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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (song)

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"Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Song by The Beatles

from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 1 February 1967
1 April 1967 (Reprise)
Genre Hard rock, psychedelic rock, baroque pop
Length 2:02
1:18 (Reprise)
Label Parlophone, Capitol, EMI
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"/"With a Little Help from My Friends"
Single by The Beatles
B-side "A Day in the Life"
Released 14 August 1978 (US)
30 September 1978 (UK)
Format 7"
Recorded February–March 1967
EMI Studios, London
Length 4:46
Label Capitol 4612 (US)
Parlophone R6022 (UK)
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" / "A Day in the Life"
"The Beatles Movie Medley"
Paul McCartney singles chronology
"Tropic Island Hum"/"We All Stand Together"
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (with U2) "Fine Line"
U2 singles chronology
"City of Blinding Lights"
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (with Paul McCartney) "Original of the Species"

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is a song credited to Lennon/McCartney, and released in 1967, on The Beatles' album of the same name. The song appears twice on the album: as the first song (transitioning into "With a Little Help from My Friends"), and as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)", (which transitions into "A Day in the Life"). As the title track, the lyrics introduce the fictional band that performs in the album.

Since its original album release, the song has also been released on singles, on compilation albums, and has been performed by several other artists including Jimi Hendrix, U2, and a comic interpretation by Bill Cosby.

Song structure

On the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the song opens to the sound of a loud audience, and an orchestra tuning up, which was taken from the February 10 orchestra session for "A Day in the Life".[1] The crowd sounds edited into the song were recorded in the early '60s by Martin, during a live recording of the stage show Beyond the Fringe. When the song itself begins, the band introduces its members.[2] The song is in G major, with a 4/4 meter. A horn quartet was used to fill out the instrumental sections.[3]


"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" is a repeat of the song at a faster tempo with heavier instruments. While the first track stays largely in the key of G major (except for transient modulation to F and perhaps C in the bridges), the reprise starts in F and modulates back to G. The track opens with a distorted guitar strumming a "Hendrix chord" (dominant 7th sharp 9). McCartney counts 1-2-3-4, and between 2 and 3, Lennon says "bye!".[4]

The idea for a reprise was Aspinall's, who thought that as there was a "welcome song", there should be a "goodbye song".[5][6] The song contains the same melody as the opening version, but with different lyrics. At 1:18, it is one of the Beatles' shorter songs (the shortest is "Her Majesty" at 0:23). The reprise was recorded on 1 April 1967, two months after the version that opens the album.[7][8] At the end of the track, Martin's pre-recorded applause sample segues into the real final track of the album, "A Day in the Life".


Full version:


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[9]


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