Monday, May 01, 2017

Released today: The Anniversary Edition of 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9)'



– “A splendid time is guaranteed for all” –

This June 1st marks 50 years since The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album.  In anticipation of the album release Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Take 9) [the lead radio track taken from the forthcoming Sgt. Pepper’s 50th Anniversary sets] has been released.



 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

It was 50 years ago this June 1 st when The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. To salute the occasion, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition packages on May 26 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/USM). The album is newly mixed 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 34 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 in his newly-penned introduction for the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition.  ..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,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.

For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, among the first songs recorded during the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966. Rather than being held for inclusion on the album, the two songs were released as a double A-sided single in February 1967.

Amidst intense media speculation about the band’s next move, the single bridged what was then
considered a long gap between the Revolver album, released in August 1966, and ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ which followed 10 months later.

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,’ 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.

A little bit of history.... this is the eighth studio album by English rock band the Beatles. Released on 1 June 1967, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one in the United States. The album was recognized for its innovations in music production, songwriting and graphic design, bridging a cultural divide between popular music and legitimate art, and symbolizing the 1960s 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 from recording. During a return flight to London in November, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song involving an Edwardian era military band that would eventually form the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. Sessions for what was to become the Beatles' eighth studio album began on 24 November in Abbey Road Studio Two with two compositions inspired from their youth, Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, but after pressure from EMI, the songs were released as a double A-side single and were not included on the album.

In February 1967, after recording the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band song, McCartney suggested that the Beatles should release an entire album that would represent a performance by the fictional Sgt. Pepper band. This alter ego group would give them the freedom to experiment musically. During the recording sessions, the band furthered the technological progression they had made with their 1966 album Revolver. Knowing they would not have to perform the tracks live, they adopted an experimental approach to composition and recording on songs such as With a Little Help from My Friends, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and A Day in the Life. Producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick's innovative recording of the album included the liberal application of sound shaping signal processing and the use of a 40-piece orchestra performing aleatoric* crescendos (*i.e. relating to or denoting music or other forms of art involving elements of random choice -sometimes using statistical or computer techniques - during their composition, production, or performance). 

Recording was completed on 21 April 1967. The cover, depicting the Beatles posing in front of a tableau of celebrities and historical figures, was designed by the British 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. It has been described as one of the first art rock LPs, aiding the development of progressive rock, and credited with marking the beginning of the Album Era. 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. In 2003, the Library of Congress placed Sgt. Pepper in the National Recording Registry, honouring the work as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".That same year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number one in its list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". As of 2011, it has sold more than 32 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums in history. Professor Kevin J. Dettmar, writing in the Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, described it as "the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded".It is the best selling album worldwide of the 1960s.

A little bit about the cover... 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 Blake and Jann Haworth in collaboration with the band. The original artwork is showcased across the suite of Anniversary Edition releases, including the album’s pull-out sheet of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cutouts. Housed in a 12-inch by 12-inch box with lenticular artwork and two bonus posters, the six-disc Super Deluxe set is presented with a 144-page hardcover book. The book includes new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and chapters covering comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; composer and musicologist Howard Goodall; music producer and writer Joe Boyd; and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Jeff Slate, illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper’ print ads. 

The Deluxe 2CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2LP Deluxe Vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.

Below is a movie about the making of Sgt Peppers...






For all those trainspotters out there, here's the 50th Anniversary Release track listing: 

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition tracklists:

CD
(‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix)
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

Deluxe [2CD, digital]

CD 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2: Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album, plus various versions of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9]
2. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5. Fixing A Hole [Speech And 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]
9. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
10. Lovely Rita [Speech And 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 With Hummed Last Chord]
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
15. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
16. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix - 2015]
17. Penny Lane [Take 6 - Instrumental]
18. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]
Deluxe Vinyl [180g 2LP]

LP 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

SIDE 1  SIDE 2
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1. Within You Without You
2. With A Little Help From My Friends 2. When I'm Sixty-Four
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3. Lovely Rita
4. Getting Better 4. Good Morning Good Morning
5. Fixing A Hole 5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
6. She's Leaving Home 6. A Day In The Life
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!

SIDE 2
1. Within You Without You
2. With A Little Help From My Friends 2. When I'm Sixty-Four
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3. Lovely Rita
4. Getting Better 4. Good Morning Good Morning
5. Fixing A Hole 5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
6. She's Leaving Home 6. A Day In The Life


LP 2: Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album

SIDE 3
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
2. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]

SIDE 4
1. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments]
2. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
3. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
4. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
6. A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]

Super Deluxe [4CD/DVD/Blu-ray boxed set]

CD 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD tracklist, above)

CD 2: Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
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 [Stereo Mix - 2015]
6. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
7. Penny Lane [Take 6 – Instrumental]
8. Penny Lane [Vocal Overdubs And Speech]
9. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]
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]

CD 3: Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
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 And 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 And Speech At The End]
7. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Speech, False Start And Take 5]
8. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The 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 And Take 2 – Instrumental]
15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Speech And Take 8]
CD 4: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and bonus tracks in Mono
(Tracks 1-13: 2017 Direct Transfer of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Original Mono Mix)
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 U.S. Promo Single - Mono Mix]

DISCS 5 & 6 (Blu-ray & DVD)

Audio Features (both discs):
- New 5.1 Surround Audio mixes of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album and “Penny Lane,” plus 2015 5.1 Surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 / DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
- High Resolution Audio versions of 2017 ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix and 2017 “Penny Lane” stereo mix, plus 2015 “Strawberry Fields Forever” hi res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit / DVD: LPCM Stereo)

Video Features (both discs):
- The Making of Sgt. Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]
- Promotional Films: “A Day In The Life;” “Strawberry Fields Forever;” “Penny Lane” [4K restored]






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