Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
It had been a long ride.
Since the middle of the 1950s, John had formed the original Quarrymen, playing at church bazaars and pretty much anywhere else they were allowed. Doing rockabilly covers of old standards and Elvis and anything they thought they could get a sound out of.
It continued through time, and band member changes, and location changes.
Finally, in the autumn of 1962, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey were ready.
Four years of whirlwind tours, screaming fans, initiation to drugs, trying to make music amid the hurry, hurry, hurry and exhaustion, exhaustion, exhaustion had left them soured on being the Beatles, despite what they had meant to the world of music, and, really, to the world.
They were tired of being the mop-tops from Liverpool, nice, but slightly odd boys who half the time could not hear their own lyrics over the screaming, and at least sometimes, had actually stopped singing and simply mouthed the words knowing that none of the audience would ever be able to tell.
In 1966, the Beatles announced that they would no longer be touring. The announcement was met with stunned disbelief from fans, and snarky comments from some others that they would soon be forgotten without the constant media exposure.
In November of that year, riding on a plane returning home to Britain, Paul McCartney had a thought. Since they were all essentially tired of being "The Beatles," they should do an album, incognito. Choose a new name, essentially new identities, and do whatever kind of music they wanted to do, without concern for sales or popularity.
He presented the idea to the others, along with his half-joking suggestion for a new band name. They loved the idea. They even loved the name.
And so, on December 6 of 1966, the Beatles began recording as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. It took them 129 days of 12 to 20 hour sessions to finish. This was the first album to use 8, rather than 4, track recording. The first album to include sound effects, orchestras, overdubbing and so many other new things. The effects, the orchestrations, the overall ideas were things that had never been seen before in popular music.
There is really nothing I can say about the result except to note that, to this day, Rolling Stone Magazine names it as the Number One most important rock music album of all time. Oh, and also to note that those who thought the band would fade rapidly away without constant touring were just a bit mistaken, so:
It Was Forty Years Ago, Today...
And, well, you know the rest.Sergeant Pepper's Album Cover With LegendRolling Stone ReviewHere's What Wiki Has To SayLyrics With Comments By The Beatles