Considered by many to be the ground-breaking concept album, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band was released by the Beatles in June of 1967. The album’s concept originated with Paul McCartney, who was inspired by the Beach Boys’ 1966 release of Pet Sounds. Ironically, Brian Wilson had been motivated to write the songs on the Pet Sounds album after listening to the Beatles’, Rubber Soul album.
Sgt Pepper was probably one of the earliest examples of a concept album. It’s this overall ‘multimedia’ approach, making the music, the lyrics and the concept art link together that makes this a stunning showcase of modern rock. For the first time on a Beatles’ record, the artwork, packing and every song were connected in some way. Ironically, although connected, the music on the album was influenced by such diverse genres as music hall, jazz, rock and roll, western classical, and traditional Indian music.
One of the most important albums in modern music history, Sgt Pepper influenced many artists including Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and Oasis. Sgt. Pepper was a worldwide critical and commercial success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the UK Album Chart and 15 weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200. It consistently ranks at, or near, the top of most published lists of the greatest albums of all time. Sgt. Pepper is also one of the best selling albums of all times, with worldwide sales of 32 million copies. Nominated for seven Grammy Awards in 1968, the album won four, including Best Album of the Year and Best Album Cover.
The Grammy-Award-winning album cover was designed by Peter Blake and, his wife and artistic partner, Jann Haworth; and photographed by Michael Cooper. The front of the album cover shows the band posing in front of a collage of life-sized cardboard models of the band’s favorite celebrities. The Beatles, as the Sgt. Pepper Band, are dressed in custom-made military-style outfits made of satin dyed in day-glow colors. These suits were...
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