40 Years of Sgt. Pepper

Didn’t know that last Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band:. From the Wikipedia entry:

The BBC marked the occasion by organizing some of the biggest rock acts such as Oasis, The Killers, Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs, The Fratellis, Travis, The Fray, The Magic Numbers and The Zutons to re-record the album, using the one-inch four-track equipment which recorded the original, and supervised by the original engineer, Geoff Emerick. The complete re-recording was aired on BBC Radio 2 on June 2, and two programmes documenting the recording sessions were aired on BBC Two

And if you want to listen to it again, you’ll have to download a Realplayer plugin, which I refuse to do.

Went looking the album up because the girlfriend and I heard Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds over the weekend on the radio — something which according to Bob Bollen, host of NPR’s All Songs Considered, wouldn’t have been possible in 1967, when the album was first released. Firstly, few people listened to FM radio. Everyone had AM radio receivers. Secondly, stations only played singles, and none were released with Sgt. Pepper. The only way to listen to the album was to buy it or listen to someone else’s copy. How odd to think, Bollen remarks, that such a beloved and technically impressive album would have received such little airplay. And today in an age of iPods and downloads, the album still isn’t legally available on iTunes.

The latest podcast from All Songs Considered isn’t up on their official site yet, but will link to it when it does.

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