Album facts: Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album was released in the US on November 27th 1967. It wasn't issued in the UK; all they got was a double EP with six songs from The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour film; this was released on December 8th 1967.
When The Beatles' catalogue first appeared on compact disc in 1987, the US album format became the worldwide standard.
Despite the lacklustre reception of the film, the soundtrack was beloved by both critics and fans. The album reached number one on the US Billboard on January 6th 1968 and there it stayed for eight weeks.
"I was still under a false impression. I still felt every now and then that Brian would come in and say, 'It's time to record,' or, 'Time to do this.' And Paul started doing that: 'Now we're going to make a movie. Now we're going to make a record.' And he assumed that if he didn't call us, nobody would ever make a record. Paul would say, well, now he felt like it - and suddenly I'd have to whip out twenty songs. He'd come in with about twenty good songs and say, 'We're recording.' And I suddenly had to write a fucking stack of songs." - John Lennon
The songs on Magical Mystery Tour were recorded at EMI and Olympic Studios between April and November of 1967. Recording commenced on April 25th 1967; mere days after the completion of Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The Beatles continued and expanded upon the psychedelic leanings they began with Sgt Pepper, on I Am the Walrus, Blue Jay Way et al; Magical mystery Tour can almost be seen as a soulmate of Pepper. Lennon was particularly fond of the album.
"Magical Mystery Tour is one of my favourite albums, because it was so weird. I Am The Walrus is also one of my favourite tracks - because I did it, of course, but also because it's one of those that has enough little bitties going to keep you interested even a hundred years later." - John Lennon
- John Lennon – lead, harmony and backing vocals; rhythm and acoustic guitars; keyboards (acoustic and electric pianos, mellotron, organ, clavioline), harmonica on "The Fool on the Hill"
- Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and backing vocals, bass, piano, mellotron, recorder on "The Fool on the Hill"
- George Harrison – lead, harmony and backing vocals; lead, slide and acoustic guitars; organ, harmonica on "The Fool on the Hill"
- Ringo Starr – drums and percussion