July 28, 2012
The Beatles, an English rock band formed in 1960 in Liverpool England. Now who on earth hasn’t heard of the greatest band ever? Paul Mcartney on bass guitar and keyboards, John Lennon on rhythm guitar and keyboards, George Harrison on lead guitar and Ringo Starr on drums. And what about the vocals? Well, they all provided vocals at one time or the other. I don’t want to go to the 1970 ‘cause that’s when the band broke up and that’s all I’m saying about it.
When Paul McCartney presented the idea of this psychedelic record of the day, ‘The Magical Mystery Tour’ in 1967, the rest of the band members immediately liked it and set about implementing it, choosing to produce and direct the television movie themselves. Hiring a bus they travelled into the English countryside looking for ‘location’but then once they reached their destination they seem to have run out of ideas for they marched about the hedges and meadows randomly documenting this peculiar expedition. Unfortunately it was not well received by the British TV audience. I checked IMDB.com for additional information and learned it received a 6 out 10 rating. On Rotten-Tomatoes only 61 percent of the audience liked it and received a 55 on the tomatometer from the critics. In 2010 one of the critics, Tim Brayton of the Agony & Ecstacy said the movie was “A big, nasty, ugly, boring mistake. With killer musical numbers.”
While A.J. Verser, a super reviewer on the same site said that it was “The worst Beatles movie, of the Beatles movies which star the Beatles. The story is really much too silly, and stupid. Plus, the Beatles don't play a big enough role, which is weird. It has some funny moments, but overall it's just so-so.”
The soundtrack…now, that was another story. It was a hit!
In fact it has some of my favorite Beatles’songs. I have posted videos and/or audio tracks of the same below.
In keeping with the psychedelic themes of the music, the gatefold sleeve cover features the Beatles (presumably) in animal costumes and masks with colorful psychedelic designs and typefaces and fuzzy psychedelic mirror images of the group during a concert or something on the back cover. The album includes a 20+ page booklet and there are many forums and websites that discuss, at great length, the various clues to the mysteries of the album. For example I discovered on one website that, “If the cover is held to a mirror and the largest stars connected and read from the mirror, one can see seven digits: a phone number. According to how you hold the cover, whether upside down or not, these three phone numbers are agreed on their appearing: 834-1735, 483-5317 and 237-7038. It was common in the fall of 1969 to call these numbers in London and it was rumored that you'd get a funeral parlor; or two, you would get an angry old lady whom you have awakened from her sleep at 3 am; or three, the strangest story of all, as reported in a Washington, DC underground paper and simultaneously in a rumor sheet circulating the music business in New York. It was that you would get someone answering the phone who would claim to be Billy Shears.” (www.ispauldead.com/573.html)
All the artwork was done by Bob Gibson, the illustrator for the Beatles Monthly magazine who worked on the cartoon version of the film. The photos are by John Kelly. This Record
The Magical Mystery Tour by the Beatles
12”LP, 33 rpm
Gatefold Sleeve with a 20+ page booklet
1967, Capitol Records
Go to www.ricsrecordsrack.com
for more information. My records are in super mint condition and still available, unless specified otherwise. Email if you require a detailed description of the condition of a particular item (firstname.lastname@example.org
The photo is a collage of the front and back of the album including some pics from the booklet included with the album.