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Behind The Scenes Of The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

Updated 11 Oct 2018 55.3k views13 items

The Beatles officially broke up in 1970, but the Fab Four image they'd grown to hate almost split them up years earlier. Though they'd started to branch out musically with Rubber Soul and Revolver, their recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1966 and 1967 reinvigorated the band and gave them a chance to experiment creatively. 

After several years of performing for stadiums filled with fans screaming loud enough to drown out the music, the Beatles had lost interest in touring. "We really hated that f*cking four-little-mop-top approach," Paul McCartney recalled. "We were not boys; we were men. It was all gone... we didn't want any more."

Behind-the-scenes Beatles studio stories from the Sgt. Pepper recording period reveal a group of artists who wanted to prove themselves as more than pop darlings beloved by shrieking fans. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band inspired at least one Beatles conspiracy theory and marked a turning point for the band in both their sound and attitude. It also foreshadowed their eventual need to explore music individually. And in keeping with 1960's culture, a "free your mind" psychedelic approach to life and art strongly influenced on the album. 

More than 50 years have passed since Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr donned colorful, satin, military band uniforms and surrounded themselves with other famous faces for the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. But the album - which Rolling Stone gave the No. 1 spot on its list of 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - remains timeless. And stories about how the album came together are as intriguing as the songs themselves. 

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