The album’s cover bears more than a striking resemblance to an EP released in 1964 – “Mercblecket Beats the Beatles” was a Swedish orchestral group who recorded 4 covers of Beatle tunes. One of the group has claimed he gave a copy to Paul McCartney when the boys played Stockholm in 1964. McCartney has never commented on the similarity.
Here are some other things you may not know about this classic of classics:
John Lennon wanted images of Christ and Hitler in the crowd – The album’s iconic cover was supposed to represent the fictional Sgt. Pepper’s band standing in front of an audience they had just performed for. Thankfully, cooler heads talked Lennon out of including Hitler or Jesus. Leo Gorcey of Bowery Boy fame wanted $400 to use his image, and so was removed from consideration.
Producer George Martin admits the album was an attempt to outdo Brian Wilson’s “Pet Sounds” – Quite the game of one-upmanship as Wilson claimed “Pet Sounds” was his attempt to outdo “Rubber Soul.”
The cover cost around £3,000 to produce – The average cover costs around £50 to produce. In today’s money, recreating the Sgt. Pepper photo shoot would cost £38,000 (or nearly $49,000).
The song “Good Morning, Good Morning” was indeed inspired by the then-current jingle for Kellogg’s breakfast cereals (“The best to you each morning”).