No one listened to “Sgt. Pepper” and immediately pronounced it a classic, it was just too different. But because funds were limited, you flipped the record over and played it again and again until it revealed itself. AND IT DID! There were no clunkers, you developed favorites, you learned the lyrics, and you started to break away from the paradigm, you were no longer a slave to the radio, you’d been set free.
Indeed. I came to it a few years after it was released; I was too young to be interested in that when it came out. But it’s one of those rare albums where the entire album is close to perfect.
I don’t understand the remix fetish for an album like this. It’s like colorizing Casablanca. But, it’s worth noting that the original mix for Sgt. Pepper was the mono mix, that was carefully crafted over a period of several weeks. The stereo mix was slapped together more quickly, since not that many people listened to records in stereo at the time.
But Lefsetz also makes the point that you listened to it over and over, flipping the record continuously. People don’t listen to music like that any more. It’s too easy to skip to the next song on a playlist, or pass over a song that you don’t like on an album. Instead of listening to an album 100 times, most people listen to 100 songs once each. We’re missing out on so much by listening broad instead of deep.