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- From Faith Current: The Subversive Madness of Sgt. Pepper - June 6, 2022
For everyone who loves “Magical Mystery Tour” (the film) or has come to appreciate it over the years, there’s someone who still hates it — Jim DeRogatis, a Chicago critic who broadcasts on NPR’s WBEZ, is a case in point. If you’re interested in reading his vilification of the movie (and a lot of the album), you can do so here: http://www.wbez.org/blogs/jim-derogatis/2013-01/revisiting-one-beatles’-worst-mistakes-104650
Here’s the executive summary: “Nearly half a century on, the fascinating thing about “Magical Mystery Tour” the film is the rare glimpse it offers into one of the best rock bands of all time at its unaldulterated worst. And make no mistake: a spectacular, disastrous, largely incomprehensible and nearly unwatchable mess it was and remains.” And the music? De Rogatis describes “Penny Lane” as “one of [McCartney’s] less annoying romps through rose-colored nostalgia,” and “I Am the Walrus” as one of Lennon’s “lesser psychedelic fantasies.”
Yeah, exactly what I’d expect from someone who thinks “Sgt. Pepper’s” is the most overrated album in rock history and who unreservedly hates “Ram.”
DeRogatis has a right to his opinion, of course. I wish he were a bit more open-minded and less apparently convinced he’s handing down judgments on stone tablets, but that’s part of the game — gets you comments, anyway.