World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Beatles (album)


The Beatles (album)

The Beatles
The original vinyl copies released in 1968 had the band's name embossed on a white background. These pressings were also numbered. Design by Richard Hamilton.
Studio album by The Beatles
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 30 May – 14 October 1968
Studio EMI and Trident Studios, London
Length 93:35
Label Apple
Producer George Martin
The Beatles chronology
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles
Yellow Submarine
The Beatles North American chronology
Magical Mystery Tour
The Beatles
Yellow Submarine

The Beatles, also known as the White Album, is the ninth studio album by English rock group the Beatles, released on 22 November 1968. A double album, its plain white sleeve has no graphics or text other than the band's name embossed,[1] and was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). Although no singles were issued from The Beatles in Britain and the United States, the songs "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" originated from the same recording sessions and were issued on a single in August 1968. The album's songs range in style from British blues and ska to tracks influenced by the Beach Boys and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Most of the songs on the album were written during March and April 1968 at a Geoff Emerick quitting, Ringo Starr left the band briefly in August. The same tensions continued throughout the following year, leading to the group's eventual disbandment in April 1970.

On release, The Beatles received mixed reviews from music journalists. Most critics found its satirical songs unimportant and apolitical amid a turbulent political and social climate, although some praised Lennon and McCartney's songwriting on the album. The band and Martin have since debated whether the group should have released a single album instead. Nonetheless, The Beatles reached number one on the charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States and has since been viewed by some critics as one of the greatest albums of all time.


  • Background 1
  • Recording 2
    • Personal issues 2.1
  • Songs 3
    • Side one 3.1
    • Side two 3.2
    • Side three 3.3
    • Side four 3.4
    • Singles 3.5
    • Unreleased material 3.6
  • Release 4
    • Mono version 4.1
    • Packaging 4.2
  • Critical reception 5
  • Cultural responses 6
  • Commercial performance 7
  • Track listing 8
  • Personnel 9
  • Certifications 10
  • Charts 11
    • Weekly charts 11.1
    • Year-end charts 11.2
    • Decade-end charts 11.3
  • Release history 12
  • See also 13
  • References 14
  • External links 15


By 1968, the Beatles had enjoyed commercial and critical success. The previous year's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was number one in the UK charts for 27 weeks and sold 250,000 copies in the first week after release.[1] Time magazine had written in 1967 that Sgt. Pepper's constituted a "historic departure in the progress of music – any music"[2] while Timothy Leary declared that the band were prototypes of "evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with mysterious powers to create a new human species".[3] The group had a negative critical response for the film Magical Mystery Tour, but fan response was nevertheless positive.[4]

The songs that appear on The Beatles were demoed at Kinfauns, in May 1968.

Most of the songs for The Beatles were written during a Transcendental Meditation course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India, in March and April 1968. The retreat involved long periods of meditation, initially conceived by the band as a spiritual respite from all worldly endeavours – a chance, in John Lennon's words, to "get away from everything".[5] Both Lennon and Paul McCartney quickly re-engaged themselves in songwriting, often meeting "clandestinely in the afternoons in each other's rooms" to review their new work.[6] "Regardless of what I was supposed to be doing," Lennon would later recall, "I did write some of my best songs there."[7] Beatles author Ian MacDonald said Sgt Pepper was "shaped by LSD"[8] and that Lennon was "permanently tripping" by early 1968,[9] but the Beatles took no drugs with them to India aside from marijuana, and the clear minds helped the group with their songwriting.[10]

The Beatles left Rishikesh before the end of the course. You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" in late 1969, credited to the Plastic Ono Band. The White Album session versions of "Not Guilty" and "What's the New Mary Jane", and a demo of "Junk", were ultimately released on Anthology 3.[113]

"Revolution (Take 20)", a previously uncirculated recording, surfaced in 2009 on a bootleg. This 10 minute take was later edited and overdubbed to create two separate tracks—"Revolution 1" and the avant-garde "Revolution 9" (both of which appeared on The Beatles).[114]


The Beatles was issued on 22 November 1968 in Britain,[115] with a US release following three days later.[116] The album's working title, A Doll's House, had been changed when the English progressive rock band Family released the similarly titled Music in a Doll's House earlier that year.[92][117] Author Nicholas Schaffner wrote in 1977 of the name that was adopted for the Beatles' double album: "From the day of release, everybody referred to The Beatles as 'the White Album.'"[118]

"It was great. It sold. It's the bloody Beatles' White Album. Shut up!"

Paul McCartney, refuting suggestions that The Beatles should have been a single album[119]

It was the first album by the Beatles to be released by Apple Records, as well as their only original double album. Producer Martin has said that he was against the idea of a double album at the time and suggested to the group that they reduce the number of songs to form a single album featuring their stronger work, but that the band decided against this.[115] Interviewed for the Beatles Anthology, Starr said that he now felt that it should have been released as two separate albums (that he nicknamed "The White Album" and "The Whiter Album").[119] Harrison felt on reflection that some tracks could have been released as B-sides, but "there was a lot of ego in that band."[119] He also supported the idea of the double album, to clear out the backlog of songs that the group had at the time. By contrast, McCartney said that it was fine as it was, adding: "It's the bloody Beatles' White Album. Shut up!"[119]

Mono version

The Beatles was the last Beatles album to be mixed separately for stereo and mono,[120] though the mono version was only issued in the UK and a few other countries. All but one track exist in official mono mixes; the exception is "Revolution 9", which was a direct reduction of the stereo master.[31] The Beatles had not been particularly interested in stereo until this album, but after receiving mail from fans stating they bought both stereo and mono mixes of earlier albums, they decided to make the two different.[121] Several mixes have different track lengths; the mono mix/edit of "Helter Skelter" eliminates the fade-in at the end of the song (and Starr's ending scream),[97] and the fade out of "Yer Blues" is 11 seconds longer on the mono mix.[122]

In the US, mono records were already being phased out; the US release of The Beatles was the first Beatles LP to be issued in stereo only.[123] In the UK, the following album, Yellow Submarine, was the last to be shipped in mono.[124] The mono version of The Beatles was made available worldwide on 9 September 2009, as part of The Beatles in Mono CD boxed set.[125] A reissue of the original mono LP was released worldwide for the first time in September 2014.


The album's sleeve was designed by [127] In 2008, an original pressing of the album with serial number 0000005 sold for £19,201 on eBay.[128]

Later vinyl record releases in the US showed the title in grey printed (rather than embossed) letters. The album included a poster comprising a montage of photographs, with the lyrics of the songs on the back, and a set of four photographic portraits taken by John Kelly[129] during the autumn of 1968 that have themselves become iconic. The photographs for the poster were assembled by Hamilton and McCartney, and sorted them in a variety of ways over several days before arriving at the final result.[130]

Tape versions of the album did not feature a white cover. Instead, cassette and 8-track versions (issued on two cassettes/cartridges in early 1969) contained cover artwork that featured high contrast black and white (with no grey) versions of the four Kelly photographs.[131] A reel-to-reel tape release of the album by Ampex (in two separate volumes, and again using the Kelly cover artwork) features edits on eight tracks.[6]

During 1978 and 1979, for the album's tenth anniversary, EMI reissued the album pressed on limited edition white vinyl in several countries.[133][134] In 1981, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) issued a unique half-speed master variation of the album utilising the sound from the original master recording. The discs were pressed on high-quality virgin vinyl.[135]

The album was reissued, along with the rest of the Beatles catalogue, on compact disc in 1987.[136] it was reissued again on CD in 1998 as part of a 30th anniversary series for EMI, featuring a scaled-down replication of the original artwork. This was part of a reissue series from EMI that included albums from other artists such as the Rolling Stones and Roxy Music.[137]

A painting of the band by John Byrne was at an earlier point under consideration to be used as the album's cover. The piece was later used for the sleeve of the compilation album The Beatles' Ballads, released in 1980. In 2012 the original artwork was put up for auction.[138]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Retrospective reviews
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic [104]
The A.V. Club A+[139]
Blender [140]
The Daily Telegraph [141]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music [142]
Pitchfork Media 10/10[143]
PopMatters [144]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide [145]
Slant Magazine [146]

Upon its release in November 1968, The Beatles received mixed reviews from music critics,[147] most of whom viewed its mild, playful satire as unimportant and conservative.[148] Time magazine wrote that it showcases the "best abilities and worst tendencies" of the Beatles, as it is skilfully performed and sophisticated, but lacks a "sense of taste and purpose".[149] In his review for The New York Times, Nik Cohn considered the album "boring beyond belief" and said that over half of its songs are "profound mediocrities".[150] Critics also complained about a lack of unity among the songs and criticised the Beatles for using eclecticism and pastiche as a means of avoiding important issues during a turbulent political and social climate.[151] Jon Landau, writing for the London Daily Times, argued that the band uses parody because they are "afraid of confronting reality" and "the urgencies of the moment".[148] Robert Christgau of The Village Voice said that the album is both "their most consistent and probably their worst", and referred to its songs as a "pastiche of musical exercises".[152] Nonetheless, he ranked it as the tenth best album of the year in his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine's annual critics poll.[153]

In a positive review for The Observer, Tony Palmer claimed that, "if there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest songwriters since Schubert," the album "should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making".[154] Richard Goldstein of The New York Times felt that their songwriting had improved and they relied less on the studio tricks of Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour.[155] NME‍ '​s Alan Smith derided "Revolution #9" as a "pretentious" example of "idiot immaturity", but declared "God Bless You, Beatles!" to the majority of the album.[156] Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone called it their best album yet and contended that they were allowed to appropriate other styles and traditions into rock music because their ability and identity were "so strong that they make it uniquely theirs, and uniquely the Beatles. They are so good that they not only expand the idiom, but they are also able to penetrate it and take it further."[157]

The Beatles has since been regarded favourably by critics. A 2004 BBC News report ranked the album as one of the best ever made.[69] The Daily Telegraph‍ '​s Neil McCormick also viewed it as such and wrote in a retrospective review that even its worst songs work within the context of such an eclectic and unconventional album.[141] AllMusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that because the songs are so assorted, The Beatles can be "a frustratingly scattershot record or a singularly gripping musical experience, depending on your view".[104] Rob Sheffield wrote in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004) that despite "loads of self-indulgent filler", listeners often pick different highlights, which is "part of the fun".[158] Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson claimed that The Beatles remains one of the band's few albums that "resists reflexive canonisation, which, along with society's continued fragmentation, keeps the album fresh and surprising".[159] In his review for The A.V. Club, Chuck Klosterman felt that the album found the band at their best and called it a masterpiece.[139] In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it at number 10 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.[160] On the 40th anniversary of the album's release, Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano wrote that it "remains a type of magical musical anthology: 30 songs you can go through and listen to at will, certain of finding some pearls that even today remain unparalleled."[161] In 2011, Kerrang! put the album at number 49 on a list of "The 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time". The magazine praised the guitar work in "Helter Skelter".[162]

Cultural responses

According to MacDonald, lyrics on The Beatles progressed from being vague to open-ended and prone to misinterpretation, such as "Glass Onion" (e.g., "the walrus was Paul")[64] and "Piggies" ("what they need's a damn good whacking").[82] Other artists had been suspected of having hidden meanings in lyrics, but the counterculture of the 1960s analysed The Beatles above and beyond earlier releases.[36] Sociologist Michael A. Katovich writes that the album's release "engendered a collective appreciation of it as a 'state-of-the-art' rendition of the current pop, rock, and folk-rock sounds".[163] Music writer David N Howard said that the album featured "a panoply of wondrous songs that included acoustic numbers, idiosyncratic pop, heavy-duty hard rock, and flat-out experimentalism".[164] Other authors have simply remarked on the diversity of material on offer; Gillian Gaar said the album was "the most diverse record the band ever released"[165] while Jeffrey Roessner thinks the diversity in styles is the album's most original concept.[166]

Lennon's lyrics on "Revolution 1" were misinterpreted with messages he did not intend. In the album version, he advises those who "talk about destruction" to "count me out". As MacDonald notes, however, Lennon then follows the sung word "out" with the spoken word "in". At the time of the album's release – which followed, chronologically, the up-tempo single version of the song, "Revolution" – that single word "in" was taken by the radical political left as Lennon's endorsement of politically motivated violence, which followed the May 1968 Paris riots.[167] However, the album version was recorded first.[7]

Charles Manson first heard the album not long after it was released. He had already claimed to find hidden meanings in songs from earlier Beatles albums,[168] but in The Beatles he interpreted prophetic significance in several of the songs, including "Blackbird", "Piggies" (particularly the line "what they need's a damn good whacking"), "Helter Skelter", "Revolution 1" and "Revolution 9",[169] and interpreted the lyrics as a sign of imminent violence or war.[158] He played the album repeatedly to his followers, the Manson family, and convinced them that it was an apocalyptic message predicting an uprising of oppressed races,[170] drawing parallels with chapter 9 of the Book of Revelation.[171]

In early 2013, the Recess Gallery in New York City's SoHo neighbourhood presented We Buy White Albums, an installation by artist Rutherford Chang. The piece was in the form of a record store in which nothing but original pressings of the LP was on display.[172] Chang created a recording in which the sounds of one hundred copies of side one of the LP were overlaid.[173]

Commercial performance

As it was their first studio album in almost eighteen months (and coming after the success of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) expectations were high at the time of the release of The Beatles. The album debuted at number 1 in the UK on 7 December 1968.[174] It spent seven weeks at the top of the UK charts (including the entire competitive Christmas season),[174] until it was replaced by the Seekers' Best of the Seekers on 25 January 1969, dropping to number 2. However, the album returned to the top spot the next week, spending an eighth and final week at number 1.[175] The album was still high in the charts when the Beatles' follow-up album, Yellow Submarine was released, which reached number 3. In all, The Beatles spent 22 weeks on the UK charts, far fewer than the 149 weeks for Sgt. Pepper.[176] In September 2013 after the British Phonographic Industry changed their sales award rules, the album was declared as having gone platinum, meaning sales of at least 300,000 copies.[177]

In the United States, the album achieved huge commercial success. Capitol Records sold over 3.3 million copies of the White Album to stores within the first four days of the album's release.[178] It debuted at number 11 on 14 December 1968,[179] jumped to number 2, and reached number 1 in its third week on 28 December,[180] spending a total of nine weeks at the top. In all, The Beatles spent 155 weeks on the Billboard 200.[181] The album has sold over 9.5 million copies in the United States alone[182] and according to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles is the Beatles' most-certified album at 19-times platinum.[183]

Track listing

All songs written and composed by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Back in the U.S.S.R."   McCartney 2:43
2. "Dear Prudence"   Lennon 3:56
3. "Glass Onion"   Lennon 2:17
4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"   McCartney 3:08
5. "Wild Honey Pie"   McCartney 0:52
6. "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"   Lennon 3:14
7. "George Harrison) Harrison 4:45
8. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"   Lennon 2:43
Side two
No. Title Lead vocals Length
9. "Martha My Dear"   McCartney 2:28
10. "I'm So Tired"   Lennon 2:03
11. "Blackbird"   McCartney 2:18
12. "Piggies" (Harrison) Harrison 2:04
13. "Rocky Raccoon"   McCartney 3:33
14. "Don't Pass Me By" (Richard Starkey) Starr 3:51
15. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"   McCartney 1:41
16. "I Will"   McCartney 1:46
17. "Julia"   Lennon 2:54
Side three
No. Title Lead vocals Length
1. "Birthday"   McCartney and Lennon 2:42
2. "Yer Blues"   Lennon 4:01
3. "Mother Nature's Son"   McCartney 2:48
4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"   Lennon 2:24
5. "Sexy Sadie"   Lennon 3:15
6. "Helter Skelter"   McCartney 4:29
7. "Long, Long, Long" (Harrison) Harrison 3:04
Side four
No. Title Lead vocals Length
8. "Revolution 1"   Lennon 4:15
9. "Honey Pie"   McCartney 2:41
10. "Savoy Truffle" (Harrison) Harrison 2:54
11. "Cry Baby Cry"   Lennon, with McCartney 3:02
12. "Revolution 9"   Speaking from Lennon, Harrison, George Martin and Yoko Ono 8:22
13. "Good Night"   Starr 3:13


The Beatles
  • harmonium,[46] Mellotron; harmonica,[46] tenor saxophone;[42] extra drums and assorted percussion (tambourine, handclaps and vocal percussion), tapes, tape loops and sound effects (electronic and home-made)[187]
  • [63];flugelhorn and [36] recorder[189] drums (on "Back in the U.S.S.R.", "Dear Prudence", "Wild Honey Pie" and "Martha My Dear");[188] tambourine, cowbell, hand shake bell, handclaps, foot taps and vocal percussion);[60],timpani assorted percussion ([184]
  • [44] extra drums and assorted percussion (tambourine, handclaps and vocal percussion) and sound effects[61]
  • Ringo Starr – drums and assorted percussion (tambourine, bongos, cymbals, maracas and vocal percussion);[184] piano and sleigh bell (on "Don't Pass Me By");[84] lead vocals (on "Don't Pass Me By"[84] and "Good Night")[40] and backing vocals (on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill")[52]
Guest musicians
  • Eric Clapton – lead guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"[97]
  • Mal Evans – backing vocals and handclaps on "Dear Prudence",[63] handclaps on "Birthday",[47] trumpet on "Helter Skelter"[97]
  • Jack Fallon – violin on "Don't Pass Me By"[84]
  • Pattie Harrison – backing vocals on "Birthday"[192]
  • Jackie Lomax – backing vocals and handclaps on "Dear Prudence"[193]
  • Maureen Starkey – backing vocals on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"[194]
  • Yoko Ono – backing vocals, lead vocals and handclaps on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill",[194] backing vocals on "Birthday",[192] speech, tapes and sound effects on "Revolution 9"[195]
Session musicians
  • Ted Barker – trombone on "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • Leon Calvert – trumpet and flugelhorn on "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • Henry Datyner, Eric Bowie, Norman Lederman and Ronald Thomas – violin on "Glass Onion"[197]
  • Bernard Miller, Dennis McConnell, Lou Soufier and Les Maddox – violin on "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • Reginald Kilby – cello on "Glass Onion"[197] and "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • Eldon Fox – cello on "Glass Onion"[197]
  • Frederick Alexander – cello on "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • Harry Klein – saxophone on "Savoy Truffle"[198] and "Honey Pie"[199]
  • Dennis Walton, Ronald Chamberlain, Jim Chest and Rex Morris – saxophone on "Honey Pie"[199]
  • Raymond Newman and David Smith – clarinet on "Honey Pie"[199]
  • Art Ellefson, Danny Moss and Derek Collins – tenor sax on "Savoy Truffle"[198]
  • baritone sax on "Savoy Truffle"[198]
  • Alf Reece – tuba on "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • The Mike Sammes Singers – backing vocals on "Good Night"[200]
  • Stanley Reynolds and Ronnie Hughes – trumpet on "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • Chris Shepard – stumpf fiddle on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"[197]
  • Tony Tunstall – French horn on "Martha My Dear"[196]
  • John Underwood and Keith Cummings – viola on "Glass Onion"[197]
  • Leo Birnbaum and Henry Myerscough – viola on "Martha My Dear"[196]
Production team


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[206]
Listed as "Album Blanco"
Platinum 60,000x
Argentina (CAPIF)[206]
Listed as "The White Album"
Gold 30,000x
Australia (ARIA)[207] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[208] 8× Platinum 420,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[208]
2009 release
France (SNEP)[209] Gold 257,600[210]
Italy (FIMI)[211] Gold 30,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[212] 2× Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[213] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[214] 19× Platinum 9,500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.[215]


Weekly charts

Release history

Country Date Label Format Catalogue number
United Kingdom 22 November 1968 Apple (Parlophone) LP PMC 7067/8 (mono) /PCS 7067/8 (stereo)[248]
United States 25 November 1968 Apple, Capitol LP SWBO-101 (stereo)[249]
Worldwide reissue 24 August 1987 Apple, EMI CD CDP 7 46443 8[250]
United Kingdom 23 November 1998 Apple CD (30th Anniversary numbered limited edition) 4 96895 2[251]
Japan 21 January 2004 Toshiba-EMI Remastered LP TOJP 60139/40[252]
Worldwide reissue 9 September 2009 Apple Remastered CD 3 82466 2[253]
Worldwide reissue 13 November 2012 Apple Remastered LP 3824661[254]
Worldwide reissue 9 September 2014 Apple Remastered Mono LP 734535

See also


  1. ^ And, on the early LP and CD releases, a serial number.
  2. ^ Harrison later repaired his friendship with the Maharishi in the Natural Law Party[14]
  3. ^ "Revolution 1",[19] "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey",[39] "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da",[40] "Cry Baby Cry",[41] "Helter Skelter",[42] "Sexy Sadie",[43] "While My Guitar Gently Weeps",[44] "Yer Blues",[45] "Rocky Raccoon",[46] "Glass Onion",[36] "Birthday",[47] "Happiness Is A Warm Gun",[48] "Piggies",[49] "Honey Pie",[50] "I'm So Tired",[51] "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"[52]
  4. ^ This has since been misreported as "git"[81] but is written as "get" in the lyrics on the sleeve insert
  5. ^ The group were unhappy about "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" being left off Sgt Pepper because the tracks had been released as a single.[107]
  6. ^ "Dear Prudence", "Glass Onion", "Don't Pass Me By", "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?", "Yer Blues", "Helter Skelter", "Cry Baby Cry" and "Revolution 9"[132]
  7. ^ Recording on "Revolution 1" began on 30 May,[19] "Revolution" on 9 July[67]
  1. ^ Everett 1999, p. 123.
  2. ^ "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".  
  3. ^ Levering, Stephen (2006). "Time" (and "Newsweek") is on My Side: Pop/rock Coverage in "Time" and "Newsweek" During the 1960s. ProQuest. p. 26.  
  4. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 224.
  5. ^ Beatles 2000, p. 281.
  6. ^ Spitz 2005, p. 752.
  7. ^ Beatles 2000, p. 283.
  8. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 220.
  9. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 242.
  10. ^ a b c d e MacDonald 1997, p. 244.
  11. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 243.
  12. ^  
  13. ^  
  14. ^ a b Miles 1997, p. 429.
  15. ^ Miles 1997, p. 427.
  16. ^ Winn 2009, p. 162.
  17. ^ Doggett 2009, p. 208.
  18. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 135.
  19. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 245.
  20. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 246.
  21. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 139.
  22. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 245–246.
  23. ^ Harry 2000, pp. 108–9.
  24. ^ Miles 1997, pp. 483–484.
  25. ^ Winn 2009, p. 176.
  26. ^ Harry 2002, pp. 77–78.
  27. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 146.
  28. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 153.
  29. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 162.
  30. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 137.
  31. ^ a b c d Lewisohn 1988, p. 150.
  32. ^ Bell, Nigel. "The White Album @ Playhouse". BBC. Retrieved 28 June 2008. 
  33. ^ Miles 1997, p. 491.
  34. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 143.
  35. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 151.
  36. ^ a b c d e MacDonald 1997, p. 273.
  37. ^ Doggett 2009, p. 130.
  38. ^ Womack 2009, p. 55.
  39. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 257.
  40. ^ a b c d e MacDonald 1997, p. 258.
  41. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 260.
  42. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 261.
  43. ^ a b c d MacDonald 1997, p. 262.
  44. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 263.
  45. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 269.
  46. ^ a b c d e MacDonald 1997, p. 270.
  47. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 277.
  48. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 279.
  49. ^ MacDonald 1997.
  50. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 281.
  51. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 283.
  52. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 284.
  53. ^ Everett 1999, p. 179.
  54. ^ Everett 1999, p. 172.
  55. ^ a b c Winn 2009, p. 169.
  56. ^ Turner, Steve (1999). A Hard Day's Write (2nd ed.). Prospero Books. p. 149.  
  57. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 256.
  58. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 285.
  59. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 276.
  60. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 267.
  61. ^ a b c d MacDonald 1997, p. 271.
  62. ^ Womack 2009, p. 122.
  63. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 272.
  64. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 275.
  65. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 155.
  66. ^ a b c d Lewisohn 1988, p. 141.
  67. ^ a b c d MacDonald 1997, p. 259.
  68. ^ Emerick & Massey 2007, p. 246.
  69. ^ a b "Beatles classic voted worst song".  
  70. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 160.
  71. ^ Beatles 2000, p. 306.
  72. ^ Badman 2009, p. 638.
  73. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 263, 264.
  74. ^ Everett 1999, p. 305.
  75. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 157.
  76. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 280.
  77. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 287.
  78. ^ Miles 2001, p. 317.
  79. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 159.
  80. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 282.
  81. ^ McNamee, Gregory (2007). Movable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 149.  
  82. ^ a b c MacDonald 1997, p. 278.
  83. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 156.
  84. ^ a b c d e MacDonald 1997, p. 251.
  85. ^ Badman 2009, p. 643.
  86. ^ Winn 2009, p. 175.
  87. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Jack Fallon: Biography".  
  88. ^ Miles 1997, p. 499.
  89. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 155.
  90. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 276–277.
  91. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 161.
  92. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 286.
  93. ^ Miles 1997.
  94. ^ "100 Greatest Beatles Songs – Yer Blues".  
  95. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 148.
  96. ^ Sheff, David (1981). The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon & Yoko Ono. Playboy Press. 
  97. ^ a b c d e Lewisohn 1988, p. 154.
  98. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 247.
  99. ^ Everett 1999, p. 189.
  100. ^ Miles 2001, p. 320.
  101. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 254–255.
  102. ^ Beatles 2000, p. 307.
  103. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 138.
  104. ^ a b c  
  105. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 264.
  106. ^ a b Dowlding, William J. (1989). Beatlesongs. Simon & Schuster Inc.  
  107. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, p. 201.
  108. ^ "Go-Set Australian charts ~ 1969". Australian Pop Archives. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  109. ^ "Japan #1 Import Disks". Oricon Hot Singles. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  110. ^ "The Beatles : Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  111. ^ "The Beatles : Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  112. ^ Leng 2006, p. 55.
  113. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 243,266,270.
  114. ^ Kreps, Daniel (27 February 2009). "The Beatles' Experimental "Revolution 1 (Take 20)" Surfaces". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. 
  115. ^ a b c d e Lewisohn 1988, p. 163.
  116. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 404.
  117. ^ Castleman and Podrazik, p. 70.
  118. ^ Schaffner 1978, p. 113.
  119. ^ a b c d MacFarlane 2013, p. 78.
  120. ^ Richardson, Mark (7 September 2009). "The Beatles – Stereo Box".  
  121. ^ Fanelli, Damian (22 November 2013). """Abbey Road Engineer Ken Scott Says The Beatles' White Album Sessions Were a "Blast.  
  122. ^ McCoy, William; McGeary, Mitchell (1990). Every Little Thing: the definitive guide to Beatles recording variations, rare mixes & other musical oddities, 1958–1986. Popular Culture, Ink. p. 54.  
  123. ^ Spizer 2007, p. 170.
  124. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 164.
  125. ^ Kreps, Daniel (7 April 2009). "The Beatles' Remastered Albums Due September 9, 2009". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  126. ^ Miles, Scott & Morgan 2008, p. 50.
  127. ^ Miles, Scott & Morgan 2008, p. 52.
  128. ^ Porter, Tom (24 November 2008). "Rare Beatles 'White Album' sells for $30k".  
  129. ^ Everett 1999, p. 207.
  130. ^ Miles 1997, p. 504.
  131. ^ "Example of 'white album' reel-to-reel artwork". Ampex / Capitol Records. 1970. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  132. ^ McGeary, Mitch; Cox, Perry; Daniels, Frank. "The Beatles and Solo Beatles Reel-to-Reel Tapes Price & Reference Guide". Rare Beatles. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  133. ^ "The Beatles [White Album] #118411". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  134. ^ "Heritage Music and Entertainment Dallas Signature Auction Catalog #634". Heritage Capital Corporation. 2006. p. 126.  
  135. ^ Caro, Mark (12 November 2012). "The ultimate Beatles sound test".  
  136. ^ "The Beatles [White Album] CD – EMI Music Distribution #CDS 7464438". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2014. 
  137. ^ Bessman, Jim (11 September 1999). "EMI does reissues with a difference".  
  138. ^ "Lot 371: • JOHN BYRNE (b.1940) THE BEATLES Oil on canvas". Great Western Auctions. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  139. ^ a b  
  140. ^  
  141. ^ a b McCormick, Neil (8 September 2009). "The Beatles – The Beatles, review".  
  142. ^ Larkin 2006, p. 489.
  143. ^ Richardson, Mark (10 September 2009). "Album Review: The Beatles: The Beatles".  
  144. ^ Zupko, Sarah. "The Beatles: White Album".  
  145. ^ Sheffield 2004, p. 51.
  146. ^ Henderson, Eric (2 August 2004). "The Beatles: The Beatles (The White Album)".  
  147. ^ Emerick & Massey 2007, p. 264.
  148. ^ a b Roessner 2006, p. 149.
  149. ^ "The Mannerist Phase".  
  150. ^  
  151. ^ Roessner 2006, pp. 147–9.
  152. ^  
  153. ^ Christgau, Robert (1969). "Robert Christgau's 1969 Jazz & Pop Ballot". Jazz & Pop. Retrieved 17 April 2014. 
  154. ^ Nelsson, Roger. Beatles: A Band Reviewed. Guardian Books. p. 28.  
  155. ^ Goldstein, Richard (8 December 1968). "The Beatles". The New York Times. pp. 33, 37. 
  156. ^ Smith, Alan (9 November 1968). "The Brilliant, the Bad, and the Ugly".  
  157. ^  
  158. ^ a b Sheffield 2004, p. 54.
  159. ^ Henderson, Eric (2 August 2004). "The Beatles (The White Album)". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 24 December 2009. 
  160. ^ "'"500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The Beatles, 'The White Album. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 January 2013. 
  161. ^ "Beatles' music better than today's pop songs". Vatican newspaper (Catholic News Service). 24 November 2008. 
  162. ^ "The 50 Heaviest Albums Ever". Kerrang. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014. 
  163. ^ Katovich et al. 2009, p. 401.
  164. ^ David N Howard. Sonic Alchemy: Visionary Music Producers and Their Maverick Recordings. p. 31. [The White Album] contained a panoply of wondrous songs that included acoustic numbers, idiosyncratic pop, heavy-duty hard rock, and flat-out experimentalism. 
  165. ^ Gaar, Gillian (2013). 100 Things Beatles Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die 100 Things. Triumph Books. p. 33.  
  166. ^ Roessner 2006, p. 148.
  167. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 248–249.
  168. ^ Nielsen 2005, p. 90.
  169. ^ Guinn 2013, p. 194.
  170. ^ Guinn 2013, p. 196.
  171. ^ Nielsen 2005, p. 92.
  172. ^ Kozinn, Allan (22 February 2013). "A Plain White Square, and Yet So Fascinating". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  173. ^ "What It Sounds Like If You Play 100 Vinyl Copies of 'The White Album' at Once". Slate. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2014. 
  174. ^ a b "All The Number One Albums : 1968". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  175. ^ "1969 The Number One Albums". Official Chart Company. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  176. ^ "The Beatles: every album and single, with its chart position".  
  177. ^ "Beatles albums finally go platinum". BBC News. Retrieved 4 September 2013. 
  178. ^ "Beatles Record-Busting LP May Be All-Time Biggest". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  179. ^ "Top LPs & Tapes". Billboard: 70. 14 December 1968. Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  180. ^ "Top LPs & Tapes". Billboard: 54. 28 December 1968. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  181. ^ "Heritage Music & Entertainment Auction #7006".  
  182. ^ "Searchable Database of Gold and Platinum Awards". RIAA. Retrieved 2 April 2014.  Note that the RIAA counts each record of a double album separately, meaning The Beatles is certified 19 times platinum, for 19 million units sold.
  183. ^ "Gold & Platinum: Beatles".  
  184. ^ a b c d e MacDonald 1997, pp. 245–285.
  185. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 262;272.
  186. ^ MacDonald 1997, p. 261;271.
  187. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 251–255.
  188. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 258;271–272.
  189. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 271–272.
  190. ^ MacDonald 1997, pp. 263;278;281–282.
  191. ^ a b MacDonald 1997, pp. 245–284.
  192. ^ a b MacDonald 2005, p. 316.
  193. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 310.
  194. ^ a b c MacDonald 2005, p. 324.
  195. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 290.
  196. ^ a b c d e f g h i MacDonald 2005, p. 322.
  197. ^ a b c d e MacDonald 2005, p. 311.
  198. ^ a b c MacDonald 2005, p. 321.
  199. ^ a b c MacDonald 2005, p. 320.
  200. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 294.
  201. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 140–143,163.
  202. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 308.
  203. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 146,158.
  204. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 317.
  205. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 323.
  206. ^ a b "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish).  
  207. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums".  
  208. ^ a b "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – The White Album".  
  209. ^ "French album certifications – The Beatles – Double Blanc" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select THE BEATLES and click OK
  210. ^ "Les Albums Or :" (in French). Retrieved 20 August 2012. 
  211. ^ "Italian album certifications – The Beatles – Beatles" (in Italian).   Select Album e Compilation in the field Sezione. Enter The Beatles in the field Filtra. The certification will load automatically
  212. ^ "Latest Gold / Platinum Albums". Radioscope. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 16 September 2012. 
  213. ^ "British album certifications – The Beatles – The Beatles".   Enter The Beatles in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  214. ^ "American album certifications – The Beatles – The Beatles".   If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  215. ^ "Beatles albums finally go platinum".  
  216. ^ a b  
  217. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 10, No. 23" (PHP).  
  218. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste" (PHP). Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  219. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" – The Beatles – (ASP). Retrieved 3 May 2012. 
  220. ^ "Swedish Charts 1969–1972" (PDF) (in Swedish). Hitsallertijden. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  221. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE.  
  222. ^ "The Beatles > Artists > Official Charts".  
  223. ^ "The Beatles > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  224. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)"Album Search: The Beatles – (ASP) (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  225. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" – The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien, (in Dutch).  
  226. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005.  
  227. ^ (1987)"The Beatles"Chart Stats – The Beatles – .  
  228. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP).  
  229. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 13 October 2012. 
  230. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  231. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  232. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  233. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  234. ^ " chartverfolgung". Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  235. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien.  
  236. ^ ザ・ビートルズ"リマスター"全16作トップ100入り「売上金額は23.1億円」 [All of the Beatles' "Remastered" Albums Enter the Top 100: Grossing 2,310 Million Yen In One Week] (in Japanese). Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  237. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  238. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)"The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  239. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  240. ^ –"The Beatles (White Album)"The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  241. ^ "The Beatles (White Album)" The Beatles – (ASP). Hung Medien.  
  242. ^ (2009)"The Beatles"Chart Stats – The Beatles – . UK Albums Chart. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  243. ^ Caulfield, Keith. "Beatles and Jay-Z Dominate Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  244. ^ "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  245. ^ a b "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2007. 
  246. ^ Bronson, Fred (29 December 2001). "The Year in Charts". Billboard: 66. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  247. ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 2009" (in Italian). Retrieved 1 May 2013. 
  248. ^ Womack 2009, p. 288.
  249. ^ Womack 2009, p. 292.
  250. ^ "The Beatles [White Album]". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  251. ^ "The Beatles [White Album]". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  252. ^ "The Beatles [White Album]". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  253. ^ "The Beatles [White Album]". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  254. ^ "Beatles [White Album] [LP] [Bonus Tracks]". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  • Badman, Keith (2009). The Beatles: Off the Record. Omnibus Press.  
  • Castleman, Harry; Podrazik, Walter J. (1976). All Together Now: The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975. New York, NY: Ballantine Books.  
  • Doggett, Peter (2009). The Art And Music Of John Lennon. Omnibus Press.  
  • Emerick, Geoff; Massey, Howard (15 February 2007). Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles.  
  • Everett, Walter (1999). The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 207.  
  • Guinn, Jeff (2013). Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson. Simon and Schuster.  
  • Katovich, Michael A.; et al. (30 November 2009). Denzin, Norman K., ed. Studies in Symbolic Interaction. Volume 33 of Studies in Symbolic Interactions Series.  
  • Harry, Bill (2002). The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia.  
  • Leng, Simon (2006). While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison. Hal Leonard.  
  • MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand).  
  • MacFarlane, Thomas (2013). The Beatles and McLuhan: Understanding the Electric Age. Rowman & Littlefield.  
  • Miles, Barry (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years. Omnibus Press.  
  • Miles, Barry; Scott, Grant; Morgan, Johnny (2008). The Greatest Album Covers of All Time. Anova.  
  • Nielsen, Donald (2005). Horrible Workers: Max Stirner, Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Johnson, and the Charles Manson Circle: Studies in Moral Experience and Cultural Expression. Lexington Books.  
  • Penman, Ross (2009). The Beatles in New Zealand ... a discography.  
  • Roessner, Jeffrey (2006). "We All Want to Change the World: Postmodern Politics and the Beatles' White Album". In Womack, Ken; Davis, Todd. Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four.  
  • Schaffner, Nicholas (1978). The Beatles Forever. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.  
  • Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Little Brown and Company.  
  • Spizer, Bruce (2007). The Beatles swan song: "She Loves You" & other records. 498 Productions.  
  • Winn, John (2009). That Magic Feeling: The Beatles' Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966–1970. Random House.  

External links

  • The Beatles at Discogs (list of releases)
  • The Beatles White Album (Website dedicated to The Beatles)
  • The Beatles on The Beatles Bible
Preceded by
Hollies' Greatest by The Hollies
The Best of The Seekers by The Seekers
UK Albums Chart number-one album
7 December 1968 – 25 January 1969 (7 weeks)
1 February 1969 – 8 February 1969 (1-week)
Succeeded by
The Best of The Seekers by The Seekers
The Best of The Seekers by The Seekers
Preceded by
Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell
Canadian RPM 100 number-one album
16 December 1968 – 10 March 1969 (12 weeks)
Succeeded by
Yellow Submarine by The Beatles
Preceded by
Wheels of Fire by Cream
Australian Kent Music Report number-one album
21 December 1968 – 11 April 1969 (16 weeks)
Succeeded by
Hair (soundtrack) by Original Broadway Cast
Preceded by
Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell
US Billboard 200 number-one album
28 December 1968 – 7 February 1969 (6 weeks)
15 February  – 7 March 1969 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
TCB by Diana Ross & The Supremes
and The Temptations
Two songs were recorded for the album but were left off, Harrison's "Not Guilty" (which he re-recorded for his eponymous 1979 album,

Prior to recording sessions for The Beatles, demo recordings were made for a number of songs that were ultimately not included on the album. Some appeared on later releases, others on the respective solo albums, while some have only ever appeared on bootlegs. These included Harrison's "Circles" (which he eventually re-recorded as a solo track and released on his 1982 album, Gone Troppo) and "Sour Milk Sea" (which Harrison gave to friend and Apple artist Jackie Lomax for his first LP, Is This What You Want?).[112] Lennon's "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam" would be used for the medley on Abbey Road the following year.[29] "Child of Nature" would be re-recorded with drastically different lyrics as "Jealous Guy" for Lennon's Imagine.[10] McCartney's "Jubilee" (later retitled "Junk" and released on his first solo LP),[106] "Etcetera" [31] and "The Long and Winding Road" (completed in 1969 for Let It Be) were also shelved.[83]

Unreleased material

The convention amongst record companies in the 1960s was that singles and albums were distinct entities and should not duplicate songs.[107][5] However, though no singles were taken from The Beatles in either Britain or America, "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" backed with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", was a commercial success in several countries, including Australia (where it spent five weeks at number one in the Go Set charts),[108] Japan,[109] Austria,[110] and Switzerland.[111]

"Hey Jude" was recorded at the end of July 1968 during the sessions for The Beatles, but was issued separately as a single nearly three months before the album's release.[105] (It would, however, make its LP debut in the US two years later as the title cut of the compilation album Hey Jude) The B-side, "Revolution", was a different version of the album's "Revolution 1". Lennon had wanted the original version of "Revolution" to be released as a single, but the other three Beatles objected on the grounds that it was too slow. Instead, the single featured a new, faster version, with heavily distorted guitar and an electric piano solo from Nicky Hopkins.[67] This was the first release on Apple Records and went on to be the band's most successful single, with world sales of over 5 million by the end of 1968 and 7.5 million by October 1972.[106]


"Good Night" was a lullaby written by Lennon for his son Julian, and he specifically wanted Starr to sing it. The early takes featured just Lennon on acoustic guitar and Starr singing.[21] Martin scored an orchestral and choral arrangement that replaced the guitar in the final mix, and also played the celesta.[40]

"Revolution 9" evolved from the overdubs from the "Revolution 1" coda. Lennon, Harrison and Ono added further tape collages and spoken word extracts, in the style of Karlheinz Stockhausen. The track opens with an extract from a Royal Schools of Music examination tape, and ends with Ono's infamous comment, "you become naked".[101] Ono was heavily involved in the production, and advised Lennon on what tape loops to use.[102] McCartney did not contribute to the track, and was reportedly unhappy on it being included, though he had led similar tape experiments such as "Carnival of Light" in January 1967.[103] The track has attracted both interest and disapproval from fans and music critics over the years.[104]

Lennon began writing "Cry Baby Cry" in late 1967 and the lyrics were partly derived from a tagline for an old television commercial. Martin played harmonium on the track.[41]

"Savoy Truffle" was named after one of the types of chocolate found in a box of Mackintosh's Good News, which Clapton enjoyed eating. The track featured a saxophone sextet arranged by Thomas, who also played keyboards.[50] Harrison later said that Derek Taylor helped him finish the lyrics.[100]

"Honey Pie" was written by McCartney as a pastiche of the flapper dance style from the 1920s. The opening section of the track had the sound of an old 78 RPM record overdubbed[99] while Martin arranged a saxophone and clarinet part in the same style. Lennon played the guitar solo on the track, but later said he hated the song, calling it "beyond redemption".[50]

"Revolution 1" was the first track recorded for the album, with sessions for the backing track starting on 30 May.[20] The initial takes were recorded with aim of it being a possible single, but as the session progressed, the arrangement became slower, with more of a laid-back groove. The group ended the chosen take with a six-minute improvisation that had further overdubs added, before being cut to the length heard on the album. The brass arrangement was added later.[98]

Side four

The final song on side three is Harrison's "Leslie speaker to resonate.[51]

"Helter Skelter" was written by McCartney and was initially recorded in July as a blues number. The initial takes were performed by the band live and included long passages during which the group jammed on their instruments.[34] Because these takes were too long to practically fit on an LP, the song was shelved until September, when a new, shorter, version was made. By all accounts, the session was chaotic, but nobody dared suggest to any of the Beatles that they were out of control. Harrison reportedly ran around the studio while holding a flaming ashtray above his head, "doing an Arthur Brown".[97] The stereo version of the LP includes almost an extra minute of music compared to the mono, which culminates in Starr infamously shouting "I've got blisters on my fingers!"[97] According to Beatles author Ian MacDonald, Charles Manson was unaware that "Helter Skelter" is the British name for a spiral slide found on a playground or funfair, and assumed the track had something to do with hell. This was one of the key tracks that led Manson to believe the album had coded messages referring to apocalyptic war, and led to his movement of the same name.[43]

"Sexy Sadie" was written as "Maharishi" by Lennon, shortly after he decided to leave Rishikesh.[43] In a 1980 interview, Lennon acknowledged that the Maharishi was the inspiration for the song: "I just called him 'Sexy Sadie'."[96]

"Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" evolved from a jam session, and was originally untitled. The final mix was sped up by mixing the tape running at 43 hertz instead of the usual 50.[21] Harrison claimed the title came from one of the Maharishi's sayings (with "and my monkey" added later).[39]

McCartney wrote "Mother Nature's Son" in India, and worked on it in isolation from the other members of the band. He performed the track solo alongside a Martin-scored brass arrangement.[60]

"Yer Blues" was written by Lennon in India. Despite meditating and the tranquil atmosphere, he still felt unhappy, which was reflected in the lyrics.[94] The style was influenced by the British Blues Boom of 1968, which included groups such as Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack.[45] The backing track was recorded in a small room next to Studio 2 at Abbey Road. Unusually for a Beatles recording, the four track source tape was edited directly, resulting in an abrupt cut-off at 3'17" into the start of another take (which ran into the fade out).[95] The song was one of the few late-era Beatles songs that Lennon performed live. The first run-through was with a supergroup of Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell on 11 December 1968 at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus and later with the Plastic Ono Band on 13 September 1969 (as captured on the live album Live Peace in Toronto).[45]

"Birthday" was the only true Lennon-McCartney co-written song on the album.[93] They were inspired to write the song after seeing the first UK showing of the rock-n-roll film The Girl Can't Help It on television, and sang the lead vocal in the style of the film's musical star, Little Richard.[47] Ono, and Harrison's wife Patti, added backing vocals to the track.[75]

Side three

"Julia" was the last track to be recorded for the album and features Lennon on solo acoustic guitar which he played in a style similar to McCartney's on "Blackbird".[58] This is the only Beatles song on which Lennon performs alone[91] and it was a tribute to his late mother Julia Lennon, who was killed in 1958 in a road accident while Lennon was only seventeen, and the lyrics deal with the loss of his mother and his relationship with Ono, the "ocean child" referred to in the lyrics.[58] Ono helped with the lyrics, but the song was still credited to Lennon-McCartney as expected.[92]

"I Will" was written and sung by McCartney, with Lennon and Starr accompanying on percussion.[59] In between numerous takes, the three Beatles broke off to busk some other songs. A snippet of a track known as "Can You Take Me Back?" was put between "Cry Baby Cry" and "Revolution 9",[65] while recordings of Cilla Black's hit "Step Inside Love" and a joke number, "Los Paranoias", were released on Anthology 3.[90]

"Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" was written by McCartney in India after he saw two monkeys copulating in the street and wondered why humans were too civilised to do the same.[88] He played all the instruments except drums, which were contributed by Starr. The simple lyric was very much in Lennon's style, and Lennon was annoyed about not being asked to play on it. McCartney suggested it was "tit for tat" as he had not contributed to "Revolution 9".[89]

"Don't Pass Me By" was Starr's first solo composition for the band,[84] who had been toying with the idea of writing a self-reflective song for some time, possibly as far back as 1963.[85] It went by the working titles of "Ringo's Tune" and "This Is Some Friendly". The basic track consisted of Starr drumming while McCartney played piano.[86] Martin composed an orchestral introduction to the song but it was rejected as being "too bizarre" and left off the album.[84] Instead, Jack Fallon played a bluegrass fiddle part.[87]

"Rocky Raccoon" evolved from a jam session between Lennon and Donovan in Rishikesh. The song was taped in a single session, and was one of the tracks that Martin felt was "filler" and only put on because the album was a double.[46]

Harrison wrote "Piggies" as an attack on modern society. According to MacDonald, Harrison's mother Louise and Lennon helped with the lyrics.[82] Thomas suggested playing a harpsichord, and Harrison agreed it would be a good idea.[83] Lennon also contributed the tape loop of pigs grunting and along with "Helter Skelter", this was one of the key tracks that Charles Manson interpreted as being an incitement to mass-murder.[82]

"Blackbird" features McCartney solo, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar with a metronome ticking in the background.[30] MacDonald considers the track to be the best acoustic performance on the album.[57] The birdsong on track was taken from the Abbey Road sound effects collection, and was recorded on one of the first EMI portable tape recorders.[30]

"I'm So Tired" was written in India when Lennon was having difficulty sleeping.[51] It was recorded at the same session as "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill".[70] The lyrics make reference to Walter Raleigh, calling him a "stupid get" for introducing tobacco to Europe;[4] while the track ends with Lennon mumbling "Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?"[70] This became part of the Paul is Dead conspiracy theory, when fans claimed that when the track was reversed, they could hear "Paul is dead man, miss him miss him".[36]

McCartney got the title of "Martha My Dear" from his sheepdog, but the lyrics are otherwise unrelated.[79] The entire track is played by him backed with session musicians, and features no other Beatles. Martin composed a brass band arrangement for the track.[80]

Side two

"Happiness Is A Warm Gun" evolved out of song fragments that Lennon wrote in Rishikesh. MacDonald claimed that this way of building a song was influenced by the work of the Incredible String Band.[48] The basic backing track ran to 95 takes, due to the irregular time signatures and variations in style throughout the song. The final version consisted of the best half of two takes edited together.[75] Lennon later described the song as one of his favourites,[76] while the rest of the band found the recording rejuvenating, as it forced them to re-hone their skills as a group playing live together to get it right.[77] Apple press officer Derek Taylor made an uncredited contribution to the song's lyrics.[78]

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was written by Harrison during a visit he made to his parents' home in Cheshire.[71] He first recorded the song as a solo performance, on acoustic guitar, on 25 July – a version that remained unreleased until Anthology 3.[44] He was unhappy with the group's first attempt to record the track, and so invited his friend Eric Clapton to come and play on it. Clapton was unsure about guesting on a Beatles record, but Harrison said the decision was "nothing to do with them. It's my song."[72] Clapton's solo was treated with automatic double tracking to attain the desired effect; he gave Harrison the guitar he used, which Harrison later named "Lucy".[73] Harrison soon reciprocated by collaborating with Clapton on the song "Badge" for Cream's final studio album, Goodbye. Harrison, too, was not formally credited at first, but was identified as "L'Angelo Misterioso" on the cover.[74]

"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" was written by Lennon after an American visitor to Rishikesh left for a few weeks to hunt tigers.[52] It was recorded as an audio vérité exercise, featuring vocal performances from almost everyone who happened to be in the studio at the time. Ono sings one line and co-sings another, while Chris Thomas played the mellotron, including improvisations at the end of the track.[70]

McCartney recorded "Wild Honey Pie" on 20 August at the end of the session for "Mother Nature's Son". It is typical of the brief snippets of songs he recorded between takes during the album sessions.[61]

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" was written by McCartney as a pastiche of ska music. The track took a surprising amount of time to complete, with McCartney demanding perfectionism that annoyed his colleagues.[40] Jimmy Scott, a friend of McCartney, suggested the title and played bongos on the initial take. He demanded a cut of publishing when the song was released, but the song was credited to "Lennon-McCartney".[67] After working for three days on the backing track, the work was scrapped and replaced with a new recording.[66] Lennon hated the song, calling it "granny music shit",[68] while engineer Richard Lush recalled that Starr was getting fed up having to record the same backing track repetitively, and pinpoints this session as a key indication that the Beatles were going to break up.[66] McCartney attempted to remake the backing track for a third time, but this was abandoned after a few takes and the second version was used as the final mix.[66] The group, save for McCartney, were fed up with the track by the end of recording, and refused to release it as a single. Marmalade recorded a version that became a number one hit.[67] In 2004, an online poll by Mars ranked the song as the worst ever.[69]

Lennon went straight to the piano and smashed the keys with an almighty amount of volume, twice the speed of how they'd done it before, and said "This is it! Come on!"

Recording engineer Richard Lush on "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"[66]

"Glass Onion" was the first backing track recorded as a full band since Starr's brief departure. MacDonald claimed Lennon deliberately wrote the lyrics to mock fans who claimed to find "hidden messages" in songs, and referenced other songs in the Beatles catalogue – "The Walrus was Paul" refers back to "I Am The Walrus" (which itself refers to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds").[64] McCartney, in turn, overdubbed a recorder part after the line "I told you about the Fool on the Hill", as a deliberate parody of the earlier song.[65] A string section was added to the track in October.[65]

"Dear Prudence", typical of the acoustic songs written in Rishikesh, was recorded at Trident. Lennon wrote the track about Mia Farrow's sister Prudence, who rarely left her room during the stay in commitment to the meditation.[63]

McCartney wrote "Back in the U.S.S.R." as a surreal parody of Chuck Berry's song "Back in the U.S.A."[61] A field recording of an aeroplane taking off and landing was used at the start of the track, and intermittently throughout it, while the backing vocals were sung by Lennon and Harrison in the style of the Beach Boys[35] at the request of Mike Love, who had accompanied the group to India.[62] The track became widely bootlegged in the Soviet Union and became an underground hit.[61] McCartney subsequently recorded a cover album, Снова в СССР, based on a transliteration on the Russian version of the title.

Side one

The only western instrument available to the group during their Indian visit was the acoustic guitar, and thus many of the songs on The Beatles were written and first performed on that instrument.[56] Some of these songs remained acoustic on The Beatles ("Rocky Raccoon",[46] "Blackbird",[57] "Julia",[58] "I Will"[59] and "Mother Nature's Son")[60] and were recorded in the studio either solo, or by only part of the group.

Some songs that the individual Beatles were working on during this period eventually were released on solo albums. According to the Circles".[55]


Lennon, McCartney and Harrison pleaded with Starr to return. He agreed, and upon his return on 5 September, he found his drum kit decorated with red, white, and blue flowers, a welcome-back gesture from Harrison.[36] McCartney described the sessions for The Beatles as a turning point for the group, saying "there was a lot of friction during that album. We were just about to break up, and that was tense in itself",[37] while Lennon later said "the break-up of the Beatles can be heard on that album."[38] Of the album's 30 tracks, only 16 have all four band members performing.[3]

The frustration and sudden departures were not limited to EMI personnel. On 20 August, Lennon, working on overdubs for "Yer Blues" in Studio 3, visited McCartney in Studio 2, where he was working on "Mother Nature's Son". The positive spirit of the session disappeared immediately, and engineer Ken Scott later claimed "you could cut the atmosphere with a knife".[31] On 22 August, Starr abruptly left the studio, explaining later that he felt that his role was minimised compared to that of the other members, and that he was tired of waiting through the long and contentious recording sessions. He frequently turned up to sessions and sat waiting in the reception area for the others to turn up.[35] McCartney played drums on "Dear Prudence" because Starr had left the group while the song was being recorded. Lewisohn also reports that, in the case of "Back in the U.S.S.R.", also recorded during Starr's absence, the three remaining Beatles each made contributions on bass and drums, with the result that those parts may be composite tracks played by Lennon, McCartney and/or Harrison.[35]

Recording engineer Geoff Emerick, who had worked with the group since Revolver, had become fed up with the album sessions. At one point, while recording "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", Emerick recalled Martin criticising McCartney's lead vocal performance, to which McCartney replied, "Well you come down and sing it".[34] On 16 July, Emerick announced that he was no longer willing to work with them and left.[34]

The studio efforts on The Beatles captured the work of four increasingly individualised artists who frequently found themselves at odds. Lewisohn notes that several backing tracks do not feature the full group, and overdubs tended to be limited to whoever wrote the song.[30] Sometimes McCartney would record in one studio for prolonged periods of time, while Lennon would record in another, each man using different engineers.[31] At one point in the sessions, Martin, whose authority over the band in the studio had waned, spontaneously left to go on holiday, leaving Chris Thomas in charge of production.[32] Lennon's devotion to Ono over the other Beatles, and the pair's addiction to heroin, made working conditions difficult as he became prone to bouts of temper.[33]

The new relationship between John Lennon and Yoko Ono caused tension in the studio with the other Beatles.

Personal issues

[29] Author

During the album's sessions, the band upgraded from 4-track recording to 8-track. As work began, Abbey Road Studios possessed, but had yet to install, an 8-track machine that had supposedly been sitting in a storage room for months. This was in accordance with EMI's policy of testing and customising new gear extensively before putting it into use in the studios. The Beatles recorded "Hey Jude" and "Dear Prudence" at Trident because it had an 8-track recorder.[27] When they learned that EMI also had one, they insisted on using it, and engineers Ken Scott and Dave Harries took the machine (without authorisation from the studio chiefs) into Abbey Road Studio 2 for the band's use.[28]

The sessions for The Beatles marked the first appearance in the studio of Lennon's new domestic and artistic partner, Yoko Ono, who accompanied him to Abbey Road to work on "Revolution 1"[22] and would thereafter be a more or less constant presence at all Beatles sessions.[23] Ono's presence was highly unorthodox, as prior to that point, the Beatles had generally worked in isolation.[24] McCartney's girlfriend at the time, Francie Schwartz, was also present at some sessions,[25] as were the other two Beatles' wives, Pattie Harrison and Maureen Starkey.[26]

[21]" was left off the album despite recording 102 takes.Not Guilty. Harrison's song "overdub The open-ended studio time led to a new way of working out songs. Instead of tightly rehearsing a backing track, as had happened in previous sessions, the group would simply record all the rehearsals and jamming onto tape, then select which performance had been best to [20], an enterprise that drained the group financially with a series of financially unsuccessful projects.Apple Corps The group's self-belief that they could do anything led to the formation of a new multimedia business corporation [19] was recorded between 30 May and 14 October 1968, largely at The Beatles

The album was largely recorded at Abbey Road Studios.


The group members wrote around 40 new compositions in Rishikesh, 26 of which would be recorded in very rough form at Kinfauns, Harrison's home in Esher, in May 1968. Lennon wrote the bulk of the new material, contributing 14 songs.[10] Lennon and McCartney brought existing demos they had recorded at home to the session, and worked on them together. Some home demos and group sessions at Kinfauns were later released on the 1996 compilation Anthology 3.[17]

[16] television series in 1995.Beatles Anthology, some of which subsequently appeared in the 8mm film The group filmed the trip to Rishikesh on [2][15] reported there was "not a shred of evidence or justification".Cynthia and Lennon's wife [14] though McCartney and Harrison later discovered this to be untrue[13][12], Lennon left Rishikesh because he felt personally betrayed after hearing rumours that the Maharishi had behaved inappropriately towards women who accompanied the Beatles to India,Geoffrey Giuliano According to author [10]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.