Shout! Factory has announced that it is releasing 1978’s infamous Beatles musical Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on Blu-ray, Sept. 26. Directed by Michael Schultz (Car Wash), the film is stuffed with both numbers originally performed by the Fab Four and stars, including the Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Donald Pleasence, and Steve Martin. But the movie was greeted by harsh reviews and, while the film would acquire a cult following over the years, has become a byword for ’70s-era Hollywood excess.
“They dug themselves into a hole because, first of all, you’re picking the best Beatles album of all-time and excluding the Beatles,” Cooper told EW in 2012. “How silly is that? The problem was that I was the only one [of the musicians] who could talk. You know, they got Peter Frampton in there and they put the mike on and he had this little tiny voice. The only guy that really had any acting experience, I think, was me. It ended up where they decided George Burns should narrate the whole movie. That was actually the smartest thing they could have done. There were moments in that movie that were really good. Steve Martin was great in it. There were moments of funny stuff. But the whole premise of the movie was just wrong all the way. But I did get to do the song ‘Because,’ a Beatles song, with George Martin. I would have done the whole movie just to say I worked with George Martin. We did the song with the Bee Gees doing the back up singing and I sang it like John Lennon. I did my perfect John Lennon. And George says, ‘Well that’s a very good John Lennon imitation. But how would Alice Cooper do it?’ And I said, ‘Ah! Okay!’ And I added the whole creepy element. I sounded like Cyril Ritchard in Peter Pan. I really hammed it up. When I got done with it, George says, ‘I’m calling John right now. He will die when he hears this.'”
The film’s new release will include an audio commentary from pop culture historian Russell Dyball and the original theatrical trailer. You can pre-order the Blu-ray from the Shout! Factory website.
Watch a trailer for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, above.