BIG Music News: Beatles, Joe Walsh

THE BEATLES:  Sgt. Pepper's turns 50 this year

The Beatles have an announcement, which really hasn't been a secret.

The 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band will be marked with various Anniversary Edition packages on May 26th.

The landmark 1967 album has been remixed by George Martin's son Giles in stereo and 5.1 surround audio and expanded with 34 previously unreleased outtakes from the studio sessions.

In the introduction for this new collection, Paul McCartney writes, "It’s crazy to think that 50 years later we are looking back on this project with such fondness and a little bit of amazement at how four guys, a great producer and his engineers could make such a lasting piece of art.”

And Ringo Starr adds, "Sgt. Pepper seemed to capture the mood of that year, and it also allowed a lot of other people to kick off from there and to really go for it.”

The reissue includes:

*A previously unreleased instrumental take of “Penny Lane”

*Two previously unreleased complete takes of “Strawberry Fields Forever”

*Direct transfers of the album’s original mono mix and the “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” singles

*Previously unreleased mono mixes of “She’s Leaving Home,” “A Day in the Life” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” (a mix thought to have been erased from a tape in 1967, but discovered during archive research for the anniversary edition)

*Promotional films for “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Penny Lane” and “A Day in the Life” plus The Making of Sgt. Pepper, a restored, previously unreleased documentary film (broadcast in 1992).

But before the release on May 26th comes a limited edition seven-inch vinyl single of “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” on April 22nd - Record Store Day.

JOE WALSH:  Considers Rock Hall honor overdue for ELO

Joe Walsh, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Eagles in 1998, says the honor is long overdue for his friend Jeff Lynne, who will finally be enshrined Friday night along with three other members of the Electric Light Orchestra: Roy Wood, Bev Bevan and Richard Tandy.

Joe Walsh on Jeff Lynne being inducted into the Rock and Rol Hall of Fame on Friday as a member of ELO: "Jeff was ELO. His body of work was profound and it's about time. It's about 10 years overdue, but he's finally in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

BARRY MANILOW:  Singer comes out in People cover story

Barry Manilow opens up about being gay and his nearly 40-year relationship in a new People magazine interview.

In the cover story for the issue hitting newsstands Friday, Barry says he was reluctant to out himself -- fearing it would disappoint his fans if they knew he was gay. Yet when word spread three years ago that he'd married his longtime manager Garry Kief, "the reaction was so beautiful -- strangers commenting, ‘Great for you!’ I’m just so grateful for it."

A brief marriage to his high school sweetheart failed mostly because he was too focused on building a career than a family. But Garry, a TV producer, became Barry's manager in 1978 -- and their professional relationship soon became personal. He explains simply, "I knew that this was it." Calling himself "one of the lucky ones," he admits being "pretty lonely before that.”

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