REVIEWSMAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR (THE BEATLES)

THE STORY SO FAR: The album feels even more like a collection of singles (instead of an actual movie soundtrack) than Help! or A Hard Day’s Night, but maybe that’s because every song sounds like it could have been a hit single–with the natural exception of the goofy/weird instrumental “Flying.” Even George’s “Blue Jay Way” paints a vivid sound-portrait in fascinating detail. (I consider Joni Mitchell’s “Car on the Hill” from Court and Spark to...
October 3, 20097 min

THE STORY SO FAR:

The album feels even more like a collection of singles (instead of an actual movie soundtrack) than Help! or A Hard Day’s Night, but maybe that’s because every song sounds like it could have been a hit single–with the natural exception of the goofy/weird instrumental “Flying.” Even George’s “Blue Jay Way” paints a vivid sound-portrait in fascinating detail. (I consider Joni Mitchell’s “Car on the Hill” from Court and Spark to be a companion piece about sitting in the Hollywood Hills, waiting for somebody to show up.) And although the goofy TV movie may have been mostly Paul’s baby, this album features the two 45 rpm masterpieces that sum up the quintessential best of Lennon and McCartney at this stage of their development: Paul’s “Penny Lane” and John’s “I Am the Walrus.”

TRACK LIST

1. Magical Mystery Tour
2. The Fool On The Hill
3. Flying
4. Blue Jay Way
5. Your Mother Should Know
6. I Am The Walrus
7. Hello, Goodbye
8. Strawberry Fields Forever
9. Penny Lane
10. Baby You’re A Rich Man
11. All You Need Is Love
12. Magical Mystery Tour Documenta
THE CRITICISM:

“Magical Mystery Tour” is definitely nowhere near as poppy as their earlier works, but to me that just shows a band who was maturing and unafraid of experimenting. They were always doing their best to make sure that every album was a completely different experience. The album can become very upbeat and fast, and then can slow down. Harrison’s “Blue Jay Way” has an especially eerie feel to it that I can’t explain.

Even though I have just recently become a fan of The Beatles, I did hear some songs when I was younger that I enjoyed and was surprised to find a bunch of them on this album. Favorites of mine include “The Fool on the Hill,” “Hello, Goodbye,” “Penny Lane,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “All You Need is Love” and of course Lennon’s odd classic, “I am the Walrus.” That’s a song I will never grow tired of, and “All You Need is Love” is the perfect ending (I especially enjoyed that brief callback to “She Loves You” at the very end).

The 2009 Remaster sounds excellent to me, although I don’t own a previous copy to compare. What I can tell you is that the vocals, guitars, drums and bass sound very solid. To get the full experience, make sure you listen to this on a good stereo. Headphones are fine, but sometimes you miss out if that’s the only way you listen to it. The mini-documentary that’s included is a fine feature, even if it is only a few minutes long. It’s interesting to hear the actual band reflect on the album and certain songs.

THE BREAKDOWN

Final Score: 100% – A+

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TroyAnderson

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