‘Sgt. Pepper’ deluxe set due May 26

Apple Records has unveiled the most ambitious reissue of a Beatles title to date, with a "super deluxe edition" of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The May 26 release celebrates the 50th anniversary of the psychedelic music classic. Highlights include a new stereo mix of the album, 5.1 surround via Bluray/DVD discs, a "lost" version of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" and two CDs full of studio outtakes. Sorry, it's a "no" for the long-sought-after experimental Beatles track "Carnival of Light," which dates back to the period. Here's what's coming based on materials released April 4 and 5 by the Beatles' label (updated content): A new mix of the 1967 album by Gils Martin and Sam Okell from the original master tapes. Two CDs of outtakes, with almost three dozen … [Read more...]

Lips’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ salute out Oct. 28

The Flaming Lips' retelling of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" will be out Oct. 28, the band confirmed. The track-by-track reimagining is dubbed, of course, "With a Little Help From My Fwends." The label is Warner Bros. The heady "fwends" include pop siren Miley Cyrus and Moby, with MGMT, Sean Lennon and My Morning Jacket possibly linked to the project. The Lips performed "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" with Sean Lennon on late-night TV recently, and just this week joined Cyrus on a U.K. tour stop for a run-through of the same number. Preorders for "With a Little Help From My Fwends" begin in late May and include a preview download of the Cyrus-sung "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds." The Lips included a cover of the Fabs' "All You Need Is Love" as a bonus track on … [Read more...]

Lennon’s ‘A Day in the Life’ lyrics for sale

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics to "A Day in the Life" are up for auction (oh boy). Update 6/18/10: The "A Day in the Life" lyrics went for $1.2 million, about the same paid for the handwritten sheet for "All You Need Is Love." Some lucky American. (/update) The sheet has two versions of the song, one on each side. The first version is a rough draft, although all lyrics shown appear in the song. One of the Beatles' best-known productions, it was the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album's closing number -- known for its druggy vibe and the eternal ending chord -- a true psychedelic classic. The Sotheby's auction is set for June 18. The estimated price could hit $700,000, according to the auction house, although Beatles collectors are speculating the price could be a … [Read more...]

Julian Lennon remembers ‘Lucy’

The real-life Lucy of "Lucy in the Skies With Diamonds" is inspiring Julian Lennon once again. On Dec. 15, he's releasing the single "Lucy" in her memory, with proceeds going to fight lupus, the disease that killed her. Lucy Vodden's death in September reminded Beatle fans of the genesis of the "Sgt. Pepper" psychedelic classic. Julian, John Lennon's son, brought home a picture he'd drawn in preschool. He titled it "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," providing his dad with material for the song. Lennon always maintained the song was about the boy's drawing, not LSD, but the content and initials suggested otherwise. The new "Lucy" song was being recorded by Julian Lennon's colleague James Scott Cook near the time of Vodden's death at age 46. Lennon and Cook rewrote some of the … [Read more...]

Psychedelic Beatles rarities up for auction

What appear to be the rarest and strangest of all Beatles album pressings are coming to auction next week. The story begins back in the twilight of the vinyl era. A Capitol Records employee who worked in the label's Toronto pressing plant killed time by making multicolored vinyl records, colorful psychedelic things. Among them, appropriately, were the psychedelic classics "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Revolver." Canadian collectors Akim Boldireff and Aaron Keele bought the vinyl beauties from the ex-record presser, who apparently kept them in a closet. They said the presser had access to the original plates of the Beatles records. Keele told the Vancouver Sun: "The real thing that makes this fascinating is that they were pressed at the original plants, using … [Read more...]

No. 4: The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’

If asked to cite a psychedelic music album, most casual music fans would reply, without hesitation: The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." The Fabs' embrace of flower power and trippy-dopey imagery was in full bloom in the summer of 1967, when the multicolored "Sgt. Pepper" tumbled onto the world stage. This was not, however, the Fabs' first visit to the land of psychedelia: "Tomorrow Never Knows" from "Revolver" startled fans the summer before, with its frenzied pace and sea of tape loops. Lennon's slithery acid-tinged "Strawberry Fields Forever" arrived as a single more than three months before, sharing the vinyl with the gentle psychedelia of "Penny Lane." For the Summer of Love, the gods of pop had delivered a soundtrack. "Sgt. Pepper" would change the lives of … [Read more...]

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