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1967: BEATLES BREAK NEW GROUND WITH RELEASE OF SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND
The Beatles, already established as great ground-breakers in terms of their songwriting and recording, gave popular music another great push forward into the realms of rock with the release of their eighth studio album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, on this day in 1967.
Presented in a lavishly-illustrated gatefold sleeve complete with printed lyrics, Sgt Pepper contained 13 tracks that went way beyond the typical pop product of the day, full of curious instrumentation, ethereal lyrics and a sense of beatific harmony that helped usher in the ‘Summer of Love’.
Ten months earlier the track Tomorrow Never Knows, on the band’s previous studio album Revolver, had signaled their intent to extend pop’s boundaries; their decision to quit playing live soon afterwards also gave them freedom to spend more time in the studio working on new sounds.
Did you know?
• The name of the fictional group was created by Paul McCartney and Beatles road manager Mal Evans as a pastiche of emerging US psychedelic rock bands such as The 13th Floor Elevators and The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.
• The Beatles were influenced by, and driven to improve upon, The Beach Boys’ 1966 LP Pet Sounds, which McCartney called “the album of all time”.
• The famous album cover was designed by artist Peter Blake, based around McCartney’s idea of a mayoral presentation around a floral clock (£200 for the design!). The Beatles were all invited to suggest famous people to include among the crowd featured around them.

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