Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is 55: 7 things you may not know about the album

Music 01/06/2022

It's been 55 years since The Beatles released their eighth studio album, 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', unaware that it was to be lauded as "a decisive moment in the history of Western civilisation". 

The band were on somewhat shaky ground in the early part of 1967, having announced they would no longer perform live after John Lennon prompted outrage with his comments about Christianity. 

The previous year, they performed their last ever concert (save the iconic rooftop performance) in San Fransisco, and a few months later, began working on their next album, with plenty of time up their sleeves. 

'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' was born, and would go on to become arguably one of the most influential and beloved albums of all time. 

You know the sounds, you know the cover, but do you know these 7 facts about the album? 

1. The title came from aeroplane salt and pepper packets
Paul McCartney explained that he and the band's manager came up with an alter ego for the band named Sgt Pepper while having a meal on a plane together, inspired by the salt and pepper packets marked 'S' + 'P'.  

2. The album spent 15 weeks at number one in America 

3. Hitler is hiding on the album cover 
Lennon originally asked for Jesus Christ, Adolf Hitler and Mahatma Gandhi to appear in the star-studded album art, but they were deemed too controversial. Still, one of the artists behind the work explained that the dictator did make it into the crowd, but was covered by the band. 

4. Your dog might go crazy if you play them 'A Day In The Life' in full 
A high-frequency tone can be heard towards the end of this track on the remastered CD version of the album. It was apparently Lennon's idea to add a sound similar to a police dog whistle after discussing frequencies with McCartney. 

5. 700 hours were spent recording the album 

The Beatles

6. Ringo refused to sing a lyric from 'A Little Help From My Friends' 
The original opening line from the song asked 'What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and throw tomatoes at me?' but Ringo told Lennon and McCartney there was "not a chance in hell" he would sing it, recalling how fans constantly threw jelly babies on stage after George Harrison mentioned he liked them. 

7. In 2008, the bass drum skin used on the front cover sold at auction for approximately $1 million