"After John's reprise, the orchestra returns for an even greater swelling of sound. It was like something blowing up, a tremendous wreck, the explosion of a gun inside a car. And then, after all the chaos and destruction, what next? George Harrison had suggested a fade to humming. But it didn't work. Paul thought that the song needed firmer resolution. Three Steinway pianos and a harmonium were rolled into action, and at every keyboard the players were instructed to hit the single chord of E major simultaneously and hard, with the sustain foot pedal down, letting it carry as long as possible. There were nine takes. The tone is so big, so capacious and resonant because Martin and Emerick thought to put the recorder on half speed. It's the sound of peace. Instead of love being all you need, here it's music that gets you through all the days and nights."
Nicholas Dawidoff at The Atlantic listens to the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" fifty years later.
Ned Rorem discusses the Beatles in a January 1968 article from The New York Review of Books.
But Kyle Smith at National Review argues that Sgt. Pepper is "not even the finest Beatles album released in 1967."