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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (album)

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt pepper cover
Released 1 June 1967 (UK)
Studio EMI Studios, London
Genre Psychedelic Rock, Experimental Rock
Length 32:45
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin
Album Guide
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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth album by The Beatles. It was released on 1 June 1967 in the United Kingdom and on 2 June 1967 in the United States. Sgt. Pepper is often said to be The Beatles' best work, and one of the most influential albums of all time.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 1 on the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time List. In 2006, the album was chosen by Time Magazine as one of the 100 best albums of all time. It has been voted Best Album On Earth.

In 1974, it was adapted into an Off-Broadway play know as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road (which in turn was addapted into a movie starring The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton, covering songs from both this album and Abbey Road).

AboutEdit

The album project had originally been titled Dr. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but after it was discovered that Dr. Pepper was a trademarked name for an American soft drink, The Beatles changed the title to Sgt. Pepper's... Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was recorded after the band stopped touring. The album's 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, the band 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 rumored 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 like 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 the closing track, "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 rumors.

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. The people 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 Lennon/McCartney except where otherwise noted.

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" – 2:37
  3. "Lovely Rita" – 2:44
  4. "Good Morning Good Morning" – 2:43
  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.

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: Guitars, keyboards, piano, percussion, vocals.
  • Paul McCartney: Bass guitar, guitars, piano, keyboards, vocals.
  • George Harrison: Guitars, Fuzz, mouth organ, percussion, tambourine, sitar, piano, vocals.
  • Ringo Starr: Drums, percussion, mouth organ, bells, piano, vocals.
  • George Martin: Keyboards, piano, harmonium.
  • Geoff Emerick: Recording Engineer
  • Mal Evans: Piano, mouth organ, harmonium, percussion, vocals.
  • Neil Aspinall: Mouth organ, tamboura.
  • 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: Clarinet on "When I'm Sixty-Four".
  • Barrie Cameron: Sax on "Good Morning Good Morning".
  • David Glyde: Sax on "Good Morning Good Morning".
  • lan Holmes: Sax on "Good Morning Good Morning".
  • John Lee: Horn on "Good Morning Good Morning".

InstrumentsEdit

External linksEdit

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