Trivia / Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

The Album
  • 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.
  • Hitless Hit Album: Upon release, it had no singles issued (though "Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane" were intended to be there, and the title track was a single in the 1970s).
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: This is frequently regarded as The Beatles' greatest album, but the Beatles themselves were divided over it. Although not disliking it, George Harrison and John Lennon would later admit they didn't see what all the fuss was about. Lennon himself preferred The White Album.
    • 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 only later restored on the later CD release, and it was included on on the 1980 U.S.-exclusive version of the Rarities compilation album.
  • The Parody/Whole Plot Reference: The band Big Daddy recorded the whole album as if it was made in the 1950s (i.e. "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds" In the Style of... Jerry Lee Lewis)
  • 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..."
  • What Could Have Been: "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.

The Movie
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget: $18 million. Gross: $20,378,470
  • 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.
  • Disowned Adaptation: None of The Beatles approved of the film. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, who both attended the premiere, subsequently shunned the film. John Lennon and George Harrison refused to view the film altogether.
  • Old Shame: For pretty much everyone. In fact, two weeks into production, The Bee Gees tried like hell to get dropped from the film.
  • Star-Derailing Role:
    • 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).
    • George Burns and Donald Pleasence also managed to get off relatively lightly, mostly because they had other big hits at the same time (Oh, God! and Halloween (1978) respectively).
    • Sadly played straight for Aerosmith, who were probably one of the acts that should have come out of this film as one the least embarrassed parties. 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.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Supposedly KISS was approached to play Future Villain Band, but they turned it down. (Given the then-recent flop of their own movie, KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, it's not surprising.
      • Considering that KISS has become the living embodiment of Money, Dear Boy, in hindsight it would have been oddly appropriate.
    • Olivia Newton John turned down the role of Strawberry Fields.
    • Donna Summer turned down the role of Lucy.
    • Elton John, Barry Manilow and Bob Hope were considered for Mr. Kite.
    • Rock Hudson and Doris Day were supposed to play Mr and Mrs Fields.
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