“…just as Lennon and McCartney had intended”. So where would the two songs slot in? Or will they just be tacked on to the end as bonus tracks? Will anyone want to buy it yet again?
Full text from behind the paywall:
“50 years on: the real Sgt Pepper
It is one of popular music’s seminal albums, has sold more than 32m copies around the world and marked the Beatles’ first embrace of psychedelic culture.
The 50th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band this June will be marked with a worldwide re-release — and for fans it will mean at last hearing the album as the band had intended it to sound.
In 1967 the record label EMI poached what John Lennon and Paul McCartney believed to be two of their best songs from the album and released them as a double A-side single, something George Martin, their producer, later described as “a truly terrible mistake”.
The Beatles had wanted Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane as showcase tracks on Sgt Pepper, their eighth album.
Now, according to sources, Apple Corps, the Beatles’ company, has scored a victory: the anniversary relaunch on June 1 will reinstate the tracks, just as Lennon and McCartney had intended.
Although the songs were credited to both Beatles, Lennon wrote Strawberry Fields and McCartney wrote Penny Lane.
McCartney has told friends: “We were then moving away from screaming girls’ gigs where no one could hear anything in the concert halls any more and were working on Sgt Pepper.
“John wrote this absolutely amazing song, Strawberry Fields Forever, for the new album and I was frankly a bit jealous, so I went home and wrote Penny Lane. It worked and we wanted them as the main tracks on Sgt Pepper.”
It is said that one in five British households still have a vinyl copy of Sgt Pepper.
Although details of the re-release are being kept secret, it is understood that all parties involved have co-operated fully, including McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison, the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison.
Dan Cairns, rock critic of The Sunday Times, said: “Many Beatles fans have added the two tracks to their own Sgt Pepper playlist, which allows you to hear the album as it so nearly ended up being — so it’s nice to hear that Apple are finally catching up.” “