Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Beatles Classic, 50 Years On

Published May 31st, 2017 - 10:45 GMT
The Beatles in Sgt. Pepper costume. (EMI Records)
The Beatles in Sgt. Pepper costume. (EMI Records)

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has turned 50.

Conceived and largely written by Paul McCartney, the iconic Beatles album—their eighth—was released after the Fabulous Four retired permanently from touring. As such, the album was written without restraint: realising that they would never have to perform the songs live, the Beatles experimented with composition and recording, utilizing a 40-piece orchestra for alteatory music, for example, adding Khamaj thaat chanting or working fairground organs into songs the music.

The album is now considered to be an early example of a concept album, where the songs are all building towards a higher purpose, as well as a cultural bridge between “popular” and “art” music. It released in late May 1967 in the UK and a few days later in the US to wide critical acclaim; we're commemorating the occasionan by sitting in the middle of its two major releases.

Rolling Stone once voted it the best album ever made.

I find that a silly kind of claim to make, but the album's still pretty great. EMI Records is celebrating by releasing a remixed 50th Anniversary Edition of the album. You can do worse than checking it out or, if you're already a fan, commemorating the occasion by giving it a listen. The album isn't available on YouTube, but Spotify's got it.

The New York Times put-up a retrospective on the albumStuff's got on a rundown on the creation of the songs, with links to covers.

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