In 1988 I purchased a Phillips Compact Disc player and three Compact Discs; Yes: Fragile, Roxy Music: Avalon and The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Sgt. Pepper was 21 years old when I bought the CD. I had already had the vinyl at home.
There was not much of a celebration for the 20th Anniversary. The 25th Anniversary only had interviews released about the making of the album.
The 50th, my goodness, the 50th has a Deluxe Box, Anniversary editions of the CD and Vinyl that each had a 2nd disc with out takes, demo and alternative versions.
The 50th Anniversary even had a hashtag: #SgtPepper50
George Martin oversaw the 1992 mixes. In 2017 for #SgtPepper50 discs, Martin’s son Giles was in charge of the mixes, which produced a new stereo mix from the original mono masters. I have yet to take the shrink-wrap off the double vinyl package, though I have heard that as good as the new mixes sound on CD, the vinyl is even better. It may only be a matter of time before the wrap comes off and I get see all the extras that first appeared in June 1967.
The title of this post is not that cryptic, when Sgt. Pepper turns 75, I will be 81 years old. In 2042, there are a few things we can assume – that there no Beatle will be alive. The respective Beatle estates will be run by the younger Beatles generation of Sean Lennon, James McCartney, Dhani Harrison and Zak Starkey. Giles Martin will again handle the producing duties for #SgtPepper75 as he will be a youthful 72 in June of 2042.
On the celebration of #SgtPepper75, what will be said that had not been written 25 years earlier? Will there be rare tapes discovered of a Sgt. Pepper follow up no one ever talked about?
Will the latest anniversary version include all songs recorded by the sons of the Fab Four?
Will the sons of the Beatles sound so much like John, Paul, George and Ringo listeners will not be able to tell the difference from the original recordings from 75 years earlier. Will this ‘one off’ recording spur the Beatles reunion no one thought could ever happen? We can only suppose what the reviews say; will it read “the Beatles would be proud of what their boys produced”, “the sons have done the fathers a dis-service” or “the re-imaging of Pepper from the Baby Fab Four is beyond what their fathers could have envisioned”.
In 2042 will CD’s be making a comeback? What will the packaging look like? Will it all be streamed with only the packaging (without the music) being sold? What about a hologram version of Sgt. Pepper, now that would be cool!
What will they say about the music? I imagine the Beatles would have thought about this when they recorded in ’67 and embedded sounds and messages that only would be heard in 2042.
I wonder if #SgtPepper75 will bring back a nostalgia for the 60’s, will music critics pine for simple days of when creating music really was ‘creating’ rather the ‘programming’ of the current generation (at that time). I hope that when 2032 comes along I will still be writing and contributing online in whatever format online in 25 years will look like and able to share more thoughts about how great Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is.
For now, “it’s getting better all the time”, every time I listen to Pepper.
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