Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Top 5 Songs: Magical Mystery Tour

Happy Hump Day!

I know I'm a day early with the Top 5 feature, but fuck it, I can do what I want. And what I want is to pick my Top 5 songs from the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour album.

Besides, I have "Flying" stuck in my head.

Yep. Straight from 1967, comes this gem of an album that was designed primarily as more of a soundtrack than a straight-out actual album. 

You see, Paul McCartney had an idea of making a film that revolved around the Beatles and their music. And so this project came to be, with no scripts and just a bunch of randomness filled with funny, quirky adventures.

It was officially released on television for the BBC just in time for Christmas, but the critics absolutely hated it! And this was during the height of Beatlemania.

I guess the unscripted approach was too experimental and too hip for the times.
But out of that seeming flop(which it isn't too me) came this pretty damn good album.

Here's the song list:

1."Magical Mystery Tour"  McCartney2:48
2."The Fool on the Hill"  McCartney3:00
3."Flying(John Lennon/Paul McCartney/George Harrison/Richard Starkey)(Instrumental)2:16
4."Blue Jay Way(Harrison)Harrison3:50
5."Your Mother Should Know"  McCartney2:33
6."I Am the Walrus"  Lennon4:35
Side two: 1967 singles
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Hello, Goodbye"  McCartney3:24
2."Strawberry Fields Forever"  Lennon4:05
3."Penny Lane"  McCartney3:00
4."Baby, You're a Rich Man"  Lennon3:07
5."All You Need Is Love"  

Yeah, that's what I have to choose from. And no, it's not going to be easy:(
And yes, they're will be a tie(s)......

5.  Baby, You're a Rich Man/ Your Mother Should Know

Baby, you're a rich man

I really dig the beginning to this one, with the horn/flute thingy and all. Hey, I don't know what the hell the proper instrument name is, but it sounds just like what snake charmers play to you know, charm the snakes into popping up out the basket and shaking their groove thing to the funky beat.

It's a very clever and tongue-in-cheek song, that seems to be making fun off/talking shit to and about celebrities and famous people. You know, acting like their shit doesn't stink because they have lots of money and fame now. And you can also possibly point out that the Beatles are kinda' making fun of themselves as well, since they're also included in the rich and famous celebrity club. Either way, it's still a damn fine song that deserved to be included in my list.

And it shares it's spot with this song, You're Mother Should Know:

They look pretty pimp in those white suits don't they?
See that's one of the things I like about the Beatles; even they're jokey, non-serious songs that seem like throwaway stuff sounds so good. It's probably because even when they're goofing off, they're still professional about it. 

But seriously, how pimp are those suits?

And what tune/song are they dancing to that only your mother seems to know? They never explain that one. Hmm;)

4. Fool On The Hill

This one's a classic for sure. Who hasn't felt like the Fool on the Hill at one time or another? And not just if you were drunk or high.

Here's McCartney in his own words explaining how the song came about:

" 'Fool on the Hill' was mine and I think I was writing about someone like Maharishi(Maharishi Mahesh Yogi). His detractors called him a fool. Because of his giggle he wasn't taken too seriously ... I was sitting at the piano at my father's house in Liverpool hitting a D 6th chord, and I made up 'Fool on the Hill."

So there you go.

3. Penny Lane/ All You Need Is Love

Penny Lane

How iconic is this song? It's so British, yet also so very much like the song stylings of Lennon and McCartney. It's a silly pop song that sounds like a crazy adventure all centered around the inhabitants of this one particular street. Very few bands/singers could pull something that might appear on the outside as a mundane song off so well.

Of course I had to have another tie, and that's where the next song comes in: All you need is love.

All You Need Is Love

Yeah I know. How come this isn't #1? Well the video alone should damn well be. Just how awesome is that video by the way? All those people just sitting around, enjoying themselves  and joining in to sing when it was their time. Just awesome.... Spiritual even.

Again, this was not only at the height of Beatlemania, bout also Flower Power and the love/peace movement.
To me, it's not just an anti-war song, but also a pro-peace and love song directed at everybody to quit hating each other over petty shit and just love and except one another. With songs like that you can never go wrong.

Another quick note of interest in case you didn't already know.....
this song was viewed live via satellite in an era and time when that sort of technology was crude and brand spanking new. Think about that one for a second. Oh the Beatles; always the innovators;)

And yes, I'll freely admit, there are times when watching this that I get a bit choked up. Not just because of the power and message of the song, but also because I quickly realize that both John and George are no longer around:(

2. Strawberry Fields Forever

Oh you know this song had to be included on the list!
This song in particular, for me, let the world know that this album and the band, were different from the previous ones in a bold and new way. Named after a now famous cemetery in Liverpool, England, SFF  proudly showcased the Beatles dabbling with drugs like LSD and Marijuana, you know, if you didn't already get that from the trippy songs. 

There's at least two versions of this song I really like; this one, and the stripped down acoustic version that you'll hear on the Beatles Anthology album and the Beatles Love album.
I highly recommend listening to both, especially the stripped down version because Lennon's vocals are so much clearer and so of the times. 

What else is there more to say, then this is a true classic.

1. Hello, Goodbye

Yeah this was hard one, but for know I stick by my choice. As much as I love Strawberry Fields and how it truly heralded the psychedelic phase of the Beatles, Hello, Goodbye for me is just the shit. I love the beginning, middle, and end. I love the guitar effects and sounds that weren't being used like that or at all before that song came out.

And just look at that video, with the Fab Four wearing those crazy, trippy, psychedelic military-inspired outfits. Those outfits are iconic, and not just because it was the 60's; but also because the Beatles made that shit work.

And seriously, how can you not like that song? It's so poppy and catchy. Not to mention making a hit song out of an argumentative statement....."I say yes, you say no, I say stop, and you say go, go ,go" C'mon!

No doubt to me why I picked this song as my number one, and you know it wasn't easy.
And that's not to say the others are bad, because they're not. Like I said earlier, I've had the instrumental song "Flying" in my head for a day or two now, and that's a pretty damn decent song.

If you haven't had  a chance to see the original album cover up close and personal, you gotta' try it. It has loads of wacky pictures from the movie, and some weird stuff as well.

Case in point, are some supposed "Paul Is Dead" proof pics, and one other disturbingly accurate one.
There's one photo where John's standing @ a desk with a bunch of anonymous stuff. Well there's one travel advertisement on the desk that goes "The best way to go, is with MDC."

Sounds innocent enough, until you pay close attention to the initials MDC. Get why?
Because they're also the same initials belonging to the very man who shot and killed John Lennon almost 20 years later.....Mark David Chapman=MDC.

Yeah, freaky huh? Especially with now that that eerie phrase "The best way to go" can be seen into a totally new light. It's ironic, don't you think?

So, as always, feel free to give your top 5 picks from this album. Remember, there's no right or wrong answer, just what your preferences are.

Have a good one people:)

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