Sgt. Peppers 50th Anniversary Release
It was 50 years ago today!
Yes, today marks the release of the 50th Anniversary edition(s) of the iconic album Sgt. Peppers. Hailed by some to be the 'most important album of all time', the 'birth of real rock' and a monumental turning point for Western Civilisation (well, maybe it didn't quite go that far). As you would expect a damn fine job has been done by Apple Corps in presenting a super-duper deluxe lenticular edition containing no less than 6 Discs! Where on earth they found such giant barrels from which to scrape together sufficient 'outtakes' and "previously unheard" material to fill 4 CD's God alone knows! You have to admire Apple though, they have turned the ability to part people from their hard earned cash into an art form at which to wonder. For vinyl lovers (like you and I) there is also a 2 x 180gsm VInyl LP edition and this is definitely worth a listen as it really captures the subtle changes of the new mix.
So, what about the new mix of the album? It's actually bloody good. Mixed and Produced by Giles Martin, son of course to Beatles Producer George Martin, with the assistance of Sam Okell, this record really does sound like what you would expect to hear if the Beatles played Sgt. Peppers now. Talking about why they chose Sgt. Peppers as the album to remix Martin comments "I suppose that project opened the door to thinking we could make a difference that’s progressive as opposed to doing it just to stick ‘remastered’ on it. I don’t want to be the person putting a moustache on the Mona Lisa or saying, “My dad and The Beatles couldn’t get it right so thankfully I’ve come along 50 years later to save the day.” But there’s a clarity to what we do - we can go to the original tapes. Even when we started doing it, I wasn’t sure that we weren’t going to screw it up. I felt like we made some tracks worse so we went and redid them. I love music - I don’t want to piss people off. "
So how different is this mix? According to Martin, not a great deal in terms of the pure sound. "I listened to ‘Paperback Writer’ in the car the other day and had to
move my head into the centre to work out if it was the mix that we did
or the original. So it's not a huge difference. It's all about how the
record makes you feel. You want it to be impactful - I’m not trying to
change history in any way. It may be 50 years on but the tapes don’t
sound 50-years-old - the band aren’t 70-year-olds when they’re singing;
they’re 25." And that sums it up very nicely, this is like listening to the Beatles playing Sgt. Peppers now.