June 2 – Sgt. Pepper Turns 50!

Posted on June 2, 2017

Back in the summer of 1967, the Beatles were already huge, worldwide. They'd already "invaded" the U.S. with their records in late 1963, and with their first in-person visit in early 1964. Almost half of all Americans tuned in to see the first Beatles appearance on American TV (the Ed Sullivan show), and Beatlemania was such a big thing that some concert goers could hardly hear the band over the screaming fans. Within just one year, 30 different listings had appeared on the CashBox "Hot 100."

However, four years and five studio albums later, the Beatles-as-an-absolute-craze had died down. For one thing, they had decided not to do commercial tours anymore (after their August, 1966, concert tour). For another thing, as incredibly important as the Beatles' music had been, some people had turned with interest to newer bands for a fresh new style.

Then *WHAM*! The Beatles released a new album - with a fresh new style.

And it Just. Took. Over!

The cover was as influential as the music!

On June 1, 1967, Sgt. Pepper was released in the U.K., and many people interrupted their day to pull over in their cars or stop whatever they were doing to listen to the entire album played on the radio in one long set.

The next day, on this date in 1967, Sgt. Pepper was released in the U.S. Unlike earlier albums, in which the record producers included different songs than those released on the British album, the Beatles had made sure that Sgt. Pepper was the same in the U.S.A. as it was in the U.K.

Did American kids give it the same reception as British kids?

Yes, yes they did.

Every car seemed to be tuned into a radio station playing Sgt. Pepper. Radio stations, at least at first, played the entire album at one time. People stopped what they were doing to really listen. Every hair salon, book store, and diner seemed to be playing the song.

The album stayed #1 for an amazing 27 weeks in the U.K. and 15 weeks in the U.S. It has become one of the best-selling albums in history, with more than 32 million copies worldwide sold.

For Sgt. Pepper's 50th, the songs
have been remixed and re-released.
Th album won applause from music critics, too. Suddenly, rock 'n' roll was taken more seriously, and Sgt. Pepper's ended up winning won four Grammy Awards. It was the first rock LP to win Album of the Year! People talked about the album being art, not just pop music, and it has consistently been called one of the most influential, one of the most important, as well as one of the "greatest" LPs of all time.

Everything about this album has been copied
and / or referenced by others.

Here, the cast of the Big Bang Theory has some Sgt. Pepper fun!

Also on this date:

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