Endless Loop: A Day in the Life

beatlesHave you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop.

“A Day in the Life” by The Beatles

I’m going to do my very best not to come off deliberately and irritatingly contrarian here. It’s probably going to take some effort, but here we go. The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is an overrated album. There. I said it. Now let’s let that sink in for just a second or two. Okay. Have you recovered? Please allow me to explain.

I’m not saying the Sgt. Pepper’s is a bad album. Far from it. It’s a great album, and along with The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, it began to show what pop music was capable of being…art. But it’s certainly not The Beatles’ best album, a point of contention that we could honestly argue about all day long (though I’ve probably got to go with either The White Album or Revolver). What makes Sgt. Pepper’s overrated is the fact that out of the thirteen tracks on the album, not one of them compares to the penultimate pop loveliness of album closer “A Day in the Life,” the song I consider to be inarguably the best thing The Beatles ever recorded.

“A Day in the Life” is sweet, and melancholy, and a little odd, and in so many ways it feels like the culmination of everything The Beatles were, including their past and future. The Lennon parts sound like perfect Lennon parts. The McCartney parts are the purest McCartney. There’s a Harrison spirituality that encompasses the whole thing. And Ringo keeps the beat of course. Nothing else the band ever wrote or recorded lives up to “A Day in the Life.” Nothing even comes close. I could be congenial and say that that’s just my humble opinion…but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s a fact. If your opinion differs, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong. (I will be happy to field arguments as to what The Beatles’ second best song is though. It’s “Eleanor Rigby” by the way.)

Now, if only I could figure out how to put the song’s closing, sustained piano chord into text form.

I love that sound.


Thomas H Williams

Thomas H Williams

From a bunker somewhere in Central Texas, Thomas H. Williams spends most of his time with his wife, his two sons, and his increasingly neurotic dog. He listens to a lot of music, drinks a lot of excellent beers, and gets out from time to time. For even more shenanigans, visit heavenisanincubator.blogspot.com.

One Response to Endless Loop: A Day in the Life
  1. Shawn C Baker

    Shawn C Baker Reply

    I’ll go one step forward on contrarianism in regards to Ol’ Mr. Pepper – I’d say every track on it beside the first four and the last track – which is easily probably the best thing they ever did – are all filler. She’s Leaving Home? Really?

    Great piece, as usual sir.

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