Classic Photos: Making The Cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, by The Beatles was released on 1 June 1967, and it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the albums chart in the United Kingdom and 15 weeks at number one in the United States. Time magazine declared it “a historic departure in the progress of music” and the New Statesman praised its elevation of pop to the level of fine art. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour.

Sgt. Pepper is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the use of extended form in popular music while continuing the artistic maturation seen on the Beatles’ preceding releases. It has been described as one of the first art rock LPs, aiding the development of progressive rock, and credited with marking the beginning of the Album Era. An important work of British psychedelia, the multigenre album incorporates diverse stylistic influences, including vaudeville, circus, music hall, avant-garde, and Western and Indian classical music. In 2003 the Library of Congress placed Sgt. Pepper in the National Recording Registry, honouring the work as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. That same year Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number one in its list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. As of 2014 it has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums in history. Professor Kevin J Dettmar, writing in the Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature, described it as “the most important and influential rock and roll album ever recorded”.

 

Diana Dors

 

The boy in this photograph is Adam Cooper, the son of Michael Cooper – the album cover photographer

 

Preparing to shoot the “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album cover

 

Inkpots

 

George, As A Member Of The Lonely Hearts Club Band

Figures And Figure Heads

 

Getting The Shot Ready

 

John, Ringo and Mal Evans

 

Arranging

 

Arranging

 

The Final Cover Sleeve

 

The Beatles And The Lonely Hearts Club Band

Via Vintage Everyday