New Music For September 11, 2012: Sixties Redux with the Monkees, the Velvets - and the Beatles

Magical Mystery Cure

The really big news from overseas is that - FINALLY - The Beatles' legendary Magical Mystery Tour film extravaganza is being reissued with a proper remastering and a deluxe box set treatment. A film clearly ahead of its time, the reputation of this off-the-cuff gem - which was panned and pretty much disappeared after its one showing on BBC TV, in black and white - has grown over the years to the point where many have since cited it as an influence. The film has never really seen a proper release worthy of the title - the only DVD release so far was made from an inferior print.

For you younger hipsters who have no idea why you should care about this film - well at minimum you need to see it to witness the scene, featuring The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, that is the source of the name of indie megastar band Death Cab For Cutie. And you might just see bits of off-the-wall humor that came together a couple years later in the form of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Python member and future Rutle Neil Innes was in The Bonzos, as was "Legs" Larry Smith, who did the tap dance solo on Elton John's song "I Think I'm Gonna Kill Myself" from Honky Chateau.

For this reviewer, of course the big excitement is the new DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack in 5.1 surround, which will no doubt enhance the film's psychedelic flavors.

From The Beatle's website we learn:

"Apple Films have fully restored the long out-of-print, classic feature film for October 8th release worldwide (October 9th in North America) on DVD and Blu-ray with a remixed soundtrack (5.1 and stereo) and special features. This new release also feature three new edits of some of the song performances, as well as scenes that were cut out of the original film."

So this will no doubt be the definitive version- a Directors Cut of sorts, even.

Just looking at this teaser the Fabs have released demonstrates to this reviewer that this version will look better than any version that has been out previously.

A special, boxed deluxe edition will also be available including

  • DVD & Blu-ray editions
  • a 60 page book with info, pix and documentation from the production 
  • "a faithful reproduction of the mono double 7" vinyl EP of the films six new Beatles songs, originally issued in the uk to complement the films 1967 release."

Special features will include: 

  • Director's Commentary by Paul McCartney
  • The Making of Magical Mystery Tour documentary
  • Unreleased scenes and new edits including
    • Your Mother Should Know
    • Blue Jay Way
    • The Fool On The Hill
    • Nat's Dream (2m 50s) - A scene directed by John!
    • Ivor Cutler performing I'm Going In A Field
    • Hello Goodbye, as featured in Top of the Pops 1967 (the BBC did their own edit!)

Also, notably the package will include Steve Winwood (look for his cameo in the promo video above) and Traffic acting out their 1967 hit single "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush" (commissioned by The Beatles for possible inclusion but not used in the final edit)

And also for the first time ever, there will be a limited theatrical release, beginning September 27th. That will be fun.

You can read more about it at the Beatle's website. Also, if you are so inclined, you can pre-order the set. This Beatlemaniac of life long standing is probably going to do so because.... well... its Magical Mystery Tour!

Feel The Love

Actually, if you can't wait to hear and see this, go out now and buy a copy of the Deluxe Edition of The Beatles' Love/Cirque Du Soleil soundtrack, which has a bonus DVD featuring surround mix you hear at the live show - including Magical Mystery Tour tracks"I Am The Walrus," "Strawberry Fields Forever" and even some of "Blue Jay Way." Once you've heard these songs in surround sound, you likely won't want to go back to the standard stereo. 

Meanwhile in America: Monkees Reunite

While we're on the Fab Four, did you know that the remainingMonkees are doing a limited run tour? Yes, that is right: Peter Tork, Micky Dolenz and Mike Nesmith will tour together, no doubt paying tribute to their recently departed bandmate Davy Jones. Hopefully they will breakout some choice chestnuts material that only Mike can really do (since he sang them originally). This is the first time Mike has toured with the band since 1969! 

Don't blow off The Monkees - Jimi Hendrix opened for their first tour in 1967, so they had a lot more cred then than many were willing to admit. Some of the greatest musicians of our times played on their records (members of The Wrecking Crew). And consider this factoid: "In 1967, the year the Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, they issued two #1 albums (Headquarters and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd)." Not a bad track record.

From the Monkees' website we learn: 

"The trio's shows are set to feature a selection of their classic hits (such as "Last Train To Clarksville," "I'm A Believer" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday"), deep cuts from their first five platinum albums (including some performed for the first time since the 1960's) and fan favorites from the soundtrack to their cult film classic Head and their Emmy®-award winning television series. The show will encompass a full multimedia evening of music, rare films. and one-of-a-kind photographs. Each evening's trio set will showcase numbers from these albums and present the Monkees' electric garage band sound that they developed on their mid-1960's tours. To open and close the show, the Monkees will be augmented by a stellar crew of players to play the hand-picked setlist each evening." 

Yet Another Different Drum

The Brooklyn Vegan reports that former Talking Heads Chris and Tina Weymouth - aka The Tom Tom Club- have released their first new music in 10 years which is available on 180-gram vinyl and download. You can order your copy for just about $15

Mono Velvet Bliss

Reissue super label Sundazed is taking pre-orders for its new Velvet Underground MONO box set - on vinyl! While the once rare Mono mix of the first VU album has been out for some time now, the other albums in Mono are indeed a much dicier proposition to find. Actually, some of them may have never been issued in Mono and the last disc compiling the never really properly issued "unreleased" last album promises to be a treat for the ears.

According to the Sundazed Records' website, the set includes:

  • Rare mono versions of the VU's first three albums, the superior mono version of Nico's Chelsea Girl (featuring Reed, Cale & Morrison)
  • A definitive edition of the band's unfinished fourth album!
  • Housed in a beautiful deluxe box with all original LP artwork along with Introduction by Rolling Stone senior editor/MOJO contributor David Fricke.
  • Sourced from the original Verve/MGM analog reels

And..finally... was that a Yellow Submarine Cookie Jar that just floated by?

Yes! I do think it was…