My Beatles Record Collection Pt. 7 — ‘Magical Mystery Tour and Other Splendid Hits’

I have always loved the fish-eye lens pictures from The Beatles' brief trip to India in 1966 with a passion. And I think I may have just found my favourite!

I have always loved the fish-eye lens pictures from The Beatles’ brief trip to India in 1966 with a passion. And I think I may have just found my favourite!

And so it is the 1st of March… Happy Autumn (or Spring, if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere)! In Adelaide, the month of March (or really, mid February ’till the end of March) is Festival Season. We have lots of music and arts festivals at this time of year, and it is a really awesome place to be! Tonight, I’m going to see a stage production of The Who’s Tommy (as a part of the Adelaide Festival), and next weekend I will be spending three days at WOMADelaide (a world music festival, with the best food, iced tea and shops, too!)! And in unrelated news, we are playing a Beatles medley in my school concert band! Yay! But onto the post…

‘My Beatles Record Collection’ is back — late… Sorry about that. But alas, this month I will be focusing on a The Beatles’ studio album which never really was a proper studio album — Magical Mystery TourMagical Mystery Tour was released (ironically) on December 8th, 1967, as the soundtrack to the ill-fated “film” of the same name (which I have only watched once. I didn’t hate it, but it was a bit odd…) In countries on which The Beatles were released on Parlophone, it was released as a double EP, complete with a fancy booklet and fancy packaging. But in the land of good ol’ Captiol Records (America), it was released as a full length LP along with the Beatles’ singles from ’67, because EPs were apparently “useless” at that point in time. But anyway, due to its different release methods, it is often debated between Beatles fans as to whether it should be included in the core discography or not. Ever since the ’87 remixes, EMI has included along with the core selection as a studio album as the material was never available on an actual studio album. But I am in the latter camp. Magical Mystery Tour, to me, is a Captiol compilation of a similar ilk to pretty much any Beatles album released in America before Sgt. Pepper. But oh well. As an album, some of the tracks include ‘Flying’, ‘Blue Jay Way’ (my favourite song on the album!), ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and the famous ‘I Am The Walrus’ (goo goo g’joob). I’d say it is just as mad and psychedelic as Pepper, and I love mad psychedelia! 🙂

America was not the only place to have a Magical Mystery Tour LP, however. In 1970, the same album was released in Australia, under a slightly different title of Magical Mystery Tour and Other Splendid Hits. But it was not released on Apple, or Parlophone. It was released on a label named World Record Club (exclusively in Australia, according to the back!), which was a mail-order catalogue type thing. I obtained my copy in a cool record shop in Melbourne back in July, and apparently they are quite rare!

image

This is the front cover. Note how it is so different to the US/official cover which we all know so well! The picture is a still from the ‘I Am The Walrus’ scene of the film. The font of the title is different, too. But then, the actual title itself is different too, so…

image

This is the back cover (obviously!). I actually like the back cover, as it makes it clear to the listener which songs are from the film, and which ones are “other selections”. I find it interesting how some quirky pieces of text which are synonymous with the original EP/LP — like the “‘No, you’re not!’ said Little Nicola” bit underneath ‘I Am The Walrus’, and the production being credited to ‘Big George Martin’ — are included on the back of this version, too! Oh, and that little star in the top right-hand corner says ‘STEREO’, by the way. By the time that MMT was released in Australia as an LP, mono had long been not used for albums. The Beatles were in fact the first popular band to utilise stereo, as far back as Please Please Me. Funny to think how all The Beatles’ albums were packed in between 1963 – 1970. Amazing…

image

This is the vinyl itself! The inner sleeve is quite interesting, as it is made of quite thick, translucent plastic — as opposed to the paper or flimsier, transparent plastic inner sleeves of the Parlophone/Apple releases. You can see the WRC record label here, too. According to Wikipedia, WRC was actually owned by EMI from 1965 onwards — which would explain why the inclusion of a Beatles album in one of those mail order catalogues (they usually weren’t included).

image

A close-up of the label. The actual text isn’t that different to what one would discover on a regular Beatles release label, though of course the label itself is. Apparently WRC felt a need to point out that it should spin at 33 1/3 RPM…

image

And a close-up of the vinyl! It’s in really, really good condition — near mint, actually! The vinyl is still very shiny — to the point where I had to have a few goes to try and not get my iPad reflected on the vinyl! And for a record made in 1970, the vinyl is quite heavyweight. (A lot heavier than the flimsy ‘orange label’ reissues of the same time, anyway…) It plays really well, so I am pleased!

And there we go…done for another month. I am especially looking forward to doing this month’s ‘MBRC’, as it is time for a very special double album. And I am lucky enough to have an equally special pressing of this album…

Oh, and yesterday (February 28th) would have been the 73rd birthday of my favourite Stone, Brian Jones! Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading on Brian (and The Stones). Amongst other things, Brian was a huge influence on The Stones in the early days, and he was an amazing multi-instrumentalist who made many good Stones songs great. I shall write a proper post about him at some point in the future, but for now, I shall post a few pictures of him below. Happy birthday, Brian!

image image image

I’ll go back to my normal blogging schedule next week, I think. I have a great Beatley idea which has been in the works for a very good while, and it shall see the light of day next week! But until then, good day sunshine 🙂

Advertisements

Standin’ In The Garden, Listening To ‘Watching Rainbows’

The bootleg this post will revolve around. I don't own it (yet...naughty bootleg-buying me!), but I know the song well, and love it dearly.

The bootleg this post will revolve around. I don’t own it (yet…naughty bootleg-buying me!), but I know the song well, and love it dearly.

Well, yay! It’s finally holidays again! Two lovely weeks of freedom! I thought I’d do a short thing today (‘Huh?’ I bet you’re thinking. ‘tangerinetrees99 absolutely does not do short!’ Well tangerinetrees is going to prove she can – and yes, she did just feel a sudden urge to refer to herself in the third person) on something that deserves its own post, so here goes.

Those of you who read my post from two weeks ago, My Twelve Favourite Beatles Lead Guitar Parts (you can read it here), will know I mentioned a song called ‘Watching Rainbows’. I’m pretty sure I said I’d do a post on it, so here it is!

In short, I. Love. This. And I think it should have been released, either in this form or in a different, re-recorded version. But anyway – here’s some background info:

‘Watching Rainbows’ was recorded in midst of the Get Back sessions – Wikipedia has supplied me with the exact date, which is the 14th of January, 1969. This was, in fact, recorded without George, as he had temporarily quit the band during this period. George’s absence explains the lack of bass, as Paul was on lead guitar. As you will hear, it is John’s song, so he is obviously on vocals and on that GORGEOUS electric piano. Ringo (again, just slightly obviously. I hope you are good at seeing sarcasm in print) is on drums.

You may recognise a couple of riffs. The first one of these is at the start, and sounds a bit like the main riff of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. (The riff was later used in ‘I Know (I Know)’ off Mind Games, for all you Lennonites like myself out there!)

Did you know that ‘Watching Rainbows’ was in fact the origin of this riff? There are three songs that make up ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ – obviously Paul’s, well, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, Johns’ ‘Everybody Had A Hard Year’ and ‘Watching Rainbows’! A riff that sounds similar to ‘Hey Bulldog’ is also used at the end. Other songs that ‘WR’ is often associated with include ‘I Am The Walrus’ (‘WR’ has the line ‘Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the English sun to come and make me brown’ – ‘IATW’ has the lines ‘Sitting in an English Garden waiting for the sun / if the sun don’t come you get your tan from sitting in the English rain’) and ‘Mean Mister Mustard’, which was rehearsed directly before.

‘Watching Rainbows’ has been widely bootlegged, and was in fact the title of a 1978 bootleg album of Get Back outtakes! But I’m not here to promote bootlegging (that would be, erm, illegal). But here’s the song, and here are the lyrics, directly copied (with some spelling/grammar fix-ups from me) from lyricsmode.com (yes, they had the lyrics to an obscure Beatles bootleg!). Make sure you listen to it, as it is an absolutely amazing song, and incredibly good for a random Threetles jam!

Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the sun to shine /
Hand my umbrella, with this dirt – I wish she was mine /
Everybody doves, think a thing; it didn’t come /
Instead of watching rainbows, I’m gonna make me some /
Instead of watchin’ rainbows, I’m gonna make me some /
Standin’ in the garden, waitin’ for the English sun to come and make me brown so I can be someone /
Lookin’ at the bench of next door neighbours /
Cryin’ to my mum, I’m tryin’ to set sabres /
Everybody’s got to have something hard to grow /
Well, instead of watching rainbows under the sun /
You gotta get out son, and make you one /
You gotta get out son, and make you run /
Because you’re not gonna make it if you cry, cry, though /
Shoot big!
Shoot big!
Whatever you do, you gotta kill somebody to get what you wanna get /
You gotta shoot big!
You gotta shoot big!
Until you shoot big /
I can’t stand.

So there you go. Enjoy!

And just to finish off, you may or may not know that iTunes have released a free EP called 4: John, Paul, George, Ringo to go along with their brand-new Beatles solo-career masters! The tracks are as follows: ‘Love’ (John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, from their 1970 self-titled album), ‘Call Me Back Again’ (Paul McCartney and Wings, from their 1975 album, Venus and Mars), ‘Let It Down’ (George Harrison, from his 1970 triple-album All Things Must Pass) and ‘Walk With You’ (Ringo Starr, from his 2012 album Y Not). John and George have the best tracks by far (well, I have to confess I actually haven’t heard the other two tracks, but as a general rule, John and George’s solo careers are the best out of the four), but it’s free! I downloaded it last night, and be sure to do so too! I believe it’s only free for a limited time…

Oh, and Dhani Harrison recently played a version with his band (NOT thenewno2) of his dad’s ‘Let It Down’ (also featured on that EP!). I really like it – and gosh, he sounds a lot like George! Here it is:

Good day sunshine! 🙂

The Poll On The Hill

 

Wouldn't this be just fab to have on your wall? Sadly, I do not own one as of yet.

Wouldn’t this be just fab to have on your wall? Sadly, I do not own one as of yet.

 

Excuse my incredibly lame pun – I think it’s the worst I’ve come up with yet (you’re trying too hard, tangerinetrees99!)! This blogging session’s album is Magical Mystery Tour, and the title track is just finishing – as all Beatlemaniacs know, ‘The Fool On The Hill’ is the second track (it just started), and I’ve already done a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ pun, so guess what I’m punning on this time?!

But anyway – as one would think – I’m going to post a poll. I’m also going to assume that your computer/phone/tablet/MP3 player/whatever internet-enabled device you’re reading this on doesn’t also take form as a hill, so it will not be a ‘poll on the hill’. As you’ve probably guessed, I have a tendency to go off on tangents, so I will post the poll before this turns into the word-count of the millennium (yay – ‘Blue Jay Way’ just came on!).

 

 

I love hearing who people’s favourite Beatles are – you can find out a lot about that person from their answer. I’d also love to see who’s the most popular Beatle out of everyone who can withstand my lame puns, thus reads this blog, so please vote! As you will have probably gathered from my ‘Welcome’ post (and my ‘When The Beatles Drove Us Wild’ review), my favourite Beatle is John/John Winston Lennon/John Ono Lennon/Dr Winston O’Boogie/Johnny, whose song ‘I Am The Walrus’ has just come on (and I bet you I’ll be in hysterics in a few seconds!)! Anyway, I’m going to get a tan from the British (Australian??) rain – which was pouring down in thick sheets just a second ago, but has seemingly stopped – with a walrus and the eggmen (more puns)! Good day rain/sunshine 🙂