Uncovering the 5 Beatles on the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Cover

<p>All four <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/tag/the-beatles/”>Beatles</a> stood front and center on the <em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> cover. They’re impossible to miss. And since it’s one of the most <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-beatles-shoot-iconic-cover-sgt-peppers-lonely-hearts-club-band.html/”>iconic album covers</a> ever, millions of people have glanced at John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr over the years. But there were actually five Beatles on the <em>Sgt. Pepper</em> cover.</p>

<figure class=”wp-block-image size-custom-image-1200″><img decoding=”async” loading=”lazy” width=”1250″ height=”833″ src=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg?w=1200&strip=all&quality=89″ alt=”The cover of The Beatles album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ includes John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCarney, and George Harrison in the center.” class=”wp-image-3491533″ srcset=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg 1250w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg?w=150&h=100 150w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg?w=640&h=426 640w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg?w=768&h=512 768w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg?w=1024&h=682 1024w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg?w=1200&h=800 1200w, https://www.cheatsheet.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Sgt.-Peppers-Lonely-Hearts-Club-Band-album-cover.jpeg?w=90&h=60 90w” sizes=”(max-width: 1250px) 100vw, 1250px”><figcaption class=”wp-element-caption”>Original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe (third row, far left) joins John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison on the cover of The Beatles album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ | Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images</figcaption></figure>

<h2 id=”h-5-beatles-appeared-on-the-sgt-pepper-cover-with-stuart-sutcliffe-among-the-photos”>5 Beatles appeared on the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ cover with Stuart Sutcliffe among the photos</h2>

<p>The four living and breathing Beatles stood smack dab in the middle of the <em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> cover. Wax figures of the Fab Four were nearby. But the left side of the sleeve showcased the fifth Beatle — original bassist Stuart Sutcliffe. His was the first photo in row three. Sutcliffe’s deep-set eyes and hair swept across his head stand out despite his headshot being pushed off to the side. </p>

<p>Producer George Martin earned the Fifth Beatle moniker later in the band’s career. Sutcliffe had it first. He joined the band (when they were still the Quarrymen) in 1959 and played with the group when it was a quintet — along with John, Paul, George, and drummer Pete Best — grinding away in Hamburg, Germany. </p>

<p>George said <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/george-harrison-said-5th-beatle-stuart-sutcliffe-good-musician-matter.html/”>Sutcliffe wasn’t a good musician</a>, but he contributed to the band nonetheless. He helped conceive The Beatles name, for starters, and his confidence as an artist rubbed off on the band. He and John were particularly close. </p>

<p>The bassist showed more talent as a visual artist. Sutcliffe quit The Beatles in 1961 to continue his art studies in Hamburg. His sudden death in April 1962 <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/when-the-death-of-5th-beatle-stuart-sutcliffe-shocked-the-fab-four.html/”>shocked the band</a>. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that The Beatles gave Sutcliffe a nod on their greatest artistic achievement — visually and musically — to that point in their career. Considering his lasting impact on the band, perhaps the Fab Four they had to posthumously honor their former bandmate by including him on the <em>Sgt. Pepper</em> cover. </p>

<h2 id=”h-the-cover-of-sgt-pepper-s-lonely-hearts-club-band-contained-other-curiosities”>The cover of ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ contained other curiosities</h2>

<figure class=”wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-block-embed-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio”><div class=”wp-block-embed__wrapper”>
<div class=”jetpack-video-wrapper”><iframe loading=”lazy” title=”Pawn Stars: Alternate “Sgt. Pepper’s” Album Cover (Season 7) | Pawn Stars” width=”925″ height=”520″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/isM5_LMVE7o?feature=oembed” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share” allowfullscreen></iframe></div>

<div class=”related-article related-article–simple”>
<span class=”related-article-flag”>Related</span>
<p class=”related-article__title”>
<a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/the-beatles-producer-said-sgt-pepper-wasnt-anything-special.html/”>
The Beatles’ Producer Said ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Wasn’t Anything Special </a>
<p>The Beatles were the focus, but it’s hard for music fans not to quiz themselves on the other cultural icons that appeared on the cover.</p>

<p>The group placed their friend Bob Dylan in the upper right. Musicians Bobby Breen and Dion DiMucci also appeared. Two <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/ringo-starr-sgt-pepper-cover-models-nothing-music.html/”>actors Ringo later worked with</a> — Mae West and Marlon Brando — appeared. So did authors as diverse as W.C. Fields, Edgar Allen Poe, Aleister Crowley, Oscar Wilde, and Lewis Carroll (among others). </p>

<p>George hinted at his growing interest in Eastern religion by including <a href=”https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/george-harrison-added-images-revered-gurus-sgt-peppers-album-cover-clues-spiritual-aspect.html/”>images of several gurus</a> on the <em>Sgt. Pepper</em> cover.</p>

<p>The colorful sleeve, gatefold jacket that included mustache cutouts inside as a present, and lyrics printed on the back were unlike anything any group had done before. The <em>Sgt. Pepper</em> cover changed the game, and so did the music, which fans embraced.</p>

<h2 id=”h-the-album-became-an-instant-success-for-the-beatles”>The album became an instant success for The Beatles</h2>

<p>Besides being the first Beatles album in nearly a year (an eternity for the band’s fans) and one adorned with a kaleidoscopically colorful color, <em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> contained music that stood the test of time. The Fab Four dived deeper into sound experiments and out-there ideas, and their fans followed.</p>

<p>The album achieved <a href=”https://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/?tab_active=default-award&ar=the+beatles&ti=pepper&lab=&genre=&format=Album&date_option=release&from=&to=&award=&type=&category=&adv=SEARCH#search_section” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>RIAA</a> gold status (500,000 units sold) less than two weeks after its June 2, 1967, release in the United States. The RIAA certified it 11 times platinum in 1997. Deluxe CD and vinyl reissues since then have surely pushed the total higher. </p>

<p><em>Sgt. Pepper</em> didn’t produce any singles, but several songs rank among The Beatles’ most recognizable tunes. “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” and “A Day in the Life” would have to be on the shortlist of the Fab Four’s signature songs.</p>

<p>It’s easy to miss Stuart Sutcliffe on the busy <em>Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band</em> cover, but his image on the left side of the jacket means five Beatles grace the cover of the landmark album.</p>

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