Previously unreleased takes and documentary footage will be included

By Christian Holub
April 05, 2017 at 11:10 AM EDT
Robert Fraser/EMI Records Ltd

It’s been 70 years since Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play, and 50 since Paul McCartney first introduced Billy Shears to an adoring audience. To mark the 50th anniversary of perhaps their most famous album, The Beatles are releasing several anniversary edition packages of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band this spring.

The first of these will arrive on Record Store Day April 22: a limited edition vinyl single of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane,” two of the first songs recorded during the Sgt. Pepper’s sessions but ultimately held off the album. May 26 will see the release of various anniversary editions of the album itself. There will be deluxe CD and vinyl editions, with previously unreleased takes of the album included. The “super deluxe” edition will be a six-disc set including a stereo mix, original mono mix, additional session recordings, plus DVDs with some of the album’s original promotional material and a previously unreleased documentary film The Making of Sgt. Pepper that features interviews with McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in addition to in-studio footage.

Sgt. Pepper’s has achieved its sterling reputation not just because of epochal songs like “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” but also because it arrived exactly on June 1, 1967 and provided an immortal soundtrack to that year’s Summer of Love.

Sgt. Pepper’s seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it,” Starr said in the anniversary edition’s accompanying book.