Tangent Sunset

The History of Conscious Music by Alex Cosper

Deeper Into Stream of Consciousness Music

The creative competition between The Beatles and The Beach Boys reached a climax in 1967 with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, in which The Beatles clarified that they were not bound by any music industry rules. The album featured no singles, which was considered odd for the single-driven period. All of the songs ran into each other as there was no silence between tracks. In the middle of this experience was a George Harrison track called "Within You, Without You," which was by far the band's most articulate statement about the mysteries of the universe. The hypnotic "A Day In The Life" was another landmark song in the shift toward music commenting on various states of mind, specifically how someone reacts when they hear about someone who dies.

The overall concept of the album may have been too multi-layered to generalize but some of the social themes addressed were going to shows (title track, "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite"), partying ("With a Little Help From My Friends"), psychedelia ("Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"), running away from home ("She's Leaving Home"), personal recovery ("Getting Better," "Fixing A Hole" and "Good Morning, Good Morning"), sex ("Lovely Rita"), soul searching ("Within You, Without You"), aging ("When I'm Sixty-Four") and death ("A Day In The Life"). They would release more psychedelia later in the year with Magical Mystery Tour, which dove deeper into the levels of the subliminal world with "I Am The Walrus," which showcased the poetry of non-meaning but was perceived as having multi-layered meaning.

Continue to "Painting Dark Pictures"