The White Album is one of the most important albums in music history. Let’s celebrate the day the Fab Four started with this fantastic record!
On this same day in 1968, The Beatles started recording the tracks for The White Album at Abbey Road Studios. It is the ninth official British album and the fifteenth American album of The Beatles, and a quintessential part of every die-hard fan’s collection.
The official title of the double-LP release was actually simply ‘The Beatles, ’ but because of its blatantly minimalist album cover containing only the embossed name of the band on a white sleeve and a serial number for the early releases, it later became known as The White Album.
The first song recorded was ‘Revolution. ’ The White album contains 30 other tracks including well-loved hits such as ‘Blackbird,’ ‘I Will,’ ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,‘ as well as a surprise, unlisted track, ‘Can You Take Me Back.’
Pop artist Richard Hamilton created the design for the album sleeve. It is the only Beatles studio album that does not show images of the band’s members on the front cover. The inner sleeve however is on the more conventional side of things, with song titles on the left and black and white solo portraits of John, Paul, George and Ringo on the right, taken by photographer John Kelly.
And there’s more! The album also included a poster that showcases a dozen or so snapshots and contact sheets of the Fab Four, and four individual photographs, which are actually colored versions of the black and white images on the album sleeve.
The Beatles finished recording The White Album in October 1968, and it was released in November of the same year. It garnered mixed reviews from critics, but still reached number one in UK and US charts. The White Album is The Beatles best-selling album, and even ranked number 10 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003.