Cut Song: George Martin suggested that three songs be dropped from the album — "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Penny Lane" (which became a standalone single, and Martin regretted removing them from the album) and "Only A Northern Song" (which he found boring and wanted George Harrison to replace - he put "Within You, Without You" instead, and the original song eventually emerged in Yellow Submarine).
Hitless Hit Album: Upon release, it had no singles issued (though "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were recorded during the sessions for the album and originally intended for inclusion there, and the title track was a single in the 1970s).
Jossed: John Lennon repeatedly denied that "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" had anything to do with LSD, despite him having LSD experiences and writing "She Said She Said" beforehand about a bad trip. According to Lennon, he was not aware of the LSD abbreviation at the time, had only heard the substance referred to as "acid," and was inspired by a painting that his son Julian made in school of his classmate Lucy O'Donnell. His son and Lucy also confirmed this answer. However, the explanation didn't deter his fans, and Paul McCartney has refuted John's statements.
Killer App: This album really showed how rock bands could use the album as a medium, creating extended concepts that could stretch across whole LPs.
Ringo Starr preferred The White Album and Abbey Road, but for more personal reasons—he claimed that he felt out of the loop and "like a session drummer" during the recording of Pepper, a claim that becomes particularly hilarious when you remember what teeth-pulling frustration and fighting took place during the next albums' recording sessions. (Regardless, many people consider "A Day in the Life" to contain some of his best work.)
Harrison's ambivalence over the album was ultimately for similar reasons to Ringo — given the emphasis on lush, orchestral psychedelia on the album, there wasn't a lot of call for his skills as a lead guitarist, and since he only had one written song on the album he was nudged to the sidelines a bit as well.
No Export for You: The U.S. version of the original LP does not contain the infamous inner groove. It was eventually included on on the 1980 U.S.-exclusive version of the Rarities compilation album, and used on the worldwide CD reissue of Sgt. Pepper itself.
Old Shame: John Lennon felt "Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite" was the worst thing he'd ever written, because he just put some lines from an old carnival poster to music.
Throw It In!: The alarm clock in "A Day in the Life" was originally just marking when it would change, but it fit well as the first lyric that follows is "Woke up, fell out of bed..."
Unintentional Period Piece: "Everyone you see is full of life/It's time for tea and Meet the Wife." (Meet the Wife'' was a popular BBC TV sitcom of the sixties.)
"Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were recorded during the sessions for this album with the intention of them being part of it, but they ended up being released as non-album singles instead. Additionally, there was supposed to be a television special based on the album, but it was scrapped before completion. There was, however, a promotional video produced for "A Day in the Life" (as well as the aforementioned singles).
"Only a Northern Song" was briefly considered, too.
A sequel was also considered at one time, which would have featured "Baby, You're a Rich Man" (or at least its prototype, "One of the Beautiful People")
The cover would originally also contain images of Adolf Hitler, Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi and actor Leo Gorcey. The idea to put Hitler and Jesus there came from Lennon, who wanted to provoke. Eventually they were dropped because their images would certainly offend people, especially since Lennon had already hit controversy when his 1966 quote that "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus" was taken out of context. Gandhi was dropped under pressure of EMI, who feared a backlash in India where Gandhi's status is practically divine. And Gorcey was airbrushed out because he was the only celebrity who wanted a fee for appearing on the cover.
The liner notes for the 2009 release reveal the original track order for Side A was different aside from the first two (“Being For the Benefit Of Mr. Kite”> “Fixing a Hole”> “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”> “Getting Better”> “She’s Leaving Home"). The extreme tonal shifts when they trying to listen that way (not to mention the Downer Ending) makes for a weird experience.
Reportedly, the original name for the album was Dr. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band; Paul McCartney wasn't aware of the soft drink Dr. Pepper's existence at the time.
Breakaway Pop Hit: The film versions of "Got to Get You Into My Life" and "Come Together" were hits for their performers and still turn up on oldies (and, for the latter, classic rock) radio.
These were songs were also Breakaway Pop Hits for the soundtrack album, one of the biggest flops in pop music history. Sales were high at first...but then the returns started happening. An estimated four million LPs were returned to the label, who ultimately had to destroy hundreds of thousands of copies and remainder the rest of them. Compare this to Earth, Wind & Fire's "Got to Get You Into My Life" single, which was a Gold-selling top ten hit based on its own merits as a good cover independent of the movie.
Many of the musicians and actors involved hit career slumps or derailment in the wake of this movie's failure. Sandy Farina probably came off the worst, never acting on the big or small screen again, and her music not getting a whole lot of attention thereafter. As far as the actors were concerned, Frankie Howerd seemed to take the brunt of the film's failure, never appearing in another film again and with his TV career mostly hitting the skids in the 80s.
The only people whose career wasn't killed/nearly killed/affected whatsoever were Steve Martin (who was so popular at the time as a standup comedian that even the poor reception of this couldn't kill his film career before it started) and Earth, Wind & Fire (whose cover of "Got to Get You Into My Life" was the biggest hit on the soundtrack, and they kept on having having hits afterward with no slump).
Sadly played straight for Aerosmith, who should have been one of the least embarrassed parties that were involved with the film. Their "Come Together" cover was a hit, but it would be their last Top 40 entry for nine years (Run–D.M.C.'s "Walk This Way" notwithstanding). Around this time, The band was falling apart due to drugs and personality clashes. Needless to stay appearing a historic flop of a movie did not help the band's morale or waning popularity. It got better for them, but it took nearly a decade for them to return to where they were before they made the film.
Wag the Director: The shooting script called for Peter Frampton's character to kill Steven Tyler's, but when it came time to film this scene, Aerosmith threatened to walk out. "There's no f***ing way that Steven is gonna get directly offed by Frampton," commented Joe Perry. "It's gotta be an accident, the way it was in the original script we f***ing agreed to." They finally agreed to a compromise, with Tyler's character being accidentally pushed to his death by Sandy Farina.