Even Millennials love Classic Rock

Fred Jacobs reflected on the 50 year anniversary of the Beatles’ release of “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” and explains why even Millennials are able to connect with vintage rock acts.

 Jacobs reflected,

“Sgt. Pepper’s” was a sure sign the Beatles burned out on being the Beatles, long before the rest of us did.  And unlike most bands that would have been content to continue releasing hit albums regurgitating their patented sound, “Sgt. Pepper’s” was a message to their millions of fans:

 “We’re moving over here now and taking a very different journey.  You’re welcome to join us.  But if not, you have our wonderful older albums to enjoy.” 

The travelers who made the episodic trek often ended up becoming Classic Rock fans, while those who stayed behind, preferring the more melodious sound, innocence, and simplicity of “She Loves You” and “Eight Days A Week” tended to gravitate to Oldies stations.  It was like after years of mainstream comedies, the Beatles released a foreign film – without the subtitles.  Not everyone “got it.”

 “Sgt. Pepper’s” was the gateway drug (in some cases, quite literally) to Pink Floyd, Yes, and rock that went well beyond hit singles and mainstream airplay at powerhouses like KHJ, WLS, and CKLW.

 But that’s why the Beatles were…the Beatles.  Always leading, never following, they took us on a trip that has continued to this day.  The seeds of FM radio’s rise were firmly planted with that album, fueling a group of upstart revolutionary stations on the chance to be different and even counter-culture.

The Beatles albums that followed – “Magical Mystery Tour,” “The Beatles” (White Album), “Yellow Submarine,” “Abbey Road,” and “Let It Be”  – all continued the journey, moving further away from being fab, and scoping out new musical and cultural turf.

 It is impossible to imagine another album (or video or film) that could possibly have the sweeping impact “Sgt. Pepper’s” did.  And that’s why this breakthrough album is worth celebrating, whether you grew up with the Beatles or you discovered this masterwork at some point later on like many thirtysomethings have done.

 For me personally, the album signaled a music transition, opening me up to bands and albums that would become a catalyst for my own career in radio, and later, the development of the Classic Rock format.

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Fred Jacobs

Jacobs Media Blog

May 31st, 2017