- Timeline See what happened in July 2005
- Release date:
- Jul 02, 2005
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This single was available for a limited time, exclusively through iTunes. “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Live)” was available forty-five minutes after it was played live in Hyde Park, and became the fastest selling online single of all-time, charting within a few hours. “The Long And Winding Road (Live)” was available online shortly there-after, but was not charted. All profits were donated to Live 8, which raises money to help Africa.
From U2 songs:
“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and first recorded and released by the Beatles on the album of the same name. The song was written in 1966 and recorded in February and March of the following year at Abbey Road Studios. It was initially only released as a single in 1978. U2 used to use the song prior to playing “Elevation (Influx Mix)” before taking the stage on the Elevation tour in 2001. This release features U2 and Paul McCartney from the Beatles performing the song together at the Live 8 concert held in Hyde Park, London England, on July 2, 2005.
U2 and Paul McCartney opened the Live 8 Performance with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. U2 would continue on and perform three other songs, “Beautiful Day / Blackbird”, “Vertigo” and One / Unchained Melody”. The song, “Sgt. Pepper’s” opens with the lyric “It was twenty years ago” and it was chosen to mark that Live 8 was taking place 20 years after another similar concert had taken place, Live Aid. Live 8 was a string of benefit concerts that took place at various locations on July 2, 2005 in the G8 states and in South Africa, and were timed to lead into the G8 summit being held that summer. The concerts were in support of the Make Poverty History campaign, and attempted to bring the message to politicians. McCartney would return to the stage hours later to perform “The Long and Winding Road” to close the concert in the UK location. Estimated attendance at the concert was 200,000. Both “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “The Long and Winding Road” were immediately released to digital services for purchase. A final performance of “The Long and Winding Road” with “Hey Jude” saw a number of artists from the Live Aid performances return to the stage to sing “Hey Jude”. As U2 had to leave immediately after their performance to get to a concert elsewhere in Europe, they did not stay, and this was not part of this performance. Some digital singles include just McCartney’s version of “The Long and Winding Road”, and others include this version of “The Long and Winding Road” with “Hey Jude” as well. U2 does not participate on either of these.
Spokesperson Ben Drury from 7 Digital talked about the creation of the digital track for “Sgt. Pepper’s”: “I received the audio from a runner. This guy literally ran from the gig to St James’s Square with a CD. We uploaded it and programmers did their magic.” The song was released through 7 Digital as well as other services like iTunes worldwide. And as of the week of release “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was confirmed as the fastest selling digital song of all time. It was also listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Quickest Single Put on Sale”, available online only 45 minutes after the performance of the song.
Although only the one song, the release on iTunes was listed as “Live 8 (1st Recording) [Live at Hyde Park – London]” in the iTunes store instead of being released under the name “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. The artwork released with the single was the Live 8 guitar logo, with no text other than “Live 8”.
A DVD came out Nov 7, 2005, which included the full performance by U2, including this opening track of the UK show.