Important note: This write-up exclusively refers to the mono mix of "Your Mother Should Know." While the mono versions are the default version for all analysis on this website, the particular sonic elements of the mono mix of "Your Mother Should Know" are fundamental to the writers' artistic and analytical approaches to this song. Mr. Furnstein strongly advises that you throw out or delete any stereo versions of "Your Mother Should Know" in your possession. Mr. Bunter, on the other hand, considers the phasing on the mono "Your Mother Should Know" as the greatest misstep of the mono catalog.
Richard Furnstein: A processed, overdriven bass introduces this number, and you take that as your chance to break free from the dance. You are arm and arm with a lovely young woman. You are quickly pushed away from a ballroom where a band of mustached gentlemen play a lively pop song. The dance is quite lovely, but the combination of the punch and the young lady's perfume has made a touch of fresh air a priority. Ahem. Perhaps a quick smoke and a tour of the gardens?
Robert Bunter: It's difficult to continue the train of thought beyond the last fleeting ... uh ... what were you thinking about? This song is catchy.
Richard Furnstein: A crazy thing happens on the way to the exit. The innocent pop song coming from the ballroom becomes increasingly distant and menacing. The piano ricochets from the chandeliers that line the hallway. A tambourine remains steady despite your increasing distance. Your steps quickly fall in line with the swing of the band. You pull away from your date just as the singer breaks into a wordless "da da da" verse, you are feeling quite woozy. You stop and hold the walls, running your fingers over the texture of the wallpaper. As you run your nails over the wall, wincing at the roughness of the ivory stripes and the silky resonance of the purple piping, the song ends. What exactly was in the punch? What the hell are they playing in that ballroom? We need to get the hell out of here.
Robert Bunter: You're scaring me, Richard! It's quite possible that the terrible mono mix on this weird track was Lennon's revenge for McCartney's allegedly sabotaging "Across The Universe" with amateurish production techniques. The first time I heard it on the new mono box remasters, I almost ran my car off the road. I thought crap only came from butts! I mean, the phasing is all wrong. A wise man once said this mix sounds like a can of flat soda floating in a toilet bowl. And that man was me.
Richard Furnstein: I think you need to reevaluate your entire whitewashed life if you think the mono mix is terrible. I never cared for the stereo version but the mono mix is a genuine highlight of Magical Mystery Tour. A postscript, I threw up all over my date. The punch wasn't spiked, the shrimp was bad.