the drawback of "Yellow Submarine".
Not only was Sgt Pepper a "concept" album (of sorts), it was replete with cultural references. The core of Moore's study is an in-depth technical analysis of the music. Fans of the Fab Four will be intrigued to learn, for example, that "Lovely Rita" has "a very strong sense of harmonic direction, traversing cycles of fifths either side of the tonic E". Dr Moore's keen ear also reveals non-musical elements: four minutes and 50 seconds into "A Day in the Life" he detects "the creaking of a piano stool (the first real intimation on the album that we are hearing real, lived time)".
Though he refers en passant to Beethoven and Dostoyevsky, the knowledgeable author does not avoid less exalted cultural associations. Reflecting on the range of influence on the Beatles, he notes that other bands shared the same eclecticism. We even find "such an avowed pop band as Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch producing pop pastiches of Greek and Latin `ethnic' sounds (`Zabadak' and `Xanadu') as early as 1965". He also suggests that the dream sequence of "A Day in the Life" influenced the "early 1990s UK advertisement for only the crumbliest, flakiest chocolate... In this way a musical sequence can assume a near iconic quality".
In Moore's conclusion, Schumann rubs shoulders with the Boo Radleys, Schoenberg with King Crimson. Sgt Pepper, he exuberantly affirms, marks "the paradigmatic shift towards a more flexible, less guilt-ridden appropriation and utilisation of musical materials". Ringo himself couldn't have put it better.
Life & Style blogs
The mother who never gave up on her child abused by the Oxford child sex ring
Britain scrapes into top 25 countries in the world to be a mother in Save the Children report
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
The 12 most sexually satisfied countries in the world revealed
Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
In defence of liberal democracy
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
- 1 Technology company Alibaba posts job advert asking for 'stunning' women with qualities of adult film actress Sora Aoi
- 2 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 3 'Fire at every person you see': Israeli soldiers reveal they were ordered to shoot to kill in Gaza – even if the targets may have been civilians
- 4 Italian police 'reveal' what Jesus looked like as a young boy
- 5 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Sthree are looking fo...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + commission: SThree: Real Staffing's Pharmaceutical...