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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour CD (album) cover


The Beatles



4.17 | 784 ratings

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3 stars Magical Mystery Tour seems like a close brother to Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band. I think if you have either album and are looking for more of the same then you will want both albums. Maybe there is enough material hear to assemble a better "concept" album than what Sgt. Pepper was--not better song quality, but better relation between songs--maybe not.

Magical Mystery Tour - This songs gets this collection of songs off to an exciting start just as does "Sgt. Pepper..." on that album, but this time there is no reprise. The orchestrations and rhythm change as the chorus returns in the latter part of the song are great. A quiet brief piano solo at the end contrasts the song's grandiosity with sadness, as if the tour is already over and the circus is leaving town.

The Fool on the Hill - Quieter song about the fool/wise man. Is he crazy or are we? Funny ol' dude...

Flying - A Beatles instrumental? Who'd a thought... Mellow, not particulary exciting; perhaps shows that the Beatles were not such great instrumentalists. Still...if this is the only instrumental song they recorded, that fact alone makes this song interesting.

Blue Jay Way - Mysterious song, hypnotic...although as I've read this song was inspired by a fairly mundate event. There is sadness and fear in the voice; a kind of helplessness that is disturbing.

Your Mother Should Know - Sentimental, mildly joyful song. I Am the Walrus - Cool, nonsensical song that you want to get. Ominous, preachy, evil, crazy good. One of the Beatles longer songs (almost 5 minutes). Coda takes us towards insanity.

Hello Goodbye - As if to shake off the scary dream of the last upbeat song about a mismatch or miscommunication between two people. I like how the vocals blend with the violin and the guitar before the chorus. Coda has you just about clapping your hands.

Strawberry Fields Forever - Back on the pot again are we? Maybe a little LSD too...There is a depressive quality to this song which struggles between a futility and then another theme comes in with a sense of determination, aggressive horns blaring; nice juxtaposition between the two. This back and forth ends with another coda which suggests a strange procession that wanders off and back...and off again.

Penny Lane - Lyrics paint portraits of people remembered; brass instruments provide a fanfare; this song prefigures the sound of Chicago's pop songs somewhat.

Baby, You're a Rich Man - Sarcastic song about the privileged; the combination of two different melodies enriches this song.

All You Need Is Love - This song starts off humbly but gets you up on your feet in the end proclaiming the virtue of Love. Maybe this album should have been called coda as it is a sort of coda to the more developed Sgt. Pepper and has so many notable coda's in it. This coda sends you merrily on your way...

(3 stars) Not as dynamic as Sgt. Pepper but then again not intended originally as a proper album. Contains many songs people will want to have in their collection. The songs are growing slightly in length and I suspect that the copious codas have a lot to do with this. While this ups the value of the album for me (I just need my songs to be longer than 3 minutes) somehow this album (song collections) doesn't have the magic of Sgt. Pepper. Still this album belongs in any collection along with Sgt. Pepper.

For progressive rock fans I recommend "Magical Mystery Tour", "Blue Jay Way", "I Am The Walrus" and "Strawberry Fields Forever". "Penny Lane" and "All you need is love" are great pop songs.

sealchan | 3/5 |


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