The Beatles
The Beatles

The Beatles, additionally identified colloquially because the White Album, is the ninth studio album and solely double album by the English rock band The Beatles, launched on 22 November 1968. That includes a plain white sleeve, the quilt incorporates no graphics or textual content apart from the band’s title embossed.[a] This was supposed as a direct distinction to the vivid cowl paintings of the band’s earlier LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Membership Band. The Beatles is recognised for its fragmentary type and numerous vary of genres, together with people, British blues, ska, music corridor and the avant-garde. It has since been seen by some critics as a postmodern work, in addition to among the many best albums of all time.[1]

The album options 30 songs, 19 of which have been written throughout March and April 1968 at a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. There, the one western instrument accessible to the band was the acoustic guitar; a number of of those songs remained acoustic on The Beatles and have been recorded solo, or solely by a part of the group. The manufacturing aesthetic ensured that the album’s sound was scaled-down and fewer reliant on studio innovation than most of their releases since Revolver (1966). The Beatles additionally broke with the band’s custom on the time of incorporating a number of musical types in a single music by retaining each bit of music constantly trustworthy to a choose style.

On the finish of Might 1968, The Beatles returned to EMI Studios in London to begin recording periods that lasted till mid-October. Throughout these periods, arguments broke out among the many foursome over inventive variations and John Lennon’s new associate, Yoko Ono, whose fixed presence subverted The Beatles’ coverage of excluding wives and girlfriends from the studio. After a collection of assorted issues, together with producer George Martin taking an unannounced vacation and engineer Geoff Emerick all of a sudden quitting throughout a session, Ringo Starr left the band for 2 weeks in August. The identical tensions continued all through the next yr and led to the band’s break-up.

The Beatles obtained beneficial evaluations from most music critics; detractors discovered its satirical songs unimportant and apolitical amid the turbulent political and social local weather of 1968. It topped report charts in Britain and the US. No singles have been issued in both territory, however “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” originated from the identical recording periods and have been issued on a single in August 1968. The album has been licensed 24× platinum by the RIAA. A remixed and expanded version of the album was launched in 2018.


By 1968, The Beatles had achieved industrial and demanding success. The group’s mid-1967 launch, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Membership Band, was primary within the UK for 27 weeks, till the beginning of February 1968,[2] having offered 250,000 copies within the first week after launch.[3] Time journal declared that Sgt. Pepper constituted a “historic departure within the progress of music – any music”,[4] whereas the American author Timothy Leary wrote that the band have been “the wisest, holiest, best avatars (Divine Incarnate, God Brokers) that the human race has ever produced”.[5] The band obtained a destructive essential response to their tv movie Magical Thriller Tour, which aired in Britain in December 1967, however fan response was however optimistic.[6]

The songs that seem on The Beatles have been demoed at George Harrison’s residence, Kinfauns, in Might 1968.

A lot of the songs for The Beatles have been written throughout a Transcendental Meditation course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India, between February and April 1968.[7][8] The retreat concerned lengthy intervals of meditation, conceived by the band as a non secular respite from all worldly endeavours – an opportunity, in John Lennon’s phrases, to “get away from every part”.[9] Lennon and Paul McCartney shortly re-engaged themselves in songwriting, usually assembly “clandestinely within the afternoons in one another’s rooms” to evaluate their new work.[10] “No matter what I used to be presupposed to be doing,” Lennon later recalled, “I did write a few of my greatest songs there.”[11] Creator Ian MacDonald stated Sgt Pepper was “formed by LSD”,[12] however The Beatles took no medication with them to India apart from marijuana, and their clear minds helped the group with their songwriting.[13] The keep in Rishikesh proved particularly fruitful for George Harrison as a songwriter, coinciding together with his re-engagement with the guitar after two years learning the sitar.[14] The musicologist Walter Everett likens Harrison’s improvement as a composer in 1968 to that of Lennon and McCartney 5 years earlier than, though he notes that Harrison grew to become “privately prolific”, given his common subordinate standing inside the group.[15]

The Beatles left Rishikesh earlier than the tip of the course. Ringo Starr was the primary to go away, lower than two weeks later, as he stated he couldn’t tolerate the meals;[16] McCartney departed in mid-March,[13] whereas Harrison and Lennon have been extra thinking about Indian faith and remained till April.[13] Lennon left Rishikesh as a result of he felt personally betrayed after listening to rumours that the Maharishi had behaved inappropriately in direction of ladies who accompanied The Beatles to India.[17][18] McCartney and Harrison later found the accusations to be unfaithful[19] and Lennon’s spouse Cynthia reported there was “not a shred of proof or justification”.[20][b]

Collectively, the group wrote round 40 new compositions in Rishikesh, 26 of which might be recorded in tough type at Kinfauns, Harrison’s residence in Esher, in Might 1968. Lennon wrote the majority of the brand new materials, contributing 14 songs.[13] Lennon and McCartney introduced home-recorded demos to the session, and labored on them collectively. Some residence demos and group periods at Kinfauns have been later launched on the 1996 compilation Anthology 3.[21] The entire set of Esher demos was launched within the remixed fiftieth anniversary deluxe version in 2018.[22]

Model and manufacturing


The album was largely recorded at Abbey Highway Studios.

The Beatles was recorded between 30 Might and 14 October 1968, largely at Abbey Highway Studios in London, with some periods at Trident Studios.[23] Their time in Rishikesh was quickly forgotten within the tense ambiance of the studio, with periods occurring at irregular hours.[24] The group’s self-belief led to the formation of a brand new multimedia enterprise company, Apple Corps, an enterprise that drained the group financially with a collection of unsuccessful tasks.[25]

The group block-booked time at Abbey Highway by means of July.[26] The open-ended studio time led to a brand new means of figuring out songs. As an alternative of tightly rehearsing a backing monitor, as in earlier periods, the group recorded all of the rehearsals and jamming, then added overdubs to one of the best take.[27] The manufacturing aesthetic ensured that the album’s sound was scaled down and fewer reliant on studio innovation than Revolver and Sgt. Pepper.[28] Harrison’s music “Not Responsible” was left off the album, although 102 takes have been recorded.[27]

Solely 16 of the album’s 30 tracks characteristic all 4 band members performing.[c] A number of backing tracks don’t characteristic the total group, and overdubs tended to be carried out by the composer of the music.[44] McCartney and Lennon generally recorded concurrently in several studios with totally different engineers.[45] George Martin’s affect had progressively waned, and he left abruptly to go on a vacation throughout the recording periods, leaving his younger protégé Chris Thomas in command of manufacturing.[46][47]

Through the periods, the band upgraded from 4-track recording to 8-track. As work started, Abbey Highway Studios possessed, however had but to put in, an 8-track machine that had supposedly been sitting unused for a number of months. This was in accordance with EMI’s coverage of testing and customising new gear extensively earlier than placing it into use. The Beatles recorded “Hey Jude” and “Pricey Prudence” at Trident as a result of it had an 8-track console.[48] Once they discovered that EMI additionally had one, they insisted on utilizing it, and engineers Ken Scott and Dave Harries put in the machine (with out studio administration authorisation) in Abbey Highway’s Studio 2.[49]

The band held their first and solely 24-hour session at Abbey Highway throughout the closing mixing and sequencing for the album. This session was attended by Lennon, McCartney and Martin; Harrison had left on a visit to the US the day earlier than. Not like most LPs, there was no customary three-second hole between tracks, and the grasp was edited in order that songs segued collectively, through a straight edit, a crossfade, or an incidental piece of music.[50]

Genres and size

The Beatles incorporates a variety of musical types, which authors Barry Miles and Gillian Gaar view as probably the most numerous of any of the group’s albums.[51][52] These types embody rock and roll, blues, people, nation, reggae, avant-garde,[53] arduous rock,[54] music corridor[55] and psychedelic music.[56] The one western instrument accessible to the group throughout their Indian go to was the acoustic guitar, and thus lots of the songs have been written and first carried out on that instrument.[57] A few of these songs remained acoustic on The Beatles and have been recorded solo or by solely a part of the group (together with “Wild Honey Pie”,[58] “Blackbird”,[59] “Julia”,[60] “I Will”[61] and “Mom Nature’s Son”.)[62]

Creator Nicholas Schaffner views the acoustic slant as reflective of a widespread departure from the LSD-inspired psychedelia of 1967, an strategy initiated by Bob Dylan and the Seashore Boys and adopted in 1968 by artists such because The Rolling Stones and the Byrds.[63] Edwin Faust of Stylus Journal described The Beatles as “foremost an album about musical purity (because the album cowl and title recommend). Whereas on prior Beatles albums, the band was stepping into the behavior of blending a number of musical genres right into a single music, on The White Album each music is trustworthy to its chosen style. The rock n’ roll tracks are purely rock n’ roll; the people songs are purely people; the surreal pop numbers are purely surreal pop; and the experimental piece is solely experimental.”[64]

Martin stated he was towards the thought of a double album on the time and prompt that the group cut back the variety of songs to type a single album that includes their stronger work; the band refused.[65] Reflecting on the album years later, Harrison stated that some tracks might have been launched as B-sides or withheld, however “there was loads of ego in that band.”[66] He additionally supported the thought of the double album, to filter the group’s backlog of songs. Starr felt that the album ought to have been two separate information, which he jokingly referred to as “The White Album” and “The Whiter Album”. McCartney stated that the report was high quality because it was: “It was nice. It offered. It is the bloody Beatles’ White Album. Shut up!”[66]

Private points

Through the recording periods for The Beatles, every member of the band started to more and more assert themselves as particular person artists who regularly discovered themselves at odds. McCartney described the periods as a turning level for the group as a result of “there was loads of friction throughout that album. We have been nearly to interrupt up, and that was tense in itself”;[67] Lennon stated, “the break-up of The Beatles might be heard on that album”.[68] Recording engineer Geoff Emerick had labored with the group since Revolver, however grew to become disillusioned with the periods. He overheard Martin criticising McCartney’s vocal efficiency whereas recording “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”, to which McCartney replied, “Effectively you come down and sing it”.[69] On 16 July, Emerick introduced that due to the frequent bickering and pressure, he was not keen to work with The Beatles and left the studio within the midst of a session.[69]

The brand new relationship between John Lennon and Yoko Ono triggered pressure within the studio with the opposite Beatles.[70]

The Beatles periods marked the primary look within the studio of Lennon’s new home and creative associate, Yoko Ono, who accompanied him to Abbey Highway to work on “Revolution 1”[71] and who was thereafter a roughly fixed presence at Beatles recording periods.[72] Ono’s presence was extremely unorthodox as, as much as that time, The Beatles had typically labored in isolation, not often permitting guests, wives and girlfriends to attend recording periods.[73] Lennon’s devotion to Ono over the opposite Beatles made working situations troublesome by impeding communication between Lennon and McCartney, in addition to the intuitive side that had beforehand been important to the band’s music.[74] McCartney’s girlfriend on the time, Francie Schwartz, was additionally current at some periods,[75] as have been the opposite two Beatles’ wives, Pattie Harrison and Maureen Starkey.[76]

Peter Doggett writes that “probably the most important line of communication” had been damaged between Lennon and McCartney by Ono’s presence on the primary day of recording.[77] Beatles biographer Philip Norman feedback that the 2 shared a disregard for the opposite’s new compositions; Lennon discovered McCartney’s songs “cloyingly candy and bland”, whereas McCartney seen Lennon’s as “harsh, unmelodious and intentionally provocative”.[78] Harrison and Starr selected to distance themselves partway by means of the undertaking,[44] flying to California on 7 June in order that Harrison might movie his scenes for the Ravi Shankar documentary Raga.[79] Lennon’s, McCartney’s and Harrison’s particular person tasks outdoors the band in 1968 have been additional proof of the group’s fragmentation.[80] In Lennon’s case, the album cowl of his experimental collaboration with Ono Two Virgins featured the couple utterly bare, a gesture his bandmates discovered bewildering and pointless.[81]

On 20 August, Lennon and Starr have been engaged on overdubs for “Yer Blues” in Studio 3, and visited McCartney in Studio 2 the place he was engaged on “Mom Nature’s Son”. The optimistic spirit of the session disappeared instantly, and engineer Ken Scott later claimed that “you might reduce the ambiance with a knife”.[45] Starr abruptly left the studio on 22 August throughout the session for “Again in the usS.R.”,[82] feeling that his function within the group was peripheral in comparison with the opposite members, and upset at McCartney’s fixed criticism of his drumming on the monitor.[83][84] Abbey Highway workers later commented that Starr was normally the primary to reach on the studio, ready within the reception space for the others to reach.[85] In his absence, McCartney performed the drums on “Pricey Prudence”. For “Again in the usS.R.”, the three remaining Beatles every made contributions on bass and drums, and the drum half is a composite of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison’s enjoying.[85] Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison pleaded with Starr to rethink. He returned on 5 September to search out his drum package adorned with flowers,[37] a welcome-back gesture from Harrison.[86]

Mono model

The Beatles was the final Beatles album to be combined individually for stereo and mono.[87] All however one monitor exist in official mono mixes; the exception is “Revolution 9”, a direct discount of the stereo grasp.[45] The Beatles had not been significantly thinking about stereo till this album, however after receiving mail from followers stating they purchased each stereo and mono mixes of earlier albums, they determined to make the 2 totally different.[88] A number of mixes have totally different monitor lengths; the mono combine/edit of “Helter Skelter” eliminates the fade-in on the finish of the music (and Starr’s ending scream),[89] and the fade-out of “Yer Blues” is 11 seconds longer on the mono combine. A number of songs have lacking or totally different overdubs or results which differ from the stereo mixes.[90]

In the US, mono information have been already being phased out; the US launch of The Beatles was the primary Beatles LP to be issued in stereo solely.[91] Within the UK, The Beatles following album, Yellow Submarine, was the final to be issued in mono.[92] The mono model of The Beatles was made accessible worldwide on 9 September 2009, as a part of The Beatles in Mono CD boxed set.[93] The unique mono LP was rereleased worldwide in September 2014.[94]


Facet one

McCartney wrote “Again in the usS.R.” as a parody of Chuck Berry’s music “Again in the usA.”[58] and the Seashore Boys.[95][96] A discipline recording of a jet aeroplane taking off and touchdown was used in the beginning of the monitor, and intermittently all through it.[85] The backing vocals have been sung by Lennon and Harrison within the type of the Seashore Boys,[85] additional to Mike Love’s suggestion in Rishikesh that McCartney embody point out of the “ladies” in the us.[95] The monitor grew to become extensively bootlegged within the Soviet Union, the place The Beatles’ music was banned, and have become an underground hit.[58][d]

“Pricey Prudence” was one of many songs recorded at Trident. The type is typical of the acoustic songs written in Rishikesh, utilizing guitar arpeggios. Lennon wrote the monitor about Mia Farrow’s sister Prudence Farrow, who not often left her room throughout the keep in dedication to the meditation.[98]

“Glass Onion” was the primary backing monitor recorded as a full band after Starr’s temporary departure. MacDonald claimed Lennon intentionally wrote the lyrics to mock followers who claimed to search out “hidden messages” in songs, and referenced different songs within The Beatles catalogue – “The Walrus was Paul” refers again to “I Am the Walrus” (which itself refers to “Lucy within the Sky with Diamonds”).[99] McCartney, in flip, overdubbed a recorder half after the road “I informed you concerning the Idiot on the Hill”, as a deliberate parody of the sooner music.[100] A string part was added to the monitor in October.[100]

Lennon went straight to the piano and smashed the keys with an almighty quantity of quantity, twice the pace of how they’d accomplished it earlier than, and stated “That is it! Come on!”

Recording engineer Richard Lush on the ultimate take of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”[101]

“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was written by McCartney as a pastiche of ska music. The monitor took a stunning period of time to finish, with McCartney demanding perfectionism that aggravated his colleagues.[30] Jimmy Scott, a good friend of McCartney, prompt the title and performed bongos on the preliminary take. He demanded a reduce of publishing when the music was launched, however the music was credited to “Lennon–McCartney”.[102] After working for 3 days on the backing monitor, the work was scrapped and changed with a brand new recording.[101] Lennon hated the music, calling it “granny music shit”,[103] whereas engineer Richard Lush recalled that Starr disliked having to report the identical backing monitor repetitively, and pinpoints this session as a key indication that The Beatles have been going to interrupt up.[101] McCartney tried to remake the backing monitor for a 3rd time, however this was deserted after a couple of takes and the second model was used as the ultimate combine.[101] The group, save for McCartney, had misplaced curiosity within the monitor by the tip of recording, and refused to launch it as a single. Marmalade recorded a model that grew to become a primary hit.[102]

McCartney recorded “Wild Honey Pie” on 20 August on the finish of the session for “Mom Nature’s Son”. It’s typical of the temporary snippets of songs he recorded between takes throughout the album periods.[58]

“The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice” was written by Lennon after an American customer to Rishikesh left for a couple of weeks to hunt tigers.[43] It was recorded as an audio vérité train, that includes vocal performances from nearly everybody who occurred to be within the studio on the time. Ono sings one line and co-sings one other, whereas Chris Thomas performed the Mellotron, together with improvisations on the finish of the monitor.[104] The opening flamenco guitar flourish was a recording included within the Mellotron’s commonplace tape library.[105]

“Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps” was written by Harrison throughout a go to he made to his dad and mom’ residence in Cheshire.[106] He first recorded the music as a solo efficiency, on acoustic guitar, on 25 July – a model that remained unreleased till Anthology 3.[34] He was sad with the group’s first try and report the monitor, and so invited his good friend Eric Clapton to come back and play on it. Clapton was not sure about guesting on a Beatles report, however Harrison stated the choice was “nothing to do with them. It is my music.”[107] Clapton’s solo was handled with automated double monitoring to realize the specified impact; he gave Harrison the guitar he used, which Harrison later named “Lucy”.[108][e]

“Happiness Is a Heat Gun” developed out of a number of music fragments that Lennon compiled into one piece, having previewed two of the segments in his Might 1968 demo.[110] In response to MacDonald, this strategy was probably impressed by the Unimaginable String Band’s songwriting.[39] The essential backing monitor ran to 95 takes, as a result of irregular time signatures and variations in type all through the music. The ultimate model consisted of one of the best halves of two takes edited collectively.[111] Lennon later described the music as considered one of his favourites,[112] whereas the remainder of the band discovered the recording rejuvenating, because it compelled them to re-hone their abilities as a bunch enjoying collectively to get it proper.[113] Apple’s press officer Derek Taylor made an uncredited contribution to the music’s lyrics.[114]

Facet two

McCartney obtained the title of “Martha My Pricey” from his sheepdog, however the lyrics are in any other case unrelated.[115] The complete monitor is performed by him backed with session musicians, and options no different Beatles. Martin composed a brass band association for the monitor.[116]

“I am So Drained” was written in India when Lennon was having problem sleeping.[42] It was recorded on the identical session as “The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice”.[104] The lyrics make reference to Walter Raleigh, calling him a “silly get” for introducing tobacco to Europe;[117][118] whereas the monitor ends with Lennon mumbling “Monsieur, monsieur, how about one other one?”[104] This grew to become a part of the Paul is Useless conspiracy principle, when followers claimed that when the monitor was reversed, they may hear “Paul is useless man, miss him, miss him, miss him”.[37]

“Blackbird” options McCartney solo, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. In response to Lewisohn, the ticking within the background is a metronome,[44] however Emerick recollects capturing the sound through a microphone positioned beside McCartney’s footwear.[119] The birdsong on the monitor was taken from the Abbey Highway sound results assortment, and was recorded on one of many first EMI transportable tape recorders.[44]

Harrison wrote “Piggies” as an assault on greed and materialism in trendy society.[120] His mom and Lennon helped him full the lyrics.[121] Thomas performed harpsichord on the monitor, whereas Lennon equipped a tape loop of pigs grunting.[122]

“Rocky Raccoon” developed from a jam session with McCartney, Lennon and Donovan in Rishikesh. The music was taped in a single session, and was one of many tracks that Martin felt was “filler” and placed on solely as a result of the album was a double.[36]

“Do not Cross Me By” was Starr’s first solo composition for the band;[123] he had been toying with the thought of writing a self-reflective music for a while, probably way back to 1963.[124] It glided by the working titles of “Ringo’s Tune” and “This Is Some Pleasant”. The essential monitor consisted of Starr drumming whereas McCartney performed piano.[125] Martin composed an orchestral introduction to the music however it was rejected as “too weird” and left off the album.[123] As an alternative, Jack Fallon performed a bluegrass fiddle half.[126]

McCartney wrote “Why Do not We Do It within the Highway?” in India after he noticed two monkeys copulating on the street and questioned why people have been too civilised to do the identical.[127] He performed all of the devices besides drums, which have been contributed by Starr. The easy lyric was very a lot in Lennon’s type, and Lennon was aggravated to not be requested to play on it. McCartney prompt it was “tit for tat” as he had not contributed to “Revolution 9”.[128]

McCartney wrote and sang “I Will”, with Lennon and Starr accompanying on percussion.[61] In between quite a few takes, the three Beatles broke off to busk another songs. A snippet of a monitor often known as “Can You Take Me Again?” was put between “Cry Child Cry” and “Revolution 9”,[100] whereas recordings of Cilla Black’s hit “Step Inside Love” and a joke quantity, “Los Paranoias”, have been launched on Anthology 3.[129]

“Julia” was the final monitor to be recorded for the album and options Lennon on solo acoustic guitar, which he performed in a method just like McCartney’s on “Blackbird”.[60] That is the one Beatles music on which Lennon performs alone.[130] It’s a tribute to his mom, Julia Lennon, who was killed in 1958 in a highway accident when Lennon was 17, and the lyrics take care of the lack of his mom and his relationship with Ono, the “ocean youngster” within the lyrics.[60] Ono helped with the lyrics, however the music was nonetheless credited to Lennon-McCartney as anticipated.[131]

Facet three

In response to McCartney, the authorship of “Birthday” was “50–50 John and me, made up on the spot and recorded all on the identical night”.[132] He and Lennon have been impressed to write down the music after seeing the primary UK displaying of the rock ‘n’ roll movie The Lady Cannot Assist It on tv, and sang the lead vocal within the type of the movie’s musical star, Little Richard.[38] After The Beatles taped the monitor, Ono and Pattie Harrison added backing vocals.[111]

Lennon wrote “Yer Blues” in India. Regardless of meditating and the tranquil ambiance, he nonetheless felt sad, as mirrored within the lyrics.[133] The type was influenced by the British Blues Growth of 1968, which included Fleetwood Mac, Cream, the Jimi Hendrix Expertise, Jeff Beck and Hen Shack.[35] The backing monitor was recorded in a small room subsequent to the Studio 2 management room. Unusually for a Beatles recording, the four-track supply tape was edited straight, leading to an abrupt cut-off at 3’17” into the beginning of one other take (which bumped into the fadeout).[134][f]

“Everyone’s Obtained One thing to Conceal Besides Me and My Monkey” and “Attractive Sadie” have been each written in reference to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

McCartney wrote “Mom Nature’s Son” in India, and labored on it in isolation from the opposite members of the band. He carried out the monitor solo alongside a Martin-scored brass association.[62]

“Everyone’s Obtained One thing to Conceal Besides Me and My Monkey” developed from a jam session and was initially untitled. The ultimate combine was sped up by mixing the tape operating at 43 hertz as an alternative of the standard 50.[27] Harrison claimed the title got here from one of many Maharishi’s sayings (with “and my monkey” added later).[29]

“Attractive Sadie” was written as “Maharishi” by Lennon shortly after he determined to go away Rishikesh.[33] In a 1980 interview, Lennon acknowledged that the Maharishi was the inspiration for the music: “I simply referred to as him ‘Attractive Sadie’.”[135]

“Helter Skelter” was written by McCartney and was initially recorded in July as a blues quantity. The band carried out the preliminary takes dwell and included lengthy passages throughout which they jammed on their devices.[69] As a result of these takes have been too lengthy to virtually match on an LP, the music was shelved till September, when a brand new, shorter model was made. By all accounts, the session was chaotic, however no person dared recommend to any of The Beatles that they have been uncontrolled. Harrison reportedly ran across the studio holding a flaming ashtray above his head, “doing an Arthur Brown”.[89] The stereo model of the LP contains nearly a minute extra music than the mono, which culminates in Starr famously shouting “I’ve obtained blisters on my fingers!”[89] Cult chief and mass assassin Charles Manson was unaware that the time period helter skelter is British English for a spiral slide discovered on a playground or funfair, and assumed the monitor had one thing to do with hell. This was one of many tracks that led Manson to imagine the album had coded messages referring to apocalyptic struggle, and led to his motion of the identical title.[33]

The ultimate music on aspect three is Harrison’s “Lengthy, Lengthy, Lengthy”, a part of a chord development he took from Bob Dylan’s “Unhappy Eyed Woman of the Lowlands”.[136] MacDonald describes the music as Harrison’s “touching token of exhausted, relieved reconciliation with God” and regarded it to be his “most interesting second on The Beatles“.[42] The recording session for the fundamental monitor was one of many longest The Beatles ever undertook, operating from the afternoon of seven October by means of the evening till 7 am the subsequent day. McCartney performed Hammond organ on the monitor, and an “eerie rattling” impact on the finish was created by a be aware inflicting a wine bottle on prime of the organ’s Leslie speaker to resonate.[42][137]

Facet 4

“Revolution 1” was the primary monitor recorded for the album, with periods for the backing monitor beginning on 30 Might.[25] The preliminary takes have been recorded as a attainable single, however because the session progressed, the association grew to become slower, with extra of a laid-back groove. The group ended the chosen take with a six-minute improvisation that had additional overdubs added, earlier than being reduce to the size heard on the album. The brass association was added later.[138]

McCartney wrote “Honey Pie” as a pastiche of the Twenties’ flapper dance type. The opening part had the sound of an outdated 78 RPM report overdubbed[139] whereas Martin organized a saxophone and clarinet half in the identical type. Lennon performed the guitar solo on the monitor, however later stated he hated the music, calling it “past redemption”.[41]

“Savoy Truffle” was named after one of many kinds of chocolate present in a field of Waterproof coat’s Good Information, which Clapton loved consuming. The monitor featured a saxophone sextet organized by Thomas, who additionally performed keyboards.[41] Harrison later stated that Derek Taylor helped him end the lyrics.[140]

Lennon started writing “Cry Child Cry” in late 1967 and the lyrics have been partly derived from the tagline of an outdated tv industrial. Martin performed harmonium on the monitor.[31]

“Revolution 9” developed from the overdubs from the “Revolution 1” coda. Lennon, Harrison and Ono added additional tape collages and spoken phrase extracts, within the type of Karlheinz Stockhausen. The monitor opens with an extract of a piano theme from a Royal Faculties of Music examination tape, and climaxes with Ono saying “in case you turn out to be bare”.[141] Ono was closely concerned within the manufacturing, and suggested Lennon on what tape loops to make use of.[142] McCartney was in another country on the time and didn’t contribute to the monitor, and was reportedly sad that it was included. He had led related tape experiments similar to “Carnival of Gentle” in January 1967.[143] The monitor has attracted each curiosity and disapproval from followers and critics over time.[144]

Lennon wrote “Good Evening” as a lullaby for his son Julian, and needed Starr to sing it. The early takes featured simply Lennon on acoustic guitar and Starr singing.[27] Martin scored an orchestral and choral association that changed the guitar within the closing combine, and likewise performed the celesta.[30]


“Hey Jude” was recorded on the finish of July 1968 throughout the periods for The Beatles however was issued individually as a single almost three months earlier than the album’s launch.[145] This was the primary launch on Apple Information and in the end the band’s most profitable single within the US.[146] The B-side, “Revolution”, was a unique model of the album’s “Revolution 1”. Lennon needed the unique model of “Revolution” to be launched as a single, however the different three Beatles objected that it was too gradual. As an alternative, the one featured a brand new, sooner model, with closely distorted guitar and an electrical piano solo by Nicky Hopkins.[102]

The conference within the British music trade on the time was that singles and albums have been distinct entities and mustn’t duplicate songs.[147][g] However though no singles have been taken from The Beatles in Britain or America, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” backed with “Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps” was launched in different markets. The one was a industrial success in Australia (the place it spent 5 weeks at primary on the Go-Set chart),[148] Japan,[149] Austria[150] and Switzerland.[151]

Unreleased materials

Some songs The Beatles have been engaged on individually throughout this era have been revisited for inclusion on their subsequent albums, whereas others have been launched on the band members’ solo albums. In response to the bootlegged album of the demos made at Kinfauns, the latter of those two classes contains Lennon’s “Take a look at Me”[152] and “Baby of Nature” (finally reworked as “Jealous Man”);[153] McCartney’s “Junk”;[153] and Harrison’s “Not Responsible” and “Circles”.[153] As well as, Harrison gave “Bitter Milk Sea” to the singer Jackie Lomax, whose recording, produced by Harrison, was launched in August 1968 as Lomax’s debut single on Apple Information.[154] Lennon’s “Imply Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” have been used within the medley on Abbey Highway the subsequent yr.[50]

The Lennon composition “What is the New Mary Jane” was demoed at Kinfauns[155] and recorded formally (by Lennon, Harrison and Ono) throughout the 1968 album periods.[36] McCartney taped demos of two compositions at Abbey Highway – “Etcetera”[45] and “The Lengthy and Winding Highway” – the final of which The Beatles recorded in 1969 on Let It Be.[156] The Beatles variations of “Not Responsible” and “What is the New Mary Jane” and a demo of “Junk” have been launched on Anthology 3.[157]

“Revolution (Take 20)”, a beforehand 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”.[158]



The Beatles was issued on 22 November 1968 in Britain[65] and three days later within the US.[159] It was the third album to be launched by Apple Information, following Harrison’s Wonderwall Music and Lennon and Ono’s Two Virgins.[160] The report was known as “the White Album” instantly upon launch.[161]

Pop artist Richard Hamilton designed the report sleeve[65] in collaboration with McCartney.[162] Hamilton’s design was in stark distinction to Peter Blake’s vivid cowl artwork for Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Membership Band, and consisted of a plain white sleeve. The band’s title, in Helvetica,[163] was crookedly blind embossed barely beneath the center of the album’s proper aspect.[164] Later vinyl report releases within the US confirmed the title in gray printed (relatively than embossed) letters.[165] Every copy of the report featured a novel stamped serial quantity, “to create”, in Hamilton’s phrases, “the ironic state of affairs of a numbered version of one thing like 5 million copies”.[166] In 2008, an unique urgent of the album with serial quantity 0000005 offered for £19,201 on eBay.[167] In 2015, Ringo Starr’s private copy quantity 0000001 offered for a world report $790,000 at public sale.[168]

The sleeve included a poster comprising a montage of pictures, with the lyrics of the songs on the again, and a set of 4 photographic portraits taken by John Kelly.[169] The images for the poster have been assembled by Hamilton and McCartney, and sorted them in quite a lot of methods over a number of days earlier than arriving on the closing end result.[165]

Throughout manufacturing, the album had the working title of A Doll’s Home. This was modified when the English progressive rock band Household launched the equally titled Music in a Doll’s Home earlier that yr.[131]

Gross sales

Within the UK, The Beatles debuted at primary on 7 December 1968[170] and spent seven weeks on the prime of the UK charts (together with your entire aggressive Christmas season),[170] till it was changed by the Seekers’ Better of the Seekers on 25 January 1969, dropping to quantity 2. Nonetheless, the album returned to the highest spot the next week, spending an eighth and closing week at no 1.[171] The album was nonetheless excessive within the charts when The Beatles’ follow-up album, Yellow Submarine, was launched, which reached quantity 3. In all, The Beatles spent 22 weeks on the UK charts, far fewer than the 149 weeks for Sgt. Pepper.[172] In September 2013 after the British Phonographic Trade modified their gross sales award guidelines, the album was declared as having gone platinum, which means gross sales of a minimum of 300,000 copies.[173]

Within the US, the album achieved big industrial success. Capitol Information offered over 3.3 million copies of The Beatles to shops inside the first 4 days of the album’s launch.[174] It debuted at quantity 11 on 14 December 1968,[175] jumped to quantity 2, and reached no 1 in its third week on 28 December,[176] spending a complete of 9 weeks on the prime. In all, The Beatles spent 215 weeks on the Billboard 200.[177] The album has offered over 12 million copies within the US alone[178] and in line with the Recording Trade Affiliation of America, The Beatles is The Beatles’ most-certified album, at 24-times platinum.[179]

Essential reception

Modern evaluations

On launch, The Beatles gained extremely beneficial evaluations from the vast majority of music critics.[180][181][182] Others bemoaned its size or discovered that the music lacked the adventurous high quality that had distinguished Sgt. Pepper.[180] In response to the creator Ian Inglis: “Whether or not optimistic or destructive, all assessments of The Beatles drew consideration to its fragmentary type. Nonetheless, whereas some complained concerning the lack of a coherent type, others acknowledged this because the album’s raison d’être.”[80]

In The Observer, Tony Palmer wrote that “if there’s nonetheless any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the best songwriters since Schubert”, the album “ought to certainly see the final vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away in a deluge of joyful music making”.[183] Richard Goldstein of The New York Occasions thought-about the double album to be “a serious success” and “much more imaginative” than Sgt. Pepper or Magical Thriller Tour,[180] as a result of band’s improved songwriting and their relying much less on the studio tips of these earlier works.[184] In The Sunday Occasions, Derek Jewell hailed it as “one of the best factor in pop since Sgt. Pepper” and concluded: “Musically, there’s magnificence, horror, shock, chaos, order. And that’s the world; and that’s what The Beatles are on about. Created by, creating for, their age.”[185] Though he dismissed “Revolution 9” as a “pretentious” instance of “fool immaturity”, the NMEs Alan Smith declared “God Bless You, Beatles!” to the vast majority of the album.[186] Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone referred to as it “the historical past and synthesis of Western music”,[161] and the group’s greatest album but.[187] Wenner contended that they have been allowed to applicable different types and traditions into rock music as a result of their means and identification have been “so sturdy that they make it uniquely theirs, and uniquely The Beatles. They’re so good that they not solely increase the idiom, however they’re additionally in a position to penetrate it and take it additional.”[187]

Among the many much less beneficial critiques, Time journal’s reviewer wrote that The Beatles showcased the “greatest talents and worst tendencies” of The Beatles, as it’s skilfully carried out and complex, however lacks a “sense of style and objective”.[188] William Mann of The Occasions opined that, of their over-reliance on pastiche and “personal jokes”, Lennon and McCartney had ceased to progress as songwriters, but he deemed the discharge to be “A very powerful musical occasion of the yr” and acknowledged: “these 30 tracks include a lot to be studied, loved and progressively appreciated extra totally within the coming months.”[185] In his evaluate for The New York Occasions, Nik Cohn thought-about the album “boring past perception” and stated that over half of its songs have been “profound mediocrities”.[189] In a 1971 column, Robert Christgau of The Village Voice described the album as each “their most constant and possibly their worst”, and referred to its songs as a “pastiche of musical workout routines”.[190] Nonetheless, he ranked it because the tenth greatest album of 1968 in his poll for Jazz & Pop journal’s annual critics ballot.[191]

Retrospective assessments

Skilled scores
Evaluation scores
Supply Score
AllMusic [144]
The A.V. Membership A+[192]
The Day by day Telegraph [193]
Encyclopedia of Well-liked Music [194]
MusicHound Rock 4/5[195]
Pitchfork 10/10[196]
PopMatters 9/10[197]
Q [198]
The Rolling Stone Album Information [199]
Slant Journal [200]

In a 2003 appraisal of the album, for Mojo journal, Ian MacDonald wrote that The Beatles recurrently seems among the many prime 10 in critics’ “greatest albums of all time” lists, but it was a piece that he deemed “eccentric, extremely numerous, and really variable [in] high quality”.[201] Rob Sheffield, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Information (2004), stated that its songs ranged from The Beatles’ “sturdiest tunes since Revolver” to “self-indulgent filler”. He derided tracks together with “Revolution 9” and “Helter Skelter”, however stated that selecting private highlights was “a part of the enjoyable” for listeners.[202] Writing for MusicHound in 1999, Guitar World editor Christopher Scapelliti described the album as “self-indulgent and at instances unlistenable” however recognized “Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Happiness Is a Heat Gun” and “Helter Skelter” as “fascinating standouts” that made it a worthwhile buy.[195]

In response to Slant Journals Eric Henderson, The Beatles is a rarity among the many band’s recorded works, in that it “resists reflexive canonisation, which, together with society’s continued fragmentation, retains the album recent and stunning”.[200] In his evaluate for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated that due to its broad number of musical types, the album might be “a frustratingly scattershot report or a singularly gripping musical expertise, relying in your view”. He concludes: “None of it sounds prefer it was meant to share album area collectively, however someway The Beatles creates its personal type and sound by means of its mess.”[144]

Amongst evaluations of the 2009 remastered album, Neil McCormick of The Day by day Telegraph discovered that even its worst songs work inside the context of such an eclectic and unconventional assortment, which he rated “one of many best albums ever made”.[193] Writing for Paste, Mark Kemp stated The Beatles had been wrongly described as “three solo works in a single (plus a Ringo music)”, saying it “advantages from every member’s wildly totally different concepts” and affords “two of Harrison’s most interesting moments”.[203] In his evaluate for The A.V. Membership, Chuck Klosterman wrote that the album discovered the band at their greatest and rated it “nearly past an A+”.[192]

In 2000, The Beatles was voted quantity 5 within the third version of Colin Larkin’s All Time Prime 1000 Albums. Three years later, Rolling Stone ranked it at quantity 10 on the journal’s checklist of the five hundred Best Albums of All Time,[204] a place it maintained within the 2012 revised checklist.[205] On the fortieth anniversary of the album’s launch, the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano wrote that it “stays a kind of magical musical anthology: 30 songs you’ll be able to undergo and hearken to at will, sure of discovering some pearls that even as we speak stay unparalleled”.[206] In 2011, Kerrang! positioned the album at quantity 49 on a listing of “The 50 Heaviest Albums Of All Time”. The journal praised the guitar work in “Helter Skelter”.[207] The album was additionally included within the ebook 1001 Albums You Should Hear Earlier than You Die.[208] In September 2020, Rolling Stone ranked The Beatles at quantity 29 on its new checklist of the “500 Best Albums of All Time”.[209] Based mostly on such rankings, Acclaimed Music listed it because the quantity 13 album within the web site’s all-time rating.[210]

Giles Martin, son of George Martin and supervisor of the 2018 fiftieth Anniversary remix, said that, opposite to the prevailing view of The Beatles, he doesn’t imagine it was recorded by a band about to implode. He stated he got here to this conclusion after listening to all of the demos and session tapes in preparation for the remix.[211][212][213][214]

Cultural responses

The discharge coincided with public condemnation of Lennon’s remedy of Cynthia, and of his and Ono’s joint tasks, significantly Two Virgins.[215][216] The British authorities equally displayed a much less tolerant perspective in direction of The Beatles,[217] when London Drug Squad officers arrested Lennon and Ono in October 1968 for marijuana possession, a cost that he claimed was false.[218]

Lyrical misinterpretations

The album’s lyrics progressed from being obscure to open-ended and susceptible to misinterpretation of authorial intention, similar to “Glass Onion” (e.g., “the walrus was Paul”)[99] and “Piggies” (“what they want’s a rattling good whacking”).[121] Within the case of “Again in the usS.R.”, the phrases have been interpreted by Christian evangelist David Noebel as additional proof of The Beatles’ compliance in a Communist plot to brainwash American youth.[219] In response to MacDonald, the counterculture of the Sixties analysed The Beatles above and past all the band’s earlier releases.[37] Lennon’s lyrics on “Revolution 1” have been misinterpreted with messages he didn’t intend. Within the album model, he advises those that “discuss destruction” to “rely me out”. Lennon then follows the sung phrase “out” with the spoken phrase “in”. On the time of the album’s launch – which adopted, chronologically, the up-tempo single model of the music, “Revolution” – that single phrase “in” was taken by the novel political left as Lennon’s endorsement of politically motivated violence, which adopted the Might 1968 Paris riots.[220] Nonetheless, the album model was recorded first.[h]

Charles Manson first heard the album not lengthy after it was launched. Manson could have discovered hidden meanings in songs from earlier Beatles albums,[221] however, in line with Vincent Bugliosi in The Beatles Manson allegedly interpreted prophetic significance in a number of of the songs, together with “Blackbird”, “Piggies” (significantly the road “what they want’s a rattling good whacking”), “Helter Skelter”, “Revolution 1” and “Revolution 9”,[222] and interpreted the lyrics as an indication of imminent violence or struggle.[202] He and different members and associates of the Manson household repeatedly listened to it, and he allegedly informed them that it was an apocalyptic message predicting an rebellion of oppressed races,[223] drawing parallels with chapter 9 of the E-book of Revelation.[224]

New Left criticism

Additional to the betrayal they’d felt at Lennon’s non-activist stance in “Revolution”, New Left commentators condemned The Beatles for its failure to supply a political agenda.[225] The Beatles themselves have been accused of utilizing eclecticism and pastiche as a method of avoiding essential points within the turbulent political and social local weather.[225] Jon Landau, writing for the Liberation Information Service, argued that, significantly in “Piggies” and “Rocky Raccoon”, the band had adopted parody as a result of they have been “afraid of confronting actuality” and “the urgencies of the second”.[226] Like Landau, many writers among the many New Left thought-about the album outdated and irrelevant; as an alternative, they heralded The Rolling Stones’ concurrent launch, Beggars Banquet, as what Lennon biographer Jon Wiener phrases “the ‘sturdy answer,’ a musical turning outward, towards the political and social battles of the day”.[227]

Well-liked music and postmodernism

Sociologists Michael Katovich and Wesley Longhofer write that the album’s launch created “a collective appreciation of it as a ‘state-of-the-art’ rendition of the present pop, rock, and folk-rock sounds”.[228] The vast majority of historians categorise The Beatles as postmodern, emphasising aesthetic and stylistic options of the album;[229][i] Inglis, for instance, lists bricolage, fragmentation, pastiche, parody, reflexivity, plurality, irony, exaggeration, anti-representation and “meta-art”, and says that it “has been designated as in style music’s first postmodern album”.[230] Authors similar to Fredric Jameson, Andrew Goodwin and Kenneth Womack as an alternative situate all The Beatles’ work inside a modernist stance, based mostly both on their “artificiality”[231] or their ideological stance of progress by means of love and peace.[232] Scapelliti cites The Beatles because the supply of “the freeform nihilism echoed … within the punk and various music genres”.[195] In his introduction to Rolling Stones checklist of the “100 Best Beatles Songs”, Elvis Costello feedback on the band’s pervasive affect into the twenty first century and concludes: “The scope and license of the White Album has permitted everybody from OutKast to Radiohead to Inexperienced Day to Joanna Newsom to roll their image out on a broader, bolder canvas.”[233]

In early 2013, the Recess Gallery in New York Metropolis’s SoHo neighbourhood offered We Purchase White Albums, an set up by artist Rutherford Chang. The piece was within the type of a report retailer during which nothing however unique pressings of the LP was on show.[234] Chang created a recording during which the sounds of 100 copies of aspect one of many LP have been overlaid.[235]


Tape variations of the album didn’t characteristic a white cowl or the numbering system. As an alternative, cassette and 8-track variations (issued on two cassettes/cartridges in early 1969) contained cowl paintings that featured excessive distinction black and white (with no gray) variations of the 4 Kelly pictures. These two-tape releases have been each contained in black outer cardboard slipcase covers embossed with the phrases The Beatles and the define of an apple in gold print.[236] The songs on the cassette model of The Beatles[237] are sequenced in another way from the album, with the intention to equalise the lengths of the tape sides.[238] Two reel-to-reel tape releases of the album have been issued, each utilizing the monochrome Kelly paintings. The primary, issued by Apple/EMI in early 1969,[239][240] packaged your entire double-LP on a single tape, with the songs in the identical operating order as on the LPs. The second launch, licensed by Ampex from EMI in early 1970 after the latter ceased manufacture of economic reel-to-reel tapes, was issued as two separate volumes,[241][242] and sequenced the songs in the identical method as on the cassette model. The Ampex reel tape model of The Beatles has turn out to be fascinating to collectors, because it incorporates edits on eight tracks not accessible elsewhere.[j]

Throughout 1978 and 1979, for the album’s tenth anniversary, EMI reissued the album pressed on restricted version white vinyl in a number of international locations.[244][245] In 1981, Cellular Constancy Sound Lab (MFSL) issued a novel half-speed grasp variation of the album utilizing the sound from the unique grasp recording. The discs have been pressed on high-quality virgin vinyl.[246]

The album was reissued, together with the remainder of The Beatles catalogue, on compact disc in 1987.[247] Not like different Beatles CDs on this reissue marketing campaign, the discs for The Beatles featured stable black-on-white labels as an alternative of the then-conventional black-on-transparent, and releases that packaged every disc right into a separate jewel case (relatively than a multi-disc “fatbox”) sported white media trays relatively than the standard darkish grey. Like the unique vinyl pressings, these CD copies additionally featured individually stamped numbers on the album’s entrance cowl (on this case on the quilt of the booklet for the primary disc). It was reissued once more on CD in 1998 as a part of a thirtieth anniversary collection for EMI, that includes a scaled-down replication of the unique paintings, together with the top-loader gatefold sleeve. This was a part of a reissue collection from EMI that included albums from different artists such because The Rolling Stones and Roxy Music.[248] It was reissued once more in 2009 in a brand new remastered version.[249]

Observe itemizing

All tracks written by Lennon–McCartney, besides the place famous. Lead singer credit per Castleman and Podrazik’s 1976 ebook All Collectively Now.[250]

Unique launch

Facet one
No. Title Lead vocals Size
1. “Again in the usS.R.” McCartney 2:43
2. “Pricey Prudence” Lennon 3:56
3. “Glass Onion” Lennon 2:18
4. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” McCartney 3:08
5. “Wild Honey Pie” McCartney 0:52
6. “The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice” Lennon, with Yoko Ono 3:14
7. “Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps” (George Harrison) Harrison 4:45
8. “Happiness Is a Heat Gun” Lennon 2:47
Complete size: 23:43
Facet two
No. Title Lead vocals Size
1. “Martha My Pricey” McCartney 2:28
2. “I am So Drained” Lennon 2:03
3. “Blackbird” McCartney 2:18
4. “Piggies” (Harrison) Harrison 2:04
5. “Rocky Raccoon” McCartney 3:33
6. “Do not Cross Me By” (Richard Starkey) Starr 3:51
7. “Why Do not We Do It within the Highway?” McCartney 1:41
8. “I Will” McCartney 1:46
9. “Julia” Lennon 2:57
Complete size: 22:41
Facet three
No. Title Lead vocals Size
1. “Birthday” McCartney with Lennon 2:42
2. “Yer Blues” Lennon 4:01
3. “Mom Nature’s Son” McCartney 2:48
4. “Everyone’s Obtained One thing to Conceal Besides Me and My Monkey” Lennon 2:24
5. “Attractive Sadie” Lennon 3:15
6. “Helter Skelter” McCartney 4:30
7. “Lengthy, Lengthy, Lengthy” (Harrison) Harrison 3:08
Complete size: 22:48
Facet 4
No. Title Lead vocals Size
1. “Revolution 1” Lennon 4:15
2. “Honey Pie” McCartney 2:41
3. “Savoy Truffle” (Harrison) Harrison 2:54
4. “Cry Child Cry” Lennon, with McCartney 3:02
5. “Revolution 9” Talking from Lennon, Harrison, Ono and George Martin 8:15
6. “Good Evening” Starr 3:14
Complete size: 24:21


The Beatles

  • John Lennon – lead, concord and background vocals;[251] acoustic, lead,[251] rhythm[252] and bass guitars;[253] piano,[30] Hammond organ,[33] harmonium,[36] Mellotron; harmonica,[36] saxophone mouthpiece;[254] further drums (on “Again in the usS.R.”) and various percussion (tambourine, handclaps and vocal percussion), tapes, tape loops and sound results (digital and home-made)[255]
  • Paul McCartney – lead, concord and background vocals;[251] bass, acoustic, lead and rhythm guitars; acoustic and electrical pianos, Hammond organ;[251] assorted percussion (timpani,[62] tambourine, cowbell, hand shake bell, handclaps, foot faucets and vocal percussion);[256] drums (on “Again in the usS.R.”, “Pricey Prudence”, “Wild Honey Pie” and “Martha My Pricey”);[257] recorder[37]
  • George Harrison – lead,[258] concord and background vocals;[259] lead, rhythm, acoustic and bass guitars;[259] Hammond organ (on “Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Savoy Truffle”);[34][260] further drums (on “Again in the usS.R.”) and various percussion (tambourine, handclaps and vocal percussion) and sound results[58]
  • Ringo Starr – drums and various percussion (tambourine, bongos, cymbals, maracas and vocal percussion);[251] piano and sleigh bell (on “Do not Cross Me By”);[123] lead vocals (on “Do not Cross Me By”[123] and “Good Evening”)[30] and backing vocals (on “The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice”)[43]

Visitor musicians

  • Yoko Ono – backing vocals, lead vocals and handclaps on “The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice”,[261] backing vocals on “Birthday”,[262] speech, tapes and sound results on “Revolution 9”[263]
  • Mal Evans – backing vocals and handclaps on “Pricey Prudence”,[98] handclaps on “Birthday”,[38] trumpet on “Helter Skelter”[89]
  • Eric Clapton – lead guitar on “Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps”[89]
  • Jack Fallon – violin on “Do not Cross Me By”[123]
  • Pattie Harrison – backing vocals on “Birthday”[262]
  • Jackie Lomax – backing vocals and handclaps on “Pricey Prudence”[264]
  • John McCartney – backing vocals and handclaps on “Pricey Prudence”[264]
  • Maureen Starkey – backing vocals on “The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice”[261]

Session musicians

  • Ted Barker – trombone on “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • Leon Calvert – trumpet and flugelhorn on “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • Henry Datyner, Eric Bowie, Norman Lederman and Ronald Thomas – violin on “Glass Onion”[266]
  • Bernard Miller, Dennis McConnell, Lou Soufier and Les Maddox – violin on “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • Reginald Kilby – cello on “Glass Onion”[266] and “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • Eldon Fox – cello on “Glass Onion”[266]
  • Frederick Alexander – cello on “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • Harry Klein – saxophone on “Savoy Truffle”[267] and “Honey Pie”[268]
  • Dennis Walton, Ronald Chamberlain, Jim Chest and Rex Morris – saxophone on “Honey Pie”[268]
  • Raymond Newman and David Smith – clarinet on “Honey Pie”[268]
  • Artwork Ellefson, Danny Moss and Derek Collins – tenor sax on “Savoy Truffle”[267]
  • Ronnie Ross and Bernard George – baritone sax on “Savoy Truffle”[267]
  • Alf Reece – tuba on “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • The Mike Sammes Singers – backing vocals on “Good Evening”[269]
  • Stanley Reynolds and Ronnie Hughes – trumpet on “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • Chris Shepard – stumpf fiddle on “The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice”[266]
  • Tony Tunstall – French horn on “Martha My Pricey”[265]
  • John Underwood and Keith Cummings – viola on “Glass Onion”[266]
  • Leo Birnbaum and Henry Myerscough – viola on “Martha My Pricey”[265]


  • George Martin – producer, government producer;[65] string, brass, clarinet, orchestral preparations and conducting; piano on “Rocky Raccoon”[270]
  • Chris Thomas – producer;[65] Mellotron on “The Persevering with Story of Bungalow Invoice”,[261] harpsichord on “Piggies”,[271] piano on “Lengthy, Lengthy, Lengthy”,[272] electrical piano, organ and saxophone association on “Savoy Truffle”[130]
  • Ken Scott – engineer and mixer[50]
  • Geoff Emerick – engineer,[273] speech on “Revolution 9”[26]
  • Barry Sheffield – engineer (Trident Studio)[274]


Weekly charts


Gross sales certifications for The Beatles
Area Certification Licensed items/gross sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[312]
Listed as “Album Blanco”
Platinum 60,000^
Argentina (CAPIF)[312]
Listed as “The White Album”
Gold 30,000^
Australia (ARIA)[313] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[314] 8× Platinum 800,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[314]
2009 launch
Gold 40,000^
Denmark (IFPI Danmark)[315] Gold 10,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[317] Gold 257,600[316]
Italy (FIMI)[318]
gross sales since 2009
Gold 30,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[319] 2× Platinum 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[320] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[321] 24× Platinum 12,000,000double-dagger

* Gross sales figures based mostly on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based mostly on certification alone.
double-dagger Gross sales+streaming figures based mostly on certification alone.

dagger BPI certification awarded just for gross sales since 1994.[322]

Launch historical past

Launch historical past for The Beatles
Nation Date Label Format Catalogue quantity
United Kingdom 22 November 1968 Apple (Parlophone) LP PMC 7067/8 (mono) /PCS 7067/8 (stereo)[323]
United States 25 November 1968 Apple, Capitol LP SWBO-101 (stereo)[324]
Worldwide reissue 24 August 1987 Apple, EMI CD CDP 7 46443 8[325]
United Kingdom 23 November 1998 Apple CD (thirtieth Anniversary numbered restricted version) 4 96895 2[326]
Japan 21 January 2004 Toshiba-EMI Remastered LP TOJP 60139/40[327]
Worldwide reissue 9 September 2009 Apple Remastered CD 3 82466 2[328]
Worldwide reissue 13 November 2012 Apple Remastered LP 3824661[329]
Worldwide reissue 9 September 2014 Apple Remastered Mono LP 734535[94]
Worldwide reissue 9 November 2018 Apple, Common Music Group Worldwide Remixed 4xLP / 2xLP / 3xCD / 6xCD+Blu-ray field set 6757201, 6769686, 6757133, 6757195[330]

See additionally

  • Checklist of best-selling albums in the US
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen




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  • Badman, Keith (2009). The Beatles: Off the File. Omnibus Press. ISBN 978-0-85712-045-8.
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  • Guinn, Jeff (2013). Manson: The Life and Occasions of Charles Manson. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4516-4516-3.
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  • Harry, Invoice (2002). The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia. Virgin Books. ISBN 0-7535-0716-1.
  • Hertsgaard, Mark (1996). A Day within 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 College Press. ISBN 978-0-521-68976-2.
  • Katovich, Michael A.; Longhofer, Wesley (2009). “Mystification of Rock”. In Denzin, Norman Okay. (ed.). Research in Symbolic Interplay. Quantity 33 of Research in Symbolic Interactions Sequence. Cambridge, UK: Emerald Group Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84855-784-0.
  • Larkin, Colin (2006). Encyclopedia of Well-liked Music. Vol. 1. Muze. ISBN 0-19-531373-9.
  • Leng, Simon (2006). Whereas My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison. Hal Leonard. ISBN 1-4234-0609-5.
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Periods. New York: Concord Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1996). The Full Beatles Chronicle. Chancellor Press. ISBN 978-1-851-52975-9.
  • MacDonald, Ian (1997). Revolution within the Head: The Beatles’ Information and the Sixties (First Revised ed.). Pimlico/Random Home. ISBN 978-0-7126-6697-8.
  • MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution within the Head: The Beatles’ Information and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
  • MacFarlane, Thomas (2013). The Beatles and McLuhan: Understanding the Electrical Age. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-8108-8432-8.
  • Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. Random Home. ISBN 978-0-436-28022-1.
  • Miles, Barry (2001). The Beatles Diary Quantity 1: The Beatles Years. Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-8308-9.
  • Miles, Barry; Scott, Grant; Morgan, Johnny (2008). The Best Album Covers of All Time. Anova. ISBN 978-1-84340-481-1.
  • Nielsen, Donald (2005). Horrible Employees: Max Stirner, Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Johnson, and the Charles Manson Circle: Research in Ethical Expertise and Cultural Expression. Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-1200-7.
  • Norman, Philip (1996) [1981]. Shout!: The Beatles in Their Era. New York, NY: Fireplace. 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 Wish to Change the World: Postmodern Politics and The Beatles’ White Album”. In Womack, Ken; Davis, Todd (eds.). Studying The Beatles: Cultural Research, Literary Criticism, and the Fab 4. Albany, NY: SUNY Press. ISBN 0-7914-8196-4.
  • Schaffner, Nicholas (1978). The Beatles Perpetually. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-055087-5.
  • Shea, Stuart; Rodriguez, Robert (2007). Fab 4 FAQ: The whole lot Left to Know In regards to The Beatles … and Extra!. New York, NY: Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-1-4234-2138-2.
  • Sheffield, Rob (2004). “The Beatles”. In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The Rolling Stone Album Information (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  • Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Little Brown and Firm. ISBN 0-316-01331-5.
  • Spizer, Bruce (2007). The Beatles Swan Track: “She Loves You” & Different Information. 498 Productions. ISBN 978-0-9662649-7-5.
  • Wiener, Jon (1991). Come Collectively: John Lennon in His Time. Urbana, IL: College of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-06131-8.
  • Winn, John (2009). That Magic Feeling: The Beatles’ Recorded Legacy, Quantity Two, 1966–1970. Random Home. ISBN 978-0-307-45240-5.
  • Woffinden, Bob (1981). The Beatles Aside. London: Proteus. ISBN 0-906071-89-5.
  • Womack, Kenneth (2008). “The Beatles as Modernists”. In McParland, Robert P. (ed.). Music and Literary Modernism: Essential Essays and Comparative Research. Cambridge Students Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4438-1402-7.
  • Womack, Kenneth, ed. (2009). The Cambridge Companion to The Beatles. Cambridge Companions to Music. Cambridge College Press. ISBN 978-1-139-82806-2.

Additional studying

  • Womack, Kenneth; Davis, Todd (2012). Studying The Beatles: Cultural Research, Literary Criticism, and the Fab 4. ISBN 978-0-7914-8196-7.

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