Thursday, February 5, 2009

Magical Mystery Tour: The Album

The inception of Magical Mystery Tour, both the film and the album, is full of interesting Beatles facts. McCartney allegedly came up with the idea for the film and its accompanying LP while flying from Los Angeles to London after hearing of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters, who had driven across the United States in a bus painted with psychedelic colors and designs.

The film was the first project following the death of Beatles manager Brian Epstein. Lennon thought that the entire project was Paul's ego at work and called it the most expensive home movie ever made. Paul said that he was just trying to come up with something to do, something to keep the Beatles together in the absence of Brian Epstein. The film was a complete disaster in the UK and was not seen on American television for several years.

The album was recorded from April 25, 1967 to November 11, 1967 at Abbey Road Studios, Chappell Studios, and De Lane Lea. Ironically, the UK LP, released December 8, 1967, contained only six soundtrack songs since the UK LPs did not include Beatles singles. The U.S. version, released November 27, 1967 is actually considered by most to be the definitive version. EMI re-released the U.S. version in 1976 and on CD in 1987. Two songs heard in the film but never included on any version, were, "Shirley's Wild Accordion" and "Jessie's Dream."

Tracks from this definitive LP include:

Magical Mystery Tour
Fool on the Hill Flying
Blue Jay Way
Your Mother Should Know
I Am the Walrus
All You Need Is Love
Baby You're a Rich Man
Penny Lane
Strawberry Fields Forever

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