Culture\Music and Theater

Beatles' home city to celebrate world's first rock-art album

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-03-23 10:31

A three-week long festival was announced Wednesday in Liverpool to celebrate the release 50 years ago of the iconic album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

The record, by the Beatles, has been hailed as the world's first art rock, with its album cover one of the most recognizable cover ever produced.

Music industry experts have described Sgt Pepper's as one of the world's most influential albums of all time, also regarded as the best ever rock and roll album.

Fans of the Beatles from across the world are expected to gather in Liverpool for the festival which runs from May 25 until June 16, with events taking place across the city.

Former Beatle, Sir Paul McCartney, has given his thumbs up to the festival.

The festival, Sgt Pepper at 50: Heading for Home, will use each track on the iconic album as the creative springboard for 13 brand new events. It will include world premiere commissions, with a mixture of large and intimate events covering art, dance, music, poetry and theater.

A spokeswoman for Liverpool City Council said: "There will be performances, installations, live spectacle and moments of surprise across the city, as the spotlight will fall on Liverpool to celebrate a record which broke the mould and changed music forever."

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, said: "Sgt. Pepper pushed creative boundaries and we want to do exactly the same -- this is a festival which brings high-end art in to the mainstream and gives it a Liverpool twist which is thought-provoking, sometimes cheeky and always entertaining."

Conceptually driven by artistic directors Sean Doran and Liam Browne, the festival will see the involvement of international names such as GroupeF (the organisation behind several Olympic and Paralympic closing ceremonies), Mark Morris Dance Group (one of the world's leading dance companies), Judy Chicago (iconic American feminist artist), John Cage (one of the American greats of experimental music), Jeremy Deller (Turner Prize winning conceptual artist), author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, DJ Spooky (American composer) as well some of the very best Indian musicians in the world such as Grammy award winner Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt.

One mass participation city-wide event will celebrate the song, When I'm Sixty-Four. It will see 64 choirs, of all ages, all performing the song at the same time at different location across Liverpool.

The album was released on June 1, 1967 and spent more than six months at the top of the music charts in Britain, and spent 15 weeks as the number one album in the US. It won four Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, the first rock album to receive this honor.


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