Magical Mystery Tour
- Paul McCartney – lead vocals, piano, bass
- John Lennon – vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, percussion
- George Harrison – vocals, lead guitar, percussion
- Ringo Starr – drums, percussion
- Mal Evans – percussion
- Neil Aspinall – percussion
- David Mason – trumpet
- Elgar Howarth – trumpet
- Roy Copestake – trumpet
- John Wilbraham – trumpet
Magical Mystery Tour was written by Paul McCartney with collaboration from John Lennon, particularly on the lyrics. It was created to be the central theme for Magical Mystery Tour, the album and the TV video. Different from the Beatles' other cinematic projects, this theme song was not published as a single record. It was never regarded as a virtuoso piece of song writing or performing, but it has always been well-received by the public as a nice, upbeat tune. The introduction, which includes the phrase "Roll up! Roll up!" imitates the invitation of a fairgrounds or circus barker to see what's going on inside. In the UK, a "mystery tour" was a holiday trip taken by bus to a destination not disclosed to the travelers before their arrival. In the Beatles' version, the band traveled around England in a bus, filming their experiences. The actual TV film was disorganized and panned by the critics. The album and EP, on the other hand, enjoyed success.
The project followed right on the heels of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on April 25, 1967. The group had only four days to switch gears. It is said that this was Paul's effort to give the group new direction and renewed enthusiasm to create. The song Magical Mystery Tour had not been completely written when recording began on April 25, 1967, so a good bit of time was spent in rehearsing and revising prior to laying down the basic rhythm track. Vocals and bass were added in the next days, and then the brass was added on May 3, even before a score had been prepared. The project was released in the UK on a six-song EP in December of 1967. The US version, released in November of 1967, was an LP. Five previously released singles were added to complete the disc. The version of the song actually heard in the movie differs from the audio recording. It has not been publicly released.