Magical Mystery Tour (album)

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Magical Mystery Tour is the title of two different 1967 record releases, an LP and a double EP, by the English rock band The Beatles, both of which include the six-song soundtrack to the television movie of the same name. The version released in the United Kingdom (on 8 December 1967) was a six-track double EP, whilst in the United States, the record (released 11 days earlier on 27 November 1967) was an 11-track LP, created by adding songs from the band's 1967 singles. The 11-track LP was later adopted as the official version of the record when The Beatles' catalogue was updated for the CD format.

The soundtrack was a critical and commercial success, being Grammy-nominated and a number-one album in the US, despite the relative critical and commercial failure of the Magical Mystery Tour film.

Contents

History of the project

Magical Mystery Tour film

After Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Paul McCartney wanted to create a film based upon The Beatles and their music. The film was to be unscripted: various "ordinary" people were to travel on a coach and have unspecified "magical" adventures. The Magical Mystery Tour movie was made and included six new Beatles songs, but the hoped-for "magical" adventures didn't happen. The film originally screened on BBC-TV over the 1967 Christmas holidays but was savaged by critics.[1]

Initial release formats

The number of songs used in the film posed a problem for The Beatles and their UK record company EMI, as there were too few for an LP album but too many for an EP.[2] One idea considered was to issue an EP which played at 33 rpm but this would have caused a loss of fidelity that was deemed unacceptable. The solution chosen was to issue an innovative format of two EP's packaged in a gatefold sleeve with a 28-page booklet containing the lyrics and colour pictures.[2] Of the package, Bob Neaverson wrote "While it certainly solved the song quota problem, one suspects that it was also partly born of The Beatles' pioneering desire to experiment with conventional formats and packaging".[3] The package was released in the UK on the 8th of December, in time for the Christmas market, at the sub £1 price of 19s 6d[2] (equivalent to £13 today), which made the package much cheaper than an LP.[citation needed]

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