Saturday, June 18, 2011

Roll Up..Roll Up For The Magical Mystery Tour

An original idea transpired in late 1967 when it was discovered that The Beatles were about to release a 2-EP set of their television special entitled "Magical Mystery Tour". Capitol in the USA decided not to release the soundtrack to their television special in the same format (EPs were not as popular in North America as they were in the UK, to put it gently).

Capitol Records in the US and Canada released a full LP "Magical Mystery Tour" on November 27, 1967. This was the last Capitol LP to be released in both mono and stereo formats. The catalogue number for the mono issues is MAL-2835 while the stereo issues consist of the catalogue number SMAL-2835.

Capitol Records enlarged the front cover of the UK Parlophone double EP (catalogue number MMT-1 for mono and SMMT-1 for stereo). A yellow and blue "clouds" type background expands and surrounds the photo of the Beatles in animal costumes. White banners indicates the songs included on the LP in red. Side one tunes are above the Beatles photo while side two songs are featured below the photo.

The side two songs consist of previously released singles along with the new single at the time: "Hello Goodbye". The first two songs on side two of the LP ("Hello Goodbye" and "Strawberry Fields Forever") are in true stereo on the stereo version of the LP. The remainder of side two ("Penny Lane", "Baby, You're a Rich Man" and "All You Need Is Love") are in duophonic which means the mono mix with highs in one speaker and low frequencies in the other speaker for the stereo version of the LP.

The back cover of the LP is exactly the same as the UK Parlophone double EP back cover (but obviously blown up to fit the 12 x 12 format).

The original LP has a gatefold cover with the track listing on the left side and the lyrics to side one on the right side. The original 24 page booklet is attached to the inside gatefold cover with staples and is the same booklet as the UK Parlophone double EP (once again, obviously blown up to fit the 12 x 12 format). Some re-issues discontinued the booklet.

The labels are the classic Capitol black and rainbow rim with white/blue manufacturing information written above the rainbow perimeter. In Canada, mono copies were mainly RCA pressings while stereo copies were mainly Compo pressings.

The material on the LP consisted of songs from the television special "Magical Mystery Tour" on side one and the 1967 singles on side two. The LP was very successful in the sense that this format has been adopted as the offical Beatles catalogue and consequence CDs have been issued in this format. The LP format was also officially released in the UK in 1976 (see pertinent blog for information).

The inner sleeves for this LP in Canada were the red/white "Capitol/Pathe" - "Attention" sleeves while in the USA, the inner sleeves were often the "Sgt. Pepper" psychedelic red, white and pink "fool" inner sleeves but also may contain the Capitol tan inner sleeves with the mini black and white LP covers.

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