Buy Magical Mystery Tour on CD, on stereo vinyl, on mono vinyl, or on iTunes
Originally begun as a side project of Paul's, who was experimenting with video and electronic soundtracks, Magical Mystery Tour was the Beatles' first project since the death of manager Brian Epstein. Soon all four of the Beatles were involved in the project, which turned out to be a disaster. Without Epstein to look over the project, everything wrong that could've happened did - including the "Magical Mystery Tour" sign falling off of the bus. The film aired on BBC at Christmas time and was criticized, mocked, and laughed at. Paul replied, "Aren't we entitled to a flop?" The album, though, was a smash. In the UK it was originally released as a double-EP set and reached #1 across the world.
Capitol's full length LP version
Capitol, noting that their two previous US Beatles EPs were flops, refused to issue a double EP set, instead adding recent singles and b-sides for a full album. That full LP version was issued in England in 1976 and Germany in 1971 and became part of Beatles canon when their discography was standardized in 1987 on compact disc. It was the last US release to be issued in both mono and stereo, the mono version being more rare. Nominated for the 1968 Grammy for Album Of The Year.
The sourcing disaster
When EMI decided to issue the US LP version of Magical Mystery Tour in the UK for the first time they contacted Capitol for their masters rather than recompiling the album from their own masters. The Capitol masters were fourth generation masters; the original stereo EP mix was copied for Capitol, those mixes were redubbed to match Capitol's audio standards along with fake stereo mixes for side B, then those tapes were duplicated and sent to EMI who cataloged them in their tape vaults as the stereo masters. It was from those fifth generation masters that the MFSL reissues were created - which were supposed to be sourced from the original masters for the best possible audio quality. Needless to say, fans were extremely critical of the MFSL reissue.
- Magical Mystery Tour
- The Fool On The Hill
- Blue Jay Way
- Your Mother Should Know
- I Am The Walrus
- Capitol MAL 2835 (mono), released November 27, 1967
- Capitol SMAL 2835 (stereo), released November 27, 1967
- Parlophone PCTC 255, released November 19, 1976
- Parlophone PCTC 255 (yellow vinyl), released May 1979
- Mobile Fidelity MFSL 1-047, released January 30, 1981
- Parlophone CDP 7 48062 2 (stereo CD), released September 22, 1987
- Capitol C1-48062, released July 1, 1988
- Apple 0946 3 82465 2 7 (remastered stereo CD), released September 9, 2009
- Capitol MAL 2835 (remastered mono CD), released September 9, 2009 in The Beatles In Mono box set