The Beatles, also known as the White Album, is the ninth studio album and only double album by English rock band the Beatles, released on 22 November 1968. Its plain white sleeve contains no graphics or text other than the band’s name embossed,[a] which was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band’s previous LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Beatles is recognised for its fragmentary style and diverse range of genres, including folk, British blues, ska, music hall and the avant-garde. It has since been viewed by some critics as a postmodern work, as well as among the greatest albums of all time.
Most of the songs on the album were written during March and April 1968 at a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. There, the only western instrument available to the band was the acoustic guitar; several of these songs remained acoustic on The Beatles and were recorded solo, or only by part of the group. The production aesthetic ensured that the album’s sound was scaled-down and less reliant on studio innovation than most of their releases since Revolver (1966). The Beatles also broke with the band’s tradition at the time of incorporating several musical styles in one song by keeping each piece of music consistently faithful to a select genre.
At the end of May 1968, the Beatles returned to EMI Studios in London to commence recording sessions that lasted until mid-October. During these sessions, arguments broke out among the foursome over creative differences and John Lennon’s new partner, Yoko Ono, whose constant presence subverted the Beatles’ policy of excluding wives and girlfriends from the studio. After a series of various problems, including producer George Martin taking an unannounced holiday and engineer Geoff Emerick suddenly quitting during a session, Ringo Starr left the band for two weeks in August. The same tensions continued throughout the following year and led to the band’s break-up.
The Beatles received favourable reviews from most music critics; detractors found its satirical songs unimportant and apolitical amid the turbulent political and social climate of 1968. It topped record charts in Britain and the United States. No singles were issued in either territory, but “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” originated from the same recording sessions and were issued on a single in August 1968. The album has been certified 24× platinum by the RIAA.
The Beatles album
The words “The Beatles” embossed on a plain white background, with a serial number in the lower right
Original copies had the band’s name blind embossed on a white background and were numbered. Design by Richard Hamilton.
Studio album by the Beatles
22 November 1968
30 May – 14 October 1968
EMI and Trident, London
93:33 (stereo version)
92:28 (mono version)
George Martin, Chris Thomas (uncredited)
If you are a fan of The Beatles then please watch “The Beatles White Album Factoids” by Morgan Rees:
If you have 1 minute & 30 seconds please checkout my new factoids video on “The Beatles” (self titled), also known as the “White Album”, is their ninth studio album, only double album with 30 songs. Please enjoy.
The Beatles White Album Factoids by Morgan Rees: