Friday, July 15, 2011

The #26 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: "Magical Mystery Tour" by the Beatles

Although this is a soundtrack, it qualifies as an exception for being included in The Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era* because of course all the music is by the Beatles and it is original material.

Magical Mystery Tour reached #1 for eight weeks.  It spent 14 weeks in the Top 10 and 91 on the charts.  The album has sold six million copies and has an outstanding Track Rating* of 9.41.  That is one of the highest in the Top 100. 

The album was the first to be released after the death of manager Brian Epstein.  The quality is outstanding.  "Hello Goodbye", "All You Need is Love" and "Penny Lane" all reached #1 and are part of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* club.  "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "I Am the Walrus" were B-sides to the above singles and were extensively played enough to chart.  The title track and "The Fool on the Hill" also have hundreds of thousands of plays on radio stations across the country and were hits.  That's essentially seven songs on the album that had huge airplay. "Your Mother Should Know" is another top track from the album.

Magical Mystery Tour was nominated for a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Magical Mystery Tour:
(All songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney unless otherwise noted.)
Side one
1. "Magical Mystery Tour" (2:48)
2. "The Fool on the Hill" (3:00)
3. "Flying" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey)
4. "Blue Jay Way" (Harrison) --3:50
5. "Your Mother Should Know" (2:33)
6. "I Am the Walrus" (4:35)

Side two
1.  "Hello Goodbye" (3:24)
2.  "Strawberry Fields Forever" (4:05)
3.  "Penny Lane" (3:00)
4.  "Baby, You're a Rich Man" (3:07)
5.  "All You Need Is Love" (3:57)

George Harrison played lead and rhythm guitars, harmonica and Hammond organ and contributed lead, harmony and backing vocals.  John Lennon played rhythm and lead guitars, acoustic and electric piano, mellotron and harmonica and also sang lead, harmony and backing vocals.  Paul McCartney played bass, piano, mellotron and recorder and sang lead, harmony and backing vocals while Ringo Starr played drums and percussion and contributed vocals.

Frank Clark played double bass, George Martin played piano and Mel Evans and Neil Aspinall played percussion on the album.  Rex Morris and Don Honeywill played saxophone, Tony Fisher, Greg Bowen, Derek Watkins, Stanley Roderick, Leon Calvert, Freddy Clayton, Bert Courtley, Duncan Campbell,  Roy Copestake, Elgar Howarth, David Mason, Stanley Woods and John Wilbraham played trumpet, Mason played piccolo trumpet and Evan Watkins, Henry Spain, Neill Sanders, Tony Tunstall and Morris Miller played horns. Sidney Sax, Rralph Elman, Andrew McGee, Jack Rothstein,  Patrick Halling, Eric Bowie, Jack Holmes, Jack Greene, Louis Stevens, John Jezzard and Jack Richards played violin, John Hall, Derek Simpson, Norman Jones, Lionel Ross, Eldon Fox, Brian Martin and Terry Weil played cello and Ken Essex and Leo Birnbaum played viola. Jack Emblow played accordion on "All You Needs Is Love".

 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 contributed backing vocals.  Mick Jagger,Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash and wife, Pattie Boyd Harrison, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Maureen Starkey, Gary Leeds and Hunter Davies sang backing vocals on "All You Need Is Love".  Christoper Taylor, Richard Taylor and Jack Ellory played flute on "The Fool on the Hill"and Ray Swinfield, P. Goody, Manny Winters and Dennis Walton played flute on "Penny Lane".  Eddie Kramer played vibraphone on "Baby, You're a Rich Man" and Dick Morgan and Mike Winfield played English horns on "Penny Lane". 

Magical Mystery Tour was recorded from April 25 to November 7, 1967 at EMI and Olympic Studios in London.  George Martin produced the album as usual.  Geoff Emerck and Ken Scott combined to engineer the album, which was released December 8, 1967 on Parlophone Records in the U.K. and Capitol Records in the United States.

The Beatles score the #26 Album for All-Time with Magical Mystery Tour.

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