Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band released May 26 1967

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released May 26, 1967 BLOG Wednesday26th  May 2021


Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released on May 26, 1967

1967 Perhaps The Beatles album with the most enduring legacy is Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released on May 26, 1967 at the height of the counterculture of the 1960s. The album capped off years of invention and innovation by the Fab Four, with their preceding albums Revolver and Rubber Soul marking a new era in their discography.

Track listing:

All songs written by Lennon–McCartney, except “Within You Without You” by George Harrison.

Side one

No.          Title                                                                                        Lead vocals                                                   Length

  1. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”                 McCartney                                                           2:00
  2. “With a Little Help from My Friends”                 Starr                                                                       2:42
  3. “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”                                 Lennon                                                                  3:28
  4. “Getting Better”                                                                 McCartney with Lennon                                    2:48
  5. “Fixing a Hole”                                                                 McCartney                                                           2:36
  6. “She’s Leaving Home”                                                 McCartney with Lennon                                    3:25
  7. “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”                 Lennon                                                                  2:37

Total length:                                                                                                                                                     19:34

Side two

No.          Title                                                                                        Lead vocals                                                    Length

  1. “Within You Without You”                                 Harrison                                                                 5:05
  2. “When I’m Sixty-Four”                                                 McCartney                                                           2:37
  3. “Lovely Rita”                                                                 McCartney                                                           2:42
  4. “Good Morning Good Morning”                                 Lennon                                                                  2:42
  5. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr         1:18
  6. “A Day in the Life”                                                 Lennon with McCartney                                    5:38

Total length:                                                                                                                                                      20:02

The Beatles’ 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has a widely recognized album cover that depicts several dozen celebrities and other images. The image was made by posing the Beatles in front of life-sized, black-and-white photographs pasted onto hardboard and hand tinted.

It was created by Jann Haworth and Peter Blake, who in 1967 won the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts for their work on it. Blake has said that the intention was to show a new band surrounded by fans after a performance.

“I suggested that they had just played a concert in the park. They were posing for a photograph and the crowd behind them was a crowd of fans who had been at the concert. Having decided on this, then, by making cut-outs, the fans could be anybody, dead or alive, real or fictitious. If we wanted Hansel and Gretel, I could paint them and they could be photographed and blown up. I asked the four Beatles for a list and I did one myself. Robert Fraser did a list and I can’t remember whether Brian Epstein did one or not. The way that worked out was fascinating. John gave me a list and so did Paul. George suggested only Indian gurus, about six of them, and Ringo said, “Whatever the others say is fine by me” and didn’t suggest anyone. It’s an insight into their characters. All kinds of people were suggested. Hitler was there; he is actually in the set-up, but he is covered by the Beatles themselves as we felt he was too controversial. The same applied to Jesus. There were only two of their contemporaries on the cover. Bob Dylan was suggested by John and I put on Dion because he is a great favourite of mine.”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band the Beatles. Released on 26 May 1967, it spent 27 weeks at number one on the Record Retailer chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one on the Billboard Top LPs chart in the United States. It was lauded by critics for its innovations in songwriting, production and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and for reflecting the interests of contemporary youth and the counterculture. Its release was a defining moment in 1960s pop culture, heralding the Summer of Love, while the album’s reception achieved full cultural legitimisation for pop music and recognition for the medium as a genuine art form.

Sgt. Pepper is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the roles of sound composition, extended form, psychedelic imagery, record sleeves, and the producer in popular music. The album had an immediate cross-generational impact and was associated with numerous touchstones of the era’s youth culture, such as fashion, drugs, mysticism, and a sense of optimism and empowerment. It is considered one of the first art rock LPs, a progenitor to progressive rock, and the start of the album era. In 1968, it won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour; in 2003 it was inducted into the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. It has topped several critics’ and listeners’ polls for the best album of all time, including those published by Rolling Stone magazine and in the book All Time Top 1000 Albums, and the UK’s “Music of the Millennium” poll. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time and the UK’s best-selling studio album, with more than 32 million copies sold worldwide as of 2011.

18 awesome facts on The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Regarded by many as revolutionising pop music and culture, the album defined the late 60s spending an incredible 27 weeks at the top of the album chart.

The concept album was loosely based around Paul McCartney’s idea that the music centre around the fictional Sgt. Pepper band and contained seminal classic tracks including Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds, A Day In The Life and the memorable psychedelic title track.

The album is also notable for George Harrison’s Indian-influenced Within You Without You, the Ringo-led With a Little Help from My Friends and the timeless cover art work designed by Peter Blake featuring 57 photographs and nine waxworks of figures from pop culture history.

With sales of 5.1 million copies, Sgt. Pepper is the third-best-selling album in UK chart history and in 2003 Rolling Stone made it number one in its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Here’s 18 Fab Sgt Pepper Facts

  1. More than 700 hours were spent recording the album.


  1. A TV commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes inspired Lennon’s Good Morning Good Morning.


  1. When I’m Sixty-Four was originally intended to be the B-side to Strawberry Fields. However McCartney then produced a substitute – that song was Penny Lane.


  1. The lyrics were printed in full on the back cover – the first time this had been done on a rock LP


  1. The most played track at The Beatles’ Pepper press launch was Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale – issued the week before Pepper. Lennon played the song non-stop on his Rolls Royce record player all the way to the party.


Press launch of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ at Brian Epstein’s house at 24 Chapel St. Belgravia London 19 May 1967.


  1. Among the people considered for the cover art but left off were Jesus Christ, Adolf Hitler and actor Leo Gorcey – the latter demanded a fee of $400.


  1. Mae West initially refused to have her image on the cover but relented after The Beatles personally wrote her a letter asking her permission.


  1. Closing track A Day in the Life includes a high-frequency noise, added by John Lennon to annoy dogs!


The song also includes backwards laughter with Lennon heard saying, ‘been so high’ followed by McCartney adding, ‘never could be any other way.’


  1. The title track was originally going to be split into two parts, opening and closing the album. However, George Martin said the final chord of A Day in the Life was so final that, “it was obvious nothing else could follow it.”


  1. George Harrison’s Only a Northern Song, was intended for inclusion right up to the moment that McCartney decided to reprise the title track.


  1. Jimi Hendrix loved the title track so much he opened his show with it – as he would throughout the remainder of 1967.


  1. While the BBC thought Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is a reference to LSD; John insisted that it was from a pastel drawing by his four-year-old son, Julian.


  1. In 2008 the bass drum skin used on the front cover sold at auction for €670,000.


  1. Producer George Martin plays a harpsichord on Fixing a Hole.


  1. Ringo said, “The biggest memory I have of Sgt. Pepper is I learnt to play chess.”


  1. Paul wanted to use 90 musicians but EMI would only agree to a 40-piece orchestra. As a result, McCartney and George Martin transferred each of the four takes to one of the four tape-tracks then available, so there are in fact ‘160’ musicians playing.


  1. NME’s critics voted Sgt Pepper the joint best album of all time in 1974 but by 2006 it did not make the paper’s 100 best British albums.


  1. When Paul was asked why Elvis Presley was not on the album cover he said: “Elvis was too important and too far above the rest even to mention- he was more than merely a pop singer, he was Elvis the King.”



                OFFSHORE PIRATE RADIO LONDON TOP 20           Sunday 21st May 1967                     

Last        This        Presented by Ed Stewart                   

Week      Week                                     

1              1              Waterloo Sunset                                                  Kinks     

5              2              The Happening                                                    Supremes             

6              3              Finchley Central                                                  New Vaudeville Band       

12           4              Get Me To The World On Time                       Electric Prunes    

29           5              A Whiter Shade Of Pale                                     Procol Harum     

3              6              24 Sycamore                                                        Wayne Fontana  

17           7              My Old Car                                                          Lee Dorsey           

1              8              Silence Is Golden                                                 Tremeloes            

21           9              Groovin’                                                                 Young Rascals    

19           10           Okay!                                                                     Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich              

16           11           Two Streets                                                           Val Doonican      

18           12           Love Eyes                                                             Nancy Sinatra     

10           13           Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me            Gladys Knight & the Pips 

–              14           There Goes My Everything                               Engelbert Humperdinck    

35           15           Day Time, Night Time                                       Simon Dupree & the Big Sound      

26           16           Just One More Chance                                       Outer Limits        

23           17           Fly Me High                                                         Moody Blues       

31           18           Tabatha Twitchit                                                 Dave Clark Five  

11           19           The Wind Cries Mary                                        Jimi Hendrix Experience   

4              20           Then I Kissed Her                                               Beach Boys         



                OFFSHORE PIRATE RADIO 270 TOP 20          21st-28th May 1967

Radio 270 was anchored in the North Sea 7 miles off Scarborough

TW         LW

1              (16)         A Whiter Shade Of Pale                                     Procol Harum                                       

2              (2)           Pictures Of Lily                                                    The Who                                              

3              (9)           Love Eyes                                                             Nancy Sinatra                                     

4              (10)         Fly Me High                                                         The Moody Blues                                               

5              (20)         Groovin’                                                                 The Young Rascals                                            

6              (1)          Silence Is Golden                                                 The Tremeloes                                    

7              (6)           Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon                        Neil Diamond                                     

8              (14)         The Wind Cries Mary                                        The Jimi Hendrix Experience                          

9              (23)         I’ve Got Rhythm                                                  The Happenings                                 

10           (18)         24 Sycamore                                                        Wayne Fontana                                  

11           (19)         Two Streets                                                           Val Doonican                                      

12           (25)         The Happening                                                    The Supremes                                     

13           (17)         This Song Is Just For You                                 Clinton Ford                                        

14           (20)         Waterloo Sunset                                                  The Kinks                                             

15           (21)         Yesterday’s Papers                                              Chris Farlowe                                      

16           (13)         Show Me                                                               Joe Tex                                 

17           (12)         Shake Hands and Walk Away Crying              Lou Christie                                         

18           (28)         Lay Some Happiness On Me                             Dean Martin                                        

19           (29)        The Love Machine                                              Elvis Presley                                        

20           (7)           Get Me To The World On Time                       The Electric Prunes



The album chart for 2 days after the release of Sgt Pepper Album and the first time the album showed up in the chart. The following week it jumped to No.1.

Pos          LW         Title                                                                                       Artist     

1              2              THE SOUND OF MUSIC                                                 ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK           

2              1              MORE OF THE MONKEES                                             THE MONKEES                                 

3              3              GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME                             TOM JONESDECCA         

4              4              BEST OF THE BEACH BOYS                                        THE BEACH BOYS

5              6              A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF                                    THE DUBLINERS             

6              21           ARE YOU EXPERIENCED                                              JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE     

7              5              THE MONKEES                                                                  THE MONKEES


9              7              THIS IS JAMES LAST                                                      JAMES LAST     

10           8              FIDDLER ON THE ROOF                                                ORIGINAL LONDON CAST          

11           11           COME THE DAY                                                               SEEKERS            

12           9              SECOMBE’S PERSONAL CHOICE                              HARRY SECOMBE

13           23           RELEASE ME                                                                     ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK    

14           17           GOING PLACES                                                 HERB ALPERT AND THE TIJUANA BRASS

15           10           MATTHEW AND SON                                                     CAT STEVENS  

16           14           FOUR TOPS LIVE                                                             THE FOUR TOPS              

17           12           GREATEST HITS – BOB DYLAN                                  BOB DYLANCBS              

18           13           HIT THE ROAD STAX                                                     VARIOUS ARTISTS         

19           15           HOW GREAT THOU ART                                              ELVIS PRESLEY               

20           16           IMAGES                                                                               WALKER BROTHERS



World Lindy Hop Day

World Otter Day

World Orienteering Day

Chardonnay Day

Paper Airplane Day




If life gives you lemons make lemonade.


Happiness is…recognising and naming all the people on the Sgt Pepper Album Cover.



Love is…being his/her captivated audience.


A time to listen to “With a Little Help from My Friends” by The Beatles… A time to listen to “With a Little Help from My Friends” by Joe Cocker.


26th May

1977 George Willig climbs the South Tower of NYC’s World Trade Center, famously fined 1 cent for each of 110 stories he climbed.

1896 Last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, crowned.

1927 Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company produce the last (and 15th million) Model T Ford / Tin Lizzie.




©2021 Phil M Robinson