#1 The Beatles (White Album) by The Beatles

The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time

The Beatles (White Album) by The Beatles
Album Rank
1
Total Points
2086
Year Released
1968
Genre
Rock
Billboard 200 Chart Peak
1
Weeks at #1
9
RIAA Sales Certification
19,000,000 (Multi Platinum)
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White Album Album Details

The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) during the White Album period

Released in 1968, much of the White Album, as it is known to most fans, was written while The Beatles were in India studying Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and recorded during a time of growing tensions between the band members. The very diverse and eclectic mix of songs on the album is a result of the band members beginning to go their separate ways. In his book Beatlesongs John Dowlding describes the White Album as, “essentially Lennon, McCartney and Harrison taking turns recording their own songs and using the others as backing musicians.”

With the exception of a few tracks, most notably "Revolution 9", the White Album has far less production, experimentation and overdubs than what their earlier records such as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band or Revolver.

One result of the growing tensions during recording sessions was that Ringo Starr decided that he had enough and quit the band one day. In his absence Paul McCartney filled in playing drums on some of the recordings. He was coaxed back a few weeks later, returning to find his drum kit covered with flowers. It was also during this time that John Lennon first started to bring Yoko Ono to recording sessions with him.

Other albums by The Beatles on the chart: Meet the Beatles, A Hard Day's Night, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Revolver

Interesting Facts about the White Album

  • The working title for the album was A Doll's House.
  • "Don't Pass Me By" is the first song written by Ringo Starr to appear on a Beatles album.
  • Producer George Martin suddenly left for a vacation during the recording of the album, leaving engineer Chris Thomas in charge of producing.
  • George Harrison brought in Eric Clapton to play lead guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The song ranks at #7 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of Greatest Guitar Songs.
  • Early pressings of the LP and CD had individual serial numbers printed on the album's cover.
  • The song "Sexy Sadie" was originally titled “Maharishi” but John Lennon changed the title at George Harrison’s request. John wrote the song about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi after becoming disillusioned upon hearing the Maharishi had made a sexual advance toward one of the female members attending his course.

White Album Track List

Disc 1

  1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Glass Onion
  4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  5. Wild Honey Pie
  6. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
  7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  8. Happiness is a Warm Gun
  9. Martha My Dear
  10. I'm so tired
  11. Blackbird
  12. Piggies
  13. Rocky Raccoon
  14. Don't Pass Me by
  15. Why don't we do it in the road?
  16. I Will
  17. Julia

Disc 2

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

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