Why John Lennon Was ‘a Little Resentful’ of The Beatles’ Album ‘Magical Mystery Tour’


  • John Lennon resented The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour as time went on.
  • He felt his contributions to the album came from a different place than Paul McCartney’s.
  • The album was far more popular in the United States than the United Kingdom.
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison standing during The Beatles' 'Magical Mystery Tour' era
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison | John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images

John Lennon had issues with the soundtrack of The BeatlesMagical Mystery Tour. He said his contributions to the album came from a very different place than Paul McCartney’s. Despite this, John praised some of the tunes from the album.

John Lennon said 1 of The Beatles’ songs was based on a ‘concept’ from Paul McCartney

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes a 1980 interview. In it, John was asked about the song “Magical Mystery Tour.” “Paul’s song,” John replied. “Maybe I did part of it, but it was his concept.”

John was asked if the album Magical Mystery Tour was Paul’s concept. “Yeah … and there was a problem with that period, which is why I got a little resentful later on about the album,” John said. “I was living a more suburban life at the time, with a wife and a kid, while he was still tripping around town, hanging out and being a bachelor.”

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John Lennon liked 3 of the songs that appeared on The Beatles’ ‘Magical Mystery Tour’

John contrasted his contributions to Magical Mystery Tour with Paul’s contributions to the album. “He’d work something out for a song or an album and then suddenly call me and say, ‘It’s time to go into the studio. Write some songs,'” he recalled. “He’d have all his prepared, ready with ideas and arrangements, while I would be starting from scratch.”

Subsequently, John praised some of the tracks from the album. “Luckily ‘[I Am the] Walrus‘ and ‘Strawberry Fields [Forever]‘ were so fantastic everybody remembers that — and ‘[The] Fool on the Hill,’ which was Paul’s major. Now that’s Paul. Another good lyric. Show’s he’s capable of writing complete songs.” “Strawberry Fields Forever” appears on the LP version of Magical Mystery Tour but not the double EP version.

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How ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ performed on the pop charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

Magical Mystery Tour became a huge hit in the United States. For eight weeks, the album topped the Billboard 200. It remained on the chart for 93 weeks altogether. Magical Mystery Tour lasted longer on the Billboard 200 than all of the Fab Four’s other soundtrack albums.

According to The Official Charts Company, Magical Mystery Tour was a modest hit in the United Kingdom. The album hit No. 31 in the U.K. It lasted on the chart for 10 weeks.

Magical Mystery Tour is a classic album — even if John had issues with it.

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