Apple Records/Capitol/Universal Music Enterprise are celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on May 26th by releasing a remixed, remastered and expanded Anniversary Edition on a variety of formats. The album will be reissued on single CD, Deluxe 2 CD, 2 LP and 4 CD/1 DVD/1 Blu-ray Super Deluxe Box Set.
The Super Deluxe set will feature 100 minutes of outtakes that includes previously unheard and unreleased material, a special mono mix with six extra tracks — including a “lost” version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” — a documentary DVD and Blu-ray containing the making of the album, 5.1 surround sound and hi-res stereo mixes, 114 page book with images of the band in the studio and handwritten lyrics and recording notes, two posters and an original album release replica insert.
The DVD/Blu-ray will feature 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.
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.
For Record Store Day on April 22nd, 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 ten months later. Both tracks will be included on the expanded Sgt. Pepper Anniversary Editions.
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 2 CD digipak is slipcased with a 50-page booklet abridged from the box set’s book, and the 2 LP Deluxe Vinyl is presented in a faithful reproduction of the album’s original gatefold jacket.