31st May, 2017

Sgt. Pepper: I don’t want to spoil the party

On 1 June 2017, most people around the UK will be celebrating the 50th anniversary since the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It’s a little-known fact however, that the release date was actually brought forward by EMI to the 26 May, 1967.

The iconic album was originally scheduled for release on 1 June in the UK, but on the 26 May 1967, Sgt. Pepper was given a rushed release. The US release followed on 2 June where it was the first Beatles album to have exactly the same track listings in the UK and the US versions.



The album was widely perceived by listeners as the soundtrack to the Summer of Love, occupying the number one position of the Billboard Top LPs in the US for 15 weeks, from 1 July to 13 October 1967. Its initial commercial success exceeded that of all previous Beatles albums.

"I don’t want to spoil the party" as The Beatles would say, so don’t cancel your celebrations. The intended release date of 1 June has been "traditionally observed" by fans and academics over the ensuing decades, so it seems we just have two opportunities to celebrate the release of this outstanding record in the UK.



Leading Beatles authority Mark Lewisohn confirms to us: "The UK release of Sgt Pepper was brought forward from June 1 to May 26 1967, and I know that copies were in some shops in London the day before this, May 25. Happy anniversaries!".


Dave Milner

Dave is Marketing and PR Executive at The Beatles Story and holds an MA in 'Music Since 1900'.

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