Artful Albums #2: Peter Blake – Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)

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This is my original 1967 version of Sgt Peppers. Hardly mint but highly treasured, still playable, complete with original cutouts insert and one of the surviving pressings with the rude John Lennon slogan about doing something like Superman which you can only hear by playing the run-off groove backwards on side 2.

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The Sgt Pepper’s cover was conceived by pop artist Peter Blake and his designer wife, Jann Haworth. With the fab four taking centre stage and surrounded by 80 life-size full colour cardboard cutouts and 4 life-size wax dummies borrowed from Madame Tussauds, the set was then photographed by Michael Cooper. It’s arguably the most famous album sleeve of all time.

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The cardboard cutouts insert, signed by Peter Blake & Jann Haworth includes a moustache, a picture card, stripes, badges and a stand-up Beatles motif.

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Of the 88 figures used for the album’s front cover, some remain unknown. However, here are the 61 I know about. I’m reasonably confident that the numbers relate to the above outlines, but don’t hold me to it!

  1. Sri Yukteswar – a well known yogi of the era
  2. Aleister Crowley – Black magician (died 1947)
  3. Mae West – Actress & film star (died 1980)
  4. Lenny Bruce – American comedian  (died 1966)
  5. Karlheinz Stockhausen – German composer & theorist (died 2007)
  6. W C Fields – American music hall and film comedian (died 1946)
  7. Carl Gustav Jung – Swiss psychologist (died 1961)
  8. Edgar Allan Poe – American poet (1809-1849)
  9. Fred Astaire – dancer (died 1987)
  10. Richard M Merkin – Artist (died 2009)
  11. Binnie Barnes – British film actress (died 1998)
  12. Huntz Hall – American film star (died 1999)
  13. Simon Rodia – Folk artist (died 1965)
  14. Bob Dylan (born 1941)
  15. Aubrey Beardsley – British artist (died 1898)
  16. Sir Robert Peel – British prime minister in 1834 & 1841 (died 1850)
  17. Aldous Huxley – British novelist (died 1963)
  18. Terry Southern – American author (died 1995)
  19. Tony Curtis – American actor (died 2010)
  20. Wallace Borman – Los Angeles artist (died 1976)
  21. Tommy Handley – British radio comedian (died 1949)
  22. Marilyn Monroe – actress (died 1962)
  23. William Burroughs – American novelist (died 1997)
  24. Unknown
  25. Richard Lindler – New York artist (died 1978)
  26. Oliver Hardy – American comedian (died 1957)
  27. Karl Marx – German founder of communism  (died 1883)
  28. H G Wells – British author (died 1946)
  29. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda – a yogi (died 1952)
  30. Unknown
  31. Stuart Sutcliffe – original member of the Beatles (died 1962)
  32. Unknown
  33. Dylan Thomas – Welsh poet (died 1953)
  34. Dion Di Mucci – American pop singer who formed the Belmonts in 1958 (born 1939)
  35. Dr David Livingstone – explorer (died 1873)
  36. Stan Laurel – comedian (died 1965)
  37. G B Shaw – Irish playwright (died 1965)
  38. Julie Adams – American actress (born 1926)
  39. Max Miller – British music hall star (died 1963)
  40. Unknown
  41. Marlon Brando – American actor (died 2004)
  42. Tom Mix – film star (died 1940)
  43. Oscar Wilde – Irish dramatist (died 1900)
  44. Tyrone Power – American film star (died 1958)
  45. Larry Bell – British painter (born 1939)
  46. Jonny Weissmuller – American actor (died 1984)
  47. Stephen Crane – American novelist (died 1900)
  48. Issy Bonn – Comedian (died 1977)
  49. Albert Stubbins – ex-Liverpool footballer (died 2002)
  50. Unknown
  51. Albert Einstein – German/American physicist (died 1955)
  52. Lewis Carroll – creator of ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ (died 1898)
  53. T E Lawrence (aka Lawrence of Arabia) (died 1935)
  54. Sonny Liston – world heavyweight boxing champion (died 1971)
  55. George Harrison in wax
  56. John Lennon in wax
  57. Ringo Starr in wax
  58. Paul McCartney in wax
  59. Unknown
  60. John Lennon (died 1980)
  61. Ringo Starr (born 1940)
  62. Paul McCartney (born 1942)
  63. George Harrison (died 2001)
  64. Bobby Breen – British dance band singer (died 1972)
  65. Marlene Dietrich – film star (died 1992)
  66. Unknown
  67. Diana Dors – film star and 1950s sex symbol (died 1984)
  68. Shirley Temple – actress (died 2014)

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