1976: Magical Mystery Tour 


Parlophone/November 19,1976. PCTC 255. (Originally released in USA in 1967)

Produced by George Martin All songs composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, unless otherwise noted.

Side 1:

Magical Mystery Tour 
The Fool On The Hill 
Flying (John Lennon/Paul McCartney/George Harrison/Richard Starkey) 
Blue Jay Way (George Harrison) 
Your Mother Should Know 
I Am The Walrus

Side 2:

Hello Goodbye 
Strawberry Fields Forever 
Penny Lane 
Baby You're A Rich Man 
All You Need Is Love

Side 1 on the LP are the songs from the TV-film "Magical Mystery Tour", side 2 are from various 1967-singles with the band. Gatefold sleeve and colourful booklet included. Side 1 was forst released as a double EP in the UK, but the album format record was always available as an import from the USA and sold well in the UK, hence the final domestic release. It's popularity also insured it's inclusion as an "official" CD, the only original american LP to be released in this format.

Left gatefold and right booklet.

Magical Mystery Tour

basic recording- 25 Apr 1967
additional recording- 25,26,27 Apr, 3 May, 7 Nov 1967
master tape- 4 track 3d generation
mono-mixed: 4 May,7 Nov 1967
stereo-mixed: 4 May,7 Nov 1967

The original Magical Mystery Tour film soundtrack uses a May 4 mono mix with different vocals at the beginning: a faster "Roll up, roll up, roll up" with "hurry! hurry!" over it, as well as spoken lines by John during the break ("When a man buys a ticket for a magical mystery tour. . . the incredible Magical Mystery Tour", the last part given heavy reverb). The stereo mix made in 1988 for home video has the same variant vocals (though the "hurry" lines are louder). These vocals unique to the film may, like the sound effects, be on the film soundtrack proper and not on the 4-track master of the song.

Lewisohn says a new vocal line (unspecified) was added Nov 7 to existing mixes. Possibly this is the "Roll up..." line heard on record and not in the film. No stereo mix is booked prior to Nov 7 either so I presume the one used on records was made then.

Near the end of the instrumental break, the brass part under "Noooow!" is longer in stereo than mono.

The Fool On The Hill

basic recording- 25 Sep 1967
additional recording- 25,26,27 Sep, 20 Oct 1967
master tape- 4 track 4th generation
mono-mixed: 25 Oct 1967. edited.
stereo-mixed: 1 Nov 1967. edited. A different stereo remix was done in 1995 for "Anthology 2"

The editing is unspecified by Lewisohn but shortened the song by over a minute from the longest state. In mono the vocal track is faded out a little sooner in the fadeout. The home video Magical Mystery Tour uses a 1988 stereo mix that is similar to these two.

The Anthology mix is deliberately different, showing the state at the end of the first day and showing why Lewisohn calls the overdub and editing "almost a remake" in his Recording Sessions: it has a different lead vocal and a prominent guitar rhythm section missing from the standard mixes.


basic recording- 8 Sep 1967
additional recording- 8,28 Sep 1967
master tape- 4 track 2d generation
mono-mixed: 28 Sep 1967. edited
stereo-mixed: 7 Nov 1967. edited.

A section of several minutes at the end was edited off. Stereo is a few seconds longer, long fade; in mono the tape loop track begins earlier. The mono-mix has louder guitars near the beginning. The home video Magical Mystery Tour has a 1988 stereo mix similar to the old mono mix.

Blue Jay Way

basic recording- 6 Sep 1967
additional recording- 7 Sep, 6 Oct 1967
master tape- 4 track 3d generation
mono-mixed: 7 Nov 1967. edited.
stereo-mixed: 7 Nov 1967. edited.

Lewisohn notes editing but does not explain.
Stereo includes a backing vocal track mixed center, part of it backwards, that is hardly used at all in mono. The source of the backwards vocals that are faded in and out seems to be another tape of the whole song being played backwards. All the mixes have a very heavy use of phasing with a particularly long delay. The 1988 stereo mix for home video Magical Mystery Tour makes very little use of the backing vocal track, so it is more like the mono mix.

Your Mother Should Know

basic recording- 22 Aug 1967 at Chappell
additional recording- 23 Aug at Chappell; 29 Sep 1967
master tape- 4 track 3d generation
mono-mixed: 2 Oct 1967
stereo-mixed: 6 Nov 1967

Mono has "phasing" in the last verse, not in stereo. The right and left channels of stereo switch twice as a special effect; the 1988 stereo mix made for the Magical Mystery Tour home video does not do so.

I Am The Walrus

basic recording- 5 Sep 1967
additional recording- 5,6,27,28,29 Sep 1967
master tape- 4 track 2d generation + 4 track 2d generation (2 tapes)
mono-mixed: Mix A: 29 Sep 1967. edited.
stereo-mixed: Mix B: true stereo, and mock stereo made from mono, 6,17 Nov 1967. edited. Another, different stereo-mix was made in 1995 for "Anthology 2"

The orchestra and choral singers were recorded on two generations of a separate tape, take 25, with edit pieces, synchronized during mixing to the Beatles on take 17, making a difficult mix that took many tries to get. Lewisohn does not describe this as two tapes at mix stage, but the many attempts at mixing are otherwise inexplicable. The mixes seem to run at slightly variable speeds, maybe a byproduct of synchronizing.

Mix A is reportedly mono mix 23, which is an edit of mono mix 10, up to the end of the second "Goo Goo Gajoob", into mono mix 22. Mix 22 is the one with the radio sound mixed in, from a BBC broadcast of King Lear. The mono-mix has three edits, all in the first part of the song (originally from mono mix 10): 2 of the 6 beats in the into are cut off; a cymbal crash at the first "Goo Goo Gajoob" is mixed out; and a few beats after "I'm crying" are edited out.

The original mono USA Capitol single is similar to Mix A and has the first two of the three edits. The beats after "I'm crying" remain in place. This could be mix 22 in its entirety, which Lewisohn says is a complete mix of the whole song, or it could be an early copy of mix 23 before the last edit was done. The version on the USA mono LP "Magical Mystery Tour" appears to be an attempt to edit those beats out of the USA single, to sound like the UK single (MIX A), but the edit is slightly different.

Mix B (stereo) is a new mix from the synchronized tapes up to the same spot as the edit in Mix A. After that, Mix B is mock stereo made from mono mix 22, in order to include the radio, which was added sound-on-sound to that one mono mix. Mix B has all 6 beats of the intro, and has the cymbal crash at the end of verse 1, but the third edit, the beats after "I'm crying", was done. The mock stereo sound starts to pan left and right near the end of the fadeout.

The stereo USA "Magical Mystery Tour" is Mix B with the first 2 beats of the intro cut off, as in Mix A. This might have been done by Capitol. The version on the USA "Rarities" album from 1980 is a forgery made by Capitol. The beats after "I'm crying" have been edited back in, in mock stereo made from the original mono USA Capitol single, to create a bogus complete stereo version.

The stereo home video release of Magical Mystery Tour has a new mix with the 4 beat intro (like on the US stereo album), to synch with the film. At the edit, it cuts into the mono master, not fake stereo.

The Anthology mix is deliberately different and entirely omits the orchestra and choral singers, and filters out much of the bass. It has the 6-beat intro and the cymbal crash after verse 1. The extra beats after "I'm crying" are revealed to be a miscue with a vocal that was mixed out on the original mono USA Capitol single, and of course the whole thing is edited out otherwise. (A mono mix available on bootleg since 1978 has that vocal mixed out and has bass; perhaps this is a later state than on the version used for the Anthology mix.)

Strawberry Fields Forever 

basic recording- 29 Nov 1966 and 8 Dec 1966
additional recording- 29 Nov 1966 and 8,9,15,21 Dec 1966
master tape- 4 track 2d and 3d generation
mono-mixed: Mix D: 29 Nov 1966 (remixed in 1995), Mix A: 22 Dec 1966 
stereo-mixed: Mix B: 29 Dec 1966 and Mix C: 26 Oct 1971 at AIR studios

This song is made out of two recordings mixed separately and edited together.

The first portion is from take 7 of 29 Nov, a 2d generation 4-track tape containing a reduction from take 6 plus overdubs. For the standard versions (Mixes A, B and C), an edit at the silence at 0:55 jumps from the end of verse 1 to a later portion of take 7 containing the line "Let me take you down, 'cause I'm". Then, right in mid-phrase at 1:00, it edits into take 26 of 15 Dec for "going to, Strawberry Fields" and on to the end of the song. The Anthology (Mix D) uses an original mono mix of take 7 without the edits and continuing to near the end, where it was crossfaded in 1995 into sound from takes 15 and 24 of 8 Dec. (Take 7 is available in stereo and complete on bootlegs.)

The second portion of the standard versions (Mixes A, B and C) is from take 26, basically a 2d generation 4-track tape containing a reduction of take 25 plus overdubs, although it also contains drum and percussion tracks recorded as takes 15 and 24. Take 26 was recorded at a faster tempo than in the final mix, and was slowed down during preparation of the combined recording. There may be a slight slide in tape speed right around the join, too. For the Anthology (Mix D), takes 25 and 26 are not used but some of the same percussion from takes 15 and 24 is heard by itself.

The infamous spoken "cranberry sauce", actually said twice, is in the percussion track dating from take 24, and both are easily heard in the new mix (Mix D) made for Anthology. The second one is almost cut off at the end of the fade in mono (Mix A), but on the German single (Odeon O 23 436) just a syllable of it can be heard that is missing from known US and UK pressings. Stereo mix (Mix C) had been the only place to hear the second one in full, since (Mix B) cuts off just before it.

The newer stereo mix (Mix C) was once known as the German stereo mix and is now the standard CD stereo mix. It has better percussion sound than the older stereo mix (Mix B) and more stereo separation. The older mix (Mix B) has a nice effect at the edit, quickly moving the cello and trumpet track across the image from left to right, where it stays, distracting the listener from the edit itself; in the newer mix (Mix C) this track just starts suddenly on the right. The swordmandel at the start of both verse 2 and 3, which sounds like a harp, moves from left to right in the newer mix (C), while it's just centered in the older one (B). John counts down the rest before the start of verse 2 and 3, properly mixed out in the older mix (B) but heard in the newer one (C). The fadeout-fadein near the end goes to a moment of silence in the newer stereo mix (C), but comes back immediately in the others. The newer stereo mix (C) has a slightly longer final fade so we hear a second "cranberry sauce" in the drum track, left. The differences in the two stereo mixes helps in working out what is on the 4 tracks although there are still some questions.

Penny Lane

basic recording- 29 Dec 1966
additional recording- 29,30 Dec 1966, 4,5,6,9,10,17 Jan 1967
master tape- 4 track 4th
mono-mixed: Mix A: 17 Jan 1967, Mix B: mono 25 Jan 1967
stereo-mixed:  Mix C: 30 Sep 1971 at AIR studios and Mix D: 1995 for "Anthology 2". edited

The vocal and main instrumental material seem to have been mixed down to mono by the time the fourth generation (!) tape was created, so variations are limited to the various horns and other effects (bells, bowed bass) on the other tracks of the master... that is, until the Anthology.

The first mix (A), used on the US promo single, has an extra trumpet at the end, deliberately mixed out in later mixes (B,C). The stereo mix (C) has a extra trumpet after "clean machine", not heard in the mono mixes. The version on the USA "Rarities" is a forgery made by mixing the trumpet sound from (A) onto the stereo mix (C).

The beginning fades up in mono (B), but in stereo (C and D) it starts suddenly on a couple of bass notes lost in Mix B. All mixes seem to lose the first word of the vocal ("In Penny Lane...") or perhaps it is not there.

There are at least two different attemps on producing a mock-stereo mix for the USA from the mono Mix B. One for the original stereo "Magical Mystery Tour" LP (SMAL 2835). The one made for the USA "1967-1970" double LP (SKBO-3404) has less extreme bass-treble separation and may also be on later issues of Capitols "Magical Mystery Tour" LP (SMAL 2835).

The Brazilian LP Beatles For Ever (Apple 31C 066-04 972) has the phrase "in summer" cut out, for reasons unknown.

For the Anthology (Mix D), all the original tracks from 4 generations were synchronized on one multi-track and then remixed with deliberate differences. Paul's vocal is single tracked, different horn parts are heard, and then from about 2:52 on we have several edits that do not reflect the original recording, and at the end is an out-of-place recording of speech about a "suitable ending".

Baby You're A Rich Man

basic recording- 11 May 1967 at Olympic Sound
additional recording- 11 May 1967 at Olympic Sound
master tape- 4 track 2d
mono-mixed: 11 May 1967 at Olympic Sound.
stereo-mixed:  22 Oct 1971 at AIR.
remastered and remixed in 1999 for "Yellow Submarine Songtrack"

Mono is 9 seconds longer, long fade, compared to stereo. The deep bass is reproduced much better in stereo, but special effects are missing, such as the "spin" echo effect at pauses between lines such as after "eye can see", "enough to know", etc. 

Re-releases of the All You Need is Love/Baby You're A Rich Man - single (some Capitol 5964 issues and Capitol Starline A6300 from 1981) has the end of the word "seven" or "eleven" spoken just before the song starts. The USA "Magical Mystery Tour stereo LP had a mock-stereo version of the song, mixed from the mono version. The real stereo mix was released on the german "Magical Mystery Tour" LP from 1971 onwards. Inexplicably the UK release of the Magical Mystery Tour LP, delayed until 1976, used Capitol masters for the LP and German Odeon masters for the cassette, so the stereo version was available in the UK only on cassette.

In 1999, the original multitrack tapes were resynched to make a brand new, "updated" stereo version of the song. Vocals as well as drums are a lot clearer on this mix.

All You Need Is Love

basic recording- 14 Jun 1967 at Olympic Sound
additional recording- 19,23,24,25,26 Jun 1967
master tape- 4 track 3d generation
mono-mixed: 26 June 1967 (used on the single, and the mono USA Magical Mystery Tour LP)
stereo-mixed: 29 Oct 1968
remastered and remixed in 1999 for "Yellow Submarine Songtrack"

In the intro, the mono version has more horns but less drums, and the piano heard in stereo is not audible. In the guitar solo, the lead guitar is louder in mono and has more flanging, but ends by being cut off awkwardly, while in stereo it fades down but can still be heard during the brass section. The mono version has a longer fade by 10 seconds so that Greensleeves is heard twice. In stereo a voice says "Check!" 25 seconds in.

A new mono mix made 1 November 1967 was used for original film prints of Yellow Submarine.

In 1999, the original multitrack tapes were resynched to make a brand new, "updated" stereo version of the song. The harpsichord in the opening loses a bit of it's original punch though, but the backing vocals are more wonderful than before.

The live television broadcast on June 25 1967, which has been bootlegged, has a tambourine instead of a drumroll at the opening, and a different lead vocal, and additionally parts of the backing tracks were heard before the performance.


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