The Beatles

Many of the songs on this double LP were influenced by a February 1968 trip to India where the Beatles meditated with the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Despite the Beatles' individual rejuvenation resulting from the trip, the album was the least joint effort to date. On a few of the songs, Paul played drums because Ringo walked out of the sessions. Many were solo efforts with none of the other Beatles contributing to the song.

The recording sessions also included John's new girlfriend Yoko Ono, a disruption the others were not prepared for and did not welcome. George Martin wanted to cut the total number of songs to their best 14 or 16 but the group refused.

In its plain white gatefold cover, The Beatles became instantly known as "The White Album." A one-time working title was "A Doll's House" and it was the first Beatle LP released on the group's Apple label. The UK sleeve is unique in that the record disk openings are at the top instead of the side.

Suitably edited, it would have made a magnificent single album, but most of what should have been thrown away was instead thrown to the fans, who, Beatle-starved for 18 months since Sgt. Pepper, were thrilled to have anything at all. In effect, each Beatle wrote and recorded his tracks separately, and for every moment of genius ("I'm So Tired," "I Will," "Julia") there's a "Martha My Dear," a "Rocky Raccoon," or a "Revolution 9."

Recording began on May 30, 1968, and ended on October 15, with each track taking an average of 30 hours. Released on November 21, it hit No. 1 in the U.K. on December 7. After only five days on sale in America, Newsweek reported sales of 1.1 million copies.

George Harrison: ...there [were] a lot of songs that should've just maybe been elbowed or made into B-sides.

Original Vinyl Track Listing
Side 1
  1. Back In the U.S.S.R.
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Glass Onion
  4. Ob La Di, Ob La Da
  5. Wild Honey Pie
  6. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  8. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
Side 2
  1. Martha My Dear
  2. I'm So Tired
  3. Blackbird
  4. Piggies
  5. Rocky Raccoon
  6. Don't Pass Me By
  7. Why Don't We Do It In the Road?
  8. I Will
  9. Julia

Side 3
  1. Birthday
  2. Yer Blues
  3. Mother Nature's Son
  4. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
  5. Sexy Sadie
  6. Helter Skelter
  7. Long, Long, Long
Side 4
  1. Revolution 1
  2. Honey Pie
  3. Savoy Truffle
  4. Cry Baby Cry
  5. Revolution 9
  6. Good Night

Buy the remastered album The Beatles (White Album) from Amazon.