Thursday, November 26, 2009

Beatles Remastered - Magical Mystery Tour

By John R Powell

Magical Mystery Tour is an album that was not originally an album. Originally it was just an EP (extended play) which is half an album. In America it was extended to an LP (long play) by adding the singles that the Beatles had released that year onto the end of the EP. In the UK it stayed an EP.

In 1987, when the Beatles albums were released onto CD, it was released internationally as the LP instead of the EP because the LP was more popular. The LP has now become an official part of the Beatles catalogue rather than the original EP.

"Magical Mystery Tour" has a lot of great songs on it. McCartney has "The Fool on the Hill" which is a great ballad and it is McCartney at his best. McCartney also has "Your Mother Should Know", "Penny Lane", and "Hello Goodbye". George Harrison has "Blue Jay Way" which is a great psychedelic piece. The bulk of the creative and artistic achievements belong to Lennon though.

In the history of rock "I Am the Walrus" stands out as being unique. The lyrics are strong enough to stand alone as poetry without the music. All of the Beatles were themselves fans of Bob Dylan. His influence can be heard in "I Am the Walrus". Lennon also has "Strawberry Fields Forever" which is on many lists as the top rock song of all time. The Beach Boys Pets Sounds influenced the Beatles Sgt. Pepper, and "Strawberry Fields Forever" was the first song that the Beatles did for Sgt Pepper although it was released as a single and not on the album. When Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys heard "Strawberry Fields Forever", he believed that he couldn't top it.

If the 60's had an anthem it was "All You Need is Love". This was performed in front of a live audience. The only difference between this audience and usual audiences is this audience was the entire world. The program was called "Our World" and was shown internationally around the world. So this was played to the entire world. Not many bands can say they've done that in the 60's.

Basically, "Magical Mystery Tour" is an extension of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". This is because a lot of the songs were recorded during the Sgt Pepper recording sessions. "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were both recorded during these sessions, but when they were used as a double-A sided single, it was the Beatles policy not to use singles in their album.

George Martin has explained that this is one of the Beatles biggest mistakes, and one of his biggest regrets. So even though "Magical Mystery Tour" doesn't hold up to "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", it is a great album with a lot of great material that has lasted more than forty years. The remastered version sounds as if it were made this year.

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1 comment:

  1. A very "rich" album indeed, so glad they produced all the dreams of this wonderful album too.