All songs with an asterisk (*) are
songs from the film (and EP) Magical Mystery Tour
All songs composed by Lennon/McCartney unless otherwise specified.
In early April 1967, Paul McCartney went to the U.S to see his then girlfriend Jane Asher perform in a play. While on the trip back to England, he jotted down some notes concerning making a film about a tour bus or coach with people on board driving around the English countryside not knowing what would happen to them from one minute to the next. Upon his return to England, he showed his idea to the other three Beatles and the T.V. film Magical Mystery Tour was born.
Recording sessions for the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack commenced late April 1967 with the title song being recorded first, and other songs for the special being recorded up until early November. The Beatles shot the scenes for Magical Mystery tour during September 1967. The film centers around a tour coach titled Magical Mystery Tours and the people who are on board the coach. One of the sub-plots involves Ringo and his on-screen Aunt Jesse, arguing over Aunt Jesse's not getting out of the house more often, thus the trip aboard the bus. She ends up having an imaginary love affair with Buster Bloodvessel, who is a passenger aboard the bus, but thinks he is the buses tour guide. The bus travels all around the English countryside where just about anything goes.
On August 27, 1967, Brian Epstein, the Beatles' manager died of an accidental drug overdose. When the Beatles stopped touring, Brian felt lost not overseeing the day-to-day business of the group. As a result, Brian fell into depression. He was taking bromides to help him sleep at night, when he accidentally took too many pills during a short period that lead to his death. He had a memorial service on October 17, 1967 with all four Beatles in attendance. After Brian's death, the Beatles decided they needed to carry on with the Magical Mystery Tour project, and so they did.
In England, the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack was released on two Extended Play records (or EP's as they are called). In the U.S., Capitol Records released two EP's in 1964 and 1965 with record buyers not interested in the EP format. Therefore, Capitol decided to make an album consisting of the six songs from the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack plus five other Beatles songs released outside of Sgt. Pepper during 1967. The songs Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane, Hello Goodbye, Baby You're A Rich Man. and All You Need Is Love made up Side 2 of the Magical Mystery Tour album in the U.S. Parlophone records in 1976 would eventually release Magical Mystery Tour in the American format as well as on CD in 1987.
The sixty-minute film Magical Mystery Tour was shown to the British public on Boxing Day (December 26). It was panned by the critics, and thus the Beatles had for once flopped on a project. The soundtrack however did pretty well selling 1 1/2 million copies in the U.S.