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2012 Reissue wish-list / Day 12 / The Beatles: Sgt Pepper

The Beatles / Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band / Super Deluxe EditionIn this final day of the reissue wish list series (it is the twelfth and last day of Christmas!) I thought the time had come to celebrate a really big release.

This year sees the 45th anniversary of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, so today’s wish list reissue is specifically a Super Deluxe Edition of, arguably, The Beatles’ most loved record.

It is surely only a matter of time before EMI/Apple Corps decide to ‘celebrate’ The Beatles’ albums in this most indulgent of formats. The Mono Box proved that, despite economic downturns and austerity measures, when it comes to the fab four, there are always plenty of fans, collectors, enthusiasts and audiophiles who can find the cash to pursue their favourite musical hobby.

And if you are going to choose one album as a place to start a series of Beatles Super Deluxe releases, then look no further than the psychedelic burst of energy that is Sgt Pepper, recorded when John, Paul, George and Ringo still actively enjoyed working together. Free from what had become the misery of touring, they gleefully experimented with recording techniques, played with conceptual ideas (although it’s not really a concept album) and redrew the boundaries of what a pop record could look and sound like.

Pepper was such an event, and such a statement, with the Peter Blake pop art cover, the gatefold sleeve, the lyrics printed on the back, the bespoke-designed inner sleeve (by Dutch design collective The Fool) and the cardboard cut-out moustaches, stripes and badges. It lends itself perfectly to the excess of the Super Deluxe Edition.

So where to start? What to include? Here is how I envisage the ultimate Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Super Deluxe Edition:


Disc One (CD): Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (mono – 2009 remaster)

Disc Two (CD): Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (stereo – 2009 remaster)

Disc Three (CD): Pepper session tracks (2009 remaster where applicable)

  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Mono)
  • Penny Lane (Mono)
  • Carnival of Light (Mono)
  • It’s Only A Northern Song (Mono)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (Stereo)
  • Penny Lane (Stereo / extra trumpet version)

Disc Four (CD) The evolution of Strawberry Fields Forever:
A take-by-take guide through the creative process of the ground-breaking single.

Disc Five (CD): Anthology Pepper:
The 12 Pepper tracks from Anthology 2 (including Only A Northern Song) – new remastering needed.

Disc Six (Blu-ray):

  • Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mono) – Hi Rez 96/24
  • Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Stereo) – Hi Rez 96/24
  • Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (Stereo) – Hi Rez 96/24 5.1 Surround
  • Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane promo films
  • The Making of Sgt Pepper documentary from 1987

Disc Seven (DVD)

  • Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band 5.1 Surround Mix
  • Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band LPCM Stereo
  • Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane promo films
  • The Making of Sgt Pepper documentary from 1987

Vinyl (audiophile pressings)

  • Penny Lane / Strawberry Fields Forever 7″ single
  • Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (mono) on heavyweight vinyl
  • Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (stereo) on heavyweight vinyl

Hard backed book with unseen photos/memorabilia etc (12x12inch)

Art Prints – Front cover, other Michael Cooper photos

Facsimile of recording sheets, handwritten lyrics, notes, etc

Reproduction of cardboard cut-outs


So there we have it. This 7-disc, double-vinyl set would be housed in a sturdy lift-off lid box (as per Pink Floyd). All CDs/DVDs/Blu-ray discs would come in individual digi-packs for on-shelf storage. Vinyl records sleeves would exactly replicate the original.

With this kind of spec, expect to pay over £100.

Expensive, yes. But a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

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15 responses to 2012 Reissue wish-list / Day 12 / The Beatles: Sgt Pepper

  1. vinyl1988 says:

    All I want is the original mono version on vinyl.
    Who needs a 5.1 version of a simple 4 track recording?
    Even the original stereo version sounds terrible.

  2. Kiwwy says:

    When is it out?

  3. Paul Sinclair says:

    We’ll probably have to wait for the 50th anniversary in 2017 for something like this!

    • I don’t think a Super Deluxe version of a Beatles album has to come out EXACTLY on a special anniversary date, I mean look at Pink Floyd’s Immersion Super Deluxe box sets coming out in 2011 for their said best albums from 1973-1979, they didn’t seem to have probably faced any delays in getting those packages done or had any problem with when those reissues came out.

      I look your plans and vision of how a Super Deluxe version of “Sgt. Pepper’s” would look like.
      However I disagree about how the bonus discs should come out, I sadly don’t see regular versions of “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields..” being included, even in mono counter parts, but I do see them if Apple decides to release a “Magical Mystery Tour” Super Deluxe set, I also feel they should include that remixed stereo version of “Only a Northern Song” for the Yellow Submarine Songtrack from 1999.
      Their should be two bonus discs that should include the non-album tracks and outtakes as well as the “Strawberry Fields” demoes/sessions having each disc holding up to 60 minutes.

      Oh, and for the DVDs/Bluray they should include the video for “A Day in the Life” for the planned Sgt. Pepper’s TV Special, unused footage or an alternate cut of video for “Strawberry Fields..”, Promo Video Excerpt for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” video.
      As for the Sgt. Pepper session tracks/demoes or whatever from 1966-1967 they should include alternate takes/mixes/demoes of Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever, especially the most favorable from Anthology 2 (I agree those tracks for Sgt. Pepper’s need new mastering and maybe remixing.)
      Just my usual two cents on this, nice planning though, Paul!

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Hey Martin – to be honest I’d be surprised if there was ever much appetite from Apple to do a Magical Mystery Tour Box Set. The expansion of the EP to LP came from the US originally (as I’m sure you know) and made some kind of sense then. It has become an accepted part of their cannon but I don’t think anyone really considers it a ‘proper’ album.

        Assuming a Sgt. Pepper Super Deluxe does happen at some point, I just do not see how Apple could avoid having Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields on supplemental discs. Not only did they set the tone for the album (being 2 out of the first three tracks started – When I’m Sixty-four was in between) but there is no question that they would have been on the album if EMI hadn’t demanded a single in early 1967. The fact that these songs were at a later date bolted on to an EP at the request of Capitol Records for commercial reasons doesn’t make that their natural home. They were recorded as part of the Pepper sessions (just like Only A Northern Song) and Pepper is where they belong, in my opinion.

        Also it wouldn’t really make sense to have SFF and Penny Lane demos/work in progress and not have the actual tracks proper.

        I agree with you regarding the Day In A Life film. There is probably loads of unseen film in the Apple archive, so obviously as much as possible for a DVD/Bluray.

        It would make sense to do this on the 50th anniversary, but 5 years is a long time in the music business. Apple/EMI would probably be best advised to GET ON WITH IT if they do truly want to commit to expanded Beatles sets.

        Thanks for your comments, always appreciated! Paul

  4. Jerg Leahy says:

    the mono remasters on vinyl, from original analogue master tapes. got enough cds. got enough dvds. price it at $300. I will pay, and so will others.

  5. angel says:

    Is not Carnival of Light eligible for this wish-list reissue ?

  6. Ron says:

    A great bootleg box was released last year if I am not mistaken. In fact, it is a whole serie which started with the first album. Most of them (or all?) are on 4 vinyl 12″ discs. They come in a super thick and sturdy slipcase with a beautiful hologram on the front. Its contents are most of the time the mono/stereo album plus unreleased stuff. Each release is also numbered and limited to 250 (???) copies.
    Sorry if not all the details are correct since I only had them in my hands for a short moment last year :)

  7. David says:

    Sounds a great idea, but the only problem is when they release it. I guess the making of that is referred from 1987, was originally shown in 1992 for the 25th anniversary and for Paul’s fiftieth birthday, which became the template for the Classic Albums series. In the UK shown on the ITV Network as part of The South Bank Show series. I would prefer to have an expanded version of this programme rather than the originally broadcast.

    I guess this is one thing that will have to wait, as I am still waiting for the remastered vinyl box sets.

  8. Justin says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes.
    Would love a 5.1 mix, if what Giles Martin did with “LOVE” is any indication of what can be done. Freaking brilliant.
    Can I place a pre-order now? ;-)

  9. Bob says:

    Well, turns out we DID get a Magical Mystery Tour box deluxe
    set! And it IS great. Hopefully they WILL do a Sgt Pepper deluxe set!

  10. Bob says:

    And I agree. What Giles has been doing is brilliant. There is a small enclave on a forum who would disagree, but they seem to hate absolutely everything. I’d love Giles to do for the entire catalog what he did for Love (not the mash up, but putting all the original tracks together and remixing the catalog. Sounds SO much better.

  11. Adam Sarmiento says:

    I think one thing missing from many box sets and re releases that would be cool would be isolated tracks from the songs. The Pet Sounds box has awesome tracks that have just the instrumental and just the vocals isolated. Some of this can be found on youtube etc. but it would be cool to include that in a deluxe sgt. pepper set.

  12. Ady Hart says:

    Hoping and praying that Apple pull their flippin’ finger out and get this released next year!!
    Hopefully a remixed version (to the standard of 1999’s Yellow Submarine Songtrack).
    Honestly, me and my fellow Beatle-nerds despair at the amount of missed opportunities by Apple :(
    How about a ‘deluxe edition’ of every Beatles album, presented in individual 10″ hardback books, with recording notes, photos from the era/sessions, and a dissertation on the album by Mark Lewisohn.
    (Plus of course a 5.1 blu ray edition).
    Come on Apple, take my money will ya?!!!

    Well, I can live in hope can’t I?!! :-$
    *sigh*

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