Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2:01)

Cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

From Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and 25 other releases

“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is a song credited to Lennon/McCartney, and first recorded and released in 1967, on the The Beatles’ album of the same name. The song appears twice on the album: as the opening track (segueing into “With A Little Help From My Friends”), and as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)”, the penultimate track (segueing into “A Day In The Life”). As the title track, the lyrics introduce the fictional band that performs in the album.

Authorship and recording

In November 1966, on the flight back to England after a holiday, McCartney conceived an idea in which an entire album would be role-played, with each of The Beatles assuming an alter-ego in the “Lonely Hearts Club Band”, which would then perform a concert in front of an audience. The inspiration is said to have come when roadie Mal Evans innocently asked McCartney what the letters “S” and “P” stood for on the pots on their in-flight meal trays, and McCartney explained it was for salt and pepper. This then led to the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band concept, as well as the song. According to producer George Martin, the song was recorded before the album, but he also said that it started the idea of a concept album based around the main Sgt. Pepper character.

The group’s road manager Neil Aspinall suggested the idea of Sergeant Pepper being the compère, as well as the reprise at the end of the album.

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