Magical Mystery Tour – New Zealand Variation

Being located in Australia means it is only a hop, skip and a jump across the Tasman Sea to our very close neighbor, New Zealand. And that means the occasional (and interesting) New Zealand Beatle items turn up here from time-to-time.

I recently scored a nice copy of the New Zealand Magical Mystery Tour LP, which came out in Australia and NZ on the World Record Club label. In both countries this release was unique to the rest of the world, but the New Zealand version has a number of differences again to the Australian. Here’s the front cover:


The picture is very similar to the Australian edition, but there is a large World Record Club/EMI logo over the white piano. And the rear is different too. The Australian cover is printed in colour, while in New Zealand it was black and white:

mmt rear nz

The most startling difference is the label – this is the one I have:


In New Zealand there are two variations of this label. Here’s the second:

mmt nz variation

I’m told there is an even more unusual New Zealand Apple label version. It still has the same outer cover, but with a different catalogue number – and green Apple labels on the vinyl….

To more closely compare the two World Record Club editions click here to see pictures of the Australian MMT release.

See also the HMV Box Set CD of Magical Mystery Tour.

Australian-Only Magical Mystery Tour

You might be more familiar with this cover:

But in Australia, the Beatles “Magical Mystery Tour” LP first came out as a 12-inch on the World Record Club (WRC) label – and it had a very different cover:

Here is the rear cover, also a real departure from the US release:

This WRC record (catalogue number S-4574) was issued in 1970. The World Record Club was EMI’s mail order division, making the purchase of music recordings possible to people who lived in remote areas and to music buffs who subscribed to the club for regular releases posted direct to their homes. The company had the rights to sell a wide range of recordings (including popular, jazz and classical titles) from around the world – often issued with unique and artistic individual covers.

This Australian edition of MMT came with the expanded front-cover title “The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour and Other Splendid Hits”. The rear cover went into even more detail: “The Beatles in Songs and Music from the Color Television Film called “Magical Mystery Tour”.  The image used on the front cover was taken from page 10 of the 24 page booklet (plus a 4 page lyric sheet) in the centre of the original 7″ EP version from 1967.

There were two different types of WRC labels as well. The initial pressings came with this light-green “S” label:

Later pressings came with a green “Trumpeter” on a light-blue label:

The terrifically detailed Beatles Australia Album Labelography site has much more information on this and other unique Australian releases.

In Australia we also got local pressings of the original double 7″ EP 45rpm, six-song “Magical Mystery Tour” set which would be familiar to British collectors:

This is the mono version above (denoted by the catalogue number MMT-1 at the bottom left-hand side). It also came out in stereo in Australia and both were released in 1967. These EP’s were on the black and silver Parlophone label:

UPDATE:  You might also be interested in this post.