The Beatles

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The Beatles

Magical Mystery Tour (Apple/EMI)

Unlike theatrical releases A Hard Day's Night and Help!, Magical Mystery Tour could originally be seen only on the BBC. Loosely directed by Paul McCartney, it's a reflection of the times – 1967's Summer of Love – so psychedelic touches abound, and trying to make sense of "I Am the Walrus" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" still comes off as fruitless. The improvised story makes little sense, and the thrill of seeing the Liverpudlian foursome onscreen has worn off. Nevertheless, the music remains among the Beatles' most memorable and progressive, and the remastered DVD sounds better than ever. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band singing "Death Cab for Cutie" near film's end comes off as freakishly memorable. The extras include a Traffic video for "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" that was commissioned for the film but not used, as well as new edits with unseen footage of "Hello Goodbye," "The Fool on the Hill," "Blue Jay Way," and "Your Mother Should Know." New interviews with Paul and Ringo add a bit of historical insight, and, while as a film and an album Magical Mystery Tour maintains both fans and detractors, this release will likely satisfy the former without quieting the latter.

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