The British Phonographic Institute has officially disqualified The Beatles seminal 1967 album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band from its list of the 100 greatest albums of all time. The ban follows new evidence that band were taking performance enhancing drugs during its recording. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have issued a joint statement apologising for the deception. ‘It was a hugely competitive time for everyone in music, and regrettably we gave in to peer-pressure. We have brought shame upon the British music industry and the whole nation.’
Evidence of the misdemeanour was gathered by the BPI using state-of-the-art computer software: Outerfit digitally analyses samples of music for signs of ‘pharmacological enhancement’. ‘Oh, and the initials of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds sort of helped.’ Following rigorous testing of the entire top 100 with the new software, other albums to be disqualified include: The Clash by The Clash (amphetamine sulphate), Bob Marley Live at the Lyceum (cannabis – both band and audience), OK Computer (Prozac, Mogadon) and Born to Run (Budweiser, chilli dogs), along with 94 other titles in the 100.
Taking the place of Sergeant Pepper at number one is Wired for Sound by Cliff Richard; ‘we had to spend several hours analysing the drum patterns for mild cannabis inflections’ explained Phil Howard, Outerfit’s developer, ‘but after several hours of further analysis, we are delighted to give it a clean bill of health.’
The BPI is promising a new top 100 next month. The only album from the original listing that may still qualify is Pills, Thrills and Bellyaches by the notoriously hedonistic Happy Mondays, which has not yet been disqualified. ‘We kept trying to analyse the album’ explained Howard ‘but every time we put it on, the program crashed.’