Henry Diltz; Andrew MacphersonThe BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was officially released 50 years ago today in the U.K. In honor of the milestone, a few Rock & Roll Hall of Famers shared their recollections and thoughts about the influential album with ABC Radio.

David Crosby, who befriended The Beatles when he was in The Byrds, says he attended several Sgt. Pepper recording sessions, including one where he was treated to a preview of one of the album’s most celebrated songs.

“They had just finished ‘A Day in the Life,’ and they played it for me,” Crosby recalls. “I think I was the first person they played it for, and it was such an experience. I mean, it was such a completely outrageously beautiful piece of work, and it did a lot of things that nobody had ever done before.”

The EaglesJoe Walsh reveals that the first time he heard Sgt. Pepper happened when one of his roommates at Kent State University brought the record back to their dorm.

“We set up two Marshall amplifiers in the dining room, and we plugged the turntable into [them] and turned them up pretty loud,” Walsh remembers. “We lied on our backs on the dining room table and listened [to the] album, over and over and over. And then the cops came, so then we had to use headphones.”

Regarding the historical impact of Sgt. Pepper, Walsh says it “changed everybody’s life. It changed the way people wrote songs. It changed the entire way that people made albums.”

Ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett expressed a similar opinion about the album’s importance, noting that it “raised the bar for music that was allowed to be adventurous and to break down barriers and just do something that was completely off the wall but entirely cohesive.”

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