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Magical Mystery Tour is probably the most overlooked of all of The Beatles' later albums, probably because it's a movie soundtrack and singles compilation rather than a 'proper' studio album.

It was really the last truly psychedelic Beatles album, as they went all over the place with the 'white album', then went back to plain pop/rock on Abbey Road and Let It Be.

Magical Mystery Tour sees The Beatles taking their Sgt. Pepper experiments even further, with distorted strings on Lennon's "I Am the Walrus", and the incredible "Strawberry Fields Forever", which - in terms of creativity - is probably the greatest pop/rock song of all time.

Other gems include McCartney's beautiful ballad "Fool on the Hill", the title track (which ends with a cool jazz jam), the trippy little instrumental "Flying", and Lennon's anthem for the 1960's "All You Need Is Love" (which I quoted in my valedictorian address, being the idealistic fool that I am).

Some of the other tunes, like Harrison's draggy "Blue Jay Way" and McCartney's pop-schlock "Your Mother Should Know", are weak, but as it's The Beatles nobody is going to notice.

The lyrics on this album, especially Lennon's, are often weird and heavily influenced by LSD. My personal favourite Beatle line comes from "I Am the Walrus" - Elementary penguins singing hare krishna, man you shoulda seen them kicking Edgar Allen Poe - that line pretty much sums up the entire album - pure experimental psychedelia, but drenched in fantastic melodies and sweet harmonies rather than acid.

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by Reviewer: Marco Marco

Posted: Saturday 24th Jun 2017 4:43 PM
Recent album review
Mental As Anything were the true blue Aussie party band. Unlike like the politically-obsessed Midnight Oil, they focused on women, drinking, the beach and other down-to-earth topics, containing an innocent facade that was thin enough for even the most gullible to see through, all done with a charm that was uniquely theirs.

All the members were instantly recognisable (guitarist Reg Mombassa and bassist Peter O'Doherty - the only one to actually use his birth name - are brothers), and what's more, all but drummer Wayne Delisle wrote and sung (usually their own songs, but not always).

On first listen, the songs on this debut album don’t sound like much. Only three are over 3 minutes, and they almost sound too simple for their own good. What's more, the opening track doesn't offer a lot of promise - guitarist Martin Plaza's hit "The Nips Are Getting Bigger". It has remained a staple in any Australian pop/rock collection, though I just don't get its appeal. It's not so much its topic of drowning your sorrows that pushes me away (I don't drink at all, let alone get drunk) - it's just got a nothing melody.

However, Get Wet is pretty much uphill from there. Usually throughout their career, it was Plaza's or keyboardist Greedy Smith's songs that were released as singles, but here Plaza and Mombassa dominate for a while, the first of Greedy's two songs, "Another Man's (Sitting In My Kitchen)", not appearing until the eighth track. It does however embody the charm this band exude, with Smith lamenting the fact that his girl has been taken by another man, and wondering whether he should stay or go: It’s not a question of morality, I just don’t want him hitting me.

Elsewhere, "Business and Pleasure", "Possible Theme for a Future TV Series", and "Insurance Man" are some of the highlights, while O'Doherty gets the final two tracks, the first of which he sings, the second he hands to Plaza, and they are likewise both fine efforts.

The record as a whole is highly entertaining, and is the perfect introduction to the band. The albums they were to release through the 80's varied a bit in quality (they peaked in popularity mid-decade, but never really found much success outside Australia), but there are usually a few gems to be found on any of their albums. Their post-80's work should not be discounted either, even though their local fame fell away drastically, and there was the shock of line-up changes too.

It really is very hard to dislike Mental As Anything. They just knew how to get in touch with the everyman (or woman, although I think men dominated their fanbase) with simple unpretentious songs that hardly anyone it seems could find in their hearts to condemn.

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by Reviewer: The Doctor

Posted: Saturday 24th Jun 2017 4:57 PM
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