Beatles

Magical Mystery Tour - Capitol 1967

Tracks: 1. Magical Mystery Tour / 2. Fool on the Hill / 3. Flying / 4. Blue Jay Way / 5. Your Mother Should Know / 6. I Am the Walrus / 7. Hello Goodbye / 8. Strawberry Fileds Forever / 9. Penny Lane / 10. Baby You're a Rich Man / 11. All You Need is Love

Comments:

"Magical Mystery Tour" is probably the Beatles most psychedelic album, released in late 1967 - the same year as the legendary "Sgt Pepper's". The music was written for a 50 minutes TV-film about a magical but-trip, which was shown on BBC in December 1967. Actually it was not meant a real album release, and in England and most of Europe the music was originally released on a double EP, but since this format was declining in the U.S., the music was released as an album, with an addition of 5 single-tracks previously released in the course of 1967. This release was a huge success and the album has gone down in history as one of the group's core albums.

Logically, the music is similar to both "Sgt Pepper's" and the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack, with some recordings made simultaneously. McCartney, who was the main man behind the idea of TV-movie, contribute here with some of his best songs.

"Fool on the Hill" and "Penny Lane" are both lyrically and musically some of the finest on his part. Also his "retro-song" "Your Mother Should Know" is quite charming. Interesting too, that The Kinks also around this time, made a horn arrangement for one of their songs; "Dead End Street", which was actually released before "Penny Lane".

The title track "Magical Mystery Tour" is the perfect opening number with its optimistic catchy melody and fine vocals from Lennon and McCartney. The reason that the album appear quite psychedelic is mainly due to the Lennon and Harrison contributions. There are lots of musical experimentation in both "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "I Am the Walrus" - while the lyrics opens for broad interpretation. Both numbers are also among Lennon's best from this period. Harrison was very inspired by oriental music at this time, which clearly shows on "Blue Jay Way" and "Flying" - the latter is in reality a 12-bar blues and basically not very interesting. "Blue Jay Way" is not the worst from Harrison in in this genre, but not the best either.

"Hello Goodbye" and "All You Need Is Love" were two great singles this year, and especially "All You Need Is Love" was one of the big songs in the 1967 'summer of love'. "Hello Goodbye" is the musically a great recording, but lyrically it may seem a bit silly.

"Baby You're a Rich" contributes to the overall psychedelic impression, and it is actually quite a nice number, though the chorus may not quite reach the ususal standards of the band.

In any rate, the album is another gem in the Beatles catalogue.


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