Magical Mystery Tour May Be The Beatles' Best Album
If I were to ask you "Quick think of the best Beatles album..." Sgt. Pepper, Revolver, Abbey Road, The White Album or Rubber Soul would be the first out of your mouth. Magical Mystery Tour would probably be way down the list. Agreed, the film to which the album was devoted was interesting, but wasn’t exactly great cinema, and the cover of the album is pretty hokey (the German and UK versions were even hokier). What’s more, Magical Mystery Tour was the only album put out by Capitol that is today considered an essential Beatles studio original (it was released in Britain as an EP but, for once, the U.S. song selection proved to be better). The album is an outlier for a number of other reasons, not least of which a number of previously released singles were included. For example, Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane, which rightfully belonged on the Sgt. Pepper album, appear on Magical Mystery Tour.
Despite a glorious selection of songs, all of this adds up to the album having something of a compilation feel rather than the organic goodness of most of the Beatles UK studio releases. As it is, Magical Mystery Tour is not the best Beatles album… until one uses their imagination.
Forget about the hokey cover, get the album into iTunes and simply re-order the songs thusly:
Magical Mystery Tour
Strawberry Fields Forever
I am the Walrus
All You Need Is Love
The Fool On The Hill
Your Mother Should Know
Baby You’re A Rich Man
Blue Jay Way
(Or, make up your own order.) Make a new cover, and there it is… an album that is now in contention for the Best Beatles Album Of All Time. Ok, I’m breaking the rules a bit, I know this, but it just feels so good.