The Beatles have announced the 50th anniversary edition of their 1967 album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The landmark album is to be reissued on 26 May 2017 on four formats: single CD; double CD; double vinyl; and a super deluxe edition containing four CDs, a DVD, a Blu-ray disc, posters and inserts, in a replica EMI tape box with a slipcase.
There will also be a limited edition reissue of the Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever single on vinyl for Record Store Day on 22 April.
Here’s the press release from Apple Corps:
The Beatles will release an expanded, newly remixed and lavishly presented edition of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in several configurations on May 26, just ahead of its June 1 anniversary. This is the first time ‘Sgt. Pepper’ has been remixed and presented with previously unreleased recordings from the studio sessions.
“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.
For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition 7-inch vinyl single for The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” the first songs recorded during the band’s ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966.
To create Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’s new stereo, 5.1 surround, and high resolution audio mixes, producer Giles Martin oversaw 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 remix of the album, sourced from the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin, from the four-track masters.
George Martin once explained, “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 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, wrapping sessions in April 1967.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Anniversary Edition) releases include:
– 1CD featuring Giles Martin’s new stereo album remix, complete with the run-out groove “Edit for LP End” dog whistle equivalent 15 kHz tone and garbled speech from the original U.K. LP.
– Deluxe Anniversary Edition: Expanded 2CD, digital, and 180-gram 2LP vinyl packages, adding Martin’s stereo mixes for “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” plus previously unreleased alternate takes for each of the album’s 13 tracks, sequenced in the same order as the album.
– Special Collector’s Anniversary Edition: The six-disc boxed set features the album’s new stereo mix on its first CD; two CDs with 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most previously unreleased and mixed for the first time from the four-track masters, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates; a fourth CD with the remastered original mono mixes of the album and the “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” singles, Capitol Records’ U.S. promotional single for “Penny Lane,” and previously unreleased alternate mono mixes of “She’s Leaving Home,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (a mix thought to have been wiped from the master reel, but discovered during tape research for the new edition); and DVD and Blu-ray discs with Martin’s new 5.1 surround audio mixes of the album and “Penny Lane,” plus “Strawberry Fields Forever” (first released in The Beatles’ ‘1+’ audio and video collection), Martin’s new high resolution (96 kHz/24-bit) stereo mixes of the album, “Strawberry Fields Forever,” and “Penny Lane,” and video features including the 4K restored original promotional films for “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “A Day In The Life,” as well as ‘The Making of Sgt. Pepper,’ a newly restored 1992 documentary film featuring insightful interviews with McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, and in-studio footage introduced by George Martin.
The album’s extravagant Pop Art cover, which finds The Beatles surrounded by a crowd of heroes in collage, and its extras-laden packaging were created by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth in collaboration with The Beatles. The artwork is showcased across the suite of anniversary edition releases, including the album’s original 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 special collector’s edition is presented in a 144-page hardcover book featuring McCartney’s written introduction, comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, in-depth essays about the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Giles Martin; 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, plus rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper’ print ads. The deluxe edition’s 2CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2LP vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.
“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,” says Ringo Starr in the anniversary edition’s book.
Also on this day...
- 1970: Ringo Starr is interviewed for the BBC’s Scene And Heard
- 1967: Paul McCartney visits Jane Asher in Denver
- 1965: Filming: Help!
- 1964: Filming: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: The Beatles receive their first silver disc
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1946: Jane Asher is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.