JOHN, PAUL, GEORGE, RINGO, MAE,YOGI AND FRED Who's Who on the World's Greatest Ever Album Cover

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FORTY years ago this week, The Beatles released their masterpiece, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Not only did it produce a string of world-famous songs, but its cover became an iconic piece of art which captured the spirit of the Sixties.

Designed by Peter Blake, it featured a selection of the group's heroes..

George Harrison chose Indian gurus, McCartney picked Fred Astaire and William Burroughs, Lennon went for Hitler, Gandhi and Jesus (all dropped for being too controversial), while Ringo allegedly made no contribution. Here, ED CAESAR looks at the people behind the faces on this classic album cover..

1. SRI YUKTESWAR GIRI (1855-1936) INDIAN guru considered to be a Jnanavatar- an incarnation of wisdom. Although he had no connection to the Beatles, he was admired by Harrison.

2. ALEISTER CROWLEY (1875-1947) NICKNAMED The Wickedest Man In The World, the writer was a member of several occult sects, including the Ordo Templi Orientis, the Argenteum Astrum and the Golden Dawn. He was also a keen chess player, climber, painter and hedonist.

3. MAE WEST (1893-1980) A WOMAN ahead of her time. The Hollywood actress refused to play by the rules, and she frequently found herself in trouble for her bawdy sexual references. But her most enduring legacy is the line: 'Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just pleased to see me'.

4. LENNY BRUCE (1925-1966) SOME call him the greatest stand-up ever. He was certainly one of the most offensive. In 1964 he was found guilty of obscenity, sentenced to four months in a workhouse, and died while on bail during the appeal.

5. KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (1928-) WIDELY considered to be the leading German composer of his generation, he is known particularly for his groundbreaking work in electronic music.

6. W. C. FIELDS (1880-1946) 'I ONLY drink to steady my nerves,' claimed the comedian and actor.

'Sometimes I'm so steady I don't move for months.' He died from an illness worsened by his alcoholism.

7. CARL JUNG (1875-1961) THE father of analytical psychology, he was a friend and great rival of Sigmund Freud. His work is overshadowed by suggestions that he was a Nazi sympathiser.

8. EDGAR ALLAN POE (1809-1849) THE American writer who created crime fiction and mastered the macabre in his short stories. Poe's own mysterious death at 40 has been attributed to drugs, rabies, tuberculosis, brain congestion and other causes.

9. FRED ASTAIRE (1899-1987) HIS song and dance partnership with Ginger Rogers revolutionised musical movies in the Thirties.

Hollywood legend has it that the notes for his first studio screen test read: 'Can't sing. Can't act.

Balding. Can dance a little.' 10. RICHARD MERKIN (1938-) ONE of the leading artistic chroniclers of 20thcentury U.S. life, especially urban scenes.

11. VARGA GIRL (1896-1982) PAINTING by Peruvian artist Alberto Vargas (left) for Esquire magazine in the Forties. The death of his wife in 1974 left him devas- tated and he stopped painting. But he came out of self-imposed retirement to create the cover of The Cars' album, Candy-O.

12. HUNTZ HALL (1919-1999) THE American acted on radio, stage and in movies, but was best known for his role in the 1938 film Angels With Dirty Faces.

13. SIMON RODIA (1879-1965) SENT fromItaly to the U.S. at the age of 12, the untrained architectural artist became famous for the Watts Towers sculptures in Los Angeles.

He built nine towers in total, the largest 100ft tall.

14. BOB DYLAN (1941-) IN 1966, he released Blonde On Blonde, one of the most acclaimed albums of all time, and angered British folkies by going electric. By the time Sgt Pepper was released, though, he was convalescing following a near fatal motorcycle accident.

15. STUART SUTCLIFFE (1940-1962) KNOWN as the Fifth Beatle, he played bass in the group for two years, leaving late in December 1960, when, due to a cold, he did not join Lennon on the journey back from Hamburg to Liverpool. …