By Stephen Pate – When The Beatles dropped “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” on the first of June 1967, it blew away 250,000 fans who bought it that weekend.
The Beatles Sgt. Peppers Hearts Club Band was absolutely the best rock album we’d ever heard. It opened my eyes to a whole new world.
December 1967 Jimi Hendrix performance of the mind blowing Sgt. Peppers
Three days after the album’s release in Great Britain, Jimi Hendrix blew The Beatles minds by opening his June 4th show at the Savoy with a wild psychedelic Sgt. Pepper’s cover. To The Beatles amazement, Hendrix had learned the title song and improvised on it.
It was a momentous day in rock music. Sgt. Peppers was the first concept album by the greatest contemporary rock band of the day, arguably, the best ever. It was The Beatles attempt to break out of the mold and create a new alter ego that was new and old all at once.
The album starts with the Sgt Peppers theme advertising a three-ring circus show, and follows with bleeding edge rock, elements of the British music hall show, sentimental ballads, traditional Indian music, and psychedelic drug songs.
The B side seems to close with a reprise of Sgt Peppers. Then a new song slowly starts, the fantastic dream called “A Day in the Life” with its drug infused orgasmic crescendo. A book could be written on just that one song.
Before the 1967 Summer of Love was over, 2.5 million eager fans snapped up copies of Sgt. Peppers. The album changed expectations for musicians and the public. It was no longer enough to make #1 hits. Albums became cohesive works of art, or at least people tried to reach that standard.
Do you remember how you felt the first time you heard Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band?
Were you one of those release day fans? Or did you get yours before September?
Share your Sgt. Peppers experience in the comment section below. We’ll enjoy all of them. If you’re particularly inspired, suggest a 500 plus word story and I’ll print it.
50th Anniversary re-issue May 26, 2017
We are just weeks away from May 26, 2017 when Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band [Anniversary Edition] will ship. It will be a huge celebration on the 50th anniversary of that Thursday in June 1967.
Along with a CD, there will be a new 2 record vinyl LP. Super fans are snapping up the deluxe box set Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with 4 CDs, DVD, Blu-ray Combo and 144-page book.