Everyone has their favourite Beatles album. Most would say Revolver, a few outliers might say Abbey Road, and unconventional idiots like me would say Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band or Magical Mystery Tour. Finding myself more and more inundated with the acid trip era of The Beatles, I’ll admit that right now, their best album is Magical Mystery Tour.Already I can tell people are going to judge me for that, but hear me out. It’s not only the most tonally consistent album The Beatles ever released but also an album that perfectly encapsulates the era of its release. A whole time period condensed into one album.
Some of the most free-flowing, incredibly fine-tuned lyrics that The Beatles ever provided from any of their albums, Magical Mystery Tour is a tour-de-force when it comes to innovation through simplistic recording measures. Lyrical prowess coupled with some engaging, ever incredible sounding backing tracks from the fabulous four make for an intensely enjoyable listening experience. The obvious highlights come from Strawberry Fields Forever (the best Beatles song of all time), All You Need is Love and some thoroughly enjoyable and perfectly solid tracks in the form of Baby You’re a Rich Man and The Fool on the Hill.
The fever dream melodies take centre stage throughout the most prominent songs on the eleven-track album, with the freakish, nightmare fuel of I Am the Walrus and the titular song Magical Mystery Tour presenting us with acid trip-oriented lyrics that make as little sense as you’d expect. A handful of songs throughout the album could certainly elbow their way into position as the best Beatles track of all, the aforementioned Strawberry Fields Forever already takes number one spot though. Penny Lane and Hello Goodbye are equally as strong, the plucky, upbeat nature of Hello Goodbye juxtaposed rather well with the rest of the album.
An experimentally driven album that relies on the standard highs of any old album from The Beatles, but at the same time incorporates a great deal of new sounds and ideals that would be present in future albums to come from the group. By far their strongest on the whole, with not a single pause in engaging, enjoyable music. Revolver may be home to some of the more lasting, nostalgic songs that The Beatles put out, but when it comes to consistency, Magical Mystery Tour is the perfect example of the great mixtures the band could provide.