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The White Album (2009)


The Beatles

The Beatles

Apple Records

0946 3 82466 2 6


Disc One:


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 Two:


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


The Beatles Mini-documentary


EMI Records

(The Gramaphone Co. Ltd) Hayes, Middlesex, England


“Beatles”  is a trademark of Apple Corps, Ltd

“Apple” and the Apple logo are exclusively licensed to Apple Corps Ltd.




The group's ninth album in the UK was called simply The Beatles but quickly became better known as 'The White Album'. The double-LP was issued on the fifth anniversary of the release of their second album With The Beatles – 22nd November, 1968.


The Beatles released 34 new tracks in 1968 - returning to the high level of productivity they had maintained from 1963 to 1965. The first music of the year came in March with the arrival of their seventeenth single 'Lady Madonna'. Soon after it was recorded, the Beatles flew to Rishikesh, India for several weeks of meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and they enjoyed a prolific period of song writing at this remote location. They began recording these new songs at Abbey Road on 30th May and studio work occupied most of their time until the final session on 16 October. Two songs from this period were released as a single on 30th August, 1968 – 'Hey Jude' and 'Revolution'. It was the first Beatles record to be pressed with the Apple label and the Parlophone imprint was also replaced for the two LP discs comprising The Beatles.


Any expectations of a cover to rival the vivid artwork of Sgt. Pepper or Magical Mystery Tour were immediately overturned. The outside of the sleeve was completely white with the only lettering consisting of  'The Beatles' embossed on the front and also printed on the spine with the catalogue number. Early copies also had an individual number stamped on the front. However, in contrast to this minimalist look, some generous inserts were slipped alongside the records. There were four glossy colour photographs of the individual Beatles and a large fold-out poster displaying a photo collage on one side and lyrics on the other.


Despite being an expensive double album, The Beatles was a huge seller. It entered the UK chart at number one and remained there for a total of eight of the 22 weeks it was listed. In the USA, it topped the chart for nine weeks and stayed in the album chart for an initial run of 65 weeks. As with Sgt. Pepper, no singles were released from 'The White Album' in the UK and USA during the sixties.


Amid the sessions for The Beatles, the animated film Yellow Submarine was given its UK premiere on 17th July. The soundtrack LP featured four new Beatles songs and was in the shops eight weeks after the release of The Beatles ...




Production by George Martin

Orchestrations by George Martin

Additional production: Chris Thomas

Principal Engineers: Ken Scott & Geoff Emerick


To complete the many songs needed for their double-LP, The Beatles recorded regularly during twenty weeks from 30th May to 16th October, 1968. The final studio date was a 24-hour marathon session to create the running order for the four sides of the album and the edits and cross-fades between the songs. The sessions mark an important turning point in their recording career because it was during this period that The Beatles first recorded on an eight-track tape machine.


Since 1964, the group had used four track for all their albums but by 1966, they found their musical arrangements usually required more tracks than were available. The solution was to create extra ones by copying the first four tracks to a second blank tape and simultaneously mixing some of them together to leave free as many tracks as were needed for additional overdubs. 'Bouncing down' was a time consuming process because the tracks that were being mixed together would form part of the final sound balance of the completed song so it was important to be satisfied with the mix before overdubbing commenced. With eight tracks now available, this problem was eliminated – until even more were needed!


Work began on the album using four tracks and, while some songs could be confined to these, most had to be 'bounced down' to a second, third or even – as with 'Revolution l' and 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da' – a fourth tape. The Beatles' first experience of using an eight-track machine came at Trident Studios on 31st July, 1968 when they recorded 'Hey Jude'. The first eight track recording at Abbey Road was during a session on 3rd September for 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. As it had been started on a four-track, the master take was transferred to an eight-track machine to allow further overdubbing.


However, 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' was re-recorded on eight-track from scratch two days later and completed on 6th September with several overdubs – including a guitar solo by Eric Clapton. George's decision to ask a friend to play on his song was a significant one. Although The Beatles had previously used other musicians on their sessions, they had been from other areas of music such as classical, jazz or Indian music. For the first time, here was a star musician performing on an instrument already featured in the group.


The album's long sessions would often begin in the afternoon and continue until daybreak the next morning. There were also occasions when two songs were recorded at the same time in separate studios. In July, engineer Geoff Emerick left the sessions and did not work with the group again until nearly a year later for Abbey Road. Ken Scott, who had first sat at the mixing desk for some of the Magical Mystery Tour songs, recorded and mixed two thirds of 'The White Album'. For one week, George Martin relinquished his seat in the control room so that he could take a holiday and, consequently, his 21-year old production assistant Chris Thomas supervised sessions.


This remastered album has been created from the original stereo analogue master tapes.


Remastered by Guy Massey and Steve Rooke

Project Co-ordinator: Allan Rouse

Thanks to Simon Gibson

Historical Notes: Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley

Recording Notes: Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett

Project management for EMI Records Ltd: Wendy Day and Guy Hayden


All songs published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, except Disc One tracks 7 & 12, Harrisongs Ltd. 14, Universal Music Publishing, MGB Ltd. Disc Two tracks 7 & 10, Harrisongs Ltd.


Digital Remaster ®2009 The copyright in this sound recording is owned by EMI Records Ltd. © 2009 EMI Records Ltd. This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved.


Artwork © 2009 Apple Corps Ltd.

All photographs © Apple Corps Ltd.


Album Redesign: Drew Lorimer

Photo Retouching: Gavin O'Neill

Photo editing and research: Aaron Bremner and Dorcas Lynn.

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