50 years ago today an album was released that took pop music, something previously regarded as disposable, into the realm of art, whilst helping enable a vital generation of young people to throw off the shackles and express themselves in ever-ambitious ways – ‘Sgt.Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ soundtracked the fabled ‘summer of love’, which had spilled out into an unsuspecting world via the US West Coast, its psychedelic epicentre being San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood, where the original hippies had gathered and pondered the meaning of it all, adopting a lateral LSD-laced stance on life that would be a defining feature of the decade.
On April Fools’ Day our record label, Super Weird Substance, is hosting its most ambitious event to date – a 14 hour long Happening that takes over The Florrie, a stunning Grade II Victorian community heritage venue in Liverpool.
I wanted to do something to mark the 50th anniversary of 1967 – a truly magical, myth-laden, musical year when so much changed, separating old from new and leading to a seismic cultural shift, especially via the recording industry – artists becoming increasingly ambitious, with pop music no longer regarded as throwaway fodder for the kids, but the great artistic statement of the age.
It was half a century ago today that one of the great albums of the pop era, ‘Revolver’ by The Beatles, was released. It was the 7th Beatles album and their 7th UK #1 (all of The Beatles’ studio albums topped the UK chart). It generally places highly on critic’s best album of all-time lists.
The fourth edition of my ‘Discotheque Archives’ series for DJ Mag is now online, featuring more landmarks in pre-Rave club culture:
North London born A&R man and record producer of The Beatles, George Martin, died yesterday aged 90.
Today The Beatles made their back catalogue available to stream online. This provides a significant cultural marker for, as in the ’80s when CD was on the rise, the endorsement of The Beatles gives the ‘format’ full validity within the music industry.
Liverpool singer and TV star, Cilla Black (born Priscilla White) died today at her holiday home in Spain – she was 72 years old.
Half a century ago today a seismic cultural event took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The International Poetry Incarnation, with Beat poet Allen Ginsberg the guest of honour, drew over 7,000 people – bringing together formerly disparate groupings who could now, as a result of this vast gathering, see strength in numbers.
Liverpool is on the cusp of something special. I firmly believe that the cogs are clicking into place and the connections are being made as we enter a new cycle in this unique city’s cultural quest.