The Beatles’ early affects on the rock and roll genre

Seth Morgan

 The Beatles are one of the greatest bands of all time with having pioneered many rock and roll staples that became commonplace shortly after being debuted in the band. 

One album in The Beatles discography many people believe exemplifies this point is their eighth album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Released on June 1, 1967, the album has been deemed as one of the most important rock & roll albums ever made, an unsurpassed milestone in sound, songwriting, cover art and studio technology by one of the greatest rock & roll groups of all time. 

Rock music was no longer the same after Sgt. Pepper’s was released. 

The ripple effect it had on the rock and roll is extraordinary, and those waves could be seen shortly after the release. 

By pioneering and popularizing rock subgenres like psychedelic and progressive rock. 

 “I learned from Lennon, McCartney and Harrison [how] it was okay to write about our lives and express what we felt,” – Roger Waters

The Beatles showed other bands more could be done with rock and roll, through the innovative sounds they used on Sgt. Pepper’s

King Crimson’s Robert Fripp said he found inspiration in Sgt. Pepper’s was in the use of horns and classical music along with rock rhythms, something that became a hallmark of progressive rock in the coming years. 

Another way Sgt. Pepper’s would influence future artists is through the use of musical personas. 

Through the persona of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band, The Beatles were able to release music fitting their artistic vision. 

This would influence the way musicians like KISS and David Bowie would produce and personify their music. 

By capturing and defining the ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967, they established how music is about self-expression and not just entertainment. 

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters described Sgt. Pepper’s influence on their 1973 masterpiece The Dark Side of The Moon, “I learned from Lennon, McCartney and Harrison [how] it was okay to write about our lives and express what we felt… More than any other record it gave me and my generation permission to branch out and do whatever we wanted.” 

Sgt. Pepper’s was an album of self-expression for The Beatles, and by making it they showed other bands they could make their music as a way to express themselves. 

This is why Sgt. Pepper’s such an impactful album, they made the album they wanted to, instead of relying on what would be generally appealing to a large commercial audience. 

The group had stopped touring a few years prior, opting to focus on their music. 

By showing rock bands they could express themselves through their music, as well as experiment with their sound, Sgt. Pepper’s is an unprecedented album inspiring generations of musicians to come.