Sunday 22 October 2017

The Beatles mark 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper with 34 unreleased tracks

Admired: William Burroughs featured in the iconic ‘Sgt Peppers’ album cover
Admired: William Burroughs featured in the iconic ‘Sgt Peppers’ album cover
The Beatles, left to right, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison

Sasha Brady

Beatles fans are in for a treat on May 26.

The Beatles' 1967 pop phenomenon, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is set to be reissued on May 26, in an expanded and remastered edition for its 50th anniversary.

It will be one of the most ambitious release of an individual album from the Beatles' catalogue.

Available in various packages, the super deluxe box set, will include 34 previously unreleased recordings, as well as a 144-page book.

The Beatles, left to right, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison
The Beatles, left to right, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison

Consistently ranked by critics and fans as one of the most important album ever made, the making of Sgt Pepper was a pursuit of magic for the Beatles; a new concept in storytelling, sound technology, album art and an artistic journey that expanded the limitations on what pop music could be and do.

"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 a new introduction for the St Pepper Anniversary Edition.

Ringo Starr, the Fab Four's other surviving member, writes in his introductory remarks to the new edition that "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."

Despite its place in history, at the time of its release, Sgt. Pepper's didn't make much of a splash on the airwaves. Most radio stations didn't play it. If you wanted to hear the record, you had to buy it or listen to a friend's copy. But that didn't deter it from shaping an era.

The Doors' drummer, John Densmore, told The Times recently, "We were working on our second album, Strange Days [1967] and while we were working on it, we got an early copy of Sgt Pepper and we just died. That made us experiment more, inspired us to try the Moog synthesiser,, made us generally be wild and just say 'What the hell?'"

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