Flying is an instrumental song featured on the Magical Mystery Tour film soundtrack, and on the subsequent double EP (UK) and album (US). Although instrumental, it features a chorus sung by all four Beatles, with Ringo's voice being the most apparent. This song was written by all four Beatles, and credited to Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starr. The track originally lasted 9 minutes and 38 seconds, but was cut to 2 minutes 17 seconds for the album. Part of the excised Mellotron ending (created by Lennon and Starr) was used as incidental music for the Magical Mystery Tour film.
Recording began on Friday 8 September. It was originally titled "Aerial Tour Instrumental". In its early incarnation, instead of an organ ending, the track concluded with a jazzy saxophone recording, seemingly copied straight from a yet-unidentified modern jazz record.
In the televised Magical Mystery Tour film, "Flying" is accompnied by images soaring over snow covered hills and mountains (specially shot in Iceland) washed in psychedelic yellows and greens, then up into the clouds. It is followed immediately by John Lennon's introduction of the audience to the magical land of the four or five wizards, who appear to monitor and influence the mystery tour. This was one of the segments which suffered the most when the film was initally aired by the BBC on Boxing Day 1967 in black and white instead of colour.
- John Lennon - Lead Vocals, Mellotron, Organ
- Paul McCartney - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar, Bass Guitar (Rickenbacker 4001S)
- George Harrison - Lead Vocals, Lead Guitar
- Ringo Starr - Lead Vocals, Drums, Maracas
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