Magical Mystery Tour

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The Film

Magical Mystery Tour was the Beatles' third film. Intended to be a 50 minute special to be shown on Boxing Day, it was acted, written and directed by the Beatles. The plot, where there was one, had Ringo and his aunt Jessie taking a bus tour with Magical Mystery Tours. This, though, wasn't an ordinary bus trip - but it was made into a magical one by "four or five magicians that live away in the sky, beyond the clouds, and cast magic spells". It doesn't run smoothly as a story, including as it does many surreal sequences, including one on an army barracks, and a very confusing race sequence, yet this doesn't detract from it at all. With the inclusion of such moments as John shovelling spagetti onto Jessie's plate in a very bizarre restaurant - an idea based on a dream John had - and also the song "I Am The Walrus", this is a surreal, unique, unforgettable experience. At the time, however, it was not popular, and when broadcast in black and white on Boxing Day, it was hated. Paul responded to this criticism by saying "I suppose if you look at it from the point of view of good Boxing Day entertainment, we goofed really." Yet despite the criticism, the song sequences ("Magical Mystery Tour", "The Fool On The Hill", "Flying", "Blue Jay Way", "I Am The Walrus" and "Your Mother Should Kow") on it are unforgettable, and for any true Beatles fan, it is a must see, must own.

The Album

In the UK, "Magical Mystery Tour" was originally released as an EP with just the six songs that are actually in the film on, whilst in the USA, a full album with 11 tracks had been available. Magical Mystery Tour was released as a Double-EP, the first Double EP ever. Capitol, in America, thought that this new format would not sell, and so added the extra songs to make an album. So originally, "Magical Mystery Tour" was not intended by the Beatles to be an album, the American market just made it one. In the mid 70s EMI noticed that the American Album was the more popular version, and so from then on the American album version has been the one on sale. However, the artwork accompanying the album keeps to the original EP version, and includes only the words to the six songs featured in the film. These songs are "Magical Mystery Tour", "The Fool On The Hill", "Flying", "Blue Jay Way", "Your Mother Should Know" and "I Am The Walrus".

The other songs ("Hello Goodbye", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Penny Lane", "Baby You're A Rich Man" and "All You Need Is Love") have different origins. "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" were the Febuary
1967 double A-side single, and "Hello, Goodbye" was another single released in 1967, at the end of November, and became the Christmas no. 1 for that year. "All You Need Is Love" was released in 1967 and was Britain's contribution on the first Global Television Linkup. It, and "Baby Your A Rich Man" on the B-side, was the Beatles summer single of the same year. "All You Need Is Love" also appeared on the 1969 Yellow Submarine album before being a part of the official Magical Mystery Tour LP when the Album version was adopted worldwide.

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