The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Universal  5745532



The Beatles

‘Sgt. Pepper’ Presented with New Mixes in Stereo and 5.1 Surround Audio; Expanded with Previously Unreleased Session Recordings, Video Features & Special Packaging

Previously Unreleased 1992 Documentary Film, ‘The Making of Sgt. Pepper,’ Restored for Anniversary Edition’s Super Deluxe Boxed Set

London – April 5, 2017 – It was 50 years ago this June 1st when The Beatles’ John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr astonished and delighted the world, ushering in the Summer of Love with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a groundbreaking masterwork that became popular music’s most universally acclaimed album. To salute the occasion, The Beatles will release a suite of lavishly presented ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition packages on May 26 (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe). The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with early takes from the studio sessions, including no fewer than 34 previously unreleased recordings.

“It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art,” says Paul McCartney in his newly-penned introduction for the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Anniversary Edition.

“‘Sgt. Pepper’ seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Ringo Starr recalls in the Anniversary Edition’s book.

For Record Store Day on April 22, Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe will release an exclusive, limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” among the first songs recorded during the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ sessions, which began in November 1966. Rather than being held for inclusion on the album, the two songs were released as a double A-sided single in February 1967. Amidst intense media speculation about the band’s next move, the single bridged what was then considered a long gap between the Revolver album, released in August 1966, and ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ which followed 10 months later.

This is the first time Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has been remixed and presented with additional session recordings, and it is the first Beatles album to be remixed and expanded since the 2003 release of Let It Be… Naked. To create the new stereo and 5.1 surround audio mixes for ‘Sgt. Pepper,’ producer Giles Martin and mix engineer Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios in London. All of the Anniversary Edition releases include Martin’s new stereo mix of the album, which was sourced directly from the original four-track session tapes and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Anniversary Edition releases include:

A CD featuring the new ‘Sgt. Pepper’ stereo mix, complete with the original U.K. album’s “Edit for LP End” run-out groove.
CD 1: New stereo album mix
CDs 2 & 3:
– 33 additional recordings from the studio sessions, most previously unreleased and mixed for the first time from the four-track session tapes, sequenced in chronological order of their recording dates
– A new stereo mix of “Penny Lane” and the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
CD 4:
– Direct transfers of the album’s original mono mix and the “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” singles
– Capitol Records’ U.S. promotional mono single mix of “Penny Lane”
– Previously unreleased early mono mixes of “She’s Leaving Home,” “A Day In The Life,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (a mix thought to have been erased from a tape in 1967, but discovered during archive research for the anniversary edition)
Discs 5 & 6 (Blu-ray and DVD):
– New 5.1 surround audio mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, plus their 2015 5.1 surround mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
– High resolution audio versions of the new stereo mixes of the album and “Penny Lane” and of the 2015 stereo mix of “Strawberry Fields Forever”
– Video features: 4K restored original promotional films for “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane,” and “A Day In The Life;” plus The Making of Sgt. Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film (broadcast in 1992), featuring insightful interviews with McCartney, Harrison, and Starr, and in-studio footage introduced by George Martin.

– “A splendid time is guaranteed for all” –

The album’s vibrant artwork, including its extravagant Pop Art cover which finds The Beatles surrounded by a crowd of heroes in a 3D collage, was created by Peter Blake and Jann Haworth in collaboration with the band. The original artwork is showcased across the suite of Anniversary Edition releases, including the album’s pull-out sheet of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cutouts. Housed in a 12-inch by 12-inch box with lenticular artwork and two bonus posters, the six-disc Super Deluxe set is presented with a 144-page hardcover book. The book includes new introductions by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin, and chapters covering comprehensive song-by-song details and recording information, the design of the cover, the album’s musical innovations and its historical context by Beatles historian, author and radio producer Kevin Howlett; composer and musicologist Howard Goodall; music producer and writer Joe Boyd; and journalists Ed Vulliamy and Jeff Slate, illustrated with rare photographs, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, Abbey Road Studios documentation, and original ‘Sgt. Pepper’ print ads. The Deluxe 2CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2LP Deluxe Vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.

– “We hope you will enjoy the show” –

Just as many ideas are sparked by chance, ‘Sgt. Pepper’ first sprang from a conversation between Paul and Beatles roadie Mal Evans on an airplane, when Mal’s request to pass the salt and pepper was misheard by Paul as “Sgt. Pepper.” The concept of who such a figure could be took root in Paul’s mind, blooming with the imagination of The Beatles as an Edwardian era military band — “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” The Beatles’ creative wellspring for ‘Sgt. Pepper’ also flowed from such myriad sources as The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album, a Victorian circus poster (“Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!”), a TV commercial for breakfast cereal (“Good Morning Good Morning”), a picture drawn by John’s young son, Julian (“Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”), a teen runaway reported in the news (“She’s Leaving Home’), and Hindu teachings (“Within You Without You”).

– “Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song” –

Using the standard four-track tape recording equipment of the day, The Beatles collaborated with producer George Martin to achieve “the impossible,” as they dubbed it, to go as far out as they could with arrangements and new technology to realize their collective vision for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As George Martin described it, “We were into another kind of art form where you were putting something down on tape that could only be done on tape.” The Beatles clocked more than 400 hours in Abbey Road’s Studio 2 to record the album, wrapping sessions in April 1967.

– “I read the news today oh boy” –

Upon its release on June 1, 1967, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band initially spent 148 weeks in the British chart, including a total of 27 weeks at number one. During its first U.S. chart run, the album held the number one spot for 15 of the 88 weeks it appeared in the Top 200. ‘Sgt. Pepper’ won four GRAMMY Awards®, including Album of the Year, and it remains one of the most influential and bestselling albums of all time. In 2003, the U.S. Library of Congress selected ‘Sgt. Pepper’ for the National Recording Registry, recognizing the album as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” ‘Sgt. Pepper’ tops Rolling Stone magazine’s definitive list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”

Support this site by purchasing from these vendors:

Add to your wish list | library


15 of 15 recommend this, would you recommend it?  yes | no

Analogue recording
Resolutions (3)
  • 2.0 LPCM 24bit/96kHz
  • 5.1 Dolby TrueHD 24bit/96kHz
  • 5.1 DTS HD MA 24bit/96kHz
Comments (11)

Comment by Kev Edwards - May 1, 2017 (1 of 11)

This eagerly awaited hi-res mix of Sgt Pepper's hopefully will lead to the whole back catalogue released on ether Blu-ray-audio or DVD-audio.

The 'Band On The Run' hi-res download is so disappointing, The actual 44.1kHz standard res CD sounds much better, so 'please please me' and bring out the whole Hi-Res back catalogue on Blu-Ray Audio.

Comment by hiredfox - May 2, 2017 (2 of 11)

Do you know if this is an analogue to DSD transfer, Kev?

Comment by Mark Werlin - May 5, 2017 (3 of 11)

From High-Def Digest, citing promotional material released by the label:

"The album is newly mixed by Giles Martin and engineer Sam Okell in stereo, sourced directly from the four-track masters at Abbey Road Studios in London, and guided by the original, Beatles-preferred mono mix produced by his father, George Martin... Blu-Ray/DVD: 2017 Giles Martin 5.1 surround sound mix and high-resolution stereo audio in 96KHz/24bit of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band plus 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Penny Lane'."

No DSD or high resolution PCM transfers of the original mono mix or original stereo mix. One of the CDs in the set contains (in standard resolution) the mono mix.

I believe that the mono LPs were sourced from uncompressed hi-res transfers of the original mono masters.

Comment by Wayne Erfling - May 6, 2017 (4 of 11)

While Sgt. Pepper was my first exposure to the Beatles' music and I'd love to have it in the 5.1 mix, I'm a bit dismayed to see the new mix bundled up with all the other memorabilia for over $100 retail.

Is the 5.1 mix the entire album in order, with no other "distracting" commentary or additions?

I'd love to be able to buy it separately, either in BluRay multichannel or SACD multichannel, as SACD is still an active format.

I would not be interested in a "boutique" / one-off release in the defunct DVD-Audio format, though I think one of my systems can still play them (both of my audio systems can play multichannel music).

Comment by john hunter - May 14, 2017 (5 of 11)

If you can wait, I am sure there will be separate releases.

Comment by Jan Arell - May 26, 2017 (6 of 11)

I'm eagerly waiting for comments on the surround version.

Comment by sacdave - May 26, 2017 (7 of 11)

Read some mostly positive reviews and am awaiting mine to be delivered. This from all I've seen it's better then Love and much better then 1.

Comment by Mark Powers - June 1, 2017 (8 of 11)

I received my edition yesterday from Japan which had the 4 CD's as SHM CD's. I am super impressed with the entire box set, so well thought out and beautiful to listen and hold. The CD 2 and 3 are so cool to actually hear the Beatles, practicing and talking to each other with the different takes, etc. The Blu Ray 5.1, stunning but not perfect, but perfect. A real good, fun set to own.

Comment by Jan Arell - June 2, 2017 (9 of 11)


Back from a trip, I’ve now bought and listened to the Sgt Pepper super duper box. These comments are all based on the blu-ray disc only.
For other content on the six discs, see the first comment in this thread.

The truly greatest thing in this marvellous box is the new stereo mix. As you may know, producer George Martin’s team and all four members of the band spent three weeks doing the mono mix. The stereo mix was done later in about three days without the participation of the Beatles. Still, that stereo mix is what most people have heard.

WHAT PRODUCER Giles Martin, son of George, has done is to use the mono mix as the starting point, then carefully place the instruments and voices in two channels (later in five).
The result is a true revelation. Paul’s base and Ringo’s sometimes astonishing drumming are much more prominent, which creates a rockier sound. And to listen to the stereo mix in the high resolution version on the blu-ray, preferably with really good earphones, lets you hear a wealth of new details. The only thing that I miss from the original mono mix is that phasing sound (my bad English) in Lucy.
There are moments when I'm actually brought back 50 years, to that day in June 1967 when my best pal called me to say that his parents had bought Sgt Pepper for him. And that 14 year old me enviously threw myself onto my bike to get to his house and listen to it on his simple record player; some of you may remember those cheap machines that had the loudspeaker inside the lid. 
It's that kind of magic.

And the clarity; oh, the clarity...

The disc also contains Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane; songs that originally were intended for the Sgt P album but they instead, for company reasons, were forced to release as a single.
Penny Lane is also a new stereo mix, while Strawberry is the same version as on the 1+ released in 2015.

THE SURROUND MIX is a bit on the conservative side. It’s not as ’radical’ as Love (which I truly, well, love). There are swirling organs in Being for the Benefit.., there are instruments and voices coming from the rears. Strings on She’s Leaving Home and Within You are also in the rears - Within You, which often has made me tap on the next-button, suddenly becomes a great song.
But overall, what you get from the 5.1 mix, from the audience at the outset and onwards, is getting totally immersed by the music. Do I have to mention A Day In the Life?
Myself, I might have preferred a more ’aggressive’ surround mix. But then, Giles Martin has stated in interviews that he avoided that out of respect for the work of the band and his father. He wanted to get as close to the original as possible. And in the end, I think I agree.
Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane are also mixed in surround. SFF as on 1+, PL is new.

For a more detailed analysis of the surround mix, I’ll give you two links. Not that I agree on everything they write, but they will give you a hint.

And Sgt Pepper is not even my favorite Beatles album (they are Revolver and Abbey Road). There are hints that Giles Martin will now move on to the White Album.

Anyway: A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Jan, Sweden

Music: 5
Stereo: 5+
Surround: 4 1/2

Comment by JrL3 - June 4, 2017 (10 of 11)

I agree with Jan that this is a respectful 5.1 mix but has a great punch to it. That being said, the clarity is wonderful. I especially like starting off by moving Paul almost entirely to the center channel and the chorus to the surrounds so the guitar & drums could shine.

I didn't want or expect an aggressive mix and will settle for this making every previous release sound muddy. What you really get from this mix is to hear more of the depth in the recording they spent months recording & mixing.

I have to say that I enjoyed listening to the original Mono mix on CD as much as the 5.1 channel mix. The two extra CD's of session tracks are a lot of fun too and sound crystal clear. Why such great tracks weren't on the Anthology series is a hopeful hint of what may come next. There is just enough time for Giles to get some rest before the 50th of Abbey Road.

Comment by SACD-MAN (threerandot) - June 16, 2017 (11 of 11)

I am still wondering if the Beatles will ever be issued on SACD. From what I remember, EMI never supported SACD. Now that Universal are releasing these, we may yet see Beatles titles on SACD? What does everyone here think?


1xBlu-ray, 1xDVD, 4xCD