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Tuesday 11 April 2017

Return To The Summer Of Love: The Beatles Celebrate Fifty Years Of Sgt. Pepper

It was fifty years ago this June when The Beatles' John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr ushered in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The groundbreaking album has been given a new mix by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with early takes from the studio sessions, including no fewer than thirty-four previously unreleased recordings.

"It's crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art," says Paul McCartney.

This is the first time Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked.

To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for "Sgt. Pepper's producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London.

All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin's new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.

"Sgt. Pepper seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it," adds Ringo Starr.

Just as many ideas are sparked by chance, Sgt. Pepper first sprang from a conversation between Paul and Beatles roadie Mal Evans on an airplane, when Mal's request to pass the salt and pepper was misheard by Paul as "Sgt. Pepper." 


The concept of who such a figure could be took root in Paul's mind, blooming with the imagination of The Beatles as an Edwardian era military band -- "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

The Beatles' creative wellspring for "Sgt. Pepper" also flowed from such myriad sources as The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds album, a Victorian circus poster ("Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!"), a TV commercial for breakfast cereal ("Good Morning Good Morning"), a picture drawn by John"s young son, Julian ("Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds"), a teen runaway reported in the news ("She's Leaving Home"), and Hindu teachings ("Within You Without You").

Using the standard four-track tape recording equipment of the day, The Beatles collaborated with producer George Martin to achieve "the impossible," as they dubbed it, to go as far out as they could with arrangements and new technology to realise their collective vision for the album.

As George Martin described it, "We were into another kind of art form where you were putting something down on tape that could only be done on tape."

The Beatles clocked more than 400 hours in Abbey Road"s Studio 2 to record the album, wrapping sessions in April 1967.

The album's vibrant artwork, including its extravagant Pop Art cover which finds The Beatles surrounded by a crowd of heroes in a 3D collage, was created by Peter Blakeand Jann Haworth in collaboration with the band.

Preorder Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition: 

Watch a brief trailer video for Sgt. Pepper"s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition:

by: Mike Cobley




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