Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released in June 1967. Recorded over a 129-day period beginning in December 1966, Sgt. Pepper sees the band exploring further the experimentation of their previous album, Revolver (1966). Making use of orchestras, hired musicians and innovative production techniques, the album incorporates elements of genres such as music hall, jazz, rock and roll, western classical and traditional Indian music, often in the course of the same song. Its lyrics deal with several themes including childhood, ageing, everyday routine and life in postwar Britain, the tone ranging from cheerful and ironic to transcendent and surreal. Sgt. Pepper is a loose concept album that sees The Beatles performing as the fictitious band of the album's title. The cover art, depicting the band posing in front of a collage of famous individuals, has itself been widely acclaimed and imitated.
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was a worldwide critical and commercial success, spending a total of 27 weeks at the top of the UK Album Chart and 15 weeks at number one on the American Billboard 200. A defining album in the emerging psychedelic rock style, Sgt. Pepper was critically acclaimed upon release and won four Grammy awards in 1968. Often recognised by critics and publications as one of the most influential albums in the history of popular music, Sgt. Pepper frequently ranks at or near the top of published lists of the greatest albums of all-time. In 2003, the album was placed at number one on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of the world's best selling albums, having shipped 32 million copies.