Out On The Floor Records

Beatles record collection Vinyl

This Beatles Hip-Hop gem is perfect for summer

Hello and welcome to the first ever blog post from the staff here at Out on the Floor Records in the heart of Camden Town! This is George writing, the newest member of staff here at the shop. Although I was a customer for 10 years, searching rapaciously through the reggae sale racks and also coming here to sell my vinyl records, I only started working here late last year. So I wanted to use this blog post to introduce myself and also tell you about one of my favourite records at the moment…

It’s been an incredibly warm May and as summer kicks off we are already looking for cool tunes to mellow on. One album i’ve been reaching for constantly in the shop towards the middle of the day when temperatures really rise is not one you might necessarily associate with summer heat and sunny vibes.

One of the Beatles’ lesser-celebrated LP’s, Magical Mystery Tour is probably their pinnacle in out and out psychedelic celebratory weirdness. Originally released in the UK as a 7” EP, this is the gorgeous US pressing. Featuring a few brilliant pages of photographs in it’s gatefold sleeve, the songs are a mixture of the legendary and the instantly forgettable. The first category would include the glorious technicolour reminiscence of “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields”, John & Paul’s respective love letters to Liverpool and childhood. Also crashing through the listener’s consciousness is the ever-bizarre “I Am The Walrus” (“Goo-goo-goojoob”), which captivated me as a youngster. Something about Lennon’s disarming and hilarious imagery (“Pornographic priestess / Boy you been a naughty girl”) really lodged this song in my brain, long before I put together the connection with the ’60s cultural revolution and the influence of mind-altering substances on the band.

There is also the mind-numbingly repetitive (and I mean that as a compliment) “Blue Jay Way” and a few other forgettable ones. But the reason I reach for it in the summer is nothing to do with the hits or the misses. But one particular tune on Side A. Yes, you guessed it. I’m in love with “Flying”. At 2 minutes and 17 seconds, it really does fly past, but is such an anomaly in the Beatles’ catalogue that it demands a closer look. With a vibing bassline and a funk bass line, this is some seriously funky-music from these white-boys, more reminiscent of a James Brown backing band than the Fab Four. When I hear it, it’s like a long tall glass of iced tea. The riddim (!) section is on fire with Ringo tight as hell and McCartney offering up a dubby, hypnotic bassline. It makes me think of New York hip-hop like Tribe Called Quest, and i’ll admit to freestyling over it when the shop is empty.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out our blog from time to time. We’ll be posting about the music we love and record-shop life in general!

Till then, keep flying high George 🙂