Some Beatles fans are quick to shun “Magical Mystery Tour” – they claim it’s not officially an album, and it doesn’t succeed in its concept quite as much as Sgt Pepper’s did. While I agree with that last sentiment, I think not including it among their albums is a load of rubbish.
It’s one of their most underrated albums, with a plethora of insanely good tracks that I keep coming back to. It’s not all sunshine and roses though – how would I rank every song?
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11 – The Fool On The Hill
I’m so sorry to anyone who likes this track, but I want to cut my ears off with a pair of rusty scissors whenever that stupid flute comes in.
The rest of “The Fool On The Hill” isn’t great either, as it’s one of McCartney’s most boring songs. One of the only Beatles songs, especially in their later years, that I can confidently say I dislike.
10 – Flying
“Flying” is a fun interlude track, but nothing more.
I think it’s the only instrumental song in the Beatles’ discography other than “Revolution 9” … no points for guessing which track I like more.
9 – Blue Jay Way
I do appreciate George Harrison’s contributions to the later Beatles albums, but “Blue Jay Way” is a little weird by his standards.
It sounds almost confrontational and threatening, and I have to be in the right frame of mind to really enjoy it.
8 – Hello, Goodbye
Twelve-year-old me really loved this song for how whimsical and bubbly it is, but nowadays I think “Hello, Goodbye” is overplayed and slightly overrated.
It’s still incredibly fun, and the outro where everyone’s having a blast is so infectious and danceable.
7 – Magical Mystery Tour
The title track and intro to the album, and while it doesn’t quite pack as much of a punch as Sgt. Pepper’s did it certainly kickstarts the record with a bang.
It clues you in that things will be a little more off-beat and psychedelic this time around, and Ringo’s thumping drums are pretty great.
6 – Baby, You’re A Rich Man
I know “Baby, You’re A Rich Man” more for featuring in “The Social Network” than for being on this album, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great.
Lennon’s vocals are stellar, and the weird organ sound in my left ear doesn’t annoy me nearly as much as I thought it would.
5 – Your Mother Should Know
One of the Beatles’ most underrated songs, “Your Mother Should Know” is a gorgeous ballad that crescendos all the way to the end.
The backing vocals are exceptional, and McCartney’s vocals and piano work give it an old-school vibe.
4 – Penny Lane
Four “All-Time Great” songs on one album?! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many GOATed tracks in one place … yet another reason why “Magical Mystery Tour” is so underrated.
“Penny Lane” was McCartney’s ode to one of his childhood locations in Liverpool (a bus stop he frequented, I think), and it’s one of the band’s most fun songs as a result. The woodwind and brass instrumentals are great, and they work together with McCartney’s piano comping remarkably well.
3 – I Am The Walrus
John Lennon wrote “I Am The Walrus” after he found out his old primary school were studying Beatles lyrics in their English class, and I just find that hilarious.
It’s one of the weirdest and wackiest songs I’ve ever heard, and it could only work when spawned from Lennon’s genius. The outro, where everything gets thrown at you at once, is one of the musical highlights in the Beatles’ whole discography.
2 – All You Need Is Love
I love it when the Beatles go back to their roots on a song, and “All You Need Is Love” is arguably their definitive peace / love song.
This has Lennon-isms all over it, from the changing time signature to the playful jab at “She Loves You” at the end, and it’s definitely one of my favourite songs ever.
I think this was one of the first songs to ever be broadcast in technicolour across the entire world as well, so that’s quite an achievement.
1 – Strawberry Fields Forever
The answer to “What is my favourite Beatles song?” is always hotly contested between three songs – “A Day In The Life”, “Something”, and on days like today I would say it’s “Strawberry Fields Forever”.
This was Lennon’s nostalgic response to McCartney’s “Penny Lane”, and it contains too many genius musical ideas for me to mention. I don’t know what Lennon was smoking at the time, but he managed to create one of the top 10 greatest songs ever written.
Aaaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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