“It was an idea I had, I think, when I was flying from L.A. to somewhere. I thought it would be nice to lose our identities, to submerge ourselves in the persona of a fake group. We would make up all the culture around it and collect all our heroes in one place. So I thought, A typical stupid-sounding name for a Dr. Hook’s Medicine Show and Traveling Circus kind of thing would be ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.’ Just a word game, really.”
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by English rock band the Beatles. Released on 1 June 1967, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one in the United States. Time magazine declared it “a historic departure in the progress of music” and the New Statesman praised its elevation of pop to the level of fine art. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour.
Examines the twelve months (Aug 1966 - Aug 1967) that would arguably be the most crucial in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s number one touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio.
“I had come to the conclusion that The Beatles were getting a little bit safe, and we were a little intimidated by the idea of making ‘the new Beatles album’. It was quite a big thing: 'Wow, follow that!’ So to relieve the pressure I got the idea, maybe from some friends or something I’d read, that we shouldn’t record it as The Beatles. Mentally we should approach it as another group of people and totally give ourselves alter egos. So I came up with the idea of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the song 'It Was Twenty Years Ago Today’."