The greatest rock and roll album of all time turns fifty on June 1, and to celebrate, the Beatles have opened the archives and assembled a giant anniversary edition of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Available to preorder now, the celebration includes four options, ranging from a single CD featuring the new stereo remix to the six-disc Super Deluxe package that includes the complete early takes, the album and bonus tracks in mono, DVD/Blu-Ray companions and much more. For fans of what many consider to be the band's greatest work, $150 is a steal for an almost-literal treasure chest of Beatles music and history.
Sgt. Pepper was released on June 1, 1967 and went on to win four Grammys, although a few awards don't seem to matter all that much, fifty years later. The Beatles eighth studio album changed music and has spent the last century influencing musicians. It hasn't gone out of style.
Four options are available for fans and music historians to preorder. A one-disc CD contains the new stereo mix of the entire album while a 2-disc deluxe package includes the stereo mix plus the complete early takes and versions of "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane."
Those two songs were originally intended for the album but were released as singles ahead of the LP because of the intense demand for new Beatles music. The larger packages of the anniversary release include the two tracks in their original spots on the album to give listeners the album as the band fully intended it to be. These songs will also be available as a special vinyl 7" single on Record Store Day (April 22). A recording of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" that was thought to be lost has been found and comes on the Super Deluxe edition.
The Super Deluxe 50th Anniversary Edition of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band includes (are you ready?):
On disc 1: the new stereo album mix.
On discs 2 and 3: 33 recordings from early sessions and alternate takes, plus different mixes of "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane."
On disc 4: Direct transfers of the original mono mix of the album including "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane." Plus, early mixes of "She's Leaving Home," "A Day in the Life" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
On discs 5 and 6: DVD and Blu-Ray discs featuring various mixes of the album and "Strawberry Fields Forever," formatted for 5.1 surround sound. Plus, they include 4K promotional films for the songs and an unreleased (but broadcast in 1992) 25th anniversary documentary about the creation of the album, called The Making of Sgt. Pepper.
Yes, the studio has basically released a $150 box set of outtakes and a documentary that's probably (definitely) already been torrented from someone's home video. And yes, you can (and might've already) added "Penny Lane" to your Sgt. Pepper playlist in its original spot. But for collectors and fans who want the full collection of session recordings, alternate mixes, outtakes and, let's not forget, a colorful box covered in lenticular images of the album's artworkartwork, this Super Deluxe package offers a deep dive into one of the greatest albums ever recorded, guaranteed to raise a smile.