Thursday, July 14, 2011

the anatomy of a post-help! hit (magical mystery tour)

Here's installment #4 of the song categorizations. That means we're going to go on a quick Magical Mystery Tour. :)

In case you're new to this blog, this is part of a project I'm doing on the anatomy of a post-Help! hit. You can read about it here. Descriptions of the categories are here.

And here's the categorization:

Ballads (0)

Psychedelic Rock (6)
Fool on the Hill (this one could be a ballad, too, I guess)
Blue Jay Way
I Am the Walrus
Strawberry Fields Forever
Baby You're a Rich Man

Novelty/Parody Songs (0)

Heavy/Straight Rock (5)
Magical Mystery Tour
Your Mother Should Know
Hello, Goodbye
Penny Lane (this one could be psychedelic rock, but I don't think the subject matter is trippy enough, and the musical arrangement isn't weird enough)
All You Need is Love

Rockabilly-style rock (0)

A few of the tracks on this album could go both ways between Heavy/Straight Rock and Psychedelic Rock, but the decisions I've made make it split almost evenly between the two categories. That's a little surprising to me, just because Magical Mystery Tour (like Sgt. Pepper's) has such a psychedelic feel to it, overall. I'll save deeper analysis for the hit anatomy posts that will follow the categorizations, but it's definitely something I'll be looking into!

As always, let me know what you think of the categorization, especially if you disagree with any of it.


  1. Hi Chelsea,

    Major disagreement with "Your mother should know" !!!
    Heavy rock !!
    Maybe it's because I'm English that we have a different point of view, but surely it's a novelty ?
    I think this CD is a great start for none Beatle fans to get into them. Every track has something a bit unusual.White album next - major disagreement s for sure lol !!

  2. Hey Steve,

    Hmm, I don't know that it's a novelty song. Maybe it's too playful to be straight rock (which I really should just call the heavy rock category, since you've rightly pointed out to me that most of their songs are not heavy rock).

    I do agree that it's a good one to get non-Beatles fans to start with, although I usually tell people to just listen to the albums in chronological order.

    I'll be interested to see what you think of my White Album categorization; I agree that we're bound to have some disagreements, given the sheer number of songs and the diversity of musical styles there. :)