Beatles fans and Fab Four collectors will get a new 2LP 50th anniversary edition of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band next month.
It was 50 years ago this 1 June when 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./Universal Music), including the new 2LP gatefold edition. 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 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 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 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.
The Deluxe Vinyl edition comprises an expanded 180-gram 2LP vinyl package featuring the new stereo album mix on the first LP and a second LP with previously unreleased complete takes of the album’s 13 songs, newly mixed in stereo and sequenced in the same order as the album, while a Super Deluxe version will feature 4 CDs, 2 Blu-Ray and DVD discs.
To pre-order Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition, go to https://TheBeatles.lnk.to/SgtPepperAnniversary