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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Thebeatlessgtpepperslonelyheartsclubband
Released 26 May 1967
Recorded November 1966–April 1967
Studio EMI Studios and Regent Sound, London
Genre Pop rock • psychedelic rock • art rock • baroque pop
Length 39:52
Label ParlophoneCapitol
Producer George Martin
Album Guide
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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by English rock band The Beatles. It was first released on 26 May 1967 in the United Kingdom by Parlophone and on 2 June in the United States by Capitol Records. After the band permanently retired from touring in August 1966, member Paul McCartney suggested an idea for a song involving an Edwardian military band that ultimately formed the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. After recording sessions began in November, he later suggested the band release an entire album representing a performance by the fictional Sgt. Pepper band. This would give the Beatles freedom to experiment musically, and as a result, they furthered the technological progression they had made with their previous album Revolver (1966).

Knowing they would not have to perform new songs live, the band adopted an experimental approach to composition and recording. Producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick helped realise their ideas by approaching the studio as an instrument, applying orchestral overdubs, sound effects, and other methods of tape manipulation. An important work of British psychedelia, the album incorporates a range of stylistic influences, including vaudeville, circus, music hall, the avant-garde, and Western and Indian classical music. Its iconic cover photo, depicting the band in their Sgt. Pepper personas posing in front of a tableau of celebrities and historical figures, was designed by British pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth.

Upon its initial release, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band topped the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard Top LPs chart. It was lauded by critics for its innovation in production, songwriting, and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and providing a musical representation of its generation and the contemporary counterculture. The album is often regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the use of extended form while continuing the artistic maturation of earlier Beatles records; it is also credited with aiding in the development of progressive rock, and marking the beginning of the album era.

As of 2011, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has sold over 32 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, and has been certified 17x platinum by the British Phonographic Industry and 11x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. In 2003, the United States Library of Congress selected the album for preservation in the National Recording Registry, deeming it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant", and Rolling Stone placed it at number one on its list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time", a position it kept after the list was updated in 2012.

OverviewEdit

The album project had originally been titled Dr. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but after it was discovered that Dr. Pepper would form a lawsuit, The Beatles changed the title to Sgt. Pepper's. Since the album was recorded after the band stopped touring, its songs were each designed so that they could not be played live. From that point on, the Beatles became an entirely studio-based band. For the first time in their careers, they had more than ample time with which to prepare their next record. As EMI's premier act and Britain's most successful pop group, they had almost unlimited access to the state-of-the-art technology of Abbey Road Studios. All four band members had already developed a preference for long, late-night sessions, although they were still extremely efficient and highly disciplined in their studio habits. All of the Beatles experimented with new sounds while recording the album, so each song is very different. It is rumoured that drugs took a big part while the band was making the album. The song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was said to be about LSD, but John Lennon denied this, claiming it was about a drawing his son Julian Lennon had drawn.

RecordingEdit

Since the introduction of magnetic recording tape in 1949, multitrack recording had been developed. By 1967, all of the Sgt. Pepper tracks could be recorded at Abbey Road using mono, stereo, and 4-track recorders. Although 8-track tape recorders were already available in the U.S., the first 8-tracks were not operational in commercial studios in London until late 1967, shortly after Sgt. Pepper was released. In retrospect, the limitations of EMI's studio technology most likely pushed the Beatles and their production staff to be more inventive and resourceful than they otherwise would have been. The Beatles also used new modular effects units such as the wah-wah pedal and fuzzbox, which they augmented with their own experimental ideas, such as running voices and instruments through a Leslie speaker. Another important sonic innovation was McCartney's discovery of the direct input (DI) technique, in which he could record his bass by plugging it directly into an amplifying circuit in the recording console. Also important was varispeeding, the technique of recording various tracks on a multi-track tape at slightly different tape speeds. The Beatles use this effect extensively on their vocals in this period. The speeding up of vocals (also known as 'tweaking') also became a widespread technique in pop production. The Beatles also used the effect on portions of their backing tracks (as on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds") to give them a 'thicker' and more diffuse sound.

ControversyEdit

The album's closing track "A Day in the Life" includes the phrase "I'd love to turn you on". The BBC banned the song from airplay on the basis of this line, claiming it could "encourage a permissive attitude toward drug-taking". Both Lennon and McCartney denied any drug-related interpretation of the song at the time, although McCartney's later comments in The Beatles Anthology video regarding the writing of the lyric make it clear that the drug reference was indeed deliberate.

There had also been cases that at the end of "A Day in the Life", the message "Never could be any other way" along with other studio chatter, could be played backwards, bringing the uncomfortable message "We'll f**k you like we're superman!", along that could be heard as "Will Paul be back as superman?" which is an obvious reference to the Paul is Dead rumours.

Album CoverEdit

The album cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of the most famous of all time. It was designed by Peter Blake and photographed by Michael Cooper. The Beatles each chose ten people they would like to perform in front of, and those chosen are displayed on the album cover. Two of John Lennon's picks, Adolf Hitler and Jesus Christ, were rejected (this was only a few months after Lennon's Jesus statement) by EMI. Leo Gorcey was modelled and originally included to the left of Huntz Hall, but was subsequently removed when a fee of $400 was requested for the use of the actor's likeness. Mohandas Gandhi was modelled and originally included to the right of Lewis Carroll, but was subsequently removed. According to McCartney, "Gandhi also had to go because the head of EMI, Sir Joe Lockwood, said that in India they wouldn't allow the record to be printed".

TracksEdit

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted otherwise.

Side oneEdit

  1. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" – 2:04
  2. "With a Little Help from My Friends" – 2:46
  3. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" – 3:30
  4. "Getting Better" – 2:49
  5. "Fixing a Hole" – 2:38
  6. "She's Leaving Home" – 3:37
  7. "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" – 2:37

Side twoEdit

  1. "Within You Without You" (George Harrison) – 5:07
  2. "When I'm Sixty-Four" – 2:38
  3. "Lovely Rita" – 2:43
  4. "Good Morning Good Morning" – 2:41
  5. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" – 1:20
  6. "A Day in the Life" – 5:33

Note: There were also four songs recorded during the making of this album: Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane (both released on a single), Only a Northern Song (re-recorded one and a half years later on Yellow Submarine) and the as-yet unreleased Carnival of Light.

2017 Super Deluxe Edition Edit

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On May 26th 2017, a deluxe box set of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was issued to commemorate the release of the iconic album in 1967. It comes in a slipcase with a parallax-3D version of the album cover on the front; inside is a reproduction EMI tape box, containing a reproduction of the original vinyl gatefold package (inside this are four CDs, a DVD and a Blu-Ray); reproductions of the "Sgt. Pepper Cut-Outs" which came with the original LP, of the antique circus poster which inspired "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", and of a promotional poster used by record shops to advertise that they had the album in stock; and a hardback book (named after the album) covering all details of the making and impact of the album.

The DVD and Blu-Ray discs contain the entire album in hi-res audio (as the original 2.0 stereo mix, or as a new 5.1 mix by Sam Okell and Giles Martin). They also contain the 1992 documentary "The Making of Sgt. Pepper", and the original 1967 videos for "A Day in the Life", "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" (all in 4:3 aspect ratio).

Tracklisting Edit

Disc 1 (CD) – new 2017 stereo mix, complete with the original UK album's 'edit for LP end' run-out groove.

Disc 2 (CD) - outtakes

  1. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 1)
  2. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 4)
  3. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7)
  4. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 26)
  5. Strawberry Fields Forever (2015 stereo mix)
  6. When I'm Sixty-Four (Take 2)
  7. Penny Lane (Take 6: instrumental)
  8. Penny Lane (vocal overdubs and speech)
  9. Penny Lane (2017 stereo mix)
  10. A Day In The Life (Take 1)
  11. A Day In The Life (Take 2)
  12. A Day In The Life (orchestra overdub)
  13. A Day In The Life (hummed last chord: Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11)
  14. A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)
  15. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 1: instrumental)
  16. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9 and speech)
  17. Good Morning Good Morning (Take 1: instrumental, breakdown)
  18. Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8)

Disc 3 (CD) – outtakes:

  1. Fixing A Hole (Take 1)
  2. Fixing A Hole (speech and Take 3)
  3. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! (speech from before Take 1; Take 4; speech at end)
  4. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! (Take 7)
  5. Lovely Rita (speech and Take 9)
  6. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Take 1, speech at end)
  7. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (speech, false start, Take 5)
  8. Getting Better (Take 1: instrumental; speech at end)
  9. Getting Better (Take 12)
  10. Within You Without You (Take 1: Indian instruments only)
  11. Within You Without You (George coaching the musicians)
  12. She's Leaving Home (Take 1: instrumental)
  13. She's Leaving Home (Take 6: instrumental)
  14. With A Little Help From My Friends (Take 1: false start; Take 2: instrumental)
  15. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (speech, Take 8)

Disc 4 (CD) – mono mixes:

  1. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  2. With A Little Help From My Friends
  3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  4. Getting Better
  5. Fixing A Hole
  6. She's Leaving Home
  7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!
  8. Within You Without You
  9. When I'm Sixty Four
  10. Lovely Rita
  11. Good Morning Good Morning
  12. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  13. A Day In The Life
  14. Strawberry Fields Forever (original mono mix)
  15. Penny Lane (original mono mix)
  16. A Day In The Life (unreleased first mono mix)
  17. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (unreleased mono mix: No. 11)
  18. She's Leaving Home (unreleased first mono mix)
  19. Penny Lane (Capitol Records US promo single: mono mix)

Disc 5 (DVD) – Sgt Pepper in 5.1 surround sound and hi-res stereo:

  1. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  2. With A Little Help From My Friends
  3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  4. Getting Better
  5. Fixing A Hole
  6. She's Leaving Home
  7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!
  8. Within You Without You
  9. When I'm Sixty-Four
  10. Lovely Rita
  11. Good Morning Good Morning
  12. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  13. A Day In The Life
  14. Strawberry Fields Forever
  15. Penny Lane
  16. The Making Of Sgt Pepper
  17. A Day In The Life
  18. Strawberry Fields Forever
  19. Penny Lane
  20. Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  21. Audio Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  22. Sgt Pepper's Audio Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  23. Strawberry Field Forever/ Penny Lane Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  24. Video Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  25. Making of Chapter 1 Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  26. Making of Chapter 2 Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  27. Video Setup Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Disc 6 (Blu-ray) – Sgt Pepper in 5.1 surround sound and hi-res stereo:

  1. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  2. With A Little Help From My Friends
  3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
  4. Getting Better
  5. Fixing A Hole
  6. She's Leaving Home
  7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite!
  8. Within You Without You
  9. When I'm Sixty-Four
  10. Lovely Rita
  11. Good Morning Good Morning
  12. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  13. A Day In The Life
  14. Strawberry Fields Forever
  15. Penny Lane
  16. The Making Of Sgt Pepper
  17. A Day In The Life
  18. Strawberry Fields Forever
  19. Penny Lane
  20. Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  21. Audio Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  22. Sgt Pepper's Audio Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  23. Strawberry Fields Forever/ Penny Lane Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  24. Video Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  25. Making of Chapter 1 Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  26. Making of Chapter 2 Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  27. Video Setup Menu / The Beatles / Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

LP 1 – Sgt Pepper – new stereo mix

LP 2 – ‘Alternative’ Sgt Pepper (all previously unreleased)

Side One:
  1. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9, speech)
  2. With A Little Help From My Friends (Take 1: false start; Take 2: instrumental)
  3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Take 1)
  4. Getting Better (Take 1: instrumental; speech at end)
  5. Fixing A Hole (speech, Take 3)
  6. She’s Leaving Home (Take 1: instrumental)
  7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! (Take 4)Side Two:</p>1 Within You Without You (Take 1: Indian instruments only)
  8. When I’m Sixty-Four (Take 2)
  9. Lovely Rita (speech, Take 9)
  10. Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8)
  11. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (Take 8)
  12. A Day In The Life (Take 1, Hummed Last Chord)

CD 1 – Sgt Pepper – new stereo mix

CD 2 – ‘Alternative’ Sgt Pepper (all previously unreleased)

  1. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9, speech)
  2. With A Little Help From My Friends (Take 1: false start; Take 2: instrumental)
  3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Take 1)
  4. Getting Better (Take 1: instrumental; speech at end)
  5. Fixing A Hole (speech, Take 3)
  6. She’s Leaving Home (Take 1: instrumental)
  7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite! (Take 4)
  8. Within You Without You (Take 1: Indian instruments only)
  9. When I’m Sixty-Four (Take 2)
  10. Lovely Rita (speech, Take 9)
  11. Good Morning Good Morning (Take 8)
  12. Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) (Take 8)
  13. A Day In The Life (Take 1, Hummed Last Chord)
  14. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7)
  15. Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 26)
  16. Strawberry Fields Forever (2015 stereo mix)
  17. Penny Lane (Take 6: instrumental)

AwardsEdit

  • Won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, Best Engineered Recording, Non-Classical, Contemporary Album and Best Album Cover.
  • Nominated for Best Group Vocal Performance, Best Contemporary Vocal Group and Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) for "A Day in the Life."

CreditsEdit

  • John Lennon — Lead, Harmony, and Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar (1965 Epiphone ES-230TD Casino, 1961 Fender Stratocaster), Acoustic Guitar (1964 Gibson J-160E), Piano, Hammond Organ, Cowbell, Harmonica, Comb and Tissue Paper Kazoo, Tape Loops and Handclaps
  • Paul McCartney — Lead, Harmony, and Backing Vocals, Bass Guitar (1964 Rickenbacker 4001S), Lead Guitar (1962 Epiphone ES-230TD Casino, 1964 Fender Esquire), Piano (electric and acoustic), Hammond and Lowrey Organ, Clavichord, Comb and Tissue Paper Kazoo and Handclaps
  • George Harrison — Lead and Backing Vocals, Lead Guitar (1961 Fender Stratocaster, 1965 Epiphone ES-230TD Casino), Rhythm Guitar (1965 Epiphone ES-230TD Casino), Acoustic Guitar (1962 Gibson J-160E), Sitar, Tambura, Hammond Organ, Harmonica, Comb and Tissue Paper Kazoo and Handclaps
  • Ringo Starr — Lead Vocals, Drums, Tambourine, Maracas, Congas, Chimes, Piano and Handclaps
  • George Martin — producer and mixer, harpsichord, Hammond and Lowrey organ, harmonium, piano (electric and acoustic) and glockenspiel
  • Geoff Emerick — recording engineer
  • Mal Evans — bass harmonica and piano
  • Neil Aspinall — tambura and harmonica
  • James Buck — horn on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
  • Neil Sanders — horn on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
  • Tony Randall — horn on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
  • John Burden — horn on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
  • Erich Gruenberg — violin on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Derek Jacobs — violin on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Trevor Williams — violin on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Jose Luis García — violin on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • John Underwood — viola on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Stephen Shingles — viola on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Dennis Vigay — cello on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Alan Dalziel — cello on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Gordon Pearce — double bass on "She's Leaving Home" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Sheila Bromberg — harp on "She's Leaving Home"
  • V. Lankshwarna — swarmandal on "Within You Without You"
  • Shambu-Das — dilruba on "Within You Without You"
  • Ravi Shankar — dilruba and sitar on "Within You Without You"
  • Erich Gruenberg — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • Alan Loveday — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • Julien Gaillard — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • Paul Scherman — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • Ralph Elman — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • David Wolfsthal — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • Jack Rothstein — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • Jack Greene — violin on "Within You Without You"
  • Reginald Kilbey — cello on "Within You Without You"
  • Allen Ford — cello on "Within You Without You"
  • Peter Beavan — cello on "Within You Without You"
  • Robert Burns — clarinet on "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Henry Mackenzie — clarinet on "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "A Day in the Life"
  • Frank Reidy — bass clarinet on "When I'm Sixty-Four"
  • Barrie Cameron — saxophone on "Good Morning Good Morning"
  • David Glyde — saxophone on "Good Morning Good Morning"
  • lan Holmes — saxophone on "Good Morning Good Morning"
  • John Lee — horn on "Good Morning Good Morning"

External linksEdit

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