The Beatles (album)
The original vinyl copies released in 1968 had the band's name blind 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 Studios and Trident Studios, London|
|The Beatles chronology|
|The Beatles North American chronology|
The Beatles, also known as "The White Album", is the ninth studio album by the English rock band 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,[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. 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 Chuck Berry and by Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Most of the songs on the album were written during March and April 1968 at a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. The group returned to EMI's Abbey Road Studios in London at the end of May to commence recording sessions that lasted through to mid-October. During these sessions, arguments broke out among the foursome over creative differences. Another divisive element was the constant presence of John Lennon's new partner, Yoko Ono, whose attendance in the studio broke with the Beatles' policy regarding wives and girlfriends not attending recording sessions. After a series of problems, including producer George Martin taking a sudden leave of absence and engineer Geoff Emerick suddenly quitting, Ringo Starr left the band briefly in August. The same tensions continued throughout the following year, leading to the eventual break-up of the band in April 1970.
On release, The Beatles received favourable reviews from the majority of music critics, but other commentators found its satirical songs unimportant and apolitical amid the turbulent political and social climate of 1968. The band and Martin later debated whether the group should have released a single album instead. Nonetheless, The Beatles reached No. 1 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.
- 1 Background
- 2 Recording
- 3 Songs
- 4 Release
- 5 Critical reception
- 6 Cultural responses
- 7 Commercial performance
- 8 Track listing
- 9 Personnel
- 10 Charts
- 11 Certifications
- 12 Release history
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
By 1968, the Beatles had achieved commercial and critical success. The group's mid-1967 release, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, was number one in the UK for 27 weeks, through to the start of February 1968, having sold 250,000 copies in the first week after release. Time magazine declared that Sgt. Pepper's constituted a "historic departure in the progress of music – any music", while the American writer Timothy Leary thought that the band were prototypes of "evolutionary agents sent by God, endowed with mysterious powers to create a new human species". The band received a negative critical response to their television film Magical Mystery Tour, which aired in Britain in December 1967, but fan reaction was nevertheless positive.
Most of the songs for The Beatles were written during a Transcendental Meditation course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India, between February and April 1968. The retreat involved long periods of meditation, conceived by the band as a spiritual respite from all worldly endeavours – a chance, in John Lennon's words, to "get away from everything". 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. "Regardless of what I was supposed to be doing," Lennon later recalled, "I did write some of my best songs there." Author Ian MacDonald said Sgt Pepper was "shaped by LSD", but the Beatles took no drugs with them to India aside from marijuana, and their clear minds helped the group with their songwriting. The stay in Rishikesh proved especially fruitful for George Harrison as a songwriter, coinciding with his re-engagement with the guitar after two years studying the sitar. The musicologist Walter Everett likens Harrison's development as a composer in 1968 to that of Lennon and McCartney five years before, although he notes that Harrison became "privately prolific", given his customary junior status in the group.
The Beatles left Rishikesh before the end of the course. Ringo Starr was the first to leave, less than two weeks later, as he said he could not stand the food; McCartney departed in mid-March, while Harrison and Lennon were more interested in Indian religion and remained until April. According to the author Geoffrey Giuliano, 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, though McCartney and Harrison later discovered this to be untrue and Lennon's wife Cynthia reported there was "not a shred of evidence or justification".[b]
Collectively, the group 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. Lennon and McCartney brought home-recorded demos 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.
The Beatles was recorded between 30 May and 14 October 1968, largely at Abbey Road Studios in London, with some sessions at Trident Studios. The group block-booked time at Abbey Road through to July, and their times at Rishikesh were soon forgotten in the tense atmosphere of the studio, with sessions occurring at irregular hours. The group's self-belief that they could do anything led to the formation of a new multimedia business corporation Apple Corps, an enterprise that drained the group financially with a series of unsuccessful projects. 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, then add overdubs to the best take. Harrison's song "Not Guilty" was left off the album despite recording 102 takes.
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" and who would thereafter be a more or less constant presence at all Beatles sessions. Ono's presence was highly unorthodox, as prior to that point, the Beatles had generally worked in isolation, rarely inviting wives and girlfriends to recording sessions. McCartney's girlfriend at the time, Francie Schwartz, was also present at some sessions, as were the other two Beatles' wives, Pattie Harrison and Maureen Starkey.
During the 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 several 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 console. 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.
The author Mark Lewisohn reports that the Beatles held their first and only 24-hour session at Abbey Road near the end of the sessions for The Beatles, which occurred during the final mixing and sequencing for the album. This session was attended by Lennon, McCartney and producer George Martin. Unlike most LPs, there was no customary three-second gap between tracks, and the master was edited so that songs segued together, via a straight edit, a crossfade, or an incidental piece of music.
The studio efforts on The Beatles captured the work of four increasingly individuated 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 whomever wrote the song. Sometimes McCartney and Lennon would even record simultaneously in different studios, each using different engineers. Late in the sessions, Martin, whose influence over the band had gradually waned, spontaneously left to go on holiday, leaving Chris Thomas in charge of production. Lennon's devotion to Ono over the other Beatles, and the couple's increasing use of heroin, made working conditions difficult as he became prone to bouts of temper and lethargy.
Recording engineer Geoff Emerick, who had worked with the group since Revolver in 1966, had become disillusioned with the sessions. At one point, while recording "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", Emerick overheard Martin criticising McCartney's lead vocal performance, to which McCartney replied, "Well you come down and sing it". On 16 July, Emerick announced that he was no longer willing to work with the group and immediately left the studio.
Within the band, according to the author Peter Doggett, "the most essential line of communication ... between Lennon and McCartney" had been broken by Ono's presence on the first day of recording. While echoing this view, Beatles biographer Philip Norman comments that, from the start, each of the group's two principal songwriters shared a mutual disregard for the other's new compositions: Lennon found McCartney's songs "cloyingly sweet and bland", while McCartney viewed Lennon's as "harsh, unmelodious and deliberately provocative". In a move that Lewisohn highlights as unprecedented in the Beatles' recording career, Harrison and Starr chose to distance themselves part-way through the project, flying to California on 7 June so that Harrison could film his scenes for the Ravi Shankar documentary Raga. Lennon, McCartney and Harrison's involvement in individual musical projects outside the band during 1968 was further evidence of the group's fragmentation. In Lennon's case, the album cover of his experimental collaboration with Ono, Two Virgins, featured the couple fully naked – a gesture that his bandmates found bewildering and unnecessary.
On 20 August, Lennon and Starr, 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 the engineer Ken Scott later claimed: "you could cut the atmosphere with a knife". On 22 August, during the session for "Back in the U.S.S.R.", Starr abruptly left the studio, feeling that his role in the group was peripheral compared to the other members, and was upset at McCartney's constant criticism of his drumming on the track. Abbey Road staff later commented that Starr was usually the first to arrive at the studio and sat waiting in the reception area for the others to turn up. In his absence, McCartney played the drums on "Dear Prudence". Lewisohn also reports that, in the case of "Back in the U.S.S.R.", 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 or Harrison.
Lennon, McCartney and Harrison pleaded with Starr to reconsider. He duly returned on 5 September to find his drum kit decorated with flowers, a welcome-back gesture from Harrison. 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", while Lennon later said "the break-up of the Beatles can be heard on that album". Of the album's 30 tracks, only 16 have all four band members performing.[c]
The Beatles contains a wide range of musical styles, which the authors Barry Miles and Gillian Gaar each view as the most diverse of any of the group's albums. These styles include rock and roll, blues, folk, country, reggae, avant-garde, hard rock and music hall. The production aesthetic ensured that the album's sound was scaled-down and less reliant on studio innovation, relative to all the Beatles' releases since Revolver. The author Nicholas Schaffner viewed this as reflective of a widespread departure from the LSD-inspired psychedelia of 1967, an approach that was initiated by Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys and similarly adopted in 1968 by artists such as the Rolling Stones and the Byrds. Edwin Faust of Stylus Magazine described The Beatles as "foremost an album about musical purity (as the album cover and title suggest). Whereas on prior Beatles albums, the band was getting into the habit of mixing several musical genres into a single song, on The White Album every song is faithful to its selected genre. The rock n' roll tracks are purely rock n' roll; the folk songs are purely folk; the surreal pop numbers are purely surreal pop; and the experimental piece is purely experimental."
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. Some of these songs remained acoustic on The Beatles and were recorded solo, or only by part of the group (including "Wild Honey Pie", "Blackbird", "Julia", "I Will" and "Mother Nature's Son").
McCartney wrote "Back in the U.S.S.R." as a surreal parody of Chuck Berry's song "Back in the U.S.A." A field recording of a jet 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 at the request of Mike Love, who had accompanied the group to India. The track became widely bootlegged in the Soviet Union and became an underground hit.[d]
"Dear Prudence" was one of the songs recorded at Trident. The style is typical of the acoustic songs written in Rishikesh, using guitar arpeggios. Lennon wrote the track about Mia Farrow's sister Prudence Farrow, who rarely left her room during the stay in commitment to the meditation.
"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"). 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. A string section was added to the track in October.
"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. 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". After working for three days on the backing track, the work was scrapped and replaced with a new recording. Lennon hated the song, calling it "granny music shit", while engineer Richard Lush recalled that Starr disliked having to record the same backing track repetitively, and pinpoints this session as a key indication that the Beatles were going to break up. 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. The group, save for McCartney, had lost interest in 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. In 2004, an online survey of 1,000 people in the UK by Mars ranked the song as the worst ever.
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.
"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" was written by Lennon after an American visitor to Rishikesh left for a few weeks to hunt tigers. 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. The opening flamenco guitar flourish was a recording included in the Mellotron's standard tape library.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was written by Harrison during a visit he made to his parents' home in Cheshire. He first recorded the song as a solo performance, on acoustic guitar, on 25 July – a version that remained unreleased until Anthology 3. 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." 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".[e]
"Happiness Is a Warm Gun" evolved out of song fragments that Lennon wrote in Rishikesh. According to MacDonald, this working method was inspired by the Incredible String Band's songwriting. 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. Lennon later described the song as one of his favourites, while the rest of the band found the recording rejuvenating, as it forced them to re-hone their skills as a group playing together to get it right. Apple's press officer Derek Taylor made an uncredited contribution to the song's lyrics.
McCartney got the title of "Martha My Dear" from his sheepdog, but the lyrics are otherwise unrelated. 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.
"I'm So Tired" was written in India when Lennon was having difficulty sleeping. It was recorded at the same session as "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill". The lyrics make reference to Walter Raleigh, calling him a "stupid git" for introducing tobacco to Europe;[f] while the track ends with Lennon mumbling "Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?" 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".
"Blackbird" features McCartney solo, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. According to Lewisohn, the ticking in the background is a metronome, although Emerick recalls capturing the sound via a microphone placed beside McCartney's shoes. The birdsong on the track was taken from the Abbey Road sound effects collection, and was recorded on one of the first EMI portable tape recorders.
Harrison wrote "Piggies" as an attack on greed and materialism in modern society. His mother and Lennon helped him complete the lyrics. Thomas played harpsichord on the track, while Lennon supplied a tape loop of pigs grunting.
"Rocky Raccoon" evolved from a jam session with McCartney, 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.
"Don't Pass Me By" was Starr's first solo composition for the band; he had been toying with the idea of writing a self-reflective song for some time, possibly as far back as 1963. 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. Martin composed an orchestral introduction to the song but it was rejected as being "too bizarre" and left off the album. Instead, Jack Fallon played a bluegrass fiddle part.
"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. 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".
"I Will" was written and sung by McCartney, with Lennon and Starr accompanying on percussion. 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", while recordings of Cilla Black's hit "Step Inside Love" and a joke number, "Los Paranoias", were released on Anthology 3.
"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". This is the only Beatles song on which Lennon performs alone and it was a tribute to his 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. Ono helped with the lyrics, but the song was still credited to Lennon-McCartney as expected.
According to McCartney, the authorship of "Birthday" was "50–50 John and me, made up on the spot and recorded all on the same evening". He and Lennon 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. After the Beatles had taped the track, Ono and Pattie Harrison added backing vocals.
"Yer Blues" was written by Lennon in India. Despite meditating and the tranquil atmosphere, he still felt unhappy, which was reflected in the lyrics. The style was influenced by the British Blues Boom of 1968, which included groups such as Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack. The backing track was recorded in a small room next to the Studio 2 control room 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).[g]
"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. Harrison claimed the title came from one of the Maharishi's sayings (with "and my monkey" added later).
"Sexy Sadie" was written as "Maharishi" by Lennon, shortly after he decided to leave Rishikesh. In a 1980 interview, Lennon acknowledged that the Maharishi was the inspiration for the song: "I just called him 'Sexy Sadie'."
"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 they jammed on their instruments. 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". 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!" 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.
The final song on side three is Harrison's "Long, Long, Long", part of the chord progression for which he took from Bob Dylan's "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands". MacDonald describes the song as Harrison's "touching token of exhausted, relieved reconciliation with God" and considered it to be his "finest moment on The Beatles". The recording session for the basic track was one of the longest the Beatles ever undertook, running from the afternoon of 7 October through the night until 7 am the next day. McCartney played Hammond organ on the track, and an "eerie rattling" effect at the end was created by a note causing a wine bottle on top of the organ's Leslie speaker to resonate.
"Revolution 1" was the first track recorded for the album, with sessions for the backing track starting on 30 May. The initial takes were recorded with the 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.
"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 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".
"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. Harrison later said that Derek Taylor helped him finish the lyrics.
"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". Ono was heavily involved in the production, and advised Lennon on what tape loops to use. 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. The track has attracted both interest and disapproval from fans and music critics over the years.
"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. Martin scored an orchestral and choral arrangement that replaced the guitar in the final mix, and also played the celesta.
"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. (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. 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.
The convention in the British music industry at the time was that singles and albums were distinct entities and should not duplicate songs.[h] 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 released in other markets. The single was a commercial success in countries such as Australia (where it spent five weeks at number one on the Go-Set chart), Japan, Austria and Switzerland.
Some songs that the Beatles were working on individually during this period were revisited for inclusion on the group's subsequent albums, while others were eventually released on the band members' solo albums. According to the bootlegged album of the demos made at Kinfauns, the latter of these two categories includes Lennon's "Look at Me" and "Child of Nature" (eventually reworked as "Jealous Guy"); McCartney's "Junk"; and Harrison's "Not Guilty" and "Circles". In addition, Harrison gave "Sour Milk Sea" to the singer Jackie Lomax, whose recording, produced by Harrison, was released in August 1968 as Lomax's debut single on Apple Records. Lennon's "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam" would be used for the medley on Abbey Road the following year.
The Lennon-written "What's the New Mary Jane" was demoed at Kinfauns and recorded formally (by Lennon, Harrison and Ono) during the 1968 album sessions. McCartney taped demos of two compositions at Abbey Road – "Etcetera" and "The Long and Winding Road" – the last of which the Beatles recorded in 1969 for their album Let It Be. The Beatles versions of "Not Guilty" and "What's the New Mary Jane", and a demo of "Junk", were ultimately released on Anthology 3.
"Revolution (Take 20)", a previously uncirculated recording, surfaced in 2009 on a bootleg. This ten-minute take was later edited and overdubbed to create two separate tracks: "Revolution 1" and the avant-garde "Revolution 9".
The Beatles was issued on 22 November 1968 in Britain, with a US release following three days later. 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. 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.'"
The Beatles was the third album to be released by Apple Records, following Harrison's Wonderwall Music, and Lennon’s Two Virgins. 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. Interviewed for the Beatles Anthology television series in the 1990s, 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"). Harrison felt on reflection that some tracks could have been released as B-sides, but "there was a lot of ego in that band." 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!"
The Beatles was the last Beatles album to be mixed separately for stereo and mono, though the mono version was issued only 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. 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. 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), and the fade out of "Yer Blues" is 11 seconds longer on the mono mix.
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. In the UK, the following album, Yellow Submarine, was the last to be shipped in mono. The mono version of The Beatles was made available worldwide on 9 September 2009, as part of The Beatles in Mono CD boxed set. A reissue of the original mono LP was released worldwide in September 2014.
The album's sleeve was designed by pop artist Richard Hamilton, in collaboration with McCartney. 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, in Helvetica, was crookedly blind embossed slightly below the middle of the album's right side, and the cover also featured a unique stamped serial number, "to create", in Hamilton's words, "the ironic situation of a numbered edition of something like five million copies". In 2008, an original pressing of the album with serial number 0000005 sold for £19,201 on eBay. In 2015, Ringo Starr's personal copy number 0000001 sold for a world record $790,000 at auction.
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 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.
Tape versions of the album did not feature a white cover or the numbering system. 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. These two-tape releases were both contained in black outer cardboard slipcase covers that stated "The Beatles" and an Apple logo in gold print. The songs on the cassette version of The Beatles are sequenced differently from the album, in order to equalize the lengths of the tape sides. Two reel-to-reel tape releases of the album were issued, both using the monochrome Kelly artwork. The first, issued by Apple/EMI in early 1969, packaged the entire double-LP on a single tape, with the songs in the same running order as on the LPs. The second release, licensed by Ampex from EMI in early 1970 after the latter ceased manufacture of commercial reel-to-reel tapes, was issued as two separate volumes, and sequenced the songs in the same manner as on the cassette version. The Ampex reel tape version of The Beatles has become desirable to collectors, as it contains edits on eight tracks not available elsewhere.[i]
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.
During 1978 and 1979, for the album's tenth anniversary, EMI reissued the album pressed on limited edition white vinyl in several countries. In 1981, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL) issued a unique half-speed master variation of the album using the sound from the original master recording. The discs were pressed on high-quality virgin vinyl.
The album was reissued, along with the rest of the Beatles catalogue, on compact disc in 1987. It was the only CD in the Beatles' catalogue to be issued in white jewel cases (as opposed to the usual black), and, like the original vinyl pressings, featured individually stamped numbers on the album's front cover (in this case on the cover of the booklet for the first disc). 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. It was reissued again in 2009 in a new remastered edition.
On 24 September 2018, it was announced that the White Album would be remixed and released in multiple 50th Anniversary Box Sets. These sets feature 50 previously unreleased recordings of songs from the album, in addition to the Esher demos recorded at Harrison's house. The four editions are: a three-CD deluxe set, containing the original double album and one CD of Esher demos; a seven-disc super deluxe edition, which adds three CDs of outtakes and a Blu-ray disk; a two-LP edition, comprising the original release; and a four-LP edition, two discs of which contain Esher demos. Following this announcement, a preview containing three versions of "Back in the U.S.S.R." was released on Spotify and iTunes.
On release, The Beatles gained highly favourable reviews from the majority of music critics. Others bemoaned its length or found that the music lacked the adventurous quality that had distinguished Sgt. Pepper. According to the author Ian Inglis: "Whether positive or negative, all assessments of The Beatles drew attention to its fragmentary style. However, while some complained about the lack of a coherent style, others recognized this as the album's raison d'être."
In The Observer, Tony Palmer wrote 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". Richard Goldstein of The New York Times considered the double album to be "a major success" and "far more imaginative" than Sgt. Pepper or Magical Mystery Tour, due to the band's improved songwriting and their relying less on the studio tricks of those earlier works. In The Sunday Times, Derek Jewell hailed it as "the best thing in pop since Sgt. Pepper" and concluded: "Musically, there is beauty, horror, surprise, chaos, order. And that is the world; and that is what The Beatles are on about. Created by, creating for, their age." Although he dismissed "Revolution 9" as a "pretentious" example of "idiot immaturity", the NME's Alan Smith declared "God Bless You, Beatles!" to the majority of the album. Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone called it "the history and synthesis of Western music", and the group's best album yet. Wenner 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."
Among the less favourable critiques, Time magazine's reviewer wrote that The Beatles showcased the "best abilities and worst tendencies" of the Beatles, as it is skilfully performed and sophisticated, but lacks a "sense of taste and purpose". William Mann of The Times opined that, in their over-reliance on pastiche and "private jokes", Lennon and McCartney had ceased to progress as songwriters, yet he deemed the release to be "The most important musical event of the year" and acknowledged: "these 30 tracks contain plenty to be studied, enjoyed and gradually appreciated more fully in the coming months." In his review for The New York Times, Nik Cohn considered the album "boring beyond belief" and said that over half of its songs were "profound mediocrities". In a 1971 column, Robert Christgau of The Village Voice described the album as both "their most consistent and probably their worst", and referred to its songs as a "pastiche of musical exercises". Nonetheless, he ranked it as the tenth best album of 1968 in his ballot for Jazz & Pop magazine's annual critics poll.
|The A.V. Club||A+|
|The Daily Telegraph|||
|Encyclopedia of Popular Music|||
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
In a 2003 appraisal of the album, for Mojo magazine, Ian MacDonald wrote that The Beatles regularly appears among the top 10 in critics' "best albums of all time" lists, yet it was a work that he deemed "eccentric, highly diverse, and very variable [in] quality". Rob Sheffield, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), said that its songs ranged from the Beatles' "sturdiest tunes since Revolver" to "self-indulgent filler". He derided tracks including "Revolution 9" and "Helter Skelter", but said that picking personal highlights was "part of the fun" for listeners. Writing for MusicHound in 1999, Guitar World editor Christopher Scapelliti described the album as "self-indulgent and at times unlistenable" but identified "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" and "Helter Skelter" as "fascinating standouts" that made it a worthwhile purchase.
According to Slant Magazine's Eric Henderson, The Beatles is a rarity among the band's recorded works, in that it "resists reflexive canonisation, which, along with society's continued fragmentation, keeps the album fresh and surprising". In his review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that because of its wide variety of musical styles, the album can be "a frustratingly scattershot record or a singularly gripping musical experience, depending on your view". He concludes: "None of it sounds like it was meant to share album space together, but somehow The Beatles creates its own style and sound through its mess."
Among reviews of the 2009 remastered album, Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph found that even its worst songs work within the context of such an eclectic and unconventional collection, which he rated "one of the greatest albums ever made". Writing for Paste, Mark Kemp said The Beatles had been wrongly described as "three solo works in one (plus a Ringo song)", saying it "benefits from each member's wildly different ideas" and offers "two of Harrison's finest moments". In his review for The A.V. Club, Chuck Klosterman wrote that the album found the band at their best and rated it "almost beyond an A+".
In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked The Beatles at number 10 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. 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". In 2011, Kerrang! placed 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". The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
According to MacDonald, the counterculture of the 1960s analysed The Beatles above and beyond all of the band's previous releases. The album's lyrics progressed from being vague to open-ended and prone to misinterpretation, such as "Glass Onion" (e.g., "the walrus was Paul") and "Piggies" ("what they need's a damn good whacking"). The release also coincided with public condemnation of Lennon's treatment of Cynthia, and of his and Ono's joint projects, particularly Two Virgins. The British authorities similarly displayed a less tolerant attitude towards the Beatles, when London Drug Squad officers arrested Lennon and Ono in October 1968 for marijuana possession, a charge that he claimed was false. In the case of "Back in the U.S.S.R.", the words were interpreted by Christian evangelist David Noebel as further proof of the Beatles' compliance in a Communist plot to brainwash American youth.
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". 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. However, the album version was recorded first.[j]
Further to the betrayal they had felt at Lennon's non-activist stance in "Revolution", New Left commentators condemned The Beatles for its failure to offer a political agenda. The Beatles themselves were accused of using eclecticism and pastiche as a means of avoiding important issues in the turbulent political and social climate. Jon Landau, writing for the Liberation News Service, argued that, particularly in "Piggies" and "Rocky Racoon", the band had adopted parody because they were "afraid of confronting reality" and "the urgencies of the moment". Like Landau, many writers among the New Left considered the album outdated and irrelevant; instead, they heralded the Rolling Stones' concurrent release, Beggars Banquet, as what Lennon biographer Jon Wiener terms "the 'strong solution,' a musical turning outward, toward the political and social battles of the day".
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, 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", and interpreted the lyrics as a sign of imminent violence or war. 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, drawing parallels with chapter 9 of the Book of Revelation.
Sociologists Michael Katovich and Wesley Longhofer write that the album's release created "a collective appreciation of it as a 'state-of-the-art' rendition of the current pop, rock, and folk-rock sounds". The majority of music critics[k] categorize The Beatles as postmodern, emphasizing aesthetic and stylistic features of the album.[l] Other scholars[m] situate all Beatles' work within a modernist stance, based either on their "artificiality" or their ideological stance of progress through love and peace. Scapelliti cites it as the source of "the freeform nihilism echoed … in the punk and alternative music genres".
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. Chang created a recording in which the sounds of one hundred copies of side one of the LP were overlaid.
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. It spent seven weeks at the top of the UK charts (including the entire competitive Christmas season), 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 following week, spending an eighth and final week at number 1. 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. 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.
In the United States, the album achieved huge commercial success. Capitol Records sold over 3.3 million copies of The Beatles to stores within the first four days of the album's release. It debuted at number 11 on 14 December 1968, jumped to number 2, and reached number 1 in its third week on 28 December, spending a total of nine weeks at the top. In all, The Beatles spent 155 weeks on the Billboard 200. The album has sold over 9.5 million copies in the United States alone and according to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles is the Beatles' most-certified album, at 19-times platinum.
All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, except where noted
|1.||"Back in the U.S.S.R."||McCartney||2:43|
|5.||"Wild Honey Pie"||McCartney||0:52|
|6.||"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"||Lennon||3:14|
|7.||"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (George Harrison)||Harrison||4:45|
|8.||"Happiness Is a Warm Gun"||Lennon||2:43|
|9.||"Martha My Dear"||McCartney||2:28|
|10.||"I'm So Tired"||Lennon||2:03|
|12.||"Piggies" (George Harrison)||Harrison||2:04|
|14.||"Don't Pass Me By" (Richard Starkey)||Starr||3:51|
|15.||"Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"||McCartney||1:41|
|1.||"Birthday"||McCartney with Lennon||2:42|
|3.||"Mother Nature's Son"||McCartney||2:48|
|4.||"Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"||Lennon||2:24|
|7.||"Long, Long, Long" (George Harrison)||Harrison||3:04|
|10.||"Savoy Truffle" (George 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|
2018 bonus tracks
|CD 3: Esher Demos|
|1.||"Back in the U.S.S.R."||2:59|
|5.||"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"||2:40|
|6.||"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"||George Harrison||2:41|
|7.||"Happiness Is a Warm Gun"||1:55|
|8.||"I'm So Tired"||3:10|
|14.||"Mother Nature's Son"||2:24|
|15.||"Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"||3:03|
|19.||"Cry Baby Cry"||2:27|
|20.||"Sour Milk Sea"||3:43|
|22.||"Child of Nature"||2:37|
|24.||"Mean Mr. Mustard"||2:05|
|26.||"Not Guilty"||George Harrison||3:05|
|27.||"What's the New Mary Jane"||2:42|
|CD 4: Sessions|
|1.||"Revolution 1 (Take 18)"||10:28|
|2.||"A Beginning (Take 4) / Don't Pass Me By (Take 7)"||George Martin / Richard Starkey||5:05|
|3.||"Blackbird (Take 28)"||2:15|
|4.||"Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey (Unnumbered Rehearsal)"||2:43|
|5.||"Good Night (Unnumbered Rehearsal)"||0:39|
|6.||"Good Night (Take 10 with a Guitar Part from Take 5)"||2:31|
|7.||"Good Night (Take 22)"||3:46|
|8.||"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Take 3)"||2:54|
|9.||"Revolution (Unnumbered Rehearsal)"||2:16|
|10.||"Revolution (Take 14 / Instrumental Backing Track)"||3:25|
|11.||"Cry Baby Cry (Unnumbered Rehearsal)"||3:02|
|12.||"Helter Skelter (First Version / Take 2)"||12:53|
|CD 5: Sessions|
|1.||"Sexy Sadie (Take 3)"||3:08|
|2.||"While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Acoustic Version / Take 2)"||George Harrison||3:02|
|3.||"Hey Jude (Take 1)"||6:44|
|4.||"St. Louis Blues (Studio Jam)"||0:51|
|5.||"Not Guilty (Take 102)"||George Harrison||4:28|
|6.||"Mother Nature's Son (Take 15)"||3:11|
|7.||"Yer Blues (Take 5 with Guide Vocal)"||3:57|
|8.||"What's the New Mary Jane (Take 1)"||2:06|
|9.||"Rocky Raccoon (Take 8)"||4:57|
|10.||"Back in the U.S.S.R. (Take 5 / Instrumental Backing Track)"||3:09|
|11.||"Dear Prudence (Vocal, Guitar & Drums)"||3:59|
|12.||"Let It Be (Unnumbered Rehearsal)"||1:17|
|13.||"While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third Version / Take 27)"||George Harrison||3:17|
|14.||"(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care (Studio Jam)"||0:42|
|15.||"Helter Skelter (Second Version / Take 17)"||3:39|
|16.||"Glass Onion (Take 10)"||2:12|
|CD 6: Sessions|
|1.||"I Will (Take 13)"||2:20|
|2.||"Blue Moon (Studio Jam)"||1:11|
|3.||"I Will (Take 29)"||0:26|
|4.||"Step Inside Love (Studio Jam)"||1:34|
|5.||"Los Paranoias (Studio Jam)"||John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Richard Starkey||3:58|
|6.||"Can You Take Me Back? (Take 1)"||2:22|
|7.||"Birthday (Take 2 / Instrumental Backing Track)"||2:40|
|8.||"Piggies (Take 12 / Instrumental Backing Track)"||George Harrison||2:10|
|9.||"Happiness Is a Warm Gun (Take 19)"||3:09|
|10.||"Honey Pie (Instrumental Backing Track)"||2:43|
|11.||"Savoy Truffle (Instrumental Backing Track)"||George Harrison||2:56|
|12.||"Martha My Dear (Without Brass & Strings)"||2:29|
|13.||"Long, Long, Long (Take 44)"||George Harrison||2:54|
|14.||"I'm So Tired (Take 7)"||2:29|
|15.||"I'm So Tired (Take 14)"||2:17|
|16.||"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill (Take 2)"||3:12|
|17.||"Why Don't We Do It in the Road? (Take 5)"||2:03|
|18.||"Julia (Two Rehearsals)"||4:31|
|19.||"The Inner Light (Take 6 / Instrumental Backing Track)"||2:47|
|20.||"Lady Madonna (Take 2 / Piano and Drums)"||2:25|
|21.||"Lady Madonna (Backing Vocals from Take 3)"||0:54|
|22.||"Across the Universe (Take 6)"||3:52|
- John Lennon – lead, harmony and background vocals; acoustic, lead, rhythm and bass guitars; piano, Hammond organ, harmonium, Mellotron; harmonica, tenor saxophone; extra drums and assorted percussion (tambourine, handclaps and vocal percussion), tapes, tape loops and sound effects (electronic and home-made)
- Paul McCartney – lead, harmony and background vocals; bass, acoustic, lead and rhythm guitars; acoustic and electric pianos, Hammond organ; assorted percussion (timpani, tambourine, cowbell, hand shake bell, handclaps, foot taps and vocal percussion); drums (on "Back in the U.S.S.R.", "Dear Prudence", "Wild Honey Pie" and "Martha My Dear"); recorder and flugelhorn;
- George Harrison – lead, harmony and background vocals; lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars; Hammond organ (on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"); extra drums and assorted percussion (tambourine, handclaps and vocal percussion) and sound effects
- Ringo Starr – drums and assorted percussion (tambourine, bongos, cymbals, maracas and vocal percussion); piano and sleigh bell (on "Don't Pass Me By"); lead vocals (on "Don't Pass Me By" and "Good Night") and backing vocals (on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill")
- Eric Clapton – lead guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
- Mal Evans – backing vocals and handclaps on "Dear Prudence", handclaps on "Birthday", trumpet on "Helter Skelter"
- Jack Fallon – violin on "Don't Pass Me By"
- Pattie Harrison – backing vocals on "Birthday"
- Jackie Lomax – backing vocals and handclaps on "Dear Prudence"
- Maureen Starkey – backing vocals on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
- Yoko Ono – backing vocals, lead vocals and handclaps on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", backing vocals on "Birthday", speech, tapes and sound effects on "Revolution 9"
- Ted Barker – trombone on "Martha My Dear"
- Leon Calvert – trumpet and flugelhorn on "Martha My Dear"
- Henry Datyner, Eric Bowie, Norman Lederman and Ronald Thomas – violin on "Glass Onion"
- Bernard Miller, Dennis McConnell, Lou Soufier and Les Maddox – violin on "Martha My Dear"
- Reginald Kilby – cello on "Glass Onion" and "Martha My Dear"
- Eldon Fox – cello on "Glass Onion"
- Frederick Alexander – cello on "Martha My Dear"
- Harry Klein – saxophone on "Savoy Truffle" and "Honey Pie"
- Dennis Walton, Ronald Chamberlain, Jim Chest and Rex Morris – saxophone on "Honey Pie"
- Raymond Newman and David Smith – clarinet on "Honey Pie"
- Art Ellefson, Danny Moss and Derek Collins – tenor sax on "Savoy Truffle"
- Ronnie Ross and Bernard George – baritone sax on "Savoy Truffle"
- Alf Reece – tuba on "Martha My Dear"
- The Mike Sammes Singers – backing vocals on "Good Night"
- Stanley Reynolds and Ronnie Hughes – trumpet on "Martha My Dear"
- Chris Shepard – stumpf fiddle on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
- Tony Tunstall – French horn on "Martha My Dear"
- John Underwood and Keith Cummings – viola on "Glass Onion"
- Leo Birnbaum and Henry Myerscough – viola on "Martha My Dear"
- Geoff Emerick – engineer, speech on "Revolution 9"
- George Martin – producer, executive producer; string, brass, clarinet, orchestral arrangements and conducting; piano on "Rocky Raccoon"
- Ken Scott – engineer and mixer
- Barry Sheffield – engineer (Trident Studio)
- Chris Thomas – producer; Mellotron on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", harpsichord on "Piggies", piano on "Long, Long, Long", electric piano, organ and saxophone arrangement on "Savoy Truffle"
Listed as "Album Blanco"
Listed as "The White Album"
|Australia (ARIA)||2× Platinum||140,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)||8× Platinum||420,000^|
|Canada (Music Canada)
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||2× Platinum||30,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||300,000^|
|United States (RIAA)||19× Platinum||9,500,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
BPI certification awarded only for sales since 1994.
|United Kingdom||22 November 1968||Apple (Parlophone)||LP||PMC 7067/8 (mono) /PCS 7067/8 (stereo)|
|United States||25 November 1968||Apple, Capitol||LP||SWBO-101 (stereo)|
|Worldwide reissue||24 August 1987||Apple, EMI||CD||CDP 7 46443 8|
|United Kingdom||23 November 1998||Apple||CD (30th Anniversary numbered limited edition)||4 96895 2|
|Japan||21 January 2004||Toshiba-EMI||Remastered LP||TOJP 60139/40|
|Worldwide reissue||9 September 2009||Apple||Remastered CD||3 82466 2|
|Worldwide reissue||13 November 2012||Apple||Remastered LP||3824661|
|Worldwide reissue||9 September 2014||Apple||Remastered Mono LP||734535|
- Early LP and CD releases include a unique serial number.
- Harrison later repaired his friendship with the Maharishi in the Natural Law Party
- "Revolution 1", "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", "Cry Baby Cry", "Helter Skelter", "Sexy Sadie", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Yer Blues", "Rocky Raccoon", "Glass Onion", "Birthday", "Happiness Is A Warm Gun", "Piggies", "Honey Pie", "I'm So Tired", "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
- In 1987, McCartney recorded a covers album titled Снова в СССР – Russian for "Back in the U.S.S.R."
- 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.
- This has since been misreported as "git" but is written as "get" in the lyrics on the sleeve insert
- "Yer Blues" was one of the few late-period Beatles songs that Lennon performed live. Back by Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell, he first played it on 11 December 1968 at The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus; a version recorded with the Plastic Ono Band in September 1969 appears on the live album Live Peace in Toronto.
- In February 1967, the Beatles had been unhappy about having to accede to Capitol Records' demand for a new single, because the two tracks, "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane", were therefore ineligible for inclusion on Sgt. Pepper.
- "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".
- Recording on "Revolution 1" began on 30 May, "Revolution" on 9 July.
- According to Womack, the list of critical works referring to the White Album as postmodernist includes Henry W. Sullivan's The Beatles with Lacan: Rock 'n' Roll as Requiem for the Modern Age (1995), Ed Whitley's The Postmodern White Album, (2000), David Quantick's Revolution: The Making of the Beatles' White Album (2002), Devin McKinney's Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History (2003), and Jeffrey Roessner's We All Want to Change the World: Postmodern Politics and the Beatles' White Album (2006).
- Inglis (2009), for example, lists bricolage, fragmentation, pastiche, parody, reflexivity, plurality, irony, exaggeration, anti-representation and "meta-art".
- Including Fredric Jameson (1984), Andrew Goodwin (2006), and Kenneth Womack (2008)
- "The Beatles" > "Albums" > "The Beatles" > "Chart Facts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Everett 1999, p. 123.
- "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Time. 27 September 1967. p. 128.
- Levering, Stephen (2006). "Time" (and "Newsweek") is on My Side: Pop/rock Coverage in "Time" and "Newsweek" During the 1960s. ProQuest. p. 26. ISBN 978-0-542-91576-5.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 224.
- Norman 1996, pp. 322, 340.
- Schaffner 1978, pp. 95, 111.
- Beatles 2000, p. 281.
- Spitz 2005, p. 752.
- Beatles 2000, p. 283.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 220.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 244.
- Leng 2006, pp. 34, 36.
- Everett 1999, p. 199.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 243.
- Giuliano, Geoffrey; Giuliano, Avalon (2005). Revolver: The Secret History of the Beatles (Hardcover ed.). John Blake. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-84454-160-7.
- Wenner, Jann (2000) . Lennon Remembers. Verso, W.W. Norton & Co. p. 27. ISBN 1-85984-376-X.
Yeah, there was a big hullabaloo about him trying to rape Mia Farrow or trying to get off with Mia Farrow and a few other women, things like that.
- Miles 1997, p. 429.
- Miles 1997, p. 427.
- Doggett 2009, p. 208.
- Miles 2001, pp. 300, 310–12.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 135.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 245.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 246.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 139.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 245–246.
- Harry 2000, pp. 108–9.
- Miles 1997, pp. 483–484.
- Winn 2009, p. 176.
- Harry 2002, pp. 77–78.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 146.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 153.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 162.
- Lewisohn 1996, p. 276.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 137.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 150.
- Bell, Nigel. "The White Album @ Playhouse". BBC. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
- Miles 1997, p. 491.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 143.
- Doggett 2011, pp. 46–47.
- Norman 1996, p. 340.
- Miles 2001, p. 300.
- Inglis 2009, p. 120.
- Doggett 2011, pp. 54–55.
- Miles 2001, p. 307.
- Hertsgaard 1996, pp. 250–51.
- Clayson 2003, pp. 183–84.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 151.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 273.
- Beatles 2000, p. 312.
- Doggett 2009, p. 130.
- Womack 2009, p. 55.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 257.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 258.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 260.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 261.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 262.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 263.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 269.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 270.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 277.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 279.
- MacDonald 1997.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 281.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 283.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 284.
- Miles 2001, p. 315.
- Gaar, Gillian (2013). 100 Things Beatles Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Triumph Books. p. 33. ISBN 978-1-62368-202-6.
- Miles 2001, p. 316.
- 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.
- Inglis 2009, p. 122.
- Hertsgaard 1996, p. 255.
- Schaffner 1978, pp. 111–12.
- Faust, Edwin (1 September 2003). "On Second Thought: The Beatles - The Beatles". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
- Turner, Steve (1999). A Hard Day's Write (2nd ed.). Prospero Books. p. 149. ISBN 1-55267-337-5.
[B]ecause they had no access to electric guitars or keyboards, many of these songs were acoustically based.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 271.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 256.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 285.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 276.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 267.
- Womack 2009, p. 122.
- Badman 1999, pp. 389–390.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 272.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 275.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 155.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 141.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 259.
- Emerick & Massey 2007, p. 246.
- "Beatles classic voted worst song". BBC News. 10 November 2004. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 160.
- "The Flamenco Guitar Intro on 'Bungalow Bill' Was Actually a Mellotron". Rolling Stone. 12 June 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Beatles 2000, p. 306.
- Badman 2009, p. 638.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 263, 264.
- Everett 1999, p. 305.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 157.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 280.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 287.
- Miles 2001, p. 317.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 159.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 282.
- McNamee, Gregory (2007). Movable Feasts: The History, Science, and Lore of Food. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-275-98931-6.
- Ryan, Kevin L. Recording the Beatles. p. 484.
- Schaffner 1978, p. 115.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 278.
- Lewisohn 1988, pp. 156, 157.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 251.
- Badman 2009, p. 643.
- Winn 2009, p. 175.
- Ankeny, Jason. "Jack Fallon: Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 September 2009.
- Miles 1997, p. 499.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 155.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 276–277.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 161.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 286.
- Miles 1997, p. 496.
- "100 Greatest Beatles Songs – Yer Blues". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 148.
- Sheff, David (1981). The Playboy Interviews with John Lennon & Yoko Ono. Playboy Press.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 154.
- Harrison 2002, p. 132.
- Shea & Rodriguez 2007, p. 170.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 247.
- Everett 1999, p. 189.
- Miles 2001, p. 320.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 254–255.
- Beatles 2000, p. 307.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 138.
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Review of The Beatles [White Album]". AllMusic. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 264.
- Dowlding, William J. (1989). Beatlesongs. Simon & Schuster Inc. ISBN 0-671-68229-6.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 201.
- "Go-Set Australian charts ~ 1969". Australian Pop Archives. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Japan No. 1 Import Disks". Oricon Hot Singles. Archived from the original on 21 April 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- "The Beatles : Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- "The Beatles : Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- Everett 1999, p. 179.
- Winn 2009, p. 169.
- Leng 2006, p. 55.
- Everett 1999, p. 172.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 156.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 243, 266, 270.
- Kreps, Daniel (27 February 2009). "The Beatles' Experimental "Revolution 1 (Take 20)" Surfaces". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 163.
- Castleman & Podrazik 1976, p. 70.
- Schaffner 1978, p. 113.
- MacFarlane 2013, p. 78.
- Castleman & Podrazik 1976, p. 291.
- Richardson, Mark (7 September 2009). "The Beatles – Stereo Box". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Fanelli, Damian (22 November 2013). "Abbey Road Engineer Ken Scott Says The Beatles' White Album Sessions Were a "Blast"". Guitar World. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- 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. ISBN 978-1-56075-004-8.
- Spizer 2007, p. 170.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 164.
- Kreps, Daniel (7 April 2009). "The Beatles' Remastered Albums Due September 9, 2009". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "The White Album (mono)". Juno Records. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
- Miles, Scott & Morgan 2008, p. 50.
- Garfield, Simon (2011). Just My Type: A Book About Fonts. Penguin Books. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-101-57781-3.
- Leese, Peter (2006). Britain Since 1945: Aspects of Identity. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-230-20836-0.
- Miles, Scott & Morgan 2008, p. 52.
- Porter, Tom (24 November 2008). "Rare Beatles 'White Album' sells for $30k". MusicRadar. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
- Kreps, Daniel (5 December 2015). "Ringo Starr's Personal 'White Album' Sells for World Record $790,000". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- Everett 1999, p. 207.
- Miles 1997, p. 504.
- "Example of 'White Album' 8-track tape packaging and artwork". EMI/Apple / Capitol Records. 1969. Retrieved 29 April 2017.
- Apple/EMI catalog nos. 4XW 160 (Volume 1) and 4XW 161 (Volume 2)
- Specifically, "Blackbird" is moved after "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" to close side one, and "Sexy Sadie" is relocated as the first song on side four, with "Revolution 1" closing side three.
- Catalog no. Y2WB 101.
- "Example of Apple/EMI 'White Album' reel-to-reel artwork". Apple/EMI Records. 1969. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Catalog nos. L101 (Volume 1) and L2101 (Volume 2).
- "Example of Ampex 'White Album' reel-to-reel artwork". Ampex/Capitol Records. 1970. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- McGeary, Mitch; Cox, Perry; Daniels, Frank. "The Beatles and Solo Beatles Reel-to-Reel Tapes Price & Reference Guide". Rare Beatles. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Lot 371: • JOHN BYRNE (b.1940) THE BEATLES Oil on canvas". Great Western Auctions. 1 December 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "The Beatles [White Album] #118411". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- "Heritage Music and Entertainment Dallas Signature Auction Catalog #634". Heritage Capital Corporation. 2006: 126. ISBN 978-1-59967-081-2.
- Caro, Mark (12 November 2012). "The ultimate Beatles sound test". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- "The Beatles [White Album] CD – EMI Music Distribution #CDS 7464438". AllMusic. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
- Bessman, Jim (11 September 1999). "EMI does reissues with a difference". Billboard. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "Don't buy the Beatles remasters, unless..." CNet. 15 September 2009. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
- "The Beatles Set To Release Deluxe Edition Of Iconic 'White Album'". radio.com. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Kielty, Martin (24 September 2018). "Beatles' White Album Expanded Version Announced". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Back In The U.S.S.R." 24 September 2018. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- "The Beatles (White Album) [Super Deluxe] by The Beatles". Retrieved 26 September 2018.
- Schaffner 1978, p. 111.
- Woffinden 1981, p. 7.
- Norman 2008, p. 577.
- Norman 1996, p. 346.
- Goldstein, Richard (8 December 1968). "The Beatles". The New York Times. pp. 33, 37.
- MacDonald, Ian (2003). "White Riot". Mojo: The Beatles' Final Years Special Edition. London: Emap. p. 56.
- Smith, Alan (9 November 1968). "The Brilliant, the Bad, and the Ugly". NME. UK.
- Wenner, Jann (21 December 1968). "The Beatles". Rolling Stone. New York: 10.
- "The Mannerist Phase". Time. New York: 53. 6 December 1968.
- Cohn, Nik (15 December 1968). "A Briton Blasts The Beatles". The New York Times. (subscription required)
- Christgau, Robert (September 1971). "Living Without the Beatles". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Christgau, Robert (1969). "Robert Christgau's 1969 Jazz & Pop Ballot". Jazz & Pop. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
- Klosterman, Chuck (8 September 2009). "Chuck Klosterman Repeats The Beatles". The A.V. Club. Chicago. Archived from the original on 26 May 2013. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
- McCormick, Neil (8 September 2009). "The Beatles – The Beatles, review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- Larkin 2006, p. 489.
- Graff & Durchholz 1999, p. 88.
- Richardson, Mark (10 September 2009). "Album Review: The Beatles: The Beatles". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- Zupko, Sarah. "The Beatles: White Album". PopMatters. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- "The Beatles – Beatles (White Album) CD Album" > "Product Reviews". CD Universe/Muze. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- Sheffield 2004, p. 51.
- Henderson, Eric (2 August 2004). "The Beatles: The Beatles (The White Album)". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 7 November 2011.
- MacDonald, Ian (2003). "White Riot". Mojo: The Beatles' Final Years Special Edition. London: Emap. p. 55.
- Sheffield 2004, p. 54.
- Kemp, Mark (8 September 2009). "The Beatles: The Long and Winding Repertoire". Paste. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
- "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: The Beatles, 'The White Album'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- "Beatles' music better than today's pop songs". Vatican newspaper. Catholic News Service. 24 November 2008.
- "The 50 Heaviest Albums Ever". Kerrang. 7 August 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
- Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
- Schaffner 1978, pp. 106–07.
- Doggett 2011, pp. 52, 55.
- Schaffner 1978, p. 107.
- Doggett 2011, p. 55.
- Schaffner 1978, pp. 53, 113.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 248–49.
- Roessner 2006, p. 149.
- Wiener 1991, p. 65.
- Wiener 1991, pp. 65–66.
- Nielsen 2005, p. 90.
- Guinn 2013, p. 194.
- Guinn 2013, p. 196.
- Nielsen 2005, p. 92.
- Katovich & Longhofer 2009, p. 401.
- Inglis 2009, pp. 120–21.
- Goodwin 2006, p. 442.
- Womack 2008, p. 2.
- Kozinn, Allan (22 February 2013). "A Plain White Square, and Yet So Fascinating". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "What It Sounds Like If You Play 100 Vinyl Copies of 'The White Album' at Once". Slate. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
- "All The Number One Albums : 1968". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "1969 The Number One Albums". Official Chart Company. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "The Beatles: every album and single, with its chart position". The Guardian. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Beatles albums finally go platinum". BBC News. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- "Beatles Record-Busting LP May Be All-Time Biggest". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 21 February 2013.
- "Top LPs & Tapes". Billboard: 70. 14 December 1968. Retrieved 15 July 2015.
- "Top LPs & Tapes". Billboard: 54. 28 December 1968. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- "Heritage Music & Entertainment Auction #7006". Heritage Auctions. Heritage Capital Corporation: 179. ISBN 978-1-59967-369-1.
- "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.
- "Gold & Platinum: Beatles". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 16 October 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2013.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 245–285.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 262; 272.
- MacDonald 1997, p. 261; 271.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 251–255.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 258; 271–272.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 271–272.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 263; 278; 281–282.
- MacDonald 1997, pp. 245–284.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 316.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 310.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 324.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 290.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 322.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 311.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 321.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 320.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 294.
- Lewisohn 1988, pp. 140–143,163.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 308.
- Lewisohn 1988, pp. 146,158.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 317.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 323.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 10, No. 23". RPM. 3 February 1969. Archived from the original (PHP) on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > Choisir Un Artiste Dans la Liste". infodisc.fr. Archived from the original (PHP) on 7 November 2011. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- "norwegiancharts.com – The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Retrieved 3 May 2012.
- "Swedish Charts 1969–1972" (PDF) (in Swedish). Hitsallertijden. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
- "The Beatles" > "Albums". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "The Beatles - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
- "Album Search: The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (in German). Media Control. Archived from the original (ASP) on 7 July 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "dutchcharts.nl – The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien, dutchcharts.nl (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4-87131-077-9.
- "Chart Stats – The Beatles – The Beatles (1987)". UK Albums Chart. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "australian-charts.com The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "austriancharts.at The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- "ultratop.be The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "ultratop.be The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "danishcharts.com The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). danishcharts.com. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "finnishcharts.com The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "musicline.de chartverfolgung". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "italiancharts.com The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- 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). oricon.co.jp. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "portuguesecharts.com The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "swedishcharts.com The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP) (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album) – hitparade.ch" (ASP). Hung Medien (in German). Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "charts.org.nz The Beatles – The Beatles (White Album)" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Chart Stats – The Beatles – The Beatles (2009)". UK Albums Chart. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- Caulfield, Keith. "Beatles and Jay-Z Dominate Charts". Billboard. Archived from the original on 17 April 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
- "The Official UK Charts Company : ALBUM CHART HISTORY". Archived from the original on 17 December 2007. Retrieved 17 December 2007.
- Bronson, Fred (29 December 2001). "The Year in Charts". Billboard: 66. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
- "Hit Parade Italia – Gli album più venduti del 2009" (in Italian). hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
- "Discos de oro y platino" (in Spanish). Cámara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2009 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Canadian album certifications – The Beatles – The White Album". Music Canada. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- "French album certifications – The Beatles – Double Blanc" (in French). InfoDisc. Select THE BEATLES and click OK.
- "Les Albums Or :" (in French). Infodisc.fr. Archived from the original on 21 April 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "Italian album certifications – The Beatles – Beatles" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. May 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- "Latest Gold / Platinum Albums". Radioscope. 17 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-24. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "British album certifications – The Beatles – The Beatles". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 15 September 2013. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter The Beatles in the search field and then press Enter.
- "American album certifications – The Beatles – The Beatles". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 16 September 2012. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.
- "Beatles albums finally go platinum". British Phonographic Industry. BBC News. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
- Womack 2009, p. 288.
- Womack 2009, p. 292.
- "The Beatles [White Album] (1987 CD)". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "The Beatles [White Album] (1988 CD)". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "The Beatles [White Album] (2004 LP)". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "The Beatles [White Album] (2009 CD)". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "Beatles [White Album] [LP] [Bonus Tracks]". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- Badman, Keith (1999). The Beatles: After The Breakup. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-7520-5.
- Badman, Keith (2009). The Beatles: Off the Record. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-045-8.
- Beatles, The (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8.
- Castleman, Harry; Podrazik, Walter J. (1976). All Together Now: The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975. New York, NY: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-25680-8.
- Clayson, Alan (2003). Ringo Starr. London: Sanctuary. ISBN 1-86074-488-5.
- Doggett, Peter (2009). The Art and Music of John Lennon. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-126-4.
- Doggett, Peter (2011). You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup. New York, NY: It Books. ISBN 978-0-06-177418-8.
- Emerick, Geoff; Massey, Howard (15 February 2007). Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles. Gotham Books. ISBN 1-59240-269-0.
- Everett, Walter (1999). The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver Through the Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 207. ISBN 0-19-509553-7.
- Goodwin, Andrew (2006). "Popular Music and Postmodern Theory". In Storey, John. Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: A Reader. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 978-0-8203-2849-2.
- Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide (2nd ed.). Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. ISBN 1-57859-061-2.
- Guinn, Jeff (2013). Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4516-4516-3.
- Harrison, George (2002). I, Me, Mine. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-5900-4.
- Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopaedia: Revised and Updated. London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2.
- Harry, Bill (2002). The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia. Virgin Books. ISBN 0-7535-0716-1.
- Hertsgaard, Mark (1996). A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. London: Pan Books. ISBN 0-330-33891-9.
- Inglis, Ian (2009). "Revolution". In Womack, Kenneth (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-68976-2.
- Katovich, Michael A.; Longhofer, Wesley (2009). "Mystification of Rock". In Denzin, Norman K. Studies in Symbolic Interaction. Volume 33 of Studies in Symbolic Interactions Series. Cambridge, UK: Emerald Group Publishing. ISBN 1-84855-784-1.
- Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Popular Music. 1. Muze. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
- Leng, Simon (2006). While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison. Hal Leonard. ISBN 1-4234-0609-5.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1996). The Complete Beatles Chronicle. Chancellor Press. ISBN 978-1-851-52975-9.
- MacDonald, Ian (1997). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (First Revised ed.). Pimlico/Random House. ISBN 978-0-7126-6697-8.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- MacFarlane, Thomas (2013). The Beatles and McLuhan: Understanding the Electric Age. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8108-8432-8.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. Random House. ISBN 978-0-436-28022-1.
- Miles, Barry (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-8308-9.
- Miles, Barry; Scott, Grant; Morgan, Johnny (2008). The Greatest Album Covers of All Time. Anova. ISBN 978-1-84340-481-1.
- 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. ISBN 978-0-7391-1200-7.
- Norman, Philip (1996) . Shout!: The Beatles in Their Generation. New York, NY: Fireside. ISBN 0-684-83067-1.
- Norman, Philip (2008). John Lennon: The Life. New York, NY: Ecco. ISBN 978-0-06-075402-0.
- Penman, Ross (2009). The Beatles in New Zealand ... a discography. ISBN 978-0-473-15155-3.
- Roessner, Jeffrey (2006). "We All Want to Change the World: Postmodern Politics and the Beatles' White Album". In Womack, Ken; Davis, Todd (eds). Reading the Beatles: Cultural Studies, Literary Criticism, and the Fab Four. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-8196-4.
- Schaffner, Nicholas (1978). The Beatles Forever. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-055087-5.
- Shea, Stuart; Rodriguez, Robert (2007). Fab Four FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Beatles ... and More!. New York, NY: Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-1-4234-2138-2.
- Sheffield, Rob (2004). "The Beatles". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Little Brown and Company. ISBN 0-316-01331-5.
- Spizer, Bruce (2007). The Beatles Swan Song: "She Loves You" & Other Records. 498 Productions. ISBN 978-0-9662649-7-5.
- Wiener, Jon (1991). Come Together: John Lennon in His Time. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-06131-8.
- Winn, John (2009). That Magic Feeling: The Beatles' Recorded Legacy, Volume Two, 1966–1970. Random House. ISBN 978-0-307-45240-5.
- Woffinden, Bob (1981). The Beatles Apart. London: Proteus. ISBN 0-906071-89-5.
- Womack, Kenneth (2008). "The Beatles as Modernists". In McParland, Robert P. Music and Literary Modernism: Critical Essays and Comparative Studies. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-1402-7.
- Womack, Kenneth, ed. (2009). The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles. Cambridge Companions to Music. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-139-82806-2.