Band: The Beatles
Album: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Why Rolling Stone gets it right: It is indisputably one of the most important albums of all time. Between the album cover, the sound and the idea of a “concept” album (however wrongheaded that may be), Sgt. Pepper's is a classic. It's the Beatles and many believe it's the Beatles at their best. It has, in my opinion, the best Lennon/McCartney song as its closing track. It – many argue – defined an era, basically, as it came out and was emblematic of the “Summer of Love.”
Why Rolling Stone gets it wrong: It's not the best in the Fab Four's catalog (that'd be Revolver). It's not really a concept album, save for the fact that there is a reprise of the opening track. Also, no one cares about the “Summer of Love” anymore.
Best song:”A Day in the Life,” hands down.
Worst song: Probably “Getting Better,” thought there really isn't a bad song there. “Within You Without You” is not one of George's stronger tracks.
Is it awesome?: Absolutely.
It's hard to argue with the most acclaimed album by rock and roll's best band. While it's not a concept album by any means (any of the songs on the album – save for the reprise – could be on any other album. Notice the musical similarities between “Mystery Tour” and “Sgt. Pepper's.” I find “Revolver” to be both better and more interesting, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with having this one as the best album of all time. It wouldn't be my number one, but it's a fine choice.