Hear The Flaming Lips Cover All of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s: Streaming Free for a Limited Time

In 2012, Rolling Stone issued a revised list of the 500 Great­est Albums of All Time, at the very top of which sits The Bea­t­les’ 1967 recordSgt. Pep­per’s Lone­ly Hearts Club Band. Jus­ti­fy­ing mak­ing the album its num­ber one pick, Rolling Stone wrote:

Sgt. Pep­per’s Lone­ly Hearts Club Band is the most impor­tant rock & roll album ever made, an unsur­passed adven­ture in con­cept, sound, song­writ­ing, cov­er art and stu­dio tech­nol­o­gy by the great­est rock & roll group of all time. From the title song’s regal blasts of brass and fuzz gui­tar to the orches­tral seizure and long, dying piano chord at the end of “A Day in the Life,” the 13 tracks on Sgt. Pep­per’s Lone­ly Hearts Club Band are the pin­na­cle of the Bea­t­les’ eight years as record­ing artists. John Lennon, Paul McCart­ney, George Har­ri­son and Ringo Starr were nev­er more fear­less and uni­fied in their pur­suit of mag­ic and tran­scen­dence.…

Sgt. Pep­per for­mal­ly ush­ered in an unfor­get­table sea­son of hope, upheaval and achieve­ment: the late 1960s and, in par­tic­u­lar, 1967’s Sum­mer of Love. In its iri­des­cent instru­men­ta­tion, lyric fan­tasias and eye-pop­ping pack­ag­ing, Sgt. Pep­per defined the opu­lent rev­o­lu­tion­ary opti­mism of psy­che­delia and instant­ly spread the gospel of love, acid, East­ern spir­i­tu­al­i­ty and elec­tric gui­tars around the globe. No oth­er pop record of that era, or since, has had such an imme­di­ate, titan­ic impact. This music doc­u­ments the world’s biggest rock band at the very height of its influ­ence and ambi­tion.

Giv­en Sgt. Pep­per’s icon­ic sta­tus, it’s hard to imag­ine a con­tem­po­rary band decid­ing to cov­er the entire album. (Can you real­ly improve upon it?) But that’s just what The Flam­ing Lips have done with With a Lit­tle Help From My Fwends. Sched­uled to be released next week, the album fea­tures con­tri­bu­tions by fwends like Moby, My Morn­ing Jack­et, Miley Cyrus, and oth­ers. Pro­ceeds from the album — which is now stream­ing free for a lim­it­ed time at NPR — will go to the Bel­la Foun­da­tion, a non-prof­it that assists low-income, elder­ly or ter­mi­nal­ly ill pet own­ers with the cost of vet­eri­nary care when it can­not be afford­ed. You can pre-order the Flam­ing Lips album on Ama­zon and iTunes.

In oth­er news, Paul McCart­ney announced today that he has unearthed a Wings’ song he played (back in the day) with John Bon­ham on drums. An intrigu­ing idea. Catch it here.

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