More than two weeks before its accompanying film received its premiere on BBC television, The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour EP was released.
As The Beatles had six songs for release, it was decided that they would release a double-EP set. The package came with a gatefold sleeve and a 28-page book, including lyrics. This retailed at twice the normal price of a single.
The EP had the catalogue number Parlophone MMT 1 (mono) and SMMT 1 (stereo). It was the first Beatles EP to be issued in both mono and stereo.
Magical Mystery Tour entered the charts on 13 December, and spent 12 weeks in the top 40. Its highest chart position was number two on the singles chart, the dedicated EP chart having been abandoned at the start of December 1967. It was held off the top spot by The Beatles’ own ‘Hello, Goodbye’.
The EP retailed at 19 shillings and sixpence. It had advance orders in the UK of 400,000, and by mid January 1968 had sold 600,000.
The two-disc EP was reissued in 2012 as part of the deluxe Blu-ray edition of Magical Mystery Tour.
Also on this day...
- 2010: Tributes held worldwide to mark 30 years of John Lennon’s passing
- 1980: John Lennon dies
- 1969: Recording: Octopus’s Garden
- 1966: Recording, editing: When I’m Sixty-Four, Strawberry Fields Forever
- 1965: Live: Gaumont Cinema, Sheffield
- 1964: George Harrison visits Ringo Starr in hospital
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Lewisham
- 1962: Live: Oasis Club, Manchester
- 1961: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
Hi, not for inclusion on the site, just for my own curiosity) do you know if the release of Magical Mystery Tour and its subsequent No. 2 singles chart placing warranted an appearance on BBC tvs Top of the Pops show?
Obviously with Hello Goodbye at Number one during its highest chart placing, two appearances, albeit in pre-recorded promotional video I should have thought unlikely but if they did appear during its chart run did MMT have its own single length promo film, maybe of the like that the BBC put together for Hello Goodbye in black and white as an alternative to their own colour one.
Thanks for your time.
I own a UK “Magical Mystery Tour” double EP, a gift from a friend in Newcastle. In the top right corner of the back cover it says “MMT-1 MONO.” And indeed, most of the mixes are mono, except for the track “Flying,” which is in stereo! Any explanation for this?
I think the magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine releases (all songs on MMT and some songs on YS being recorded in 1967 I believe) would have made a great album combined. I find ‘Flying’ to be one of most dull Beatles songs ever (their final stab at releasing the ’12 bar original that’s so grating on Anthology 2!); I find ‘Your Mother Should Know’ to be just tolerable, and certainly not up there with ANYTHING on Pepper or revolver. I know Hello Goodbye is a fan fave but to my mind it isn’t in the same league as Getting Better or say McCartney’s work after MMT. So this leaves Walrus, All You Need is Love, Fool on the Hill, Baby You’re a Rich man, Magical Mystery Tour, Blue Jay Way and the Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields single. Those songs are all (mostly) great, and if you added It’s all Too Much, Hey Bulldog (which I know was recorded after the E.P), All Together Now (ditto) and It’s Only a northern Song, that would be a formidable Beatles album, and you wouldn’t have Yellow Submarine album as I guess an ‘official’ Beatles album, lacking so much as an actual album.
Forgive me (‘It’s not for me to forgive you Derek, it’s for your psychiatrist’-Al Capp) but I have these ‘dream album line-ups’ from various years, like my all-time-favourite Beatles album would be Pepper instead of Revolver/White Album tie if the former had dropped When I’m 64 and She’s leaving Home and added Strawberry Fields and Penny lane.
You can see the ‘music hall’ McCartney that ultimately gave us ‘You gave me the Answer’ in Wings (yech) really creeping in here after I would imagine the good reception When I’m 64 got. Here, Your Mother Should Know continues this train-of-inspiration that brings us forth to Honey pie, Ob La Di & Maxwell, ‘granny music s**t’ according to Lennon (and me).
Back in 2012, the “Magical Mystery Tour” EP was released as part of a very colourful special collector’s edition box set and it not only contains a remastered version of the original mono double EP with faithfully replicated artwork (gatefold and booklet included) and Parlophone labels, but also a customized MMT ticket, an officially restored version of the original movie (or more precisely, TV special, being too short for theatrical release) on both DVD and Blu-Ray discs (the customer has a choice as which format to view it on) and a very interesting booklet containing historical information, facsimiles of invoices, diary entries, filming dates/locations, behind-the-scenes photographs and even mini biographies for each of the actors in the film.
MMT holds the distinction of being both my favourite Beatles movie as well as the first Beatles vinyl record that I bought brand new as opposed to purchasing a second-hand original vinyl copy – the EP, that is. I bought it at my local JB Hi-Fi along with a vinyl copy of “Future Games” by Fleetwood Mac, neither of which I have ever owned original vinyl copies of, and when I first saw the movie in its entirety, having only seen snippets of it in the “Anthology” documentary, I absolutely loved it and as I have stated above, it’s my favourite Beatles movie.