On the 1st June 1967, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, their 8th studio album. It won four Grammy Awards following its release and is widely regarded as one of the most influential albums ever released having sold in excess of 30 million copies worldwide.
The Beatles had declared their retirement from touring on 29th August 1966, after having played to a crowd of 25,000 people at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. The decision to stop performing live gave them the freedom to focus on creating music in the studio that would have been impossible to recreate on tour.
Consequently the album made use of a huge range of instruments and studio effects. Together with their producer, George Martin, and audio engineer, Geoff Emerick, they creatively applied audio compression, limiting, and reverb. The studio engineers also devised creative solutions to offset the limitations of the studio’s four-track recording equipment, enabling a 40-piece orchestra to be recorded after the band had already finished their tracks.
Sgt. Pepper’s was the first Beatles album to be released simultaneously worldwide, and it received almost universal praise. Just three days after its release, guitar legend Jimi Hendrix opened a live show in London by performing the title track – something that Paul McCartney regards as one of the greatest honours in his career.
As well as being famed for its musical impact, Sgt. Pepper’s is also highly regarded for its iconic cover art. Designed by pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, the elaborate cover alone cost £3,000 to produce.