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  1. Abbey Road (album)
  2. Abbey Road Studios
  3. Across the Universe
  4. A Day in the Life
  5. A Hard Day's Night (film)
  6. A Hard Day's Night (song)
  7. All My Loving
  8. All You Need is Love
  9. And I Love Her
  10. Apple Corps
  11. Apple Records
  12. The Ballad of John and Yoko
  13. Beatlemania
  14. The Beatles
  15. The Beatles Anthology
  16. The Beatles Bootlegs
  17. The Beatles' influence on popular culture
  18. The Beatles line-ups
  19. The Beatles' London
  20. The Beatles Trivia
  21. Blackbird
  22. Brian Epstein
  23. British Invasion
  24. Can't Buy Me Love
  25. Come Together
  26. Day Tripper
  27. Don't Let Me Down
  28. Eight Days a Week
  29. Eleanor Rigby
  30. Fifth Beatle
  31. For No One
  32. Free as a bird
  33. From Me to You
  34. George Harrison
  35. George Martin
  36. Get Back
  37. Girl
  38. Happiness Is A Warm Gun
  39. Hello Goodbye
  40. Help! (album)
  41. Help! (film)
  42. Help
  43. Here Comes the Sun
  44. Here, There and Everywhere
  45. Hey Jude
  46. I Am the Walrus
  47. I Feel Fine
  48. I Wanna Be Your Man
  49. I Want to Hold Your Hand
  50. John Lennon
  51. Lady Madonna
  52. Lennon-McCartney
  53. Let it be
  54. Let It Be (album)
  55. Let It Be (film)
  56. Love me do
  57. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  58. Magical Mystery Tour (album)
  59. Magical Mystery Tour (film)
  60. Michelle
  61. Northern Songs
  62. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
  63. Nowhere man
  64. Paperback Writer
  65. Paul McCartney
  66. Penny Lane
  67. Phil Spector
  68. Please Please Me
  69. The Quarrymen
  70. Real Love
  71. Revolution
  72. Revolver (album)
  73. Ringo Starr
  74. Rubber Soul (album)
  75. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
  76. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (song)
  77. She Loves You
  78. Something
  79. Strawberry Fields Forever
  80. Taxman
  81. The Beatles discography
  82. The Fool on the Hill
  83. The Long and Winding Road
  84. The White Album
  85. Ticket to Ride
  86. Twist and Shout
  87. We Can Work It Out
  88. When I'm Sixty-Four
  89. With A Little Help From My Friends
  90. Yellow Submarine
  91. Yellow Submarine (album)
  92. Yellow Submarine (film)
  93. Yesterday
  94. Yoko Ono


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The Beatles (album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Beatles is the ninth official album by The Beatles, a double album released in 1968. It is often referred to as The White Album, as it has no other text than the band's name on its plain white sleeve, designed by pop artist Richard Hamilton. The album was released near to the height of The Beatles' popularity, and is often hailed as one of the major accomplishments in popular music. It was originally planned to be called A Doll's House.

In 1997 The White Album was named the 10th greatest album of all time in a 'Music of the Millennium' poll conducted by HMV, Channel 4, The Guardian and Classic FM. In 1998 Q magazine readers placed it at number 17, while in 2000 the same magazine placed it at number 7 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003 the TV network VH1 named it as the 11th greatest album ever; in the same year, it was ranked number 10 in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The White Album is the Beatles' best-selling album at 19-times platinum and the ninth-best-selling album of all time in the United States. Note, however, that the RIAA counts sales of double albums twice for its rankings, and without this adjustment, The White Album would be the Beatles' fourth best selling album.


Increasingly diverse songwriting styles

With this album, each of the four band members began to showcase the range and depth of their individual songwriting talents and styles that would be carried over to their eventual solo careers. John Lennon displays his stark musical nakedness ("Julia"), manic insanity ("Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"), biting attacks ("Sexy Sadie"), political views ("Revolution 1"), and Yoko collaborations ("Revolution 9").

While John's songs differed lyrically, Paul's differed musically. He had delicate pop ballads ("I Will"), proto-heavy metal ("Helter Skelter"), piano pop ("Martha My Dear"), surfer rock ("Back In The USSR") and music hall style songs ("Honey Pie").

George Harrison demonstrated his usual Indian mantra ("Long, Long, Long"), a religious cry for help ("While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), a goof off ("Savoy Truffle"), and social commentary ("Piggies"). Even Ringo had a song composed entirely by himself; "Don't Pass Me By".

The recording sessions

The album was recorded between 30 May 1968 and 14 October 1968, largely at Abbey Road Studios with some sessions at Trident Studios. The sessions, although productive, were sometimes fractious and exacerbated the growing tensions within the group. A major source of this tension was the constant presence of Lennon's new girlfriend and artistic partner Yoko Ono; prior to this, The Beatles had been very insular during recording sessions. Lennon's dissatisfaction with the band and growing drug use were also evident, and this left a vacuum that McCartney stepped in to fill. Often McCartney would record in one studio while Lennon would record in another at the same time, using different engineers.[citation needed] At one point in the sessions, George Martin grew disgusted and spontaneously left on vacation, leaving Chris Thomas in charge of producing the sessions.[citation needed] (The studio tensions carried over into The Beatles' subsequent album and film project in early 1969, ultimately released as Let It Be.)

These sessions also marked the change from 4-track to 8-track recording, although in essence this had started in 1966 and 1967 with the technique of 'bouncing down' several tracks onto one, to free up new tracks for recording.

While Abbey Road Studios had yet to install an 8-track machine that had supposedly been sitting in a storage room unpacked for months (evidently because EMI could not afford its power cord), the Beatles decided to out-source to the more updated Trident Studios.[1]

Ringo Starr's temporary departure

At one point during the recording sessions for the White Album, Starr walked out of the studio, feeling his role was minimized compared to that of the other members. But George, John, and Paul pleaded with him to return, and Starr returned after two weeks. During that time, McCartney replaced him as the drummer on "Back in the USSR" and "Dear Prudence." When he did return, he found his drumset decorated with flowers, a welcome back gesture from George.

The songs

Many of the songs are personal and self-referencing; for example, "Dear Prudence" was written for actress Mia Farrow's sister, Prudence, who attended a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India, at the same time as The Beatles and who experienced violent hallucinations while meditating. She had to be kept in her room under guard for a period and after the guard was removed she was afraid to leave her room, thus the lyrics "Won't you come out to play...". She was serenaded with this song in an attempt to reassure her and help her calm down. In fact, many songs on The White Album were conceived during the group's visit to India in the spring of 1968. "Sexy Sadie" is about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who led those transcendental meditation classes and who allegedly tried to seduce Mia Farrow. "Glass Onion" is Lennon's song for those fans who spent time looking for hidden meanings in Beatles song lyrics; it references several other Beatles songs. The album runs the gamut of genres from pop with tracks such as "Birthday" and "Back in the U.S.S.R.", hard guitar-based rock in "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", British blues in "Yer Blues", proto-heavy rock in "Helter Skelter", ska in "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", influential and experimental audio-montages in "Revolution 9", and acoustic ballads such as "Blackbird" and "Julia".

The only western instrument that was available to the group during their Indian visit was the acoustic guitar, and several of the songs (such as "Dear Prudence", "Julia", "Blackbird" and "Mother Nature's Son") were written and first performed on acoustic guitar during their stay. These songs were recorded either solo, or by only part of the group.

Yoko Ono made her first appearance, adding backing vocals in "Birthday" (along with Pattie Harrison and Linda Eastman); Ono also sang backing vocals and a solo line on "Bungalow Bill" and was a strong influence on Lennon's musique concrète piece, "Revolution 9".

Eric Clapton, at Harrison's invitation, provided an extra lead guitar for Harrison's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Harrison would later return the favour by collaborating on the song "Badge" for Cream's last album Goodbye.

Several songs recorded during The White Album sessions were not part of the final album, such as, "Hey Jude" (released as a single backed with "Revolution"). Other songs would later surface on bootlegs as well as on The Beatles Anthology, including Harrison's "Not Guilty" (which he would later re-record as a solo track and release on his 1979 self-titled album, George Harrison) and Lennon's "What's The New Mary Jane".

The album was produced and orchestrated by George Martin, and was the first album released by Apple Records, and the only original double album released by The Beatles. Martin suggested to The Beatles to reduce the number of songs in order to form a single album featuring their stronger work, but The Beatles decided against this.

The arrangement of the songs on the White Album follows some patterns and symmetry. For example, "Wild Honey Pie" is the fifth song from the beginning of the album and "Honey Pie" is the fifth song from the end. Also, the three songs containing animal names in their titles ("Blackbird", "Piggies", and "Rocky Raccoon") are grouped together. "Savoy Truffle" contains a reference to "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," a previous song on the album. In addition, the four songs composed by Harrison are distributed with one on each of the four sides.

Notable singles from the album sessions

Although "Hey Jude" was never intended to be included on the album, it was recorded during the album sessions and was released as a stand-alone single. "Revolution", an alternate version of "Revolution 1", was recorded and released as the B-side to "Hey Jude".

The mono version

The Beatles was the last Beatles album to be released with a unique, alternate mono mix, albeit one issued only in the UK. Twenty-nine of the album's thirty tracks ("Revolution 9" being the only exception) exist in official alternate mono mixes, all of which are popular items amongst Beatles fans.

Beatles albums after The Beatles (except Yellow Submarine in the UK) occasionally had mono pressings in certain countries, but these editions – of Yellow Submarine, Let It Be, and Abbey Road – were always mono fold-downs from the regular stereo mixes.

In the USA, mono records had already been phased out so the USA release of The Beatles was the first Beatles LP issued in the USA only in stereo.

The sleeve

The album's sleeve was designed by Richard Hamilton, a notable pop artist who had organised a Marcel Duchamp retrospective at the Tate Gallery the previous year. Hamilton's design was in stark contrast to Peter Blake's vivid cover art for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and consisted of a plain white sleeve. The band's name was discreetly embossed in the middle of the album's right side, and the cover also featured a unique stamped serial number, in Hamilton's words, "to create the ironic situation of a numbered edition of something like five million copies." [1] Later vinyl record releases in the U.S.A. showed the title in grey letters. Early copies on compact disc were also numbered. Later CD releases rendered the album's title in black or grey.

The album's inside packaging included a poster, the lyrics to the songs, and a set of photographs taken by John Kelley in Autumn of 1968 that have themselves become classic.

Two re-issues in 1978 (one by Capitol Records, the other by Parlophone) saw the album pressed on white vinyl, completing the look of the "white" album. In 1985, Electrola/EMI released a DMM (direct metal mastered) white vinyl pressing of the album in Germany, which was imported to the United States in large numbers. Another popular white vinyl pressing was manufactured in France. The 1978 Parlophone white vinyl export pressing and the German DMM pressing are widely considered the best sounding versions of the album. This is due to the use of the famed Neumann lathe on the 1978 export pressing and the use of the DMM process on the 1985 pressing.

This is the only sleeve of a Beatles studio album to not show the members of the band on the front.


The White Album's cover, though very basic and simplistic, has been very influential. In the 1990s, both Prince and Metallica released self-titled albums with their names printed against mostly plain black covers, and are both informally referred to as "The Black Album". In 2003, rapper Jay-Z released an album officially called The Black Album. Two compilations of Beatles material, released in 1973 as The Beatles 1962-1966 and The Beatles 1967-1970, are often referred to as "The Red Album" and "The Blue Album" respectively, with reference to their colour scheme. Both of Weezer's self-titled albums borrow from this idea as well and fans refer to them respectively as "The Blue Album" (1994) and "The Green Album" (2001). 311's self-titled release from 1995 is often referred to "The Blue Album", and the Dells 1973 self-titled album is often known as "The Brown Album".

In the fictional world of Spinal Tap, the band's 1983 album Smell the Glove was released with an entirely black sleeve, although this was due to a controversy about the original cover art rather than a conscious homage to The Beatles. The soundtrack for the Spinal Tap film was itself released in a plain black sleeve, with the band's name embossed on the front. The practice of referring to an album by its colour - particularly untitled or otherwise significant releases - is nowadays widespread.

Bob and Tom's first comedy album, The White Album, released Christmas 1986, borrows its name from the Beatles' album, though the cover does not - rather, it features cartoon caricature portraits of the show's titular stars Bob Kevoian and Tom Griswold. This is the first of two B&T compilations to be named after or parody Beatles albums (the other being their second release, Shabbey Road.) Both albums are out-of-print.

In 1979, the writer Joan Didion published a collection of essays in a volume entitled The White Album.

They Might Be Giants' 1986 self-titled debut album is referred to as The Pink Album for the color of the record's center label (and later the color of the CD label), as well as to avoid confusion with the band's name and their later song "They Might Be Giants."

In 1987, Saturday Night Live comedian Dennis Miller put out his first comedy album, entitled The Off-White Album, recorded live at George Washington University, featuring a likewise colored album cover.

Electronica duo Orbital's first two albums are both titled Orbital and known colloquially as the "Green Album" (1991) and the "Brown Album" (1993), whilst their 2004 release has the formal title, Blue Album.

In 1995, the Australian comedy duo Martin/Molloy released a double CD officially called The Brown Album, and in 1997 the band Primus released a CD with the same title.

In 1998, an album of new songs from The Simpsons, titled The Yellow Album, was released. The album's cover was a parody of the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which had already been done as a couch gag for an episode in the series.

In 2000, comedian Lewis Black released an album titled The White Album, with similar cover art, down to the capitalization scheme of "Lewis BLACK".

In 2004, Brian Burton (also known as Danger Mouse) released The Grey Album, an unauthorized remix album later distributed on the Internet using samples from The White Album against the a cappella version of Jay-Z's The Black Album. Rolling Stone called the record " ingenious hip-hop record that sounds oddly ahead of its time". EMI and Apple sent Brian Burton cease and desist letters which prevented official distribution of The Grey Album.

Also in 2004, Australian alternative band TISM released a 2 DVD/1 CD pack called The White Albun. An intentional misspelling of The White Album, its packaging was a white box with 'TISM' embossed on the front. At the end of the song "Cerebral Knievel" there is a short parody of "Revolution 9".

Tributes and popular culture references

At some point in the early-to-mid 1980s, Sonic Youth planned to cover the entire album, but this never saw the light of day. The project became the experimental pop satire "The Whitey Album", which was released under the name Ciccone Youth.

During a concert on October 31, 1994, Phish played all the songs from The White Album (except "Good Night") as one of the band's "Halloween musical costume" extravaganzas. The show has been released in its entirety as Live Phish Volume 13.

In December 2005, the BBC show One World broadcast a two-hour retrospective on The White Album. Narrated by former Beatles co-producer Chris Thomas - who went on to produce such luminaries as Pink Floyd, Sex Pistols, Roxy Music, and Brian Eno - the broadcast features reworkings of songs from The White Album from a large and diverse roster of independent artists such as Bardo Pond, Deerhoof, Toy, and Bedouin Soundclash.

On May 19, 2006, Will Taylor and Strings Attached, an Austin, Texas-based string quartet known for their collaborations with pop musicians, held a performance of the complete White Album, featuring many Austin rock/country/blues musicians, such as Gary Clark Jr., Libby Kirpatrick, and White Ghost Shivers. The concert was held at University Baptist Church in Austin and was recorded for a CD release.

Dynamite Hack's acoustic guitar rendition of Eazy-E's rap "Boyz in the Hood" includes a short use of the guitar from The Beatles song "Blackbird" with altered lyrics.

In Men In Black, as Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) is explaining to the newly recruited Agent J (Will Smith) that alien technology permeates Earth society, he holds up a small (perhaps an inch in diameter) shiny disc (supposedly the latest music media) and laments, "Guess I'll have to buy The White Album again."

In the movie Fletch with Chevy Chase, Fletch is asked "Can I get you something?" and his response is, "Do you have the Beatles White Album?"

In the comic strip Get Fuzzy, Bucky paints Rob's father's old White Album orange.

Track listing

  • All songs by Lennon-McCartney, except where noted.

Side one

  1. "Back in the USSR"
  2. "Dear Prudence"
  3. "Glass Onion"
  4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" (vorbis sample 204K)
  5. "Wild Honey Pie"
  6. "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
  7. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (George Harrison) (vorbis sample 188K)
  8. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"

Side two

  1. "Martha My Dear"
  2. "I'm So Tired"
  3. "Blackbird" (vorbis sample 140K)
  4. "Piggies" (George Harrison)
  5. "Rocky Raccoon"
  6. "Don't Pass Me By" (Ringo Starr)
  7. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"
  8. "I Will"
  9. "Julia"

Side three

  1. "Birthday"
  2. "Yer Blues"
  3. "Mother Nature's Son" (vorbis sample 164K)
  4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"
  5. "Sexy Sadie"
  6. "Helter Skelter" (vorbis sample 147K)
  7. "Long, Long, Long" (George Harrison)

Side four

  1. "Revolution 1" (vorbis sample 203K)
  2. "Honey Pie"
  3. "Savoy Truffle" (George Harrison)
  4. "Cry Baby Cry"
  5. "Revolution 9"
  6. "Good Night"

Rejected tracks

The following were rejected before final mixing:[1]

  1. "What's The New Mary Jane"
  2. "Not Guilty"

Note: "Hey Jude" was always intended to be a stand-alone single therefore it wasn't rejected for the album (ref [1] pg.145).

The following were songs in an early form that may or may not have been considered for the album:[2]

  1. "Junk" (known at the time as "Jubilee", released on Paul McCartney's first solo album McCartney)
  2. "Circles" (later released on George Harrison's solo album Gone Troppo)
  3. "Sour Milk Sea" (later recorded by Jackie Lomax)
  4. "Mean Mr. Mustard" (later featured on Abbey Road)
  5. "Polythene Pam" (later featured on Abbey Road)
  6. "Child of Nature" (an early version of John Lennon's hit song "Jealous Guy")

Release history


  1. ^ a b c Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions. Hamlyn Publishing Group. ISBN 0-600-55784-7.
  2. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1996). The Complete Beatles Chronicle. Chancellor Press. ISBN 0-7607-0327-2.

See also

  • The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

External links

  • Further information, including photographs of the packaging
  • Album Lyrics
  • White Album Lyrics
  • The Beatles (disc 2) at MusicBrainz
  • Q readers 2006 100 greatest albums ever
  • White Album album reviews


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