History's most famous LP, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, was Paul's idea.
Having given up touring, The Beatles now focused their attention on fully exploring the possibilities of studio recording, and came up with the most consistently acclaimed rock album of all time. Recording started on November 24, 1966, but by now they were in such a position of strength that EMI could put no pressure on them to finish it for Christmas.
Instead, the sessions continued until the following April, with the Beatles in virtually constant occupation of their favored Abbey Road studio.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was finally released on June 1, 1967, and just two days later, started a staggering 22-week run at No. 1 on the U.K. album chart. A month later,with over a million advance orders, it topped the U.S. chart for 15 weeks, going on to win no fewer than four Grammies.
Many consider Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band a "concept" album — something conceived as a package with a common theme.
Peter Blake, a prominent contemporary British artist, was hired to design the album cover. He asked each of the Beatles to list people they would like to see on the cover. The lists were compiled and became the background.
At the Beatles' insistence, the gatefold LP marked the first occurrence of an identical Original Vinyl Track Listing in a UK and US Beatle album. However, only the UK version has a short section of noise, gibberish, and a 15 kilocycle pitch (not audible to humans) in the LP's run-out groove.
The record was officially released on June 1, 1967, although it was rush released on May 26. It was actually played on the BBC radio show Where It's At, on May 20.
Within one week 250,000 copies of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band sold in the UK and the record charted for an unprecedented 148 weeks.
In the US, 2.5 million copies sold within three months and the album stayed in the No. 1 spot for nineteen weeks.
The LP included a paper cut-out sheet.
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