The new faces that made the cut for Sgt Peppers 2012


SMALL PRINT:TO MARK THE 45th anniversary of the release of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band this year, the artist responsible for the iconic album cover work, Sir Peter Blake, has brought out a Sgt Pepper’s 2012 version of the album cover.

The original 1967 cover – perhaps the most famous album cover ever – was at the time the most expensive music art work ever assembled. It cost £2,868 – at the time, this was 100 times the average cost for an album cover. Despite the fact that it made the pop artist Peter Blake’s career (and was a factor in him being awarded a knighthood) he was only paid a one-off fee of £200 for his groundbreaking work.

For the original cover, the four Beatles were asked to come up with a list of people that had influenced or were important to them in some way. They came up with 70 figures ranging from Karl Marx and Bob Dylan to Marlon Brando and Laurel and Hardy. Both Jesus Christ and Adolf Hitler (Lennon’s choices) were considered unsuitable.

With this year also being Sir Peter’s 80th birthday, he decided to return to the artwork and update it for contemporary audiences. He came up with 79 new characters. “I’ve chosen people I admire, great people and some who are dear friends,” says Blake. “I had a very long list of people who I wanted to go in but couldn’t fit everyone in. That shows how strong British culture is. The Sgt Pepper album cover was made by cutting pieces of cardboard and hand-colouring them. This one is computer generated. I often thought that if I did it again it would be very quick on the computer but it was very laborious.”

On the new version, only one Beatle survives – Paul McCartney. There are nods to contemporary culture with appearances by Tracy Emin, Noel Gallagher, Amy Winehouse, Alexander McQueen, Kate Moss, Ian Curtis and Damien Hirst. Gallagher was delighted to be included: “Given that I’ve devoted quite a lot of time to gazing at the original Sgt Pepper album cover, you can perhaps imagine what it means to me to be selected. It’s nice to be recognised by as great an artist as Sir Peter Blake.”

Many people though are confused by the new artwork. While figures such as JK Rowling, Paul Weller, Helen Mirren, Stella McCartney and the Monty Python foot are instantly recognisable, there are some odd choices, including Fanny Cradock and Tommy Steele. The game here is to see how many of the Sgt Pepper’s 2012 cast you can recognise. Out of the 79, I’m stuck on 55.


1. Amy Winehouse 2. Sir Paul Smith 3. Ian Curtis 4. Nick Park 5. Robin Day 6. Lucienne Day 7. Francis Bacon 8. Roald Dahl 9. Alfred Hitchcock 10. Lucian Freud 11. Kate Moss 12. Paul Weller 13. Sir Tom Stoppard 14. Danny Boyle 15. Sir Mick Jagger 16. Fanny Cradock 17. Mr Chow 18. David Chipperfield 19. Harold Pinter 20. David Bailey 21. Mary Quant 22. Anish Kapoor 23. JK Rowling 24. JRR Tolkien 25. Robyn Hitchcock 26. Sir Terence Conran 27. John Peel 28. Martin Parr 29. Sir Tim Berners Lee 30. John Hurt 31. Rick Stein 32. Sir Jonathan Ive 33. Sir David Lean 34. Sir David Attenborough 35. Bridget Riley 36. Sir Terence Rattigan 37. Richard Curtis 38. Tommy Steele 39. Mark Hix 40. Vidal Sassoon 41. Sir Ridley Scott 42. Justin de Villeneuve 43. Lord Norman Foster44. Peter Saville 45. Tracey Emin46. Sir Paul McCartney 47. Gavin Turk48. Barbara Hulanicki 49. Agatha Christie 50. Delia Smith 51. David Bowie 52. Twiggy 53. Audrey Hepburn 54. Gary Oldman 55. Damien Hirst 56. Stella McCartney 57. Mary McCartney 58. Alexander McQueen 59. Dame Vivienne Westwood 60. Dame Helen Mirren 61. Grayson Perry 62. Wreckless Eric 63. David Hockney 64. Eric Clapton 65. Ian Dury 66. Sir Elton John 67. Chris Corbin 68. Jeremy King69. Dame Shirley Bassey 70. Noel Gallagher 71. Richard Rogers 72. Elvis Costello 73. Liberty Blake 74. Chrissy Blake 75. Sir Peter Blake 76. Rose Blake 77. Daisy Blake 78. Monty Python foot 79. Victoria Vintage