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Magical Mystery Tour (EP)

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Magical Mystery Tour
EP (Double EP) by The Beatles
Released 8 December 1967
Recorded 25 April – 7 November 1967, EMI and Olympic Studios, London
Length 19:08
Label Parlophone
Producer George Martin
The Beatles EP chronology
Nowhere Man
Magical Mystery Tour

Magical Mystery Tour is an double EP by The Beatles, produced by George Martin, both including the six-song soundtrack to the 1967 film of the same name. The record format released in the United Kingdom on 8 December 1967, was a six-track double EP on the Parlophone label, whilst in the United States the record, released 11 days earlier, on 27 November 1967, was an eleven-track LP created by Capitol Records, adding the band's 1967 single releases.

The US LP was later adopted as the official version of the record when The Beatles' catalogue was updated for the 1980s digital Compact Disc releases. The album was remastered 9 September 2009 for the first time since its CD release. The soundtrack was a critical and commercial success, a #1 album in the US and Grammy-nominated, despite the relative critical and commercial failure of the Magical Mystery Tour film.

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.Template:Sfn 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.Template:Sfn 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".Template:Sfn The package was released in the UK on 8 December, in time for the Christmas market.

In the US, EPs were not popular at the time so (and against The Beatles' wishes) Capitol Records decided to release the soundtrack as an LP by adding some recent non-album singles.Template:Sfn The first side of the LP was the film soundtrack (like earlier British Beatles soundtrack albums), and the second side was a collection of A-side and B-sides released in 1967, with the songs "Penny Lane", "Baby, You're a Rich Man" and "All You Need Is Love" presented in duophonic, fake "processed" stereo, sound.Template:SfnTemplate:Sfn

Note that on all stereo releases of both packages, "I Am the Walrus" is in true-stereo only part way through, after which the sound becomes fake-stereo.

When standardising The Beatles' releases for the worldwide Compact Disc release in 1987, the LP version of Magical Mystery Tour (in true-stereo) was included with the otherwise British album line-up. [1]

The inclusion of the 1967 singles on CD with this album meant both that the Magical Mystery Tour CD would be of comparable length to the band's other album CDs, and that those three singles would not need to be included on Past Masters, a two-volume compilation designed to accompany the initial CD album releases and provide all non-album tracks (mostly singles) on CD format.[2]

The album (along with The Beatles' entire UK studio album catalogue) was remastered and reissued on CD in 2009. In homage to the album's conception and first release, the CD incorporates the original Capitol LP label design. The remastered CD features a mini-documentary about the album. Initial copies of the album accidentally list the mini-documentary to be one made for Let It Be.

Track listing

EP 1
  1. "Magical Mystery Tour" "Your Mother Should Know"
  2. "I Am the Walrus"
EP 2
  1. "The Fool on the Hill" "Flying"
  2. "Blue Jay Way"


Additional musicians
  • "Magical Mystery Tour" – Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall on percussion, David Mason, Elgar Howarth, Roy Copestake and John Wilbraham on trumpets
  • "The Fool on the Hill" – Christoper Taylor, Richard Taylor and Jack Ellory on fluteTemplate:Sfn
  • "I Am the Walrus" – Sidney Sax, Jack Rothstein, Ralph Elman, Andrew McGee, Jack Greene, Louis Stevens, John Jezzard and Jack Richards on violins, Lionel Ross, Eldon Fox, Brian Martin and Terry Weil on cellos and Neill Sanders, Tony Tunstall and Morris Miller on horns, Peggie Allen, Wendy Horan, Pat Whitmore, Jill Utting, June Day, Sylvia King, Irene King, G. Mallen, Fred Lucas, Mike Redway, John O'Neill, F. Dachtler, Allan Grant, D. Griffiths, J. Smith and J. Fraser on backing vocals
  • "Hello, Goodbye" – Ken Essex, Leo Birnbaum on violas.
  • "Strawberry Fields Forever" – Mal Evans on percussion, Tony Fisher, Greg Bowen, Derek Watkins and Stanley Roderick on trumpets and John Hall, Derek Simpson, Norman Jones on cellos.
  • "Penny Lane" – Ray Swinfield, P. Goody, Manny Winters and Dennis Walton on flutes, Leon Calvert, Freddy Clayton, Bert Courtley and Duncan Campbell on trumpets, Dick Morgan and Mike Winfield on English horns, Frank Clarke on double bass and David Mason on piccolo trumpet
  • "Baby, You're a Rich Man" – Eddie Kramer on vibraphone
  • "All You Need Is Love" – George Martin on piano, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, Pattie Boyd Harrison, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Maureen Starkey, Graham Nash and wife, Gary Leeds and Hunter Davies on backing vocals, Sidney Sax, Patrick Halling, Eric Bowie and Jack Holmes on violins, Rex Morris and Don Honeywill on sax, David Mason and Stanley Woods on trumpets, Evan Watkins and Henry Spain on horns, Jack Emblow on accordion and Brian Martin on cello


  1. Other US LPs were subsequently released as part of The Capitol Albums volumes 1 and 2 boxed sets, but not individually.
  2. Album Review: The Beatles – Past Masters [Remastered] « Consequence of Sound

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