Magical Mystery Tour (CD)

The Beatles

1 used from $9.99

Amoeba Review

Blue, Hollywood 09/09/2009

"Away in the sky, beyond the clouds, live 4 or 5 Magicians..." Ahh, the Psychedelic Majesty that is The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour. Recorded late in 1966 but released after heavy flower power hours spent in the fall of 1967, this psychedelic masterpiece reached number 1 in the US charts for 8 solid weeks in 1968. I was years away from birth at the time, yet fondly remember spending many high school and college hours studying the subtle magnificence of this record, gazing fondly at the acid-tripping animal men both on the rainbow-splashed cover and in the 24-page enclosed cartoon booklet. Originally a six song British EP, now beloved worldwide as the 11 track US version, it has over the years been predominantly overshadowed by its more popular predecessor, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Yet from the opening salvo of the title track straight through to the finale, this is the album to have above all others; to hear once at maximum volume on the good home stereo for the sheer sonic symphony, and then later on with headphones to stoke and rekindle the glowing embers. Before the heaviness of '68 and hippie despair of '69, this heavenly handful offers one last voyage through rose-coloured glasses to a more magical, mystical time...

The group dynamic is at an apex, with the sublime double A-Side single of John's "Strawberry Fields Forever" and Paul's bass-friendly "Penny Lane" making quite possibly the greatest addition to any album ever. No shorter, sweeter, pseudo-instrumental exists than "Flying," complete with Starr's Nordic vocals, backwards mellotron and strobe-effect contact highs. Harrison's hauntingly beautiful "Blue Jay Way," wishful writings to lost acquaintances known for its ‘"don't be-long" mantra, practically sets the tone for an entire generation. Even McCartney's somber ballad "The Fool On The Hill," pop hit '"ello Goodbye," and flapper-era throwback "Your Mother Should Know" fit nicely among the overall experience. But the Real Magic lies in the music of the Supreme Leader of the Love-In, John Lennon. From his brilliant ode to 5th Beatle Brian Epstein "Baby You're A Rich Man," with its swirling melody line and big-brown-bag-inside-a-zoo surrealism, to his psychedelic stream-of-consciousness masterpiece "I Am The Walrus," to the Peace and Love Generation's National Anthem "All You Need Is Love;" no other artist comes close to capturing that certain colourful expression of free artistic experimental youth, and no other band could capture what these 4 (or 5) Magicians produced together. What started with Rubber Soul and masterfully climaxed in Yellow Submarine found its true heart and soul somewhere deep in the psychedelia of Magical Mystery Tour, the final glowing tribute to that magic fall sparkle, after the Summer Of Love...

Kris Konrad, Hollywood 09/09/2009

Magical Mystery Tour combines the soundtrack to Beatles third film and singles released earlier in the year. As a whole, the album is an essential piece of the Beatles musical mosaic. While still experimental in sound, most of the new songs see the band returning to their pop glory. Ringo stands out on this one. The title track bursts on the scene with his jump-start backbeat attack. His rolling fills, chunky bass drum and exploding snare turn the seemingly light “Hello Goodbye” into a powerhouse. On George’s hypnotic organ drenched “Blue Jay Way,” Ringo lays down possibly the funkiest beat the Beatles ever recorded. John’s enigmatic “I Am The Walrus” is a psyche-rock classic. The double A-side single “Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane” (released four months before Sgt. Pepper) has never been equaled. The two songs, so different in style, but sharing the theme of an idyllic English yesteryear, highlight the strength of John and Paul as songwriters. “Penny Lane,” with its bouncing rhythm and bright horn accompaniment, would influence scores of Brit-pop hits. “Strawberry Fields Forever” is stunningly beautiful. Starting with a simple flute line and building slowly in density and tempo before lifting off after the repeated last line into a spacey, stuttering parade-like outro, the song demands multiple listens. The grand finale is John’s “Summer Of Love” Zen anthem “All You Need Is Love.” “There’s nowhere you can be, that isn’t where you’re meant to be…it’s easy.”

Track Listing

Disc 1 Titles
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles 02:51
The Fool On The Hill
The Beatles 03:00
The Beatles 02:16
Blue Jay Way
The Beatles 03:56
Your Mother Should Know
The Beatles 02:29
I Am The Walrus
The Beatles 04:37
Hello Goodbye
The Beatles 03:31
Strawberry Fields Forever
The Beatles 04:10
Penny Lane
The Beatles 03:03
Baby You're A Rich Man
The Beatles 03:03
All You Need Is Love
The Beatles 03:48
['Magical Mystery Tour' Mini-Documentary]
The Beatles

1 used from 9.99
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