Beatles Open the Vaults For 50th Anniversary of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' Album

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The BeatlesĀ 

The Beatles are going all out to pay tribute to the June 1 50th anniversary of the release of their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. They today announced several special reissue packages of CD and vinyl versions coming May 26 featuring new audio mixes of the album and a special super deluxe six-disc set full of unreleased outtakes.

Fans will be able to choose from four separate offerings, including a newly remixed single disc of the original album, a two-LP vinyl set with the album and a second disc of collected outtakes in the same order as the album and a two-disc CD version with a second disc of complete early takes from the album in the same sequence plus outtakes of “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” the two-sided single released before the album.

But the real eye opener is the six-CD deluxe set that will be housed in a box with lenticular artwork of the original cover. This will include the original remixed album, two discs of outtakes in chronological order of their first recording date and a CD of the original mono mixes of the album and the “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Field Forever” single and unreleased early mono mixes of “She's Leaving Home,” “A Day in the Life” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (the latter recently rediscovered during an archive search). It will be topped off with DVD and Blu-ray discs with 5.1 audio and high resolution mixes of the album and the “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” single, a newly restored version of the 1994 TV special The Making of Sgt. Pepper and promotional films for “A Day in the Life,” “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane.” Also included is a 144-page hardcover book that goes through the album song-by-song.

The new stereo and 5.1 audio mixes were done by producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell and engineers at Abbey Road Studios and were sourced from the original four-track tapes and guided by the original preferred mono album mix done by Giles Martin's father, the late Sir George Martin.

“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 the introduction to the book in the deluxe set. “‘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,” writes Ringo Starr. He once said, “The biggest memory I have of Sgt. Pepper ... is I learned to play chess."

The album was originally released June 1, 1967, and was the first Beatles album to be released in the U.S. with the same track listings as the UK. The cover was designed by Sir Peter Blake and featured people that the Beatles admired, including Mae West, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, W.C. Fields, Edgar Allan Poe, Laurel and Hardy, Karl Marx, Leo Gorcey (the Bowery Boys), Alfred Einstein, Sonny Liston, Shirley Temple, Marlon Brando, Marlene Dietrich and Aldous Huxley. The album also included printed lyrics on the back cover, the first time that had ever been done.

The originally conceived track lineup on side one was different than the one released. That song order was “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” “Fixing a Hole,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Getting Better” and “She's Leaving Home.”

The album won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and was selected in 2003 by the Library of Congress for its National Recording Registry as “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

Additionally, for Record Store Day on April 22, the Beatles said today they will release a limited edition vinyl single of “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Authors are also putting together tributes to the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper. Bruce Spizer is putting together a book of fan memories called “The Beatles and Sgt. Pepper: A Fans' Perspective” that is coming in May. Other books coming about the “Sgt. Pepper” anniversary are Kenneth Womack's “The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper, and the Summer of Love,” Brian Southall's “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Album, the Beatles, and the World in 1967”, and “Sgt. Pepper at Fifty: The Mood, the Look, the Sound, the Legacy of the Beatles' Great Masterpiece” by Mike McInnerny, Bill DeMain and Gillian G. Gaar.

Womack, also author of the forthcoming Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin (The Early Years, 1926-2016), told Billboard, “The 50th anniversary release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is clearly well-deserving of the many testimonials, books, and of course the deluxe remixing treatment by Giles Martin and the folks at Apple. On the 20th anniversary of the album’s release in 1987, George Martin remarked that the revolutionary long-player was ‘a musical fragmentation grenade, exploding with a force that is still being felt.’ As we watch as the re-release storms towards the top of the charts yet again, Sir George’s words are truer than ever. The adulation that the album is receiving now demonstrates that we are still only just beginning to understanding the enormity of the Beatles’ achievement and its lasting impact upon world culture.”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition
Track lists

CD (‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix)
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
2. With A Little Help From My Friends
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
4. Getting Better
5. Fixing A Hole
6. She's Leaving Home
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
8. Within You Without You
9. When I'm Sixty-Four
10. Lovely Rita
11. Good Morning Good Morning
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
13. A Day In The Life

Deluxe [2CD, digital]
CD 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD track list, above)
CD 2: Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album, plus various versions of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”

1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9]
2. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]
8. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments]
9. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
10. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
11. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
13. A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
15. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
16. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix - 2015]
17. Penny Lane [Take 6 - Instrumental]
18. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]

Deluxe Vinyl [180g 2LP]
LP 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD track list, above)

SIDE 1 SIDE 2
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1. Within You Without You
2. With A Little Help From My Friends 2. When I'm Sixty-Four
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 3. Lovely Rita
4. Getting Better 4. Good Morning Good Morning
5. Fixing A Hole 5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
6. She's Leaving Home 6. A Day In The Life
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!
LP 2: Complete early takes from the sessions in the same sequence as the album

SIDE 3
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
2. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1]
4. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
5. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
6. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 4]

SIDE 4
1. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments]
2. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
3. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
4. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]
5. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Take 8]
6. A Day In The Life [Take 1 With Hummed Last Chord]

Super Deluxe [4CD/DVD/Blu-ray boxed set]

CD 1: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ 2017 Stereo Mix (same as single-disc CD track list, above)
CD 2: Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 1]
2. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 4]
3. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 7]
4. Strawberry Fields Forever [Take 26]
5. Strawberry Fields Forever [Stereo Mix - 2015]
6. When I'm Sixty-Four [Take 2]
7. Penny Lane [Take 6 – Instrumental]
8. Penny Lane [Vocal Overdubs And Speech]
9. Penny Lane [Stereo Mix - 2017]
10. A Day In The Life [Take 1]
11. A Day In The Life [Take 2]
12. A Day In The Life [Orchestra Overdub]
13. A Day In The Life (Hummed Last Chord) [Takes 8, 9, 10 and 11]
14. A Day In The Life (The Last Chord)
15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 1 – Instrumental]
16. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [Take 9 And Speech]
17. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 1 - Instrumental, Breakdown]
18. Good Morning Good Morning [Take 8]

CD 3: Complete early takes from the sessions, sequenced in chronological order of their first recording dates
1. Fixing A Hole [Take 1]
2. Fixing A Hole [Speech And Take 3]
3. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Speech From Before Take 1; Take 4 And Speech At End]
4. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! [Take 7]
5. Lovely Rita [Speech And Take 9]
6. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Take 1 And Speech At The End]
7. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Speech, False Start And Take 5]
8. Getting Better [Take 1 - Instrumental And Speech At The End]
9. Getting Better [Take 12]
10. Within You Without You [Take 1 - Indian Instruments Only]
11. Within You Without You [George Coaching The Musicians]
12. She's Leaving Home [Take 1 – Instrumental]
13. She's Leaving Home [Take 6 – Instrumental]
14. With A Little Help From My Friends [Take 1 - False Start And Take 2 – Instrumental]
15. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) [Speech And Take 8]

CD 4: ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and bonus tracks in Mono
(Tracks 1-13: 2017 Direct Transfer of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Original Mono Mix)
14. Strawberry Fields Forever [Original Mono Mix]
15. Penny Lane [Original Mono Mix]
16. A Day In The Life [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
17. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds [Unreleased Mono Mix - No. 11]
18. She's Leaving Home [Unreleased First Mono Mix]
19. Penny Lane [Capitol Records U.S. Promo Single - Mono Mix]

DISCS 5 & 6 (Blu-ray & DVD)
Audio Features (both discs):

- New 5.1 Surround Audio mixes of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album and “Penny Lane,” plus 2015 5.1 Surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever” (Blu-ray: DTS HD Master Audio 5.1, Dolby True HD 5.1 / DVD: DTS Dolby Digital 5.1)
- High Resolution Audio versions of 2017 ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix and 2017 “Penny Lane” stereo mix, plus 2015 “Strawberry Fields Forever” hi res stereo mix (Blu-ray: LPCM Stereo 96KHz/24bit / DVD: LPCM Stereo)
Video Features (both discs):
- The Making of Sgt. Pepper [restored 1992 documentary film, previously unreleased]
- Promotional Films: “A Day In The Life;” “Strawberry Fields Forever;” “Penny Lane” [4K restored]