- In June 2007, the Beatles' masterpiece album, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" celebrated its fortieth birthday. In 1966, the group decided to create this concept album as a way to break out of the teen idol box that that they'd been trapped in, and showcase them as musicians. It was released in 1967.
- The following is a selection of little known facts about this breakthrough album.
- The concept behind the album cover collage was the burial of the old I-Want-to-Hold-Your-Hand Beatles. The celebrities looking over the flower bouquet Beatles logo are mourners.
- 1930s movie sex symbol Mae West refused to have her image included in the album cover collage. After the Beatles wrote her a personal letter, she changed her mind.
- When actor Leo Gorcey of the Bowery Boys wanted to be paid for the use of his image in the cover, they removed the image from the collage.
- This was the first album to have song lyrics printed on the back cover.
- Although much has been said about "Sgt. Pepper" being the first concept album, the Beatles were inspired by Frank Zappa's "Freak Out"; a concept album released a year before.
- At "Sgt. Pepper's" release, Paul McCartney said, "This is going to be our 'Freak Out.'"
- In actuality, there were only two songs on the album that refer to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
- While some critics claimed that the lyrics of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" were about heroin addiction (i.e. "Henry the Horse"), when in fact the lyrics came almost word for word from an old circus poster that John Lennon had bought from an antique store.
- "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were intended to be a part of "Sgt. Pepper", but the record company put pressure on them to release a single. As a result, they were released as a double-sided single.
- The final track on the album, "Inner Groove", included a high-pitched tone that only dogs could hear.
- According to John Lennon, the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" had nothing to do with LSD. It was inspired by a drawing by Lennon's son Julian of a nursery school classmate named Lucy. In a 2004 Daily Mirror interview, Paul McCartney acknowledged that drugs influenced the lyrics of some of the Beatles' songs, including "Lucy in the Sky."
- "Within You Without You" was the only track with only one Beatle performing, George Harrison and his sitar.
Credit: Stephen B. Morton for The Atlanta Journal Constitution