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The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour CD (album) cover

MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

4.14 | 700 ratings

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baz91
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This one simply gets 5 stars because track-for-track it is one of the best Beatles albums. However, it feels slightly like cheating, because the Americans took the original UK double EP and then souped it up with 2 singles, making for a powerful collection of tracks. However, now the 'Magical Mystery Tour' album is better known in it's American format, so I won't complain too much! This album shows the fully psychedelic Beatles, between 'Sgt. Pepper's' and the White Album.

The album starts, rather obviously, with Magical Mystery Tour. This is a very fun song indeed, but not quite as good as Sgt. Pepper in my opinion. The highlight of the song is when they increase the tempo towards the end.

The Fool On The Hill is a very surreal track. Personally, I find this song a little bit creepy, because I have no idea who this fool is meant to be, or what his plans are. The use of flute is brilliant here!

Flying is NOT the only Beatles instrumental: there was an instrumental track known as Cry For A Shadow (very proggy name) released in 1964. Nevertheless, Flying is the only instrumental track you'll hear by The Beatles without having to resort to the 'Anthology' collections. It's not technically brilliant, but I love the melody here. John plays the mellotron in this track, making it more accessible for proggies. There are some bizarre tape loops at the end of the track as well. Interestingly, the length of this track was cut down from 9:38 to 2:16, where the remaining 7 minutes were devoted entirely to these tape loops! You can hear this version on YouTube, although if you didn't like Revolution 9 you won't enjoy this either. The extended version does not reveal anything extremely interesting, but listening to an extended version makes you feel like you were listening to it in the way the Beatles originally wanted you to hear it. The tape loops aren't too harsh on the ears, and fade in and out throught the 7 minutes, making a quite relaxing sound. Very nice musique concrète. The album version is a neat little instrumental too.

The next track is Harrison's Blue Jay Way. This is probably the scariest Beatles song ever. The chorus 'Please don't be long, for I may be asleep' is the creepiest lyric in any Beatles track, and the use of instruments and effects in this track could give you nightmares. This is an brilliant song indeed.

Your Mother Should Know is a fun little ditty with great lyrics. Personally, I prefer the demo off 'Anthology 2' as it includes great drumming from Ringo.

Last off the double-EP is the classic I Am The Walrus. This song is famous for it's bizarre random lyrics. This is something for fans of Yes then surely (snigger).

Hello Goodbye is a really uplifting song, with surprisingly good drumming from Ringo. I love the lyrics of this song.

Strawberry Fields Forever starts with a proggy mellotron intro. The song starts in a relaxed mood, but soon turns into a hellish experimental nightmare. This is a masterpiece song.

Penny Lane is definitely a Paul track. This piano based song essentially tells a surreal story of people living on a street. The clean sound of all the instruments is very appealing.

Baby Your A Rich Man is a really weird song. Definitely of B-side quality, this track has a catchy chorus, but strange unmemorable verses.

Ah, and finally we have the timeless All You Need Is Love. Do I really need to say anything about this track? Probably every hippy's theme tune. Interestingly, the verses are in 7/4! I knew you proggies would like that.

The addition of 4 stunning A-sides to this already immaculate double EP makes this one of the best Beatles long-players. Another masterpiece album from possibly the best group of all time.

baz91 | 5/5 |

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