The Beatles were on a roll after their own Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band virtually outsold every other album of the time. Their manager Brian Epstein passed away afterward, marking the beginning of the end for The Beatles. Much later on, it all fell apart for them. The Magical Mystery Tour movie was their first flop, but this, the album along with it, had some great songs on it.
The title track Magical Mystery Tour sounds a lot more dated today than it ever did in 1967, but is a cheerful and welcoming song inviting you to join The Beatles on their psychedelic trip. It’s better than you’d think.
The follow up is The Fool On The Hill is an amazing sounding piece by John Lennon. It features some lovely psychedelic sounds and some of the best imagery you can think of for a trippy song. Tape loops galore and John Lennon referring lyrically to a fool who is above others who stays on a hill is gold. Nice song.
Flying is a rather ordinary instrumental that could have been dropped. The outro is mega trippy though but still, it’s a fairly forgettable cut.
Blue Jay Way has got to be the most repetitive song that The Beatles made, apart from Hey Jude. It’s a sound pastiche by George Harrison that is saved by the sonic landscape, but much like the previous instrumental is largely forgettable.
The next song Your Mother Should Know is a nice song about parents music from long ago. It’s a better piece than the previous two songs, and sounds quite nice to listen to, even today.
The fantastic I Am The Walrus follows and features some totally surreal lyrics by John Lennon. It’s a pop classic that is often referenced in the history books. It has some absolutely fantastic tape sounds cut up, and delivered. The outro, in particular, shows this, it’s brilliant.
Hello, Goodbye is an old-fashioned call and response song by Paul McCartney. Both of the main songwriters in The Beatles were equals in their overall ability to create songs that were perfect pop pieces. This is a goodie.
Strawberry Fields Forever is a great psychedelic song by John Lennon about his childhood experiences in a real-life area in his Liverpool hometown. It starts off nicely, before going into a very psychedelic piece with a surprise outro. Pay attention to that as well.
Paul returns with Penny Lane, a simple song about his own childhood haunt where bizarre things happen in a pleasant way. It’s a great song and is very singalong in nature.
The next song, Baby, You’re A Rich Man is straightforward and fun to listen to. Obviously, The Beatles had not just psychedelic sounds at their disposal, but great pop sensibilities too.
All You Need Is Love finishes the album and although it’s a good song, it hasn’t aged all that well. It sounds a little corny in retrospect, although this was not intended at the time.
If you loved Sgt. Pepper and you love The Beatles, this album is a pick for you. It features some amazingly psychedelic sounds and textures that still are unmatched today. The songs are excellent too. The only downside is that, unlike Sgt. Pepper, it’s not a concept album. But it’s just as necessary in your collection all the same.
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