Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles
Magical Mystery Tour - LP cover
Magical Mystery Tour - Front Cover

Label Apple/Parlophone
Catalogue No.'s SMAL 2835      (Import)
PCTC 255
CDP 7 48062 2 (C.D.)
Release dates 7th January 1968       (Import)
19th November 1976 (U.K. release)
21st September 1987 (C.D.)
Total time 36:52
U.K. Album Chart Detail :
Entry Date :13th January 1968
Highest Position :31
Weeks in Chart :
  1 week from 3rd October 1987 (CD release, reached No.52)
  2 weeks from 13th September 2009 (reached no.33 !)
  5 weeks in total
Detail : This album release is definitely an E.M.I. enigma !
On 8th December 1967 the "Magical Mystery Tour" soundtrack was released in the U.K. as a double E.P. package (see The M.M.T. E.P.) but in the United States they had a full L.P. released 11 days earlier on 27th November 1967. Admittedly it was padded out with the singles that had been released in 1967, but, Capitol certainly got their sums right, because with this release (as up to that time) they had the biggest initial sale of ANY album, passing sales of 8 million dollars worth in just three weeks. And by January 1968 they had a number 1 where it stayed for eight weeks.
But it should be noted that some of tracks were in mono, as stereo masters had NOT been created at this time.

So, did E.M.I. give it an official release ... NO (not on vinyl) ... but oddly, they did give it an official IMPORT release. Through the usual E.M.I. ordering procedures British record shops could order it using the U.S. catalogue number of SMAL 2835 and it became the biggest selling import for E.M.I. selling over 50,000 copies, which even took it into the official charts reaching number 31.

But, Even more bizarre, this release DID emerge in the U.K. at the time on tape !
The E.M.I. record catalogue reveals a unique catalogue number never to appear on vinyl and a slightly changed title, "Magical Mystery Tour and Other Titles".
The album was released on cassette tape (1⅞ ips) - Catalogue number - TC-PCS 3077
The album was also released on 8-track stereo continuous play cartridges (3¾ ips) - catalogue no. 8X-PCS 3077

During the big Beatles sales push by E.M.I. in 1976 after their contract expired, this L.P. was given a proper official release on the Parlophone label with a catalogue number of PCTC 255 (although the cassette was TC-PCS 3077 !) BUT inexplicably this first official OFFICIAL release was NOT advertised in any way.
(Can anyone from E.M.I. out there reading this offer an explanation ?!)
Consequently, the only U.K. issue of this album failed to chart.
It should also be noted that this 1976 edition used the same masters as the original U.S. release, and therefore some tracks were still in mono ... BUT ... another bizarre E.M.I. move ... the cassette DID have "Baby. You're A Rich Man" in stereo.

In 1978 a "gold" vinyl edition was released.

On 21st September 1987 this album had it's first release on C.D. which was published in full stereo, with a catalogue number of CDP 7 48062 2 (although, in the U.K. this WAS released as CD-PCTC 255 !) ... and at this time almost 20 years after it should have been released it did make a fleeting appearance in the charts at number 52 in October 1987.
And on the same day, the record shop H.M.V. produced a special 12" numbered CD Box Set Comprising:
The C.D. of "Magical Mystery Tour"
+ An "It was twenty years ago today" badge
+ Informative notes in a booklet
+ A poster
This set had a catalogue number of BEA CD 25/6, and was in a limited edition of 8,000 copies.

The C.D. was also part of "The Beatles Box" 15 C.D. box set (see Beatles C.D. Box).

09/09/09 (Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine) - the album was re-released as part of the Beatles In Stereo Remasters collection.
13th September 2009 it re-entered the chart again at number 33 in the ninth highest position of SEVENTEEN chart positions The Beatles captured in one amazing week.
         (see the box set detail for the chart position of all 17 titles together)
20th September 2009 - dropped sixteen places down to number 49.
27th September 2009 - dropped twenty-nine places down to number 78 (which is outside the chart for longevity purposes).
4th October 2009 - No longer listed in the Top 100.

Side 1

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Magical Mystery Tour Lennon-McCartney Recorded 25th April 1967 - 8 takes
Overdubs 26th April 1967 onto take 8 creating take 9
Overdubs 27th April 1967 onto take 9
Brass overdubs 3rd May 1967 onto take 9
Final mix - take 9.
The Fool On The Hill Lennon-McCartney Recorded 6th September 1967 - 1 take (solo demo)
Group recording 25th September 1967 - 4 takes
Overdubs 26th September 1967, take 4 onto take 5 onto take 6
Vocal overdub 27th September 1967 onto take 6
Flute overdubs 20th October 1967 onto take 6
Final mix - take 6.
Flying Harrison Recorded 8th September 1967 - 8 takes
  (Initially known as "Aerial Tour Instrumental")
Overdubs 28th September 1967 onto take 8
Final mix - take 8.
Blue Jay way Harrison Recorded 6th September 1967 - 1 take (backing track only)
Overdubs 7th September 1967, take 1 onto take 2 onto take 3
Overdubs 6th October 1967 onto take 3
Final mix - take 3.
Your Mother Should Know Lennon-McCartney Recorded 22nd August 1967 - 8 takes
Overdubs 23rd August 1967 onto take 8 creating take 9
A remake 16th September 1967 11 takes (takes 10-20)
Overdubs 29th September 1967 onto take 9 (!) - 3 takes (numbered 50-52)
Final mix - take 52.
I Am The Walrus Lennon-McCartney Recorded 5th September 1967 - 16 takes
Overdubs 6th September 1967 onto take 16 creating take 17
Overdubs 27th September 1967 onto take 17, 3 takes (18-20)
+ Edit pieces called takes 21-24
+ take 20 mixed down to create take 25
Mixing 28th September 1967, take 25 back in to take 17
King Lear overdubs 29th September 1967 onto new take 17
  (I do have the ACTUAL King Lear BBC broadcast somewhere)
Final mix - the new take 17.

Side 2

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Hello Goodbye Lennon-McCartney See single detail Hello Goodbye 3:27
Strawberry Fields Forever Lennon-McCartney See single detail Strawberry Fields Forever 4:06
Penny Lane Lennon-McCartney See single detail for Strawberry Fields Forever 3:00
Baby You're A Rich Man Lennon-McCartney Recorded 11th May 1967 12 takes
Final mix - take 12.
All You Need Is Love Lennon-McCartney Recorded 14th June 1967 - 33 takes
Overdubs 19th June onto take 10
Orchestral overdubs 23rd June 1967 takes 34-43 onto take 10
More orchestral overdubs 24th June 1967 takes 44-47 onto take 10
Rehearsal takes 25th June 48-57, the live take being take 58
Final mix - take 58.

Released Versions

First pressings (1968)
Import Version on SMAL 2835 - Capitol Records - black label with colourband.
Second Pressings (1976)
Normal and only standard issue.
Third Pressings (1978)
Yellow vinyl edition.

Magical Mystery Tour - Yellow Vinyl Set Magical Mystery Tour - Label Detail
Magical Mystery Tour - Yellow Vinyl Set Magical Mystery Tour - Label Detail
At this time a Yellow vinyl version was pressed here by Parlophone/EMI in the UK for EXPORT purposes only.
This album was not supposed to be available to purchase in UK record stores.
The Yellow album is on the black and silver Parlophone Label with 'EMI Records Ltd' label rim and 'Made in UK' label text.
The catalogue number, PCTC 255 is stamped in the trail out groove, together with the matrix YEX 959.
The album comes in a plain white inner sleeve and is housed in a GATEFOLD Picture Sleeve, incorporating a 24 Page Colour Booklet stapled within it.
The booklet features scenes from the film Magical Mystery Tour, together with the lyrics to the songs.

Fourth Pressings (1995)
Now with a Black and Silver Parlophone label.
The sleeve has a printed statement which reads:
"This album has been Direct Metal Mastered From a Digitally Re-mastered Original Tape to give the best possible sound quality"
This release is (surprisingly) on a lightweight vinyl.

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