Sgt. Pepper heads home


Location:Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building

Date:19 December - 9 January


Christmas visitors in for a treat with new cutting-edge ‘immersive’ Beatles album recording.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is heading home for the Christmas season. Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool have collaborated on a free immersive experience, presenting the album as never heard before, in the Dock’s Dr Martin Luther King Jr Building.

Running from 19 December to 9 January, the world-first sees the two cultural institutions collaborate with Apple Corps Ltd., creating a remixed version of the pioneering Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Played in Dolby Atmos, the immersive sound environment creates the feeling of the band performing live in the space.

Giles Martin, son of legendary Beatles producer George – and a Grammy Award-winning producer in his own right – created the mix from the original tapes. He says: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is one of the most important and ground-breaking albums of all time. In many ways it changed how records could be made. The Beatles stopped just simply making music and started painting pictures with sounds that hadn’t been heard before. Experiencing this Dolby Atmos mix allows us to fall into the record and to totally immerse ourselves in the fantastical world that was so beautifully created at Abbey Road Studios over 50 years ago.”

Helen Legg is director at Tate Liverpool and says: “Listening to this special mix is like hearing something familiar for the first time. It sounds so fresh, you can hear every element which just underscores how wildly inventive it was.”

Many of the subtleties in The Beatles’ music was lost on the original mixes, because of the technological limitations of the time. While stereo and 5.1 mixes have improved the sound over time, the clarity of this special mix, played in Dolby Atmos, brings to life the nuance and innovation the band brought to the album in 1967.

Paul Gallagher, deputy director at the Museum of Liverpool, is thrilled by the collaboration: “The Beatles are part of Liverpool’s DNA,” he says. “But it’s rare that you’re able to work with the music industry experts who hold their legacy so close. It’s fabulous that technology has caught up to allow us to hear, for the first time in such clear detail, the innovation and incredible imagination of the group. The cutting edge sound and the immersive experience will blow visitors away.”

The record’s artwork also has a long association with Liverpool. The album cover is one of the most iconic of all time, created by Sir Peter Blake and Jann Haworth. Blake spoke about the project at the Museum of Liverpool last year, and his influence can still be felt across Liverpool’s waterfront today. His Dazzle Ferry plies its route across the Mersey and Dazzle Flags hang in Tate Liverpool’s café at the Dock. He also has a long-term connection to the John Moores Painting Prize at the city’s Walker Art Gallery, as both junior prize winner (1961), juror (2006) and as a patron currently.

For ticket information please visit National Museums Liverpool’s website

Image copyright © Apple Corps Ltd