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On Our Stereo: The Beatles - Magical Mystery Tour

Our revitalised 'On Our Stereo' feature continues its comeback this week with a look at The Beatles' 1967 release, 'Magical Mystery Tour'. You're probably thinking at this point why a site like ours; which thrives on modern, alternative music, would feature a band so old and dated like The Beatles? Well we can because one of the purposes of this feature, is to highlight classic albums.

I won't go into the dense history of The Beatles but for those who may have not heard of them (where have you been?), here is a brief summery. Formed in 1960, lived and played in Hamburg for a few years, returned to their hometown of Liverpool, met manager Brian Epstein, produced several hit singles and albums with George Martin, made a few films, played out sold out shows worldwide, gave up touring in 1965, made a few classic albums, played their final show on their roof in London and then the band split in 1970.

One of those classic albums was 1967's 'Magical Mystery Tour', an album which isn't considered a full Beatles release by some; on its release it was a double EP with side A being the films soundtrack side, with side B consisting of singles released from that year.

Nevertheless I consider it my favourite Beatles album; closely followed by 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Kicking off with the pompous title track, that sets the album upbeat tone and use of brass instruments. Throughout the four-piece show some of the best songs ever, with 'The Fool on the Hill' and 'Your Mother Should Know', being examples of this.

Whereas 'I Am the Walrus' hints at the bands psychedelic tone, that was seen in other releases. It is lyrically intriguing and the bands subtle progressive/experimenting structure is pleasing to hear.

However its the albums 2nd half which stands out. From the instantly enjoyable 'Hello Goodbye' to sweet, delicate keys of 'Strawberry Fields Forever' with its steady, subtle droning tone. Before springing back to life with the bouncy 'Penny Lane' and rounding things off is the anthemic 'All You Need Is Love', a staple-mate closing number for any charity fund raising concert.

Strawberry Fields Forever

'Magical Mystery Tour' is one of The Beatles' best collection of song, but with a back catalogue with plenty of depth and variation it's hard to label it the best Beatles album. Nevertheless it is a fine example of the superb songwriters they were, as well as showing their worthy use of various instruments, that at the time was slightly unheard, as they somewhat challenged the methods to make music by.

Thankfully The Beatles legacy continues to live on today, with their music being used for different purposes; most notably Cirque du Soleil's 'LOVE'; a circus-based theatrical show, 'Across the Universe' a 2007 musical film and more recently, 'The Beatles; Rock Band', which enabled fans; old and new, to live out their dream and play as one of the Fab Four.

Buy 'Magical Mystery Tour' by The Beatles on Amazon.

Sean Reid

Alter The Press!