Producer Giles Martin has given Music Week the lowdown on the "daunting" task of remixing the 50th anniversary edition of the UK's biggest-selling studio album, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The Beatles' 1967 classic, which spent 27 weeks on top of the UK album charts upon its release, is on course to return to the summit with the expanded and newly remixed version, which came out last Friday (May 26) via Apple Corps, Capitol and UMC.
Martin, son of legendary 'Fifth Beatle' Sir George Martin, previously worked on the band's 2006 Love album and re-releases of 1 and Live At The Hollywood Bowl, and completed the project with a team of experts at Abbey Road Studios in London.
“You’re remixing the most famous and best-selling album of all time, so the first thing is you’re deeply honoured and humbled to be the person that’s in charge of it. But it's a daunting challenge,” said the Grammy-winning producer.
“It’s a funny thing, doing something like Sgt Pepper, because you know that everyone’s going to a have an opinion about it and you want the new generations to discover it and be affected in the same way that people were 50 years ago.”
The album has sold more than 5.1 million copies in the UK (bettered only by greatest hits sets by Queen and ABBA) and is certified 17x platinum by the BPI. The 50th birthday reissue project was green lit by surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison.
"There is a thing that happens with age, that I saw happening with my dad, where people see the value of what they did, as opposed to what they're doing," added Martin. "The thing about Pepper is they all remember it incredibly fondly because it was a great collaborative and, for my dad, it was probably the best work experience of his life.
"I had the privilege of sitting down with Paul and listening to [Sgt Pepper] with him. They are so supportive. I do it for them anyway - but they're so supportive of, they're really happy to hear it."
Sgt Pepper was out in front in Monday's midweeks with sales of 24,385, around 7,000 ahead of its nearest challenger, Ed Sheeran's ÷, according to the Official Charts Company.