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Is Magical Mystery Tour or Sgt. Pepper's Better?
23 April 2020
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amyjanelennon
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23 April 2020
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William Shears Campbell
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Pepper, although MMT is solid for a Capitol album.

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Pepper is the better album. 

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23 April 2020
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Pepper is the only one that is an album; MMT is a compilation, a damn good compilation, but a compilation nevertheless.

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23 April 2020
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I preferred Magical Mystery Tour until I heard the mono Pepper

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23 April 2020
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Pepper for sure. While Capitol did a great job with MMT, only I Am The Walrus , Strawberry Fields Forever , and Penny Lane are above average IMO where on Pepper only Within You Without You is below average.

Ron Nasty said
Pepper is the only one that is an album; MMT is a compilation, a damn good compilation, but a compilation nevertheless.

  

I prefer to think of it as a foreign release. When you think of compilations, you think of a collection of songs people have already heard before plus maybe 1 or 2 new songs if you're lucky to help sell the album whereas only 4 of the 11 tracks on this album had been released prior in the US with Hello, Goodbye and I Am The Walrus being released simultaneously.

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23 April 2020
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William Shears Campbell
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Ron Nasty said
Pepper is the only one that is an album; MMT is a compilation, a damn good compilation, but a compilation nevertheless.

  

It's sometimes weird for me to think of the Capitol albums as compilation albums, but that's really what they are I suppose.

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23 April 2020
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Timothy
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Magical isn't an album as we all know, but it's damned good. I do rank Pepper ahead of it though. 

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24 April 2020
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I'm gonna go hot and say Magical Mystery Tour is the superior record. I know most of you dismiss it as not being an actual record because of it not being in the release plans of the Beatles at first or whatever but it has previously unreleased tracks in an album as well as artistic cohesion within its divided recording sessions.

To me it counts as an album just from the intro alone. I mean be honest, the first lyric on the album is "The Magical Mystery Tour is waiting to take you away". Come on, that opener gives the album a bigger feel of album than most albums have in general. I mean, generally albums aren't even required to have a structure, they're just a scrap of songs. Magical Mystery Tour goes the extra mile. Also Revolver feels like a scrap of songs and it is one of the best albums ever recorded. And MMT does have a heavy psychedelic vibe that could be considered that magical tour of mystery that is presented on the opening track. So the album also delivers on its premise as well. So hell yeah it's an album. Sure we can discuss technicalities and dismiss it and whatever but it does not sound like a compilation. It feels like it has a progression to me. All You Need Is Love feels like a closer, tracks blend together in how they synthetic and experimental they are, and overall it really feels like an experience, more than most Beatles albums actually. It is also a soundtrack so hell yeah it diserves to be called an album.

Even if it is just a cOmPiLaTiOn it is still superior to Pepper and to me it comes down to the tracklist, mainly. I don't love Pepper because it is a concept album, I couldn't give two sh*ts about that. Outside of the title track and the reprise there is not much concept in it to be honest, Lennon said it himself, so to me MMT just feels like a sequel to Pepper in spirit. I love Pepper because it has fantastic music on it, not because it is officially an album.

But
MMT has the better ones. Yes, I'll say it first, Pepper has A Day In The Life , I can't deny that. But MMT doesn't have Within You Without You , a painfully boring song that overstates its welcome, or When I'm Sixty-Four a cringeworthy "granny song". Also Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! and Good Morning Good Morning are kind of dull as well to me sorry I know some people love those songs but not me.

I'm alone on this but I actually enjoy The Fool On The Hill and Your Mother Should Know much more. Within the Beatles' catalogue of "dumb filler songs" (which every album no exception has), these two are among my favourites. Blue Jay Way just feels like George Harrison got his Indian influences out of his a*s and actually started blending them with pop music, which is what he should've done instead of just making a generic 5 minute straight up Indian song on Pepper: music is better when eclectic instead of self-absorbed. Blue Jay Way is a perfect middle point that is elevated by both its pop sensibilities and Indian curiosities. As well as heavy psychedelia and those eargasmic beat changes. Pepper has the title track, which is great, a Ringo feature which is nice, and then Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds , Getting Better , Fixing A Hole , She's Leaving Home , Lovely Rita and the already mentioned closer as highlights. Fantastic tracklisting, after all I have Sgt. Pepper at 9/10, I really do love that record.

But
MMT track vs track, I think is the winner. Do I need to mentioned them? Hello, Goodbye just seems like a better (and better instrumented) attempt at a "granny song" than When I'm Sixty Four (HEELA - HEEBA HELLOAA). Then you got the fantastic and iconic Penny Lane , All You Need Is Love and the crown jewel Strawberry Fields Forever , and on the other hand, tracks that I think are overlooked, underrated, unappreciated, and many more adjectives. Blue Jay Way for starters, a wonderfully psychedelic cocktail, and Flying , the most wholesome instrumental you could think of. I hate it when people say it's boring because it's not, it's really cool and really helps me chill. A fantastic high listen as well. And last but not least probably one of my favourite Beatles songs: Baby, You're a Rich Man. I hate how many people don't pay attention to this song, it is so good I can't even begin to describe it.

Overall I think MMT is more experimental, more daring, more entertaining, less cringy, more badass and raw. The ending of Strawberry Fields for God 's sake, that is much more beautiful than something as unexciting and stale as the Runoff Groove. The scary aesthetic of something like Blue Jay Way or Strawberry Fields Forever can't be found anywhere on Pepper, as well as the relaxation power of Flying . Whatever vocal excitement portrayed on Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds or Lovely Rita is topped by Magical Mystery Tour 's opening track or Baby, You're a Rich Man. Whatever experimentation on Within You Without You or Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! is topped by the amazing sound editing on Blue Jay Way or Strawberry Fields Forever . Yes, Sgt. Pepper finishes with a striking piano chord and sound collage, but MMT finishes with John singing "SHE LOVES YOU YEAH YEAH YEAH", which doesn't make All You Need Is Love better than A Day In The Life but it is just as fitting a closer.

MMT is a 10/10 because it improves on Sgt. Pepper , to the point where it feels like a revisioning of it. Blue Jay Way is a better Within You Without You , Hello, Goodbye is a better When I'm Sixty Four, Your Mother Should Know is a better Fixing A Hole , Baby You're A Rich Man is a better Good Morning Good Morning , Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane are better than, I don't know, She's Leaving Home and Lovely Rita , to name anything that's left.

I think the tracklist speaks for itself. And I know I'm not going with the typical Rate Your Music/Rolling Stone opinion that Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best album ever made or whatever, but MMT if anything is at least just as good and it needs more recognition as a sister album to Pepper instead of just "the leftovers", because as polished and atrenged into the tracklist as they are, somehow the leftovers taste better than the main dish. To me it's better, I don't stop in my tracks when I listen to MMT the way I do on Pepper, I don't feel as fulfilled when I listen to Pepper than when I listen to MMT. There, I said it.

And I didn't even mentioned I Am The Walrus .

To clarify, everything I say about Pepper on here is JUST IN COMPARISON to Magical Mystery Tour , because otherwise is a uniquely fantastic record and I stand by its greatness as well. For more information see my Sgt. Pepper and MMT tracks ranking and my Official Studio Albums rankings as well.

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24 April 2020
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lovelyritametermaid
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I love MMT as well but there are two things that really bug me:

1) the album cover is atrocious-- like I understand that you have to listen to the actual contents and not just focus on an outward appearance but I always consider the album art apart of the actual experience of listening to an album. It gives the album its overall palette to think of as I listen to the album-- and it's fantastic when album art perfectly matches the vibe and palette of the contents of an album, which in the Beatles track record is fairly consistent (Rubber Soul , Revolver and Pepper, even the White Album have cover art that overall sets the tone and matches the overall vibe of their respective albums as a whole)-- the only outliers are "Let It Be " (which I do love seeing my boys' faces but at this point in their career, album art that only has pictures of the musicians' faces is a pretty weak choice. I would have loved to see something stronger and more expressive for LIB 's art, but at the same time, I guess you can argue that it's appropriate considering it's their final album? Idk. In my opinion, it's a weak choice) and MMT. I get it's supposed to link it more to the film, but like even then it's just a busy and awful cover and I despise it to the point where I try not to look at it when listening to the album. MMT is overall a good experience in itself its just the album art that really ruins it for me overall- I feel like if they went back and revised its art and made something actually fitting and good, the album itself would be more accepted and it would feel more like a cohesive, whole piece of art in itself instead of just a compilation, y'know? Do ya catch my drift? Are you picking up what I'm putting down?? 

2) Magical Mystery Tour , in my opinion, is a trash song and a garbage opener and I want to throw in a fire. It's cringy and overall not a strong or even good song without the album/compilation to back it up. I just don't vibe with it all-- it's probably my number 1 most skipped Beatles track. Paul could've definitely developed something better. 

Also, "Hello Goodbye " isn't really the "granny" song on MMT-- I think that would be "YMSK," since it's meant to be akin to a standard like "WI64." That being said, I think that "WI64" is a lovely song (not Paul's strongest or best, but it's still okay), but I do like "HG" more. And I definitely don't think "YMSK" is even comparable to "FAH," which is a much better and more solid track, IMAO. "WYWY" is definitely beat out by "BJW" though (I looooovvveee BJW-- so psychedelic and gentle), but I think that George needed to make WYWY just to put Indian music in a purer film on a pop record to make a point and introduce Indian music into pop culture, and only then go on to blend it with pop. Also BYARM is great as well. But I do not think that Penny Lane beats out Lovely Rita (putting username bias aside of course), but Strawberry Fields does. Anyhoo....

In conclusion, scrap and revise the opener and cover art and you'd have an album that could possibly beat Pepper, but since we only have this one MMT in our universe, then Sgt Pepper 's is better, IMAO-- I have a more cohesive argument for this that details more on the strengths of Pepper vs. the strengths of MMT but I don't have time right now so I'll take a rain check, if y'all don't mind. 

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24 April 2020
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I don’t know, I think the MMT cover is appropriate. It’s not my favourite from them but I think it reflects the weird and wonderful contents of the album. 

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25 April 2020
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’MMT’ contains too much meh. When listening thru as a whole I enjoy ’Pepper’ whereas with ’MMT’, the throwaways are just splodge.

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25 April 2020
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Despite the tracklist not being assembled by the band, MMT has surprisingly good flow. The outro of Magical Mystery Tour is one of my favorite pieces of Beatles music, segueing into Fool On The Hill seamlessly. The underrated Flying goes into Blue Jay Way quite well, making the first side a real psychedelic roller coaster. I also love Baby You’re A Rich Man to break out of the string of bangers that comes along later. 

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25 April 2020
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Definitely agree. MMT as the opening track makes it feel like a Pepper sequel. All You Need Is Love as the concluding track rhymes with other albums in my mind, ala A Day In The Life or Tomorrow Never Knows . A different message but still a memorable statement by John. It may be because I’ve lived with that tracklist forever, but it does flow naturally IMO.

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25 April 2020
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There should be a holiday once a year called "Baby, You're a Rich Man Is the Best Song Ever Made Day" in which we all forget what our favourite song is and we just pretend it's Baby, You're a Rich Man. It deserves it. It has been overlooked for so much time nowa-hard-days-night-paul-10a-hard-days-night-paul-10

Just... John's vocals man...

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26 April 2020
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’BYARM’ is a piece of absolute brilliance. Every time I hear it it makes me happy as it's that kind of song. How can you not be smiling at the opening or when they start shouting the chorus or at the free-for-all ending? 

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26 April 2020
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I rank the US MMT over Pepper.

 

But, it needs more Cowbell....a-hard-days-night-ringo-10

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Song for song, I think MMT has a slight edge over Pepper. MMT has, for my money, 3 of the absolute greatest songs in the entire catalog (Walrus, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane ) along with Rich Man, Hello Goodbye and All You Need Is Love , which are all amazing. Apart from Walrus, though, I'm not all that big a fan of the actual soundtrack songs - the MMT intro song, Fool On The Hill and Flying are merely OK. I like Blue Jay Way but not as much as I like Within You, Without You. Not a fan of Your Mother Should Know .

On The Pepper side, A Day In The Life and With A Little Help are favorites, I love Lucy, Within You, Good Morning and Sgt Pepper and its reprise, some of the rest feels empty to me.

I decided to rate every song on a scale of 1-5. If I fold Sgt Pepper and its reprise into one "song" they both end up with 11 tracks, so a max of 55 points. Here's how I ended up:

Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band:

Sgt. Pepper & Reprise: 4

With A Little Help From My Friends : 5

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds : 4

Getting Better : 3

Fixing A Hole : 3

She's Leaving Home : 2

Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite !: 3

Within You Without You : 4

When I'm Sixty-Four : 3

Good Morning Good Morning : 4

A Day In The Life : 5

Total: 40 out of 55.

Magical Mystery Tour (US LP):

Magical Mystery Tour : 3

The Fool On The Hill : 3

Flying : 3

Blue Jay Way : 3

Your Mother Should Know : 2

I Am The Walrus : 5

Hello, Goodbye : 4

Strawberry Fields Forever : 5

Penny Lane : 5

Baby You're A Rich Man : 5

All You Need Is Love : 4

Total: 42 out of 55.

 

So, song for song, I give MMT the edge, BUT, and it's a big BUT: Sgt. Pepper is much more of a coherent whole, it was utterly groundbreaking and world-changing, so...

Let's call it a draw.

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27 April 2020
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Pablo Ramon said
Song for song, I think MMT has a slight edge over Pepper. MMT has, for my money, 3 of the absolute greatest songs in the entire catalog (Walrus, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane ) along with Rich Man, Hello Goodbye and All You Need Is Love , which are all amazing. Apart from Walrus, though, I'm not all that big a fan of the actual soundtrack songs - the MMT intro song, Fool On The Hill and Flying are merely OK. I like Blue Jay Way but not as much as I like Within You, Without You. Not a fan of Your Mother Should Know .

On The Pepper side, A Day In The Life and With A Little Help are favorites, I love Lucy, Within You, Good Morning and Sgt Pepper and its reprise, some of the rest feels empty to me.

I decided to rate every song on a scale of 1-5. If I fold Sgt Pepper and its reprise into one "song" they both end up with 11 tracks, so a max of 55 points. Here's how I ended up:

Sgt. Pepper 's Lonely Hearts Club Band:

Sgt. Pepper & Reprise: 4

With A Little Help From My Friends : 5

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds : 4

Getting Better : 3

Fixing A Hole : 3

She's Leaving Home : 2

Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite !: 3

Within You Without You : 4

When I'm Sixty-Four : 3

Good Morning Good Morning : 4

A Day In The Life : 5

Total: 40 out of 55.

Magical Mystery Tour (US LP):

Magical Mystery Tour : 3

The Fool On The Hill : 3

Flying : 3

Blue Jay Way : 3

Your Mother Should Know : 2

I Am The Walrus : 5

Hello, Goodbye : 4

Strawberry Fields Forever : 5

Penny Lane : 5

Baby You're A Rich Man : 5

All You Need Is Love : 4

Total: 42 out of 55.

 

So, song for song, I give MMT the edge, BUT, and it's a big BUT: Sgt. Pepper is much more of a coherent whole, it was utterly groundbreaking and world-changing, so...

Let's call it a draw.

Good system, but you forgot Lovely Rita a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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27 April 2020
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If I were to play your adding up game mine would look like this:

 

PEPPER

Sgt. Pepper ’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: 9/10

With A Little Help From My Friends : 8/10

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds : 8/10

Getting Better : 7/10

Fixing A Hole : 7/10

She’s Leaving Home: 9/10

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!: 6/10

Within You Without You : 2/10

When I’m Sixty-Four: 4/10

Lovely Rita : 8/10

Good Morning Good Morning : 6/10

Sgt. Pepper ’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise): 6/10

A Day In The Life : 10/10

 

90/130 = 6,9/10

 

MMT

Magical Mystery Tour : 6/10

The Fool On The Hill : 7/10

Flying : 8/10

Blue Jay Way : 8/10

Your Mother Should Know : 7/10

I Am The Walrus : 9/10

Hello, Goodbye : 5/10

Strawberry Fields Forever : 10/10

Penny Lane : 8/10

Baby, You’re a Rich Man: 10/10

All You Need Is Love : 6/10

 

84/110 = 7,6/10

 

If Pepper only had 11 tracks just like MMT taking out Within You Without You & When I'm Sixty-Four it would actually equal MMT at 7,6/10. It doesn't help that those two tracks are next to each other eithera-hard-days-night-paul-3

 

Keep in mind tho, this is merely an exercise, I don't rate albums considering their tracks individually, I rate them as a whole. Albums are not the sum of their parts, but an entire experience. But even in that front, I prefer MMT.

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