50 years ago, in June 1967, the Beatles released a concept album, before the term was ever used, of course, but that's what it was. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was their way of distancing themselves from Beatlemania.
As history shows, it was Paul McCartney's idea that the Beatles present themselves as some kind of vaudeville act, as a means of releasing new material that was, clearly, very different from what fans had come to expect.
But was anybody really fooled by this masquerade? Well, to judge from EMI's advertising, they must have been worried that people were confused about the band's identity. Otherwise they wouldn't have felt the need to remind people who was behind Sgt. Pepper.
"Remember - SPLHCB is The Beatles"
oh thanks, I was wondering who it was...
It was the Summer of Love, Peace, music and LSD. So perhaps not surprisingly, when the band were attending the cover shoot for the album, two of them, John and George, were literally flying.
And consider this: When Sgt Pepper was released on 1st June 1967 (their 8th album) Paul McCartney and George Harrison were still only 24 years old.
For the back story to the making of Sgt Pepper, you could do worse than visit this page:
And of course, this week sees release of the 50th anniversary edition of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. We hope you will enjoy the show...