Flying (2:13)

Cover of Magical Mystery Tour

From Magical Mystery Tour and 14 other releases

“Flying” is an instrumental by The Beatles which first appeared on the 1967 Magical Mystery Tour release (two EP discs in the United Kingdom, an LP in the United States).

The first since “Cry for a Shadow” in 1961, this rare Beatles instrumental (although chanting is heard at the end) was the first song to be credited as being written by all four members of the band with the writing credits of “Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr” (another being “Dig It” on Let It Be). It was recorded on September 8, 1967 with mellotron, guitar, bass, maracas, drums, and tape loops overdubbed September 28.

“Flying” was originally titled “Aerial Tour Instrumental”. The end of the recording originally included a fast-paced traditional New Orleans jazz-influenced coda, but this was removed and replaced with an ending featuring tape loops created by John Lennon and Ringo Starr during the September 28 session. The loops initially resulted in a track length of 9:38, but the track was later cut down to only 2:17. Part of the loops were used alongside an element of the ending jazz sequence to make “The Bus,” an incidental piece used at various points, for the TV movie. The track is likely to have originally started simply as a jam session — it is in simple 12-bar blues form in a straight-forward 4/4 time and the key of C major.

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