The Beatles

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band


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**Anniversary edition Giles Martin stereo mix**

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released on 26 May 1967 in the United Kingdom and 2 June 1967 in the United States, it spent 27 weeks at number one on the UK Albums Chart and 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard Top LPs chart in the US. It was lauded by critics for its innovations in production, songwriting and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and for reflecting the interests of contemporary youth and the counterculture. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour.

In August 1966, the Beatles permanently retired from touring and began a three-month holiday. During a return flight to London in November, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song involving an Edwardian military band that formed the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. Sessions began on 24 November at EMI Studios with two compositions inspired by the Beatles' youth, "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane", but after pressure from EMI, the songs were released as a double A-side single and left off the album.

In February 1967, after recording the title track, McCartney suggested that the album represent a performance by the fictional Sgt. Pepper band. This alter ego group further inspired the band to experiment artistically. During the recording sessions, there was no thought of reproducing the songs in concert, and the band were free to continue the technological experimentation marked by their previous album Revolver, this time without an absolute deadline for completion. With producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick, the group approached the studio as an instrument, colouring much of the recordings with sound effects and tape manipulation, as exemplified on "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" and "A Day in the Life". Recording was completed on 21 April 1967. The cover, which depicts the Beatles posing in front of a tableau of celebrities and historical figures, was designed by the pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth.

Sgt. Pepper is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the use of extended form in popular music while continuing the artistic maturation seen on the Beatles' preceding releases. An important work of British psychedelia, the album incorporates a range of stylistic influences, including vaudeville, circus, music hall, avant-garde, and Western and Indian classical music. It is described as one of the first art rock LPs, a progenitor to progressive rock, and the starting point of the album era. In 2003, the Library of Congress placed Sgt. Pepper in the National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In lists published in 2003 and 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album as the greatest of all time. It is one of the best-selling albums of all time, with more than 32 million copies sold worldwide as of 2011, and remains the UK's best-selling studio album. Professor Kevin Dettmar, writing in The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, described it as "the most important and influential rock-and-roll album ever recorded".

Tracklist

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 2:02
With A Little Help From My Friends 2:44
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3:28
Getting Better 2:47
Fixing A Hole 2:37
She's Leaving Home 3:23
Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite ! 2:35
Within You Without You 5:06
When I'm Sixty-Four 2:38
Lovely Rita 2:44
Good Morning Good Morning 2:36
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) 1:19
A Day In The Life 5:02

 

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