On why they chose to go with a persona on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
“We’d been The Beatles for quite a while. And when you made a record, you knew you were making a Beatles record, and so you imposed certain parameters on it. So we can’t get too far out because people just go, ‘What the hell’s going on? They’ve gone mad!’ So you had certain standards for Beatles records [and] you were always trying to advance those standards, but there were limits that you felt. And also when you stepped up to a microphone, you were conscious of all that background of, ‘I’m Beatle Paul, and I’m going to do a Beatle Paul song.’
“I don’t think it really was terrifying or even boring, but I had this idea to just change our identity and make ourselves think that we were kind of another band. So it meant now anything goes, we don’t have to sing like The Beatles. We can sing like whoever they saw the band is. In the end, the name came out of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. So the idea was so that when you stepped up to a microphone, it was not now John Lennon Beatle doing his song. It was a guy out of this strange band, and in some way, it was just liberating.”
Paul McCartney knew he’d never top The Beatles — and that’s just fine with him
“I feel so privileged to have been on this planet when the Beatles were born,” says Ozzy. “They are and will forever be the greatest band in the world. I remember talking to Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols. He said, ‘I didn’t like the Beatles.’ I said, ‘there’s something fucking wrong with you.'”
- She Loves You – 1963
This is the one that sucked me in. I was a 14-year-old kid with this blue transistor radio. I heard “She Loves You,” and it floored me. It was as if you knew all the colors in the world. Then someone shows you a brand new color, and you go, “Fucking hell, man.”
- I want to Hold Your Hand – 1963
- I am the Walrus – 1967
Lennon and McCartney were like sweet and sour. Paul would be the guy who said, “It’s getting better all the time.” John would say, “It couldn’t get much worse.” I loved Lennon’s plays on words. I love any song where you can go, “I don’t know what that means,” but you understand it anyway.
- A Day in the Life – 1967
- Hey Jude – 1968
- Help – 1965
When I hear this, I hear Lennon thinking, “You can’t get bigger than big.” But they did. They got beyond massive. And he just goes, “Help!” because they don’t know what they’ve done. They only know how they did it.
- Eleanor Rigby – 1966
“Eleanor Rigby” is fucking phenomenal. I don’t know why. I just know that every time I heard something from the Beatles, it made me feel better that day.
- Something – 1969
Black Sabbath were doing a residency in a bar in Zurich. It was winter and we were driving in the van to get home for Christmas. We were homesick and had no money, one cigarette between the four of us. This song reminds me of that time, because we kept hearing it as we were going over the Alps.
- Strawberry Fields Forever – 1967
I used to work in a slaughterhouse, and across the road was a meat-pie shop, and this was on the radio there all the time.
- The Long and Winding Road – 1970
“It reminds me of winter in England. It’s cold, you’ve got fingerless gloves on. And it makes me sad, because it’s the end of the greatest movie I’d ever seen. You hear Paul going, ‘I’m out of steam. I can’t do this anymore.'”