The Beatles eventually released Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. It was a record that stretched their abilities as well as testing their patience. They had guest musicians and George Martin also played the Hammond organ and keyboards. It proved to be time well spent. It soon became the best selling LP of all time, a position it held until the early 1980s.
Band members John Lennon (vocals & lead guitar), Paul McCartney ( vocals & bass guitar), George Harrison (lead guitar & vocals), and Ringo Starr (drums & vocals) stated that this opus was their freak out record. Though it could be reasonably argued that it was never as strange as anything that Frank Zappa ever released.
The band in conjunction with their long term producer George Martin planned to make Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band sound markedly different from anything else that they had previously released. They certainly achieved that objective yet the record seemed to take an eternity to finish due to the band seeking perfection, and probably not helped by other distractions.
Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band shows the various influences on the band, blues, rock and roll, and in the case of George Harrison Indian music (Within You , Without You). There were also classical string sections added to the tracks, for example Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite.
Aside from the title track stand out songs include Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, I Get by with a little help from my friends, Getting better, and Lovely Rita. Then there is chorus after chorus in Hey Jude!
Besides having memorable songs the design of the album sleeve soon became an iconic image. Indeed many companies and people have done their own different version of the cover.