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The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album cover
4.19 | 885 ratings | 50 reviews | 44% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1967

Songs / Tracks Listing

- THE BEATLES in Songs and Music from a Color Television Film called "MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR" :
1. Magical Mystery Tour (2:51)
2. Fool on the Hill (2:59)
3. Flying (2:16)
4. Blue Jay Way (3:56)
5. Your Mother Should Know (2:29)
6. I Am the Walrus (4:37)
- these other selections (1967 Singles) :
7. Hello Goodbye (3:31)
8. Strawberry Fields Forever (4:10)
9. Penny Lane (3:03)
10. Baby You're a Rich Man (3:03)
11. All You Need Is Love (3:47)

Total Time 36:42

Line-up / Musicians

- George Harrison / lead, slide & acoustic guitars, organ, harmonica (2), lead (4) & backing vocals
- John Lennon / rhythm & acoustic guitars, acoustic & electric pianos, organ, Mellotron, clavioline, harmonica (2), lead (6,8,10,11), harmony & backing vocals
- Paul McCartney / bass, piano, Mellotron, recorder (2) lead (1,2,5,7,9), harmony & backing vocals
- Ringo Starr / drums, percussion

- George Martin / piano (11), producer
- Neil Aspinall / percussion (1)
- Mal Evans / percussion (1,5)
- Eddie Kramer / vibraphone (10)
- Jack Emblow / accordion (11)
- Mick Jagger / backing vocals (11)
- Keith Richards / backing vocals (11)
- Marianne Faithfull / backing vocals (11)
- Keith Moon / backing vocals (11)
- Eric Clapton / backing vocals (11)
- Pattie Boyd Harrison / backing vocals (11)
- Jane Asher / backing vocals (11)
- Mike McCartney / backing vocals (11)
- Maureen Starkey / backing vocals (11)
- Graham Nash / backing vocals (11)
- Rose Eccles Nash / backing vocals (11)
- Gary Leeds / backing vocals (11)
- Hunter Davies / backing vocals (11)

Releases information

Artwork: Bob Gibson with John Kelly (photo)

LP Capitol Records ‎- MAL 2835 (1967, US) Mono version
LP Capitol Records ‎- SMAL 2835 (1967, US) Stereo version except tracks 9 to 11 in "Duophonic"
LP HÖR ZU ‎- SHZE 327 (1971, Germany) First LP release whith all tracks in true Stereo
LP Parlophone ‎- PCTC 255 (1976, UK) Tracks 1 to 6 first issued in the UK as a double EP in 1967

CD Capitol Records ‎- CDP 7 48062 2 (1987, US) All in true Stereo (same as 1971 LP)
CD Parlophone ‎- CD-PCTC 255 (1987, Europe) Remastered
CD Parlophone ‎- 0946 3 82465 2 7 (2009, Europe) Remaster by Guy Massey & Steve Rooke; CD-ROM section includes Mini-Documentary video

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy THE BEATLES Magical Mystery Tour Music

THE BEATLES Magical Mystery Tour ratings distribution

(885 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(44%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

THE BEATLES Magical Mystery Tour reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Menswear
4 stars Man did that movie reeked or what?!?

I'm a fan of the Beatles, period. But that movie was flimsy and simply indigestible. But, of course, the soundtrack was above any critic. In my opinion, Magical Mystery Tour is, in my humble opinion, the most drug related album. From A-Z, it breathes LSD experimentation, and the Fab Four dropped acid more than on any other records; as example the title song, Blue Jay Way, I Am the Walrus and Strawberry Fields Forever.

The only point why I snatched off a star is my objection to say that it's a 'real' Beatles album. They had not enough material to make a full album, and picked some stuff here and there making the other half of the record much less progressive and therefore, interesting. Paul is clearly dominating the rest of the record, giving it a girlie side that I judge being a step backwards what they did in the White Album.

Still, a collection of many, many, many classics.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars When digital era came out, there were three albums of The Beatles that to me was a must have collection that must be upgraded from cassette to CD. They were: "Sgt Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band", "Magical Mystery Tour" and "White Album" (oh .. I love "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"!). Magical Mystery Tour was for me a prog album even though it had no mellotron drenched song but the composition, style as well as tempo changes represented what prog bands were all about. The Beatles has influenced many musicians on the planet since its inception in 60s until now. Look at its sheer influence on bands like Oasis, Toploader, Porcupine Tree, etc.

One song from this album that once become my wake-up call ritual was "You Mother Should Know" which has powerful beats, energetic spirit combined with well crafted composition. The dazzling piano work leads the music from start to end. "Strawberry Field Forever" is another excellent thread and I also love the peter Gabriel version in the "All This World War II" soundtrack compilation.

As far as musical concerns no one would dare to argue with the high standards imposed by the boys in The Beatles and this album was ahead of its time, I would say. Its strengths rely on excellent lyrics, tight composition which does not allow any loose segements throughout the album and of course great musicianship. Anyone who wants to trace back the history of prog should listen to this album and get the subtleties through repeated spins. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Chicapah
5 stars Progressive rock took a giant leap forward with this way-ahead-of-its-time album. The Fab 4 had hinted at this in "Revolver" and "Sgt. Peppers" but now, with the help of certain stimulants (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) they immersed themselves in unlimited experimentation without regard to popular opinion or approval and the result shows why these guys are rightly considered Proto-prog. Just listen to "Strawberry Fields" and tell me that it didn't make every keyboard player in the world crave to get his fingers on a Mellotron. Other songs like the title cut, "Fool on the Hill," "Flying," "Blue Jay Way," and the incredible wonderful fantastic "I am the Walrus" truly inspired groups like Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis to veer off the beaten path and create their own musical universes. Of that I am convinced. "Penny Lane" is a timeless model of perfect songwriting and arrangement. "Baby you're a rich man" and "All you need is love" are simply amazing for a thousand reasons. These songs may seem ordinary/passe these days but when they were first unleashed on the listening public it was like hearing music from another planet. To those who think The Beatles are overrated I can only offer my condolences for your deceased spirit of discovery. If you happen to think that these guys are only truly represented by songs like "I Want to Hold Your Hand" then I invite you to sit and listen to this album with an open mind and then reassess your opinion of them. If you are a fan then you already know how great this collection of songs is. This album alone opened a hundred new doors for a million musicians.
Review by Guillermo
5 stars From all the U.S. albums released by The Beatles, this is, IMO, almost the only one that deserves respect, because the U.S. version, which was also released on C.D., is a very good version, originally released in the U.S. as a whole L.P., in comparison to the English version, which was released in a two E.P. set. The U.S. version included, in the Side Two, songs previously released as singles in 1967, with their B-sides. So, IMO, it is more enjoyable, with the songs on Side Two complementing very well the songs included on Side One. This is another very influential album in the development of Progressive Rock, IMO. The arrangements, done again with the help of George Martin, are very good. It is also a very "magical" album for me, another "Musical mind trip" (without using drugs and alcohol!).

All songs of this album are very interesting, being my favourites: "The Fool on the Hill", "Blue Jay Way", "Your Mother Should Know" and the psychedelic "I Am the Walrus", from the "Magical Mystery Tour" film. From the other songs, tracks 7 to 11 of the C.D., my favourites are "Penny Lane" (with a very good bass gutiar played by Paul) and "All You Need is Love", which was originally broadcasted via T.V. in the "Our World" programme. It was the first T.V. programme broadcasted using satellites. I remember very vaguelly that my late father, with my mother and my brothers and me, watched on T.V this programme in 1967. My father also recorded the audio of this T.V. programme, using an old Philips Mono open-reel tape machine. Recently, I discovered that he copied these old open-reel tapes to cassettes. Maybe one day I`m going to listen again to the audio of this historical T.V. programme.

The original L.P. of this album, released by Capitol Records in November 1967, had "Penny Lane", "Baby You`re a Rich Man" and "All You Nee is Love" released in the "Duophonic" format, that is, original Mono versions electronically reprocessed to sound Stereo ("Fake Stereo"), but the C.D of this album has these songs in true Stereo mixing. The original U.S. L.P. also included the Photo book with photos from the "Magical Mystery Tour" film. The old L.P. that I have (bought in 1974) didn`t include it, but I discovered recently that a website has scans of this whole Photo album in . I previously saw this Photo Book in a L.P. copy which belongs to a friend. The C.D. didn`t include the Photo Book, so finally I could see again it in this Website.

I also watched on T.V the "Magical Mystery Tour" film in 1998, and I also went to a Cinema in 1981 to see this film. It was very criticized by many people since 1967, but I really like the film very much, being very psychedelic and it has some funny scenes too.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In the wake of their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles decided to make another film and album is support of it. The film was a 60 minute made for TV movie that was a blunder more than anything else. It wasn't awful in my opinion, but it lacked the magic of the first two films they made. The music side of the film, though, was out of this world with quirky experimental pieces that really showed the fun side of the Beatles. The film songs make up the first side, and the second side is made up of their single that included Hello Goodbye, Baby You're a Rich Man and All You Need Is Love. Overall, I'd rank it at the same level as Sgt. Pepper and I really think, like Revolver and Sgt. Pepper, it deserves at least one listen in your lifetime.

The album opens with Magical Mystery Tour, a fun song with some great call and respond vocals between John and George (who provide the backing vocal) and Paul who provides the lead. Ringo's drumming is also great on this track (he really seemed to improve vastly over the past few albums). The Fool On the Hill is another McCartney piano led piece that has some nice flute interludes as well as some inventive chord progressions from McCartney, it's a playful piece that has a lot of merit to it. Flying is the first song on record from the Beatles that credits all the members as writers. What it is is a segment of a very long jam that they had and put on record. It's the only thing keeping this album from being a masterpiece, in my opinion, because it lasts too short and it would have been awesome to hear more of it played out. Blue Jay Way is George Harrison's piece of the album and it treads on near ambient territories. It also has this terrifying, forbidding feel complimented with a nice section that tilts the atmosphere a bit. It also utilizes some odd times as well (5/4 and 7/4 are both used, as well as 6/4) and the vocals are just spectacular.

Your Mother Should Know is a waltzy throwback to 50s pieces, and it has some nice harmony vocals and lead vocals from McCartney as well as some truly majestic sections that really make it a danceable and fun song. I Am the Walrus ends the film songs with an introspective and off the wall Lennon lyrics and vocals augmented by some stellar rhythmic work from Paul and Ringo as well as some awesome orchestrations and sound effects (the end of which is from a BBC broadcast of King Leer). Hello Goodbye is a fun track with some nice backing vocals from John and George and nice leading vocals from Paul. The guitar work on this track is also really good as well. Strawberry Fields Forever has the Beatles dabbling with the mellotron and the acid washed piece has some great lyrics from Lennon (about his childhood) and some fun vocals as well as a nice overall melody. Penny Lane is another Paul led piece with some nice piano work and some cool horn arrangements as well. Baby You're a Rich Man has some cool falsettos from the group (the song is supposed to be a tribute to the late Brian Epstein) and a nice underlying bass beat from McCartney during the pre-verses and the choruses. The album ends with the eponymous All You Need is Love, the heavily orchestrated introduction and the searing George Harrison lead. The song also has some great sections of 7/4 and the outro chorus is brillinat (with Paul McCartney going on a tangent and even reprising the She Loves You chorus).

In the end, Magical Mystery Tour is a magical album that really captivates me. It has some many great songs and so few faults, but I just can't bring myself to rate this a masterpiece, as it's so close from being one. This is easily my second favorite Beatles album behind the masterpiece of Abbey Road. If you're a fan of psychedelic rock and the roots of early progressive rock, then this is your album (still, though, not really 100% progressive). 4.5/5.

Review by Mellotron Storm
5 stars For me this one and "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band" are THE BEATLES two masterpieces and they were both released in 1967.

Things get started with "Magical Mystery Tour" a perfect way to open the album. It's full of energy and the vocals and harmonies are incredible. "The Fool On The Hill" is a great contrast to the opener. A smooth, beautiful song about standing up for ones self. The flute and piano are wondrous. "Flying" is an instrumental with mellotron. "Blue Jay Way" is a George Harrison song that is very psychedelic and spacey with hammond organ and cello.

More organ on "Your Mother Should Know" with McCartney's great vocals. "I Am the Walrus" features Lennon's distorted vocals with some good piano and psychedelic lyrics. "Hello Goodbye" and "Baby Your A Rich Man" are good pop songs. "Strawberry Fields Forever" is a mellotron classic ! Perhaps their greatest song. Another amazing tune is "Penny Lane" about a busy Liverpool street. It all concludes perfectly with "All You Need Is Love" with a choir consisting of Mick Jagger, Kieth Richards, Maryanne Faithfull, Graham Nash, Keith Moon and other popular musicians singing for peace.


Review by russellk
5 stars The day music changed.

It certainly was for me. I know the reality is much more complex than this, but to my young mind this album - and not Sergeant Pepper's - was the watershed. before this, rock & roll. After this, rock.

I'm too young to remember the sixties with certainty (though I'm not sure even adults remember the '60s all that well). But I do remember the change these songs brought to the (one and only) radio station in my home town playing contemporary music. Sophistication. Humour. Meaning. And, underlining it all, complex musical themes tightly bound into eleven powerful packages.

More than any other BEATLES album, this package has it all. I kow it's not always considered part of the official BEATLES canon, but what a package! This magical tour takes us through the heartland of the late sixties landscape, showing us the foibles and courage of our fellow human beings. And it sets the template for the music of the seventies to follow.

The songs themselves? You all know them. From the introductory invitation to the epilogue begging us to remember love (Lennon's broad definition of it, at least), these songs dominated 1967. And that's part of the problem: familiarity breeds contempt. The BEATLES are by no means my favourite band, and they were guilty of sloppy music and poor compositions, but not on this record. I'll finish with the sycophantic praise now, if you promise to have a fresh listen to these tunes.

Review by mystic fred
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A serious comedy...?

Though a popular album/EP, much of the actual film seems to be lost on many reviewers - first shown on TV in December 1967, most of us in the UK still only had monochrome TV receivers so much of the colourful effects were lost on us but not the Carry- on/Goon style humour, all very English and tongue-in-cheek, many would just not see it at all, particularly our parents . Magical Mystery Tour was shot in 35mm, an amateur/art film format even in those days and very evident by today's standards, for what was supposed to be a one-off fun film for TV with a few new songs. The double EP, a very popular format in the 60's in the UK, came in the form of a book featuring characters in the film and rough "storyline" - having a storyline didn't really matter here though, the experience was the thing! The US version included some well chosen singles which made up a full LP album, which made much more sense. A cameo appearance from "The Bonzo Dog Doo-dah Band" performing with a stripper adds to the "Works outing / mystery tour" mood of the film theme.

The content of the film confused many who thought the boys had "lost it" - the film borrowed many techniques from early silent comedy, it lacked the full Beatle-esque vitality of earlier feature films but still had a huge influence on comedic film making and had a good sense of the ridiculous ; the whole idea of the quirky British characters and situations predated "Little Britain" by 40 years, Victor Spinetti's crazy Army Sergeant character style humour came 2 years before Monty Python, and that zany car and coach chase is not a million miles from those fulcrum scenes in "The Italian Job" which came 2 years later.

The quality of the songwriting in general was average for the Beatles but still far outshone their contemporaries in 1967, especially the main outstanding song by John - the controversial "I Am the Walrus" ; there are a number of stories about this song, John heard a Police siren wailing through Weybridge's quiet countryside which gave him the idea for the melody, and after reading that his lyrics were being studied by University boffins looking for hidden meanings he really went to town to confuse them - let's see what they make of this!! Mocking authority in 1967 was a dangerous hobby, the ridiculous fim sequence accompanying this song also adds to the mystery. "The Walrus" also famously influenced Roy Wood into forming ELO using Cellos, "taking off from where Walrus left off.." its underlying dark cynicism cited as a favourite influence by many of today's rock legends including Ozzy Osbourne - our music wouldn't have been the same without it. Other songs in the film features Paul's "Your Mother Should Know", a line from the 60's kitchen sink drama "A Taste of Honey", a nod towards Paul's Dad's music he remembered from his childhood. George also remembers a time in Los Angeles, "Blue Jay Way", waiting for his friends lost in the fog, he must have been feeling rather lost himself during this period. Ringo has the most screen time, including arguing with his "Auntie"! There is a strange dream sequence from Auntie - which includes a romantic encounter with Buster Bloodvessel and that horrendous eating scene, with John piling on the Spaghetti with a shovel! Paul's "The Fool on the Hill" was written during the Sgt.Pepper sessions so was incuded here, and "Flying", the group's only instrumental apart from "Cry for a Shadow", using the Mellotron was originally named "Aerial Tour Instrumental" and originally written as incidental music for the film.

To really understand this project better you have to look back on the traumas the group had suffered earlier in their career, life on the road had become very dangerous - partly due to Lennon's misinterpreted comment on Jesus and a general lack of security for touring bands in those days, they had stopped touring completely leaving their manager Brian Epstein to fall into a drug fuelled depression leading to his early death, everyone expected the group to fall apart. The MMT project allowed them to look back to the comfortably secure values of their childhood - fat Aunties, kid's games, Wizards and and a good ol' sing song on the Charanbanc!

Though mercilessly panned by "critics" and "musicologists" then and now you have to ask if the Beatles would have kept going for the next few years producing brilliant studio albums if MMT hadn't been made - I immensely enjoyed the film and the music in 1967 and still do, and I feel the project was a healing process for the band. In this what has been described as an amateur effort are far-reaching influences in comedic film-making and the future of popular music, but that is only my opinion.

An excellent addition for Prog fans and film buffs alike.

Review by Chris H
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.

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In the UK this was originally released as a double EP in an attractive package including a comic-style booklet containing the story of the film. I use the term "story" loosely, as McCartney (this was his project) envisaged this as a "happening" whereby they would all bundle on to a coach, drive around and see what happened. There was a loose plot about wizards but no real story. Obviously heavily influenced by certain substances (certainly not tea, as suggested by The Rutles), this was the Fabs first taste of failure. Coming soon after the death of Brian Epstein, it missed his guiding hand. The film was first shown at Christmas but suffered because the majority of viewers watched it in black and white. It certainly received a critical mauling the following day. But what of the music?

The title track is a brass-driven pop song, "Fool on the Hill" is arguably the best song, being a dreamy acoustic McCartney number with recorders. "Flying" is only Beatles song attributed to all 4 Fabs. It's an instrumental (apart from the wordless backing vocals) featuring a touch of Mellotron. "Blue Jay Way" is a Harrison dirge, slightly ironic that it goes on too long with the words "Don't you be long". "Your Mother Should Know" is a catchy 50s style McCartney tribute to the songs that were hits "before your mother was born". "I am the Walrus" is Lennon's classic, inspired by a police car siren. Although some of it is undoubtedly gibberish ("semolina pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower"), some of it comes from childrens' rhymes ("dead dog's eye") and some of it is a veiled attack on authority figures. It's well known for the bursts of King Lear at the end, recorded by chance by twiddling the tuning knob on a radio.

For the US market, the EP was elongated into an album, similar to the way their early British LPs were cannibalised into different ones across the Atlantic. "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" (the greatest single of all time, unbelievably kept from Number One by Englebert Humperdinck) were intended for Sgt. Pepper but released as a double A side due to record company demands. "Hello Goodbye" is another non-album single (what band nowadays would release a song as good as this and not put it on an album?) and the final two tracks made up another single released at the time. "Baby You're a Rich Man" is curio, featuring a strange keyboard called a clavioline and Lennon's cruel "rich fag Jew" taunts aimed at Epstein. "All you need is love" doesn't really need any more comment.

I still maintain this is a compilation as the Beatles never intended MMT to be a studio album, but nevertheless it features some of their best ever works and is the height of their psychedelic phase.

Review by Gooner
2 stars Ick! Why this band is trumped up during their "psychedelic era", I'll never know. They should've packed it in after their masterpiece "Revolver"...but then if they had, we wouldn't have "Abbey Road", now would we?. Oh...never mind. :-)

I guess this is a neat album, and you "had to be there!" when it came out. From the outside looking in(I'm 36 years old) as I write this, I recommen/suggest that The Move did this kind of schtick a whole lot better and the lyrics weren't dripping with cheese. Get it for Blue Jay Way" and "Stawberry Fields Forever"(although, I think the ultimate version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" belongs to the album by Pip Pyle titled "7 Year Itch"). "Magical Mystery Tour" is an overrated alleged "masterpiece" for the pedestrian rock fan. Sorry. :-(

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This LP is a definite peak of the Fab Four's psychedelic experimental phase. The title track, "I Am the Walrus", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Blue Jay Way" are all masterpieces of British psychedelia containing all kinds of studio experiments, brass and strings arrangements and samplings that were one of a kind and extremely innovative in 1967. Additionally, "Fool On The Hill" and "Penny Lane" are amongst the most beautiful melodic ballads penned by McCartney. Only the childish repetitive chorus of "Hello Goodbye" and brutally over-exposed Hippie mantra "All You Need Is Love" are the songs I cannot stand to listen anymore. Otherwise, this album is excellent and due to the fact that it was not originally released as LP album (but as 2-EP package in UK) it was not always counted as "real" album. The key BEATLES psychedelic work is here present, so enough said.


P. A. RATING: 4/5

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars The US fans were very pleased. This album is a US release only. And what a release!

It is the soundtrack of their third movie added with several songs released as a single during this magical 1967 and even unreleased work.

The title track and opener is rather upbeat and has an enthusiast mood. "Magical Mistery Tour" is a good start Another very emotional track and the first highlight is "The Fool on the Hill". Such a delicacy, such sweetness, such a melody, such a wonder. It is impossible to be insensible to its beauty. But I even don't try. I am fully conquered.

Of course, "Flying" is of another substance. It is a very old song (1961) and almost all instrumental. Nothing fancy. Some sort of dispensable one. Like "Blue Jay Way" which is a George song based on a personal experience. Vaguely psychedelic.

Press next to reach "Your Mother Should Know". A typical McCartney song. Straight forward and catchy melody but naïve and repetitive lyrics.

The next song was the B-side of "Hello Goodbye". John was a P.O. with this decision. He would have liked it to be the A side. But Martin and Paul thought that "Hello Goodbye" had more potential. John will say (much later) : "I got sick and tired of being Paul's backup band". "The Walrus" was partially written under acid (John confessed this). It is a complex song made of three projects. Completely different from the Fab Four production.

The next song is my first souvenir from the band. I remember very well to have heard this song on the radio (I was almost nine) and I loved it instantly. I was listening every day to have a chance to hear it again. A few years later, my aunt will give me the single. I still have it.

Oh boy! Ijust love this song. It is of course rather simple and childish, but again this melody does miracles. When McCartney opened his concert in Antwerp with "Hello Goodbye", I was sent to heaven.

The next song sets the standard very high. The same recipe than with some of their most memorable songs is used here again. Wonderful chord arrangements like in "Yesterday" and "Eleanor Rigby". But "Strawberry Hill" won't reached the first spot in the UK charts. It was also an idea of Martin not to include it on "Pepper's". He will admit that it was the biggest mistake of his life. This song is very personal for both John & Paul but I guess that everyone knows the story...It ends very bizarrely though.

The B-side of this great single was "Penny Lane". Another place where John & Paul often met. At this time, I give up. I don't even want to resist any longer. The melody from this quartet are just too brilliant, intemporal. Fabulous ?

Everybody has seen the pictures of the closing number while sung for a TV programme. It is a marvellous love song and peace message (remember that the Vietnam war is raging). Several "Beatles" friends were present for this occasion. Mick Jagger is the most famous of them. Another proof (if necessary) that "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones" had close links. But why it starts as "La Marseillaise" is unknown to me.

Another of their fantastic songs. One more.

This album is not as perfect as "Pepper's". It holds some average (two) and even one poor song ("Flying"). It is more a compilation effort as well.

Four stars.

Review by J-Man
4 stars 4.5 stars really!!!

This has nothing to do with the album, but don't watch the movie, it sucks. Anyway, we're talking about the album not the movie. I believe this a downstep from Sgt. Pepper, but not a huge one. The music still has a prog relation on songs like MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, BLUE JAY WAY, FLYING and BABY YOU'RE A RICH MAN. I don't particulary like songs like ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, but nothing is really bad at all. This isn't quite as experimental as Sgt. Pepper, but the music is still incredible, and that's all that really matters. I skip a couple tracks occaisionally, but it's not like anything's unlistenable or anything. If you like later Beatles, you'll like this, and really so will anyone. It's a couple steps down from Sgt. Pepper, but then again, what isn't? A great addition for any prog fan's collection.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Magical Mystery Tour" was originally a US/Canada only album release by UK rock act The Beatles. It was released through Capitol Records in November 1967. Side 1 of the original LP featured tracks from the "Magical Mystery Tour" movie while side 2 featured tracks from three 1967 singles by The Beatles. The material featured on side 1 was also released in the UK as a 6 track double EP in December 1967. The album was released only six months after the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)". A release cycle which wasnīt unusual in those days.

Stylistically the music on "Magical Mystery Tour" isnīt surprisingly much in the same vein as the music on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)" being recorded in about the same period of time (late 1966 - early to late 1967). Simple, memorable, yet sophisticated material with a focus on beautiful and strong melodies. There are several classic Beatles songs featured on "Magical Mystery Tour" including "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Penny Lane", "I Am The Walrus", "Fool on The Hill", and "All You Need Is Love". All tracks on the album are strong though and arguably among the best the band ever made.

The material on side 2 of the original LP (tracks 7-11 on the CD) are taken from the three singles "Strawberry Fields Forever (1967)", "All You Need Is Love (1967)", and "Hello Goodbye (1967)". As always the vocal performances are brilliant and the songwriting inspired. There are some great psychadelic tunes featured among them in "Blue Jay Way", "Strawberry Fields Forever", and "I Am The Walrus" (the latter is probably one of the weirdest song ever written by The Beatles. Just take a listen to those oddball lyrics), but also some beautiful catchy and more pop oriented moments on "Penny Lane", "Fool On The Hill", and "All You Need Is Love". The usual humour is there too on tracks like the title track and "I Am The Walrus".

Thereīs no concept between the tracks on Side 2 on "Magical Mystery Tour" and even though the tracks on Side 1 are featured in the movie soundtrack they donīt neccessarily sound like they were made with that in mind. So thereīs not really an album concept here which may or may not have provided "Magical Mystery Tour" with an extra dimension similar to the concept experience on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)". The quality of the material is generally as high as the quality of the material on "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967)" though and the two albums actually compliment each other very well. A 4.5 star (90%) rating is deserved.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The better Pepper

Following the death of manager Brian Epstein in summer 1967, the band made one of their few logistical errors in judgment, deciding to shoot a new film with no script and little in the way of professional direction or planning. In other words, the LSD was doing the talking. With Epstein gone McCartney seemed willing to step up and begin to assume the role of leader which eventually would cause problems. At this time though Lennon gave little opposition to the film project although he did sour on the experience of being stuck in traffic on the bus, at one point losing his cool and tearing the placards off the side of the bus in disgust. The film itself turned out to be a critical disaster although it can be a fun experience for adults who choose to surf the same wavelengths the boys were surfing at the time. Musically however, the "mistake" turned into their best work between Rubber Soul and Let It Be. This album is full of fantastic music and easily outshines the Sgt. Pepper album that so many people believe is their best work.

MMT is not really a proper album by definition, but more a collection of songs and bits recorded from late 1966 to late 1967. Some of the material was obviously conceived alongside the production of Pepper which gives the two works a uniquely connected feel. But with the exception of Lucy/She's Leaving Home/Day in the Life, Magical Mystery Tour clearly possesses stronger material. The title track has a very similar feel to Pepper announcing the grand festivities at hand. "Fool on the Hill" is classic Paul McCartney with a surreal physical vibe that envelopes the listener thanks to the vocal and the flute. Note the way his voice can change from sunny to very dark literally instantly, which can leave the listener subconsciously off balance. "Flying" is a fantastic instrumental lead-in to Harrison's trippy and disconcerting "Blue Jay Way" which is the Beatles poster child for hallucinogenic tracks. Distorted vocals, strange keyboard washes and lurking cellos leave one with a rather cold, lost feeling. "Your Mother Should Know" is another Paul killer throwback piece embracing nostalgia in a completely convincing manner, I never get the feeling he's ridiculing the subjects of these kinds of tracks. The highlight of the album is the inclusion of the "Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane" single which is psych-pop Beatles at their absolute highest point. Both tracks recall moments in their collective history with a longing warmth and present those feelings with the blurred vision of the psychedelic experience: Strawberry's time shifts and haunted vocals making one almost experience time travel, and Penny's incredible horns and exaltations of "blue suburban skies" being perhaps the sunniest vibe ever recorded. Some believe Penny Lane an intentional lyrical play on sexual references contrasting suburban boredom. It doesn't mean that to me as the listener, for me it is more about accumulated memories as described in this quote:

"Penny Lane is a study in mundanity, the simple sights and sounds of a suburban British neighborhood; it's also one of the most stunningly gorgeous songs in the world. The descriptions of completely generalized, almost homogeneous people and practices off set with small details and punctuated by a central contradiction, all set to that rich melody, with the horns, the flute, augh! Splendid! Additionally, it contains the lines that probably most influenced my own artistic point of view: "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes/There beneath the blue suburban skies..." The persistence of memory, the importance of experience, the way the smallest visual and aural details build up to form and inform this amazing thing we call A Life, all summed up in these simplest of lines." [Journal of Mundane Behavior, February 2001]

The album closes with "All you need is love" which became an anthem thanks to a live television feed and period star sing-along, more importantly it would become a recurring personal theme to John Lennon, the man. Very close to a masterpiece, MMT is essential for Beatles fans and highly recommended to any deep rock collection. Their 3rd finest album behind only Let It Be and Rubber Soul.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Classic, eternal classic. Even some songs can sound not so well (and we all know it, everyone has their favourites and especially in case of The Beatles, there will be good/bad songs, because of their "singles", or "hits" orientation, so their albums aren't so consistent [except Abbey Road], even they can be good, so their albums seems more like collections of hits).

Even US release, in these modern times, boundaries between countries are quite non- existing to be honest. So everyone can enjoy it (more or less). There' another weird problem, there are songs (like Fool, Magical, Walrus, Strawberry and Penny Lane) that I know very well. In fact, I grew up listening to these (basically). And there are others, also good, but different, not so well known (Flying, Blue) that aren't bad, no way, but only they're like uncharted territory. It's exceptional album, as everybody (literally), should know at least one song. Dreamy territory exploring Strawberry Fields Forever would be my favourite. Or nonsense classic I Am the Walrus (I like my girlfriend dancing like these walruses with pointing fingers doing the rhythm, while smiling and humming this melody).

5(+), very special one, believe me. Even it's "just" proto prog, there are no bad songs that beats it down.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The Beatles 'Magical Mystery Tour' album is a cash in on the success, if you can call it that, of the self titled movie.

This is one of those instances when not everything the Beatles did was pure gold. This is a flawed album with some shining moments. The shining moments are the title track, that rocks along with a roll call and very quirky time signature changes, and unusual choice of instruments, particularly the brass section. 'The Fool on the Hill' is a McCartney spotlight that has nice melodies and a freaky ending that feels psychedelic. 'Blue Jay Way' is a weird Harrison penned gem that is more psychedelic than anything on the album including the film with its memorable kaleidoscope effects. 'Your Mother Should Know' is a melody with lovely organ passages and quirky lyrics.

The lowlights unfortunately mar this album considerably. 'Flying' is a worthless instrumental that never gelled with me and perhaps never will. It is such a throwaways it would have been better if the album had not included the track. The same can be said of the nonsensical 'Baby You're a Rich Man' that never really belonged among all these treasures.

Among all these tracks are three shining jewels that are quintessential Beatles. Of course they are well known and a part of the Beatles scenery; none other than 'I Am The Walrus', 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'All You Need is Love'. First 'I Am The Walrus' is an incredible journey into acid fuelled lyrics of pure nonsense and musical virtuosity. The bridge features a bizarre interlude of people talking and an off kilter violin. A very progressive structure similar to the material on the opus 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. There is a quirky ending with multi layered vocals and chants and the infamous radio fade out; It is simply indispensable. 'Strawberry Fields Forever' was not originally on this album but ended on it due to a lack of songs originally. It is a welcome addition. The track has some of the best lyrics and very intriguing musical orchestrations especially towards the conclusion. The violin and cello are haunting and then there is that chilling ending, the train crosses the tracks and the carnivalesque music hides the eerie 'I buried Paul' line (Cranberry sauce in actuality) confirming the rumours that Paul is indeed dead. To further enhance these rumours Pauls lapel rose on the back cover pic is black! It was a creepy time for The Beatles but they laughed all the way to the bank. The last track is the anthem 'All You Need is Love' that was featured at the end of the film and really ends the album on a positive powerful note. Overall this album has some incredible tracks and apart from one or two tracks is a Beatles triumph. 4 solid stars.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars It's not easy to write anything about The Beatles. What else could you write that wasn't written before?

So, instead of trying to do something new I will just give my impressions on Magical Mystery Tour (1967) and give you some data.

This album turned out to be my favorite Beatles album. It's really hard to actually chose a favorite album from the Fab 4, but it must be this one for me! Magical Mystery Tour (1967) was released in November of that year and it's supposed to be the soundtrack of the movie with the same name. I never really watched the movie, but I don't really think I need to. Recorded in a year period (between November 66 and November 67) this album is considered by many people as a leftover from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), released in June of that same year and recorded in the same sessions. To me this album is side by side in terms of quality and innovation!

Is almost impossible to put ourselves back in 1967 and try to understand the impact of this music if you (like me) wasn't born back then. The album as we know now wasn't the official package release. The Beatles, once again ahead of their time, released the album in the UK as a double EP with gatefold sleeve and a 28 pages booklet. Capitol (their American label) didn't like this format and package everything together with the non-album singles Beatles released that year, against the band wishes.

Originally the double EP had: 'Magical Mystery Tour','Your Mother Should Know' (Side 1), 'I Am The Walrus' (Side 2), 'The Fool On The Hill', 'Flying' (Side 3) and 'Blue Jay Way' (Side 4). But on the American LP (and later CD official release) we have 'Magical Mystery Tour', 'The Fool On The Hill', 'Flying', 'Blue Jay Way', 'Your Mother Should Know' and 'I Am The Walrus' on Side 1 and the singles on the Side 2: 'Hello Goodbye', Strawberry Fields Forever', 'Penny Lane', 'Baby You're A Rich Man' and 'All You Need Is Love'.

And I think that the two worlds together is what makes the album so good, the new compositions and the great singles never released on album before. The Beatles were in their peak when it comes to imagination, everything sounds so fresh, even today! A high 5 that have to be praised in the next 10 centuries or so.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars An exercise in producing a successful soundtrack to a criticized feature film.

I'm sure that most of you are already familiar with the unscripted mess of a movie that was Magical Mystery Tour and the whole back-story behind the ordeal. Let's be honest, the Beatles were never about the feature films and even their better moments like A Hard Day's Night and Yellow Submarine had the music as their main plot devices. This problem becomes much more apparent when the film is completely improvised or too satirical for its own good (like Help!). I personally think that the difference between the good and bad the Beatles movies have become less apparent over the years since, in the end, it's all about the music anyway.

Since the less than an hour long Magical Mystery Tour movie didn't have enough songs to turn it into an LP it was released as a double EP in the United Kingdom. This strategy was considered unfavorable for a U.S. release and additional material was therefore added to fill out the LP space. Surprisingly enough it was this U.S. version of the album that became a much bigger hit with the audience and was therefore adopted as the official version once it was time for a CD reissue.

The added material consisted of many excellent tracks like Hello Goodbye, the previously released single Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane and All You Need Is Love. It is in fact this material that makes the Magical Mystery Tour album a great experience, while the original 6 track soundtrack falls short in comparison. Most of the soundtrack songs are fun but aren't really anything I would have considered essential from the band. The only exception comes with the song Your Mother Should Know which, in my opinion, is the easily the most underrated composition that Paul McCartney have written over the years. Yes it's repetitive, but so is Fool On The Hill and no one seems to overlook that performance.

The U.S. version of Magical Mystery Tour is another great release in a steak where the Beatles just could do no wrong, at least if we talk about the music. Simply an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection.

***** star songs: Your Mother Should Know (2:29) Strawberry Fields Forever (4:10) Penny Lane (3:03) All You Need Is Love (3:47)

**** star songs: Magical Mystery Tour (2:51) Fool On The Hill (2:59) Flying (2:16) Blue Jay Way (3:56) I Am The Walrus (4:37) Hello Goodbye (3:31) Baby You're A Rich Man (3:03)

Review by baz91
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 concrčte. 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.

Review by Warthur
3 stars A rare example of the US version of a Beatles record being embraced over the UK version this time - but that's because the UK version was an EP which didn't include the last five songs!

Side 1 (the original EP) is a soundtrack to the film of the same name. The film was something of a self-indulgent disasterpiece, and the music more than anything seemed to presage the differing interests which would lead to the incoherent mess of the White Album and ultimately the solo careers of the Beatles in question. The title track starts as an exuberant announcement of the mystery tour, almost slips into trippier territory, and then regains control of itself to proclaim the tour once more, extending the grating music hall affectations of Sgt. Pepper. The group gets into full psychedelia on the collective composition Flying or on Harrison's trippy Blue Jay Way - and of course I Am the Walrus, which always comes off to me as though it's trying too hard.

Meanwhile two more traditional compositions round out the selection - the old timey and rather corny Your Mother Should Know and the beautiful but syrupy Fool On the Hill. This is all grand, but I can see why they were used for a soundtrack rather than being put on a regular album. I Am The Walrus is just kind of overblown, and not in a good way, Blue Jay Way and Flying lack focus, and Your Mother Should Know is just kind of tacky. They're all good songs, mind, but I don't think they are top-tier Beatles songs - I wouldn't swap out any of the songs on Sgt. Pepper for them, though I might consider swapping out Fixing a Hole or the title track for that album for the sake of Magical Mystery Tour or (especially) Fool On the Hill.

Side 2 is where we find the Beatles' five classic non-album singles from 1967, more fruit of the burst of creativity that spawned Sgt. Pepper, and of the two album sides it is by far the stronger, though the material here has become so overplayed that in retrospect it feels a bit trite and hollow.

The album as a whole makes something of a nice companion piece to Sgt. Pepper, since it represents most of the Beatles' 1967 releases that didn't appear on that album. And there isn't a song from Ringo either! Nonetheless, I can't say it ranks as an essential Beatles release.

Review by thehallway
4 stars ROLL UP!!!

Here, the fab four takes things even further after the success of their psychedelic studio-trickery employed on Sgt Pepper. As with that album, Magical Mystery Tour is filled with horns, violins, flutes, et cetera, enhancing more wonderful compositions to result in an essential baroque pop album. Everybody seemed to hate the film but love the soundtrack; there it is.

The opening title track is a Paul extravaganza in the vein of Sgt Pepper (the song), with great chord sequences and melodies, accentuated by trumpets galore. Ringo's time changes are very cool. 'The Fool On The Hill' is the best song on the album, also Paul's, expressing sympathy for the quiet, lonely people with great ideas who just get ignored in life. It's a beautiful, sing-along tune with a quirky penny whistle solo; rather forgotten amongst all of Paul's other great ballads. Then we have 'Flying', a brief instrumental jam with a focus on the Mellotron. Not long enough to have an effect really, but a nice piece of music. Harrison's strange 'Blue Jay Way' is unlike his other compositions (no guitar on it, or even sitar), exploring tri-tones with the Hammond organ. With only one chord and minimalistic melodies, it's a little repetitive, and probably too long, but an interesting song. 'Your Mother Should Know' is quite a forgettable tune from McCartney, so you'd think it would be one of the ones they accentuate with orchestral instruments.... nope. Of course, the killer track that closes side one is John's 'I Am The Walrus'. Are the lyrics poetic or nonsense? Who cares, the music is great here, with a focus on electric piano and cello. Lennon would write fewer songs during the band's middle period, but they often stole the albums they were on, and 'Walrus' is no exception.

Three number one singles adorn the botched-together second side of Magical Mystery Tour, being the fabulously fun 'Hello Goodbye', the almost-as-good 'Penny Lane', and the hippy anthem 'All You Need Is Love', which needs no description. These pieces are deserving of their success, while 'Strawberry Fields Forever' perhaps represents the furthest these guys went with their studio antics and tape-fiddling. Also, the chords are very avant- garde. 'Baby, You're A Rich Man' is not quite up to the standards of the other songs, but well worth listening to, featuring more of the same timbres and effects.

This album is very colourful (but not in a garish way like it's awful cover), and certainly has a number of essential Beatle tracks. It's less cohesive than Pepper, and slightly more excessive with the session musicians and endless overdubs. I love it anyway though.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars My favorite Beatles album. The emotional journey I went on when listening to this album was so wild it was like the greatest rollercoaster ever devised: Joy, Beauty, engagement, laughter, amazement, fear, creepiness, terror, nightmare-producing, hysterics, awe, silliness, mind- and mood-altering, escapist, world-view challenging, memorable, lyrical, impressionistic, complex simplicity, beautiful eeriness, edgy calmness, hallucinatory persiflage, hypnotic zombitude, distorted perspicacity, unqualified histrionics, profound psychobabble, etc., etc. It is quite simply a master work of audience manipulation, an extraordinary escape from the oppression of everyday dross. Pure genius. "I am the Walrus" has got to be one of the greatest, most powerful weird songs of all time. Side Two in particular drew me back over and over and over. Listening to "Strawberry Fields Forever" was like a drug--like watching a scary movie: mesmerizing and addictive. The "I buried Paul" in the psycho-bleed from SFF to "Penny Lane" was enough to give me nightmares. (I was ten years old.) The dichotomy of going from the former to the latter was enough to forever cast Penny Lane with a pall of shadow for me. "Baby, You're a Rich Man" is a cool non-Beatlesish song far ahead (or behind) its time. Just what I needed to continue the de-escalation from the Strawbery Fields experience of fear and terror. And then, thank you very much, the end with LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! Nowadays I listen to Side One with pure joy and admiration. (I've never seen the movie. Is it worth seeing?) Though MAgical Mystery Tour is my favorite Beatles album, I recognize that it is NOT their most sophisticated or innovate or envelope-pushing or prog-birthing album. Still, it is, IMHO, an excellent addition to any prog music collection.
Review by jamesbaldwin
5 stars Great album although created by a double EP to which were added three singles, the last five songs. It doesn't have a compact, linear sequence of songs, like a real album. Even the first six pieces, featured in the film of the same name, are very heterogeneous and don't flow to perfection as in other Beatles LPs, where they managed to create a sequence that works while combining completely different tracks (both Revolver with Love You To-Here, There ...-Yellow Submarine, both Sgt Pepper with Being... ' Within you... ' When I am 64).

In MMT, for example, the sequence from the third to the fifth song is not fluid, and features weak pieces, which make up the least successful part of the album. In practice, the middle part of the first side is weak, similar to the middle part of Sgt. Pepper's second side. Note that in the double Ep the sequence of the 6 tracks of the film is different, and more appropriate. As with Sgt Pepper, it's McCartney who has taken over the reins of the group and in fact of the six songs of the film, three are his own (MMT, The Fool On The Hill, Your Mother Should Know), one is written by the whole group (Flying), one by Lennon (I Am The Walrus) and one by Harrison (Blue Jay Way).

In no other album Macca's dominance over Lennon is so overwhelming. On side B, Lennon partially rebalances the situation as three of the five singles added are his.

The first two songs work and try to replicate the beginning of Sgt Pepper: a free-range song that serves as the beginning of a variety show (the Magical Mystery Tour) and a melodic song that follows to perfection and with excellent results. Then, as mentioned, the sequence of the three weakest songs, and then the first absolute masterpiece, "I Am The Walrus".

Very orchestrated album, winds and violins are decisive in all the major songs, and very psychedelic album, with electronic elements. After the single "Hello Goodbye" came the A and B sides of the two 1967 singles. "Strawberry" is Lennon's other absolute masterpiece always with the help of George Martin. But if we add "Penny Lane" and "The Fool On The Hill" it turns out that on this album there are 4 masterpieces, two each for John and Paul (John's are greater for the sophisticated and avant-garde arrangement).

Two good songs remain, one each, the anthem "All You Need Is Love" and "Hello Goodbye". For the rest, there's a more than decent Harrison song and a Paul vaudeville of the same quality. There are also two songs under tone: "Flying" and "Baby You Are A Rich Man": they don't hold, at the quality level, with the rest of the album.

In detail: 1) Magical Mystery Tour (7+). Song with winds that seems like a landing, a bit repetitive, the structure that imposes that frenetic rhythm leaves little space for digressions, more than anything is the singing that tries to fit in. Refined piano tail.

2) The Fool on The Hill (8.5). McCartney's melodic masterpiece, original arrangement, ocarina and rhythm that looks like a train to support a delicious singing and melody.

3) Flying (6+). Almost instrumental song, it is the third gear in a row, if you consider the rhythmic part of The Fool. The voices are the background, creating a goliardic chorus. Unnecessarily long and eager ending, considering the brevity of the song.

4) Blue Jay Way (7.5). Slow psychedelic, hypnotic, atmospheric song, which makes in music the expectation of which is spoken in the text. It's a kind of psychedelic folk, with violin in evidence. Ending too long and repetitive.

5) Your Mother Should Know (7+). It's the first easy, catchy, vaudeville song with a nice piano turn, which replaces the chorus. McCartney lightens the gloomy atmosphere of the previous two songs.

6) I Am The Walruss (9.5). Electronic start with string accompaniment, treated voice; Delirious ending with disjointed voices worthy of a horror movie where walking zombies rise up. Absolute masterpiece by Lennon and masterpiece of production by George Martin. Song almost electronic but with an arrangement of violins (and winds at times) fantastic that will inspire Jeff Lynne's ELO. Beautiful, filtered singing.

7) Hello Goodbye (7.5/8). Folk song with very original arrangement, repetitive text, great work on drums and violin, interspersed with sour guitars. Very exuberant tail with Polynesian rhythm. Overall, a song with a too easy melody that is ennobled by the finds of the arrangement.

8) Strawberry Fields Forever (9+). Lennon-Martin's second absolute masterpiece. Start in muted, orchestral arrangement that develops with continuous sound finds, where both the strings and the winds alternate decorating Lennon's voice of very changing and expressive sounds. The final progression of the drums looks like that of a train that increases speed and then fades with the guitar solo. The fade has a psychedelic tail where the train seems to return, transfigured. Great song.

9) Penny Lane (8.5) McCartney's melodic melodic pop masterpiece. Beautiful text, beautiful music, beautiful instrumental pieces with trumpet.

10) Baby You're a Rich Man (6.5). It's a weak piece that's a big hit on the album because of the different sound compared to the other songs. It is a song with a rather strange and unsuccessful arrangement: vocals in the background, intrusive and confusing percussion that cover the melody drawn by the clavioline, the precursor instrument of the synthesizer. Missed opportunity. One of the few Beatles songs ruined by the production. Nice chorus (by McCartney, while the verses are by Lennon).

11) All You Need Is Love (7.5/8). Orchestral pop song in which Lennon's meditative lyrics sung in the verses, with beautiful string melody, strides with the emphasis of the winds in the chorus, very catchy. Anthem piece, detached from rock, a bit rhetorical. Brilliant final queue in which the Beatles take liberties within a song a little cast.

Medium Quality of the songs: 7.82. Rating: 9. Little Masterpiece. Five Stars.

Review by patrickq
4 stars Another winner from the Beatles, though not quite at the level of their prior two albums, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. As has been repeated ad nauseam, in the UK, the Magical Mystery Tour record was a double EP with six new songs; in the US, those six songs comprised Side One of the LP; on Side Two were five songs previously* released on singles.

I've reviewed 'Hello, Goodbye'/ 'I Am the Walrus' and 'Strawberry Fields Forever' / 'Penny Lane' separately, and here I'll focus on the remainder except to say that without them, Magical Mystery Tour would be a considerably poorer album. Conspicuously, the group composition 'Flying,' Paul McCartney's 'Your Mother Should Know,' and in particular George Harrison's 'Blue Jay Way' are below-average Beatles songs. But 'Hello, Goodbye,' 'I Am the Walrus,' and 'Penny Lane' more than atone for them.

John Lennon's 'All You Need is Love,' and the Lennon-McCartney tune 'Baby, You're a Rich Man' are considerably better, and overall it's Lennon who provides much of the depth on Magical Mystery Tour. I think the average fan of the Beatles is ambivalent to McCartney's relatively trifling pieces of the time, exemplified here by 'The Fool on the Hill' (and elsewhere by 'When I'm Sixty-Four,' 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer,' etc.). While they pale in comparison to 'Hey Jude' or 'Penny Lane,' I still enjoy them as pop music. Nonetheless, there's only so much 'The Fool on the Hill' and 'Your Mother Should Know' one 36-minute album can withstand.

Luckily, the title song (composed, as I understand it, by McCartney with help from Lennon) is on par with the previously-released material. One writer cites critics who regard 'Magical Mystery Tour' as 'a warmed-over 'Sgt. Pepper'- type fanfare/invitation to what's to follow,' but to me McCartney manages to create a unique song despite it playing a role nearly identical to that of the the lead song on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had been released just six months earlier.

Despite its unevenness, the Magical Mystery Tour LP contains at least six indispensable Beatles songs among its thirteen tracks, making it a good place to start for those interested in the Beatles' later work.

Review by A Crimson Mellotron
5 stars A masterclass in tight songwriting and presentation of concise psychedelic tunes with fantastic pop hooks; beautiful production that brings to front an atmosphere that is unmistakable; intelligent use of effects and a forward-thinking approach to exploring new grounds; daringly experimental in scope, and more than majestic upon experience - or put more briefly, 'Magical Mystery Tour' has to be The Beatles' unspoken and slightly underappreciated masterpiece.

It should not come as a surprise that this album might seem neglected sometimes, when discussing the best by the most famous pop band in the world, given the fact that it is preceded and followed by two absolutely legendary milestone albums - 'Sgt. Pepper' and the self-tilted ninth studio album.

'Magical Mystery Tour' is also the band's only soundtrack album, as some of the songs were featured on a 1967 film of the same name, which was more or less in the same vein as the album (or is it the other way around?) - very psychedelic and lighthearted. Interestingly, the album was released as a double EP in the UK and as an LP in the States, which gives ground for beliefs by some people that this cannot be considered a proper studio release. Also, it was supported by five singles that ideally makes up half of the record!

Different tags have been assigned to this record throughout the years, like art pop, psychedelic pop, psychedelic rock, even pop rock. Truth is, it really has a bit of everything, continuing the experimental and futuristic, I dare to call it, sound of the albums that came before it, like the aforementioned 'Sgt. Pepper' or the astonishing 'Revolver'. There is a great attention to detail, texture, and even vibrance; Moreover, the band explored new technologies and took the most out of the studio equipment that was at their disposal, using effects and tape loops to paint the songs with an extra coating, in a way.

I will refer to the LP track list when referring to the different songs, and starting with side one, we get the film soundtrack - six tracks and nineteen minutes in change, beginning with the march-like title track - it is a great track for an opener both of an album and a film, though it is far from being the best Beatles composition. 'The Fool on the Hill' is definitely one of the more accessible tunes by the band, with lead vocals by McCartney. Then we get the psychedelic instrumental 'Flying', the first really odd track on 'Magical Mystery Tour', also the first to be credited to all four members (it gets bonus points for the Mellotron). 'Blue Jay Way' can be simply described as one of the best George Harrison songs to appear on a Beatles recording; 'I Am the Walrus' is the final track on side one, and I would rather refer to it as a composition - a wacky ride through Lennon's mind, aided by his experience with LSD - just one of the all-time bests by The Beatles.

Moving on to side two we get the five singles for some eighteen minutes of playtime, about which can be safely stated that represent the pure genius of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting duo, depicting in sounds the full spectrum of their visionary abilities of giving birth to memorable, yet profound songs that leave the listener in a blissful awe.

'Magical Mystery Tour' is a true achievement for rock and pop music that for me indicates the consistent perfection in The Beatles' prolific creativity in this specific period of their history, between 1965 and 1968.

Latest members reviews

5 stars The only "canonical" American Beatles album, this can be seen as something of a predecessor to "Past Masters". Like many, when I first heard it I thought I was listening to the follow up to "Sgt. Pepper". Despite being a weaker "album" than its predecessor, most of the songs here hold up well. Side ... (read more)

Report this review (#2849114) | Posted by Faul_McCartney | Tuesday, November 1, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars "Roll up, roll up." The Beatles follow up to the brilliant "Sgt Pepper" never seems to get the same level of praise.If anything it seems to be thought of the equivalent of the previous album's snotty little brother.Possibly the reason is that it was never conceived as an album as such and was ... (read more)

Report this review (#2509664) | Posted by Lupton | Sunday, February 28, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars First of all, I have to say that it's completely out of my hands the kind of perception necessary to rate this album merely on the basis of its intrinsic quality and musical merit. And that is the case, not because any subjective issue, such as being myself conditioned by generation, media exposure ... (read more)

Report this review (#2443833) | Posted by Heart of the Matter | Tuesday, September 1, 2020 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't remember me listen to music and don't knowing Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, in those days The Fab Four were the best, the most innovative and everybody listen to them. And they remained the best till today. For sure Magical Mystery Tour is belonging to this site of Prog, it ... (read more)

Report this review (#1378220) | Posted by ridemyfacetochicago | Thursday, March 5, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magical Mystery Tour represents the band at their most psychedelic, a sound they began experimenting with on Revolver and more so on Sgt. Pepper. While I wouldn't say it's as ambitious as either, this is easily one of the groups finest and under looked albums. There are the psychedelic moments in ... (read more)

Report this review (#771418) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After the great succes of Sgt. Peppers the Beatles made this Magical Mystery Tour which was made for the same titled movie. The hit machinery "The Beatles" delivered another handful of hits like "Magical Mystery Tour", "The Fool on the Hill", "I am the Walrus", "Strawberry Fields" and "All You ... (read more)

Report this review (#756419) | Posted by the philosopher | Tuesday, May 22, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I'm pleased to see that most PA reviewers appreciate this one. It is often underrated elsewhere but worth the time and effort, Beatle fan or not. The movie was weird but the music is absolutely wonderful. The title track opens the album on an exciting note but overall there is quite a mixtur ... (read more)

Report this review (#406076) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Tuesday, February 22, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Now I have not seen the movie, and I have heard bad things about it, but it doesn't look all that bad, especially with a soundtrack like this. Having bought the new remastered version of this album, I did see a big change from the original, with way better and clearer production. This album, ... (read more)

Report this review (#288542) | Posted by arcane-beautiful | Monday, June 28, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is the soundtrack to one of the Beatles four feature films which include "Help!", "A Hard Days Night", "Let It Be", and this one "The Magical Mystery Tour". It is a very solid track with some very good songs and some okay songs but overall this album is still pretty good. Anyway, on to th ... (read more)

Report this review (#246211) | Posted by The Block | Sunday, October 25, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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--no ... (read more)

Report this review (#238491) | Posted by sealchan | Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Ok I for one find this to be the Beatles most underrated album if you can call a Beatles album underrated. Some songs are very proggish and the some of the pop ones like All You Need Is Love uses an unusual meter 7/4 for a pop song. Penny Lane uses classical string interludes along with brass ... (read more)

Report this review (#203444) | Posted by Chelsea | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A magical mystery tour ? My second foray into their studio albums...... and my lack of knowledge about THE BEATLES means that I have sunk my teeth into a soundtrack instead. Well, my mistake. Maybe I should had researched their discography on Wikipedia or PA before I started my reviews of th ... (read more)

Report this review (#201000) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Thursday, January 29, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's almost comical that these guys are not classed as progressive rock as many of these songs basically helped start the genre of progressive rock. The Beatles did their share of pop songs but they also did their share of progressive rock. Strawberry Fields Forever alone helps pioneers this ge ... (read more)

Report this review (#166241) | Posted by Rank1 | Wednesday, April 9, 2008 | Review Permanlink

5 stars My favorite Beatles album for ever and ever. Nasty sleeve, really horrible, but the tracks are all absolutely wonderful. Side A : the music from the TV-movie Magical Mystery Tour, about 50 minutes of a psychedelic adventure in a magic bus. 6 tracks, including an instrumental one, named Flying, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#162850) | Posted by Zardoz | Thursday, February 28, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 1. Magical Mystery Tour::::::::::: The opening song that is like a theme to the entire album, much like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heats Club Band was on The Beatles masterwork album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heats Club Band, which was the turning point in music production in the sixties. Horns, jumpy ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#126842) | Posted by Jake E. | Tuesday, June 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Though the movie had little magic to it, the album is a complete exception. Attempting to cash in with another success, The Beatles made a short film that, while lacking in plot, was certainly not lacking in music. The album is great, a please to listen to, and brings out the pure Beatles magic i ... (read more)

Report this review (#112384) | Posted by Scapler | Friday, February 16, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a great album all around, my favorite of all the Beatles albums, with my two favorite of their songs. 1)Magical Mystery Tour A great opening, in lyrics and sound, with high energy and great background effects. 2)Fool On The Hill This song really tones it down a little bit. More gre ... (read more)

Report this review (#102067) | Posted by k_crimson | Thursday, December 7, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I think this is one of the Beatles' overlooked albums, which is a shame, because it's one of my favourites. It's very odd, jagged, and experimental (as far as the Beatles go, anyway. We're not talking Beefheart experimental), and mildly thought provoking - with a great result. Many of the tracks a ... (read more)

Report this review (#94496) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, October 14, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars What an album. This is at the height of the bands studio experimentation, psychedelia if you may. The result is a great, very proto-progressive album that delivers. Magical Mystery Tour is the starter of the album and what a starter! You hear a voice inviting you, followed by the band singing b ... (read more)

Report this review (#88602) | Posted by Axel Dyberg | Thursday, August 31, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This isnīt a real studio Beatles album, just an extension of their EP of the same name. We canīt call this a concept album( only the first part could have this name). We have good songs here , but we canīt compare this to Sgt Pepper. Listening to the quality of songs i should give this album ... (read more)

Report this review (#80315) | Posted by tailsme | Sunday, June 4, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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