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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour (US Version) CD (album) cover

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR (US VERSION)

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.12 | 491 ratings

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Chris H
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The album much better heard than seen!

Now don't get me wrong, The Beatles are an amazing band of musicians. However, they are not an amazing group of movie-goers. The made-for-TV movie that went along with this album was one of the most dreadful things that I've ever made an effort to hunt down, but that's beside the point here. Just heed the warnings, an excellent album doesn't make for an excellent movie.

Okay so let us discuss the album. To be honest, the songwriting and the ideas for songs here are exceptionally average. Of course this album produced some of the Beatles' biggest hits of all time, but I still nothing spectacular of the writing here. The reason this album is rated so highly by myself and most of the world with any ideas on pop culture is for the simple fact that the music on this album has the power of turning these raw ideas for songs and making them into something special.

The Fab Four kick this album into gear with the stellar "Magical Mystery Tour". Not only is it a cool concept to open up an album with the album's own theme song, but one of the highlights on the whole album is the vocal harmonies and overlapping between John, Paul and George on this one particular track. Another highlight is the surreal "Flying", which has a concept that was clearly spearheaded some illegal substances, if you catch my drift. Nonetheless, it captured the essence of the era perfectly. "Your Mother Should Know" is one of their most underrated tunes ever, most people that don't own this album have never been exposed to this classic-in-the-rough. A great piano driven "get up and dance" styled song, this one could have a place in Beatles history had it gotten radio airplay. Now I am not including "I Am The Walrus" in my recap because I don't believe that it is a high point. All it is was a song filled with random points that Mr. Lennon felt like making, only to have his lyrics widely misinterpreted by conspiracy theorists. "Strawberry Fields Forever" was in instant classic, to the masses and to myself. This song captivated me the second I heard it the climax. It's just one of those tunes that has that compelling power to it, you never want it to end. The last great song on this album is "Penny Lane", the inner-city tale of woe. It skips around subjects too much for my tastes, but any time you hear those melodies you can just imagine your own words in the song and make it touching in your own ways.

So all in all, to recap those last two paragraphs in one sentence...Average songwriting can still produce one of the best albums of an era. Don't just take my word for it, this is truly a 60's, LSD-fueled masterpiece. Just because there are only a few great, stand-alone songs on this album doesn't mean that it can't succeed as a whole piece.

A major part of the late-60's. Anybody that calls themselves a Beatles fan owns it and anybody with taste should as well. However it lacks that masterpiece appeal. 4 well-deserved stars.

Chris H | 4/5 |

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