If accounts of the 1960s are anything to go by, a list of the biggest selling records of the era should be populated with folk singers and hip beat groups. In the UK, you would think this is true because the Swinging Sixties is a time of the British Invasion, with The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Yardbirds and many other bands becoming global successes.
Although the sales of The Rolling Stones albums are respectable, The Beatles are, perhaps unsurprisingly, the kings of UK record sales in the 60s. Aside from certain artists such as Simon and Garfunkle and The Beach Boys, The Beatles stand out for sales alone.
you’re such a lovely audience we’d love to take you home with us
Of the 10 albums released by the band between 1963 and 1969, only one failed to make number 1, which was Yellow Submarine. The Beatles’ eighth studio album became the best selling of the 1960′s; Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, often just referred to as Sgt Pepper. Stateside, Sgt Pepper stayed at number one of the US Billboard Chart for 15 weeks, and at the top of the UK’s album chart for 27 weeks, and elsewhere in the chart for 201 weeks.
The genesis of Sgt Pepper
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was the result of The Beatles’s decision to no longer tour. Tired of the long-slog of touring and the frustration of struggling to be heard over the screams of the girls in the audience, John, Paul, George and Ringo decided to explore new avenues. Ringo Starr took time out to enjoy life as a family man with his wife and child, while George Harrison explored spirituality in India, developing his skills on the sitar with Ravi Shankar. Paul McCartney continued to write and record with producer George Martin, and John Lennon met Yoko Ono during his exploration of New York’s art scene.
By the time the band regrouped to record Sgt Pepper, they were full of fresh ideas. Each of them brought something fresh, with psychedelic anthems such as Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, catchy foot-tappers like With A Little Help From My Friends, the Indian inspired Within You Without You and the epic A Day In The Life. The album was released on the 1st of June 1967, and was initially met with confusion, then ultimately success. So much so, that Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band still has strong sales to this day, and has shipped more than 32 million copies.
Watch and listen to the title track – you’re such a lovely audience we’d love to take you home with us.
Article submitted on behalf of Peterborough Music which has a great range of classic instruments, such as the Rickenbacker 620 Fireglo.