Magical Mystery Tour
The Fool on the Hill
Blue Jay Way
Your Mother Should Know
I Am the Walrus
Hello Goodbye
Strawberry Fields Forever
Penny Lane
Baby You're a Rich Man
All You Need is Love


Magical Mystery Tour became a full album only as an afterthought.  The project was conceived shortly after Sgt. Pepper was recorded, primarily as an avant-garde film Paul McCartney wanted to make.  The project was delayed by the group's decision to tape "All You Need Is Love" for a live worldwide television show,

The summer of 1967 reached its end with the Beatles simultaneously  enraptured by the presence of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and somewhat blown away by the death of their manager, Brian Epstein.  The Beatles  decided to manage themselves,  and Magical Mystery Tour became their first self-managed project.  The film was their first project that received worldwide scorn.  



The six soundtrack songs were released December 8, 1967, on 2 extended play discs with a 24 page booklet,  It only got as high as number 2 on the singles chart because the top spot was already occupied by their single " Hello, Goodbye" 


The Beatles' 1967  singles were combined with the soundtrack songs to make up Magical Mystery Tour, released November 27, 1967.  The album brought in more than 8 million dollars within 3 weeks of its release.  It was number 1 by January 8, and stayed there for 8 weeks.  By mid-January, the album had sold more than 1.75 million copies.

The US version of the album was EMI's biggest selling import in the United Kingdom, with sales more than 50,000.  EMI released the US version in the UK November 19, 1976, and again on CD in early October 1987.  The US version is now accepted as the definitive version. 


April 25 through November 7, 1967,a t the Abbey Road De Lane Lea and Chappell recording studios in London.  


The original US album contained several photos from the film of the same name for the  songs used in the film.


This album contained many "clues" used by the studio to "prove" that Paul was dead.  The album cover shows a black walrus which is considered to be a symbol of death in some parts of Scandinavia , and Lennon sang in the song "Glass Onion" a year later that "the walrus was Paul."   The booklet shows a picture of McCartney with a hand over his head that was supposedly another sign of death.  In one photo in the film, McCartney is seen wearing a black carnation while the other Beatles are wearing red ones.  Another clue was in a photo where McCartney is sitting behind a desk with a sign on it that said " I WaS"


McCartney came up with the idea for the film while flying from Los Angeles to London on April 11, 1967.  He also wrote the tune and one line, apparently, for the title song on that flight.  

He was influenced by reports of Ken Kesley's Merry Pranksters, who had toured the US in a psychedelically painted bus  and filmed whatever happened.

The Beatles discussed the project September 1 ( 4 days after Epstein's death) at Paul's house in St. John's Wood.  

Participants gathered at 10:45 AM, September 11 at Allsop Place in London, but the bus was late ( the MMT logo had to be painted on at the last minute).  McCartney boarded in London while the other Beatles joined up at Virginia Water.  Filming began on the way to Teignmouth.  The bus left Teignmouth September 12, and scenes with " hostess Wendy Winters: were filmed later with scenes with "courier Jimmy Johnson" were filmed on September 13 Lennon and Harrison directed the scene with " Happy Nay and the Rubber Man" around hotel pools, while McCartney directed Starr with " Auntie Jessie" and " Alf the Chauffeur."  On September 14 scenes around a tent in a feild were shot and the lunch was filmed.  On September 15 filming was held at a snack bar in Tanutin, and later the participants headed for London to accordion accompaniment. This was followed between September 19-24 by filming unused hangars at the Royal Air Force base in West Mailing, Kent for scenes, including the Grande Finale.  

The film was the group's first venture after Brian Epstein's death.  McCartney and Starr were the main directors, but each Beatle supervised  in all production matters.

Lennon disliked the film project.  He was upset at the expense of 75,000 pounds--for "the most expensive home movie ever" and by McCartney's assuming total effective control over the band after Epstein's death.  Lennon was also a man of contradictions" One the entry form for a British newspaper's Valentine Awards  in 1969, he handwrote Magical Mystery Tour as the "top TV show"  He later enjoyed the "fish and chips" atmosphere of the film.

Two tunes heard in the film were not included in the US album or British EPs-- "Shirley's Wild Accordion" and "Jessie's Dream"

The film was a critical disaster--the Beatle's first failure.  Actually MMT was way ahead of its time....just a long music video.


McCARTNEY:  " John said that MMT was just a big ego trip for Paul"  God, it was for their sake, to keep us together, keep us going, give us something to do!"



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