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The Beatles
100000x100000-999 - 2021-11-15T073832.921
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded May–October 1968
Studio EMI Studios and Trident Studios, London
Genre Rock • pop • folk • post-psychedelia
Length 93:18
Label AppleCapitol
Producer George Martin
Album Guide
Magical Mystery Tour
Yellow Submarine

The Beatles (commonly known as The White Album) is the ninth studio album by English rock band The Beatles. It was first released as a double album on 22 November 1968 in the United Kingdom by Apple Records and on 25 November 1968 in the United States by Capitol Records. Its plain white sleeve has no graphics or text other than the band's name embossed on it, which was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band's previous album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). 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 February and March 1968 at a Transcendental Meditation course in Rishikesh, India. The band returned to EMI Studios in May to commence recording sessions that lasted until October. During these sessions, however, 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 at the sessions broke with the Beatles' policy regarding wives and girlfriends. After a series of problems, including producer George Martin taking a sudden leave of absence and engineer Geoff Emerick 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.


The White Album is The Beatles' best selling album at 19-times platinum. It is also the ninth best selling album of all time. During the recording of the album, each band member began to show their differences. All of these differences caused tension, and drummer Ringo Starr even quit the band for a short time (one week to be exact). During this break, Ringo wrote Octopus's Garden. Although every single song on the album is extremely different, they all fit together to form an extremely influential piece of work. The White Album is also considered to be The Beatles' most diverse album, for almost every song is a different genre.

The album cover was the simplest cover possible, but The Beatles wanted it to be something special. They put a stamp with a serial number on every copy made, so every owner of the album would have it a little differently. Ringo Starr owns the first UK-released copy of the album.


All songs written by Lennon/McCartney except where noted.

Disc one, Side one[]

  1. "Back in the U.S.S.R." - 2:42
  2. "Dear Prudence" - 3:55
  3. "Glass Onion" - 2:17
  4. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" - 3:11
  5. "Wild Honey Pie" - 0:52
  6. "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" - 3:14
  7. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (George Harrison) - 4:45
  8. "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" - 2:44

Total Length (23:40)

Disc one, Side two[]

  1. "Martha My Dear" - 2:28
  2. "I'm So Tired" - 2:03
  3. "Blackbird" - 2:18
  4. "Piggies" (George Harrison) - 2:04
  5. "Rocky Raccoon" - 3:32
  6. "Don't Pass Me By" (Richard Starkey) - 3:50
  7. "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" - 1:40
  8. "I Will" - 1:45
  9. "Julia" - 2:54

Total Length (22:33)

Disc two, Side three[]

  1. "Birthday" - 2:41
  2. "Yer Blues" - 4:00
  3. "Mother Nature's Son" - 2:47
  4. "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey" - 2:24
  5. "Sexy Sadie" - 3:16
  6. "Helter Skelter" - 4:28
  7. "Long, Long, Long" (George Harrison) - 3:06

Total Length (22:42)

Disc two, Side four[]

  1. "Revolution 1" - 4:15
  2. "Honey Pie" - 2:39
  3. "Savoy Truffle" (George Harrison) - 2:54
  4. "Cry Baby Cry" - 3:02
  5. "Revolution 9" - 8:22
  6. "Good Night" - 3:11

Total Length (24:23)


  • John Lennon — Lead, harmony and backing vocals. Electric, acoustic and bass guitars. Piano, hammond organ, harmonium, mellotron. Drums, maracas, cymbals, handclaps, harmonica, tenor saxophone, tape loops and sound effects
  • Paul McCartney — Lead, harmony and backing vocals. Bass, electric and acoustic guitars. Piano, electric piano, hammond organ. Drums, tambourine, cowbell, timpani, bell, handclaps, footsteps, tape loops, recorder and flugelhorn
  • George Harrison — Lead, harmony and backing vocals. Electric, acoustic and bass guitars. Drums, handclaps, tape loops and sound effects
  • Ringo Starr — Lead and backing vocals. Drums, tambourine, maracas, cowbell, bongos, congas, sleigh bell, tack piano and handclaps
  • Derek Watkins: Trumpet
  • Nicky Hopkins: Piano, Track Performer
  • Don Lang: Trombone
  • Yoko Ono: Backing Vocals
  • George Martin: Piano, Celesta, Horn, Producer and Orchestration
  • Frederick J. Alexander: Cello
  • Ted Barker: Tuba
  • Leo Birnbaum: Viola
  • Leon Calvert: Trumpet and French Horn
  • Ronald Chamberlain: Saxophone
  • Jim Chester: Saxophone
  • Eric Clapton: Guitar solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
  • Freddy Clayton: Trumpet
  • Mal Evans: Trumpet, Tambourine
  • Jack Fallon: Violin
  • Pattie Harrison: Backing vocals
  • Ron Hughes: Trumpet
  • Reginald Kilbey: Cello
  • Harry Klein: Saxophone
  • Les Maddox: Violin
  • Dennis McConnell: Violin
  • Bernard Miller: Violin
  • Andy Morris: Trombone, Saxophone
  • Henry Myerscough: Viola
  • Raymond Newman: Clarinet
  • Bill Povey: Trombone
  • Alf Reece: Tuba
  • Stanley Reynolds: Trumpet
  • Pete Shotton: Tambourine
  • David Smith: Clarinet
  • Lou Sofier: Violin
  • Maureen Starkey: Backing Vocals
  • Tony Tunstall: French Horn
  • Dennis Walton: Saxophone
  • Chris Thomas: Producer, Harpsichord, Mellotron, Electric Piano, Piano, Organ and Arrangements
  • John Power: Trombone


External links[]