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On This Day

The Beatles release their album “Magical Mystery Tour”

todayNovember 27, 2021 2

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27 November 1967  – The Beatles release their album “Magical Mystery Tour”

When recording their new songs, the Beatles continued the studio experimentation that had typified Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) and the psychedelic sound they had pursued since Revolver (1966). The project was initiated by Paul McCartney in April 1967, but after the band recorded the song “Magical Mystery Tour”, it lay dormant until the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, in late August. Recording then took place alongside filming and editing, and as the Beatles furthered their public association with Transcendental Meditation under teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

 

Magical Mystery Tour is a record by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a double EP in the United Kingdom and an LP in the United States. It includes the soundtrack to the 1967 television film of the same name. The EP was issued in the UK on 8 December 1967 on the Parlophone label, while the Capitol Records LP release in the US occurred on 27 November and featured an additional five songs that were originally released as singles that year. In 1976, Parlophone released the eleven-track LP in the UK.

 

The sessions have been characterised by some biographers as aimless and unfocused, with the band members overly indulging in sound experimentation and exerting greater control over production. McCartney contributed three of the soundtrack songs, including the widely covered “The Fool on the Hill”, while John Lennon and George Harrison contributed “I Am the Walrus” and “Blue Jay Way”, respectively. The sessions also produced “Hello, Goodbye”, issued as a single accompanying the soundtrack record, and items of incidental music for the film, including “Flying”. Further to the Beatles’ desire to experiment with record formats and packaging, the EP and LP included a 24-page booklet containing song lyrics, colour photos from film production, and colour story illustrations by cartoonist Bob Gibson.

 

Despite widespread media criticism of the Magical Mystery Tour film, the soundtrack was a critical and commercial success. In the UK, it topped the EPs chart compiled by Record Retailer and peaked at number 2 on the magazine’s singles chart (later the UK Singles Chart) behind “Hello, Goodbye”. The album topped Billboards Top LPs listings for eight weeks and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1969. With the international standardisation of the Beatles’ catalogue in 1987, Magical Mystery Tour became the only Capitol-generated LP to supersede the band’s intended format and form part of their core catalogue.

Written by: Mandy Law

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