6 Jan 1968 The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour started an eight week run at No.1 on the US album chart, the group’s 11th US chart topper.
John, Paul, George and Ringo spent nearly a week at the town’s former RAF site in 1967, after being unable to hire any London film studios at short notice.
The movie, which was largely unscripted, used aircraft hangars for many of the scenes, including the ballroom sequence for Your Mother Should Know, while the video for I Am The Walrus was shot at two locations on the airfield, including atop the anti-blast concrete walls.
Six weeks after Sgt. Pepper’s came out in late May 1967, the Beatles released a new single, “All You Need Is Love,” backed with “Baby, You’re a Rich Man.” Those two songs, along with a pair of tracks recorded at the start of the Sgt. Pepper’s sessions and other more recent tracks, ended up on the U.S. edition of Magical Mystery Tour.
“Paul had a great piece of paper—just a blank piece of paper with a circle on it,” Ringo would later recall. “We filled it in as we went along.”
“It was basically a charabanc trip,” George Harrison said during the Beatles Anthology in 1995. “Which people used to go on from Liverpool to see the Blackpool Lights,” a popular electric light display presented in the autumn months. “They’d get loads of crates of beer and an accordion player and all get pissed, basically—pissed in the English sense, meaning drunk. And it was kind of like that. It was a very flimsy kind of thing.”
“And now we are going to play a track from Magical Mystery Tour which is one of my favourite albums because it was so weird I Am The Walrus, one of my favourite tracks because I did it of course but also cos it’s one of those that has enough little bitties going to keep you interested even a hundred years later.” (John Lennon)
The Beatles devised, wrote and directed a television film called Magical Mystery Tour which was broadcast on BBC Television at Christmas, 1967
Even before Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, had hit the shops, the idea of the programme had been born and work had commenced on the title track.
It was decided that the soundtrack for the programme would be released on two seven inch discs which would be packaged with a booklet in a gatefold sleeve. The booklet contained stills from the show along with a comic strip telling the story. A lyric sheet was also stapled into the centrespread of the booklet. The EP was a runaway success and reached no. 2 in the UK singles chart, held off the top spot by their own single… “Hello, Goodbye”. (BEATLES:COM)
However, as critics have pointed out more recently, the American edition of Magical Mystery Tour is a sonically innovative and positively euphoric listening experience when heard as 11 songs by a great band. The musical patchwork of new and familiar material was empathic proof that their creative vision put them head and shoulders above their competition, even when others felt they weren’t firing on all cylinders. (Sourcce Albumism).