The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album)

The Beatles
 
The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - Double Album
The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - Double Album

The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - LP cover
The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - Number
The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - NOT the actual cover,
But rather, two parts of the cover edited to show
the embossed title, and the numbering in detail.

The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - The Poster
The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - The Poster

Label Apple
  
Catalogue No.'s PMC 7067/8 (Mono)
PCS 7067/8 (Stereo)
CDP 7 46443 8
CDP 4 96895 2 (Special Edition)
  
Matrix No.'s
 Side 1 Side 2 Side 3 Side 4
Mono :XEX 709-1 XEX 710-1 XEX 711-1 XEX 712-1
Stereo:YEX 709-1 YEX 710-1 XEX 711-1 XEX 712-1
1982 Mono :XEX 709-2 XEX 710-2 XEX 711-4 XEX 712-2
  
Release dates 22nd November 1968
16 January 1979 (White Vinyl)
24th August 1987 (CD)
23rd November 1998 (CD Special Edition)
  
Total time 93:09
  
U.K. Album Chart Detail :
Entry Date :7th December 1968
Highest Position :1 ... for 7 weeks from 7th December 1968
          + 1 week from 1st February 1969
Weeks in Chart :
+
+
22
  2 from 5th September 1987 (CD release ... reached number 18 !)
  3 from 13th September 2009 (reached no.21)
==
27 weeks in total
==
  
Detail : The Beatles tenth official album release, their FIRST double, and their FIRST on Apple.
The proper name of the album is simply, "The Beatles", but almost immediately it became known affectionately as "The White Album" due to it's packaging.
What is true, is that this was the first release by The Beatles which contains purely solo material. In fact, some tracks are even recorded that way, for example, "Julia" was a solo Lennon recording - his first ever.

Once again The Beatles had over a quarter of a million advance orders, and of course went straight to number 1. This was the first double album EVER to get to the top slot where it stayed for 7 weeks in a row. It sold so many, that once again The Beatles also made the singles chart, consequently the ONLY double album to ever enter that chart. By the end of the year, just over a month later, the white album had sold over 4,000,000 copies worldwide, and by the end of 1970 global sales were around 6.5 million. At that time this was the biggest selling double album of all time, but just a few years later was topped by "Saturday Night Fever".

The sleeve design was by Richard Hamilton, who suggested the minimalistic approach and the consecutively numbered sleeves which would give a limited edition feel to it. Richard also came up with the montage idea for the large free poster, which included the lyrics on it's rear. The four free colour prints were taken by John Kelly.
Original copies also have a top opening sleeve, and black paper inner sleeves.

Also recorded during the sessions for "The Beatles,
"Revolution" (The single version) 10-15th July 1968 in 16 takes.
"Hey Jude" 29th July-1st August 1968 in 29 takes
"Not Guilty" 7th-9th August 1968 in 102 takes
"What's The New Mary Jane" 14th August 1968 in 4 takes.

The album was also part of "The Beatles Collection" 13 album box set (see Beatles Collection).

On 24th August 1987 this album had it's first release on C.D. which was published in stereo, with a catalogue number of CDP 7 46443 8
And on the same day, the record shop H.M.V. produced a special 12" numbered CD Box Set Comprising:
The C.D. of "The Beatles"
+ A badge
+ A booklet of b/w photos
+ Extended notes about the L.P.
+ The usual colour Beatle shots
This set had a catalogue number of BEA CD 25/4, and was in a limited edition of 7,000 copies.

The C.D. was also part of "The Beatles Box" 15 C.D. box set (see Beatles C.D. Box).

The C.D. was re-released in a special edition on 23rd November 1998 on catalogue number CDP 4 96895 2.

09/09/09 (Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine) - the album was re-released as part of the Beatles In Stereo Remasters collection.
13th September 2009 it re-entered the chart again at number 21 in the fifth highest position of SEVENTEEN chart positions The Beatles captured in one amazing week.
         (see the box set detail for the chart position of all 17 titles together)
20th September 2009 - dropped eleven places down to number 32.
27th September 2009 - dropped twenty-nine places down to number 61.
4th October 2009 - dropped twenty-two places down to number 83 - which is outside the official chart and doesn't count for longevity purposes.
11th October 2009 - No longer listed in the Top 100.

Tape Media
The album was also available on 5" reel-to-reel tape,
1968 - Catalogue number DTA-PMC 7067/8 (3¾ ips twin-track mono tape)
                                        DTD-PCS 7067/8 (3¾ ips 4-track stereo) these editions in a "jewel" box.

Prior to 1973:
The album was released on stereo twin-cassette tapes (1⅞ ips) - Catalogue number - TC2-PCS 4501
The album was also released on twin 8-track stereo continuous play cartridges (3¾ ips) - catalogue no. 8X2-PCS 8501

In November 1988 the double album was re-released on twin cassette tape (stereo only) - Catalogue number - TC2-PCS 4501.


Side 1

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Back In The U.S.S.R. Lennon-McCartney Recorded 22nd August 1968 - 5 takes
Overdubs 23rd August 1968 onto take 5, creating take 6
Final mix - take 6.
Recorded by a three-piece band as Ringo had walked out.
Paul played the drum part.
2:45
Dear Prudence Lennon-McCartney Recorded 28th August 1968 in 1 take ... with overdubs on the next two days.
Final mix - take 1.
3:54
Glass Onion Lennon-McCartney Recorded 11th September 1968 - 34 takes
Overdubs 12/13/16th September 1968 onto take 33
Final overdubs 10th October 1968 onto take 33
Final mix - take 33.
2:18
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da Lennon-McCartney Recorded 3rd July 1968 - 7 takes
Vocal overdubs 4th July 1968 onto take 4 creating "new" take 5
Overdubs 5th July 1968 onto take 5
Re-make 8th July 1968 - 13 takes (1-13)
Re-Re-make 9th July 1968 - 2 takes (20-21)
Then take 13 returned to, and overdubbed to become take 22 !
Overdubs 11th July 1968 onto take 22 creating takes 23 & 24
New lead vocal 15th July 1968 onto take 23
Final mix - take 23.
3:07
Wild Honey Pie Lennon-McCartney Recorded 20th August 1968 - 1 take
Final mix - take 1.
0:52
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill Lennon-McCartney Recorded 8th October 1968 - 3 takes
Final mix - take 3.
3:13
While My Guitar Gently Weeps Harrison Recorded 25th July 1968 - 1 take (Demo acoustic version)
Recorded 16th August 1968 - 15 takes (1-15)
Overdubs 3rd September 1968 creating take 16 ... this version scrapped
New version recorded 5th September 1968 - 28 takes (17-44)
Eric Clapton's overdub 6th September 1968 onto take 25
Final mix - take 25.
4:44
Happiness Is A Warm Gun Lennon-McCartney Recorded 23rd September 1968 - 45 takes (backing tracks only)
Recording 24th September 1968 - 25 takes (46-70) (still backing tracks only !)
Vocal overdubs 25th September 1968 onto takes 53 & 65 combined (known as "take 65")
Final mix - take 65.
2:42

Side 2

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Martha My Dear Lennon-McCartney Recorded 4th October 1968 - 1 take
Overdubs 5th October 1968 onto take 1
Final mix - take 1.
2:29
I'm So Tired Lennon-McCartney Recorded 8th October 1968 - 14 takes
Final mix - take 14.
2:03
Blackbird Lennon-McCartney Recorded 11th June 1968 in 32 takes
Final mix - take 32.
2:18
Piggies Harrison Recorded 19th September 1968 - 11 takes (backing track only)
Vocal overdubs 20th September 1968 creating take 12
Final overdubs 10th October 1968 onto take 12
Final mix - take 12.
2:04
Rocky Raccoon Lennon-McCartney Recorded 15th August 1968 in 10 takes
Final mix - take 10.
3:33
Don't Pass Me By Starkey Recorded 5th June 1968 - 6 takes
Overdubs 6th June 1968 onto take 5 creating take 7
Overdubs 12th July 1968 onto take 7
Starting edit piece recorded 22nd July 1968
Final mix - take 7 + start edit piece
3:50
Why Don't We Do It In The Road Lennon-McCartney Recorded 9th October 1968 - 5 takes
Overdubs 10th October 1968 onto take 5 creating take 6
Final mix - take 6.
1:40
I Will Lennon-McCartney Recorded 16th September 1968 - 67 takes
Take 19 - included "Can You Take Me Back Where I Came From"
Take 35 - included "Step Inside Love", "Los Paranoious", and "The Way You Look Tonight"
Take 65 was overdubbed to take 68
Overdubbed 17th September 1968 onto take 68
Final mix - take 68.
1:44
Julia Lennon-McCartney Recorded 13th October 1968 - 3 takes
Final mix - take 3.
2:53

Side 3

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Birthday Lennon-McCartney Recorded 18th September 1968 - 22 takes
Final mix - take 22.
2:42
Yer Blues Lennon-McCartney Recorded 13th August 1968 - 17 takes
Overdubs 14th August onto takes 16/17
Final mix - takes 16/17.
4:00
Mother Nature's Son Lennon-McCartney Recorded 9th August 1968 - 25 takes
Overdubs 20th August 1968 onto take 24 creating take 26
Final mix - take 26.
2:47
Everybody's Got Something To Hide
Except For Me And My Monkey
Lennon-McCartney Recorded 27th June 1968 - 8 takes
Overdubs 1st July 1968 onto take 8 creating takes 9 & 10
Overdubs onto take 10 creating takes 11 & 12
Final mix - take 12.
2:24
Sexy Sadie Lennon-McCartney Recorded 19th July 1968 - 21 takes
Remade 24th July 1968 - 23 takes (25-47)
Re-remade 13th August 1968 12 takes (numbered 100-111 !)
Overdubs 21st August 1968 onto take 107, creating takes 112-117
Final mix - take 117.
3:15
Helter Skelter Lennon-McCartney Recorded 18th July 1968 - 3 takes
Re-make 9th September 1968 - 18 takes (4-21)
Overdubs 10th September 1968 onto take 21
Final mix - take 21
4:29
Long, Long, Long Harrison Recorded 7th October 1968 - 67 takes
Overdubs 8th October 1968 onto take 67
Overdubs 9th October 1968 onto take 67
Final mix - take 67.
3:03

Side 4

Track Composer Recording Information Time
Revolution I Lennon-McCartney The FIRST track recorded for the album.
Recorded 30th May 1968 - 16 takes (numbered 1-10, & 13-18)
Overdubs 31st May 1968 onto take 18 creating take 19
Overdubs 4th June 1968 onto take 19 creating take 20
Overdubs 21st June 1968 from take 20 creating takes 21 & 22
Final mix - take 22.
4:14
Honey Pie Lennon-McCartney Recorded 1st October 1968 - 1 take
Overdubs 2nd October 1968 onto take 1
Overdubs 4th October 1968 onto take 1
Final mix - take 1.
2:41
Savoy Truffle Harrison Recorded 3rd October 1968 - 1 take
Vocal overdub 5th October 1968 onto take 1
Overdubs 11th October 1968 onto take 1
Final mix - take 1.
2:54
Cry Baby Cry   Lennon-McCartney Recorded 16th July 1968 - 12 takes
Overdubs 18th July 1968 onto take 12
Final mix - take 12.
2:34
Revolution 9 Lennon-McCartney Bits extracted from Take 18 of "Revolution I"
6th June 1968 - more creative add-ins
10th June 1968 - more creative add-ins
11th June 1968 - more creative add-ins
20th June 1968 - final creative add-ins
25th June 1968 - Completed.

The timing of 8:47, reflects 27 seconds of "Can You Take Me Back", plus 8:20

8:47
Good Night Lennon-McCartney Recorded 28th June 1968 - 5 takes
Recorded 2nd July 1968 10 takes (6-15)
Remade 22nd July 1968 in 12 takes (23-34)
Final mix - take 34.
3:10

Mono/Stereo Differences

This release is probably the most essential to have in both mono and stereo, as almost every track has some difference. But the following thirteen tracks have the most marked variations.
"Back In The U.S.S.R." The airplane overdubs occur in different places on the mono and stereo versions.
"Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" The stereo version has hand-clapping during the intro, the mono version does not.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" The stereo version has some vocal sounds from George at the end, the mono version does not.
"Blackbird" The bird sound effects are quite different between the stereo and the mono release.
"Piggies" The pig sound effects are quite different between the stereo and the mono release.
"Don't Pass Me By" The mono version is much faster than the stereo, and therefore is shorter.
The violin sounds at the end are markedly different.
"Why Don't We Do It In The Road" The stereo version has hand-clapping during the intro, the mono version does not.
"I Will" The stereo version has more prominent bongos.
"Birthday" The stereo version has extra vocals at the end of the second chorus.
"Sexy Sadie" The stereo version has two taps on the tambourine during the intro, the mono version only has one.
"Helter Skelter" The stereo version has a fade-out/fade-in dummy ending with Ringo's shout of "I've got blisters on my fingers", the mono version does not ! ... this makes the stereo version almost a minute longer.
"Long, Long, Long" The stereo version is fine, but on the mono, George's double-tracked vocal is embarrassingly out of synch.
"Honey Pie" The stereo version has a shorter guitar solo than the mono version.

Released Versions

First pressings (1968) - Mono AND Stereo versions
The standard Apple label.
The label DOES have "Sold in the U.K..." statement.
My stereo copy has "An E.M.I. recording" printed on the left above the 33 1/3 text, my mono copy does not. I can't say whether that's fixed on all variants though.
The sleeves are gatefold and are top opening, the front of which has an embossed "The Beatles", and a unique stamped serial number. Obviously the lower the stamped number the greater the value, so 0050,000 would be about 100, whereas 0000010 could be worth 5,000.
(My numbers, bought on the day of release in the county of Essex in England, are : Mono - 0609258, Stereo - 0387593)
The inner sleeves are black, and the album contains a free poster and four colour prints.
Second Pressings (1973) - Stereo version ONLY
As above, except, the sleeves are un-numbered, the gatefold openings are at the two opposite ends of the sleeves and the inner sleeves are white.
BUT, such are the vagaries of the printing plants, there are also numbered versions around of the end-opening sleeves.
Third Pressings (1982) - Mono version ONLY
Once again, the sleeves are un-numbered, the gatefold openings are at the two opposite ends of the sleeves and the inner sleeves are white, the Apple is light green and the vinyl is lightweight.
The MONO version of the White Album was deleted 31st January 1986.

Fourth Pressings (1995) - Stereo version ONLY

Standard Apple label.
Gatefold sleeve, poster and four prints.
The gatefold sleeve has a printed statement which reads:
"This album has been Direct Metal Mastered From a Digitally Re-mastered Original Tape to give the best possible sound quality"
This release is (surprisingly) on a lightweight vinyl.

Export Only Issue
There is also a "The Beatles" two vinyl set that was issued for Export only in 1968.
This had the catalogue number P-PCS 7067/8 and is very rare.
Instead of being on Apple, it is on the black and yellow Parlophone label with "The Gramophone Co Ltd" on the rim.
The set came with the same four photographs and poster as the standard release.
The machine stamped matrix on side 1 is YEX 709-1   Side 2: YEX 710-1   Side 3: YEX 711-1   Side 4: YEX 712-2.
Here is an example Export Issue label:
The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - Export Issue Label

MFSL Pressing
There is also a Japanese MFSL pressing which is quite sought after.
Here is an example label:
The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) - MFSL Pressing Label


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