SMAL-2835 Magical Mystery Tour
Produced by Big George Martin
Released on December 1967
UK CHART POSITION #2 (double EP) and #31 (LP) . . . UK RE-CHART POSITION #52 (1987) . . . US CHART POSITION #1 . . . GOLD RECORD (12/15/67), 6x PLATINUM (7/25/00)
Find it at GEMM
SMAL-2835 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

P ure magic, this music. However it’s not an album proper, but rather a string of brilliant singles from 67 pinned to the tail of songs from the Magical Mystery Tour movie. Whatever its origin, the issue is one of inspiration, as these songs represent the pinnacle of The Beatles’ pop achievement. The earliest songs, “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever,” actually pre-date their last album, Sgt. Pepper’s. That pair ushered in the age of four-track recording, which The Beatles and George Martin put to full use on opi like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “I Am The Walrus.” Spoken voices found their way into the mix, tapes were played backwards to create creepy effects, snippets of orchestra snuck into the party at perfect intervals, and the whole thing was like looking at music in color for the first time. The Tour also coincided with John Lennon’s most creative period as a songwriter: “I Am The Walrus,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “All You Need Is Love.” As a counterbalance to Lennon’s counterculture treatises, Paul McCartney plays the outmoded tunesmith on tracks like “Penny Lane” and “Your Mother Should Know” with delightful results. In the middle you’ll find Ringo warbling on the instrumental throwaway “Flying” (which might have otherwise ended up on Paul’s first solo album) and George bringing the whole thing to a screeching halt (again) with the trippy “Blue Jay Way.” As for the movie, I’ve never seen the whole thing. In fact, I didn’t even get the 24-page booklet, this despite the advertisement on the front of the album: “Includes 24-page full color picture book.” Unwrapping the cellophane at home as a child and finding no booklet inside was one of the earliest disappointments I can recall as a collector. Oh well, disappointment soon turned to rapture, and the magic potentialities of music was planted into the head of a young boy, to sprout strange weeds years later.

SMAL-2835 lyric gatefold SMAL-2835 back cover
SMAL-2835 lyric gatefold SMAL-2835 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR    2:48
  2. THE FOOL ON THE HILL    3:00
  3. FLYING    (John Lennon/Paul McCartney/George Harrison/Ringo Starr)    2:16
  4. BLUE JAY WAY    (George Harrison)    3:50
  5. YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW    2:33
  6. I AM THE WALRUS    4:35
  7. HELLO GOODBYE    3:24
  8. STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER    4:05
  9. PENNY LANE    2:57
  10. BABY YOU'RE A RICH MAN    3:07
  11. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE    3:57

    All songs written by John Lennon/Paul McCartney unless noted

CREDITS

GEORGE HARRISON --
JOHN LENNON --
PAUL McCARTNEY --
RINGO STARR --

return to THE BEATLES discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 1967 Parlophone 2-7EPm/s MMT/SMMT1 avail. mono/stereo, lyric sheet
US December 1967 Capitol LPm/s MAL/SMAL-2835 gatefold w. booklet, black label
US 1971 Apple LP SMAL-2835 gatefold w. booklet
US 1975 Capitol LP/CS SMAL/4XT-2835 gatefold w. booklet, orange label
YUG 1977 Jugoton LP LSPAR73060  
CAN   Capitol LP SMAL-2835 gatefold, purple label
US   Mobile Fidelity LP MFSL-1-047 gatefold, original master
UK   Parlophone LP/LPYEL PCTC-255 gatefold w. booklet, yellow vinyl
WW 1987 Capitol/EMI/Parlophone LP/CD/CS C1/CDP 7/C4-48062  
JPN 1987 Apple LP EAS-80569  
BRA 1988 Parlophone LP 066 748062  
RUS   Some Wax CD SW0852 lyric booklet
JPN 1998 Parlophone CD TOCP-51124  
JPN 2004 Parlophone LP TOJP-60144 gatefold w. booklet

 

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