Home Books Music Films TV Beatles Portal Classic Album Reviews



It would be hard to find a more diverse album than this one!

It begins with the fairly conventional, if raucous, 'Back In The USSR'. Then things start to get more offbeat with 'Dear Prudence' and 'Glass Onion', and then onto mainstream pop with the pop classic, 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'.

George Harrison's tender vocals on 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' are sublimely aided by Eric Clapton's mesmerising guitar solo, and is one of George's masterpieces.

'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' continues the rather offbeat, darkly humorous aspect of the album, and then more mainstream pop follows with 'Martha My Dear'. Then we have a bewildering mixture of music from the folksy 'Blackbird' and 'Mother Nature's Song' through the hard rock of 'Helter Skelter' to the meandering maze of apocalyptic sound effects that is 'Revolution 9'. It's only appropriate that Ringo's incongruous, but lovely, lullaby, 'Good Night', should end the album.

There's so much to catch the ear here. 'Birthday' even sounds like Steve Jones has snuck in there as a child prodigy, 'Long, Long, Long' is a strange melancholic track of wistful beauty, and 'Revolution 1' a slow version of the 'Hey Jude' B-side. 'Honey Pie' sounds a disarmingly authentic Vaudeville song, and 'Cry Baby Cry' a scary modern fairytale. 'Rocky Raccoon' is a bar room song, sung by Paul McCartney, straight out of a cowboy movie, and McCartney's vocals are extended like never before, or since, on this LP. 'Sexy Sadie' is a sly dig at the Maharishi, and 'Julia' is John Lennon's haunting, and crushingly moving, lament to his tragic mother. 'Why Don't We Do It In The Road?' works somehow, despite lyrical repetition. Overall, the lyrical content is bolder than anything The Beatles had produced on previous albums. George Harrison supplies some wacky humour via 'Savoy Truffle', and the infamous 'Piggies'. Though only the truly twisted could see this as a call to arms to kill society's elite.

It seems amazing today that the top group around would release a double album, and not issue a single from it, but that was the case with this album.

Whilst there were a lot of 'out there' tracks, it's a fairly 50/50 split with more commercial material. This is an album that, in turns, beguiles, entertains, moves, and even, through some of its remarkably strange sounds, and Lennon's often graphic and acerbic vocals, disturbs.

- Paul Rance/

Buy this album at Amazon!

White Album CD The Beatles
Product image for ASIN: B000002UAX The Beatles Classic Albums - Reviews

The Beatles - Abbey Road
The Beatles - Revolver
The Beatles - Rubber Soul
The Beatles - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
The Beatles - The Beatles/The White Album

Blur - Parklife

David Bowie - Aladdin Sane
David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
David Bowie - Hunky Dory
David Bowie - Outside
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love

Coldplay - A Rush Of Blood To The Head
The Doors - The Doors
Green Day - American Idiot
Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV
Maroon5 - Songs About Jane
The Moody Blues - Days Of Future Passed
Morrissey - You Are The Quarry
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells

PIL/Public Image Ltd. - Flowers Of Romance
Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
Pink Floyd - The Wall
Queen - A Night At The Opera

Stereophonics - Performance And Cocktails
10cc - How Dare You
Travis - The Man Who
The Verve - Urban Hymns 1960s Music Index

Paul McCartney
Yellow Submarine
Paul McCartney Live 8 Review
Beatles Stats
Did The Beatles play your town?


'Dear Prudence' was written in India, to pacify Mia Farrow's sister Prudence, who was not enjoying her trip in India.
Pop artist Richard Hamilton designed 'The White Album' sleeve, and John Kelley took the portrait photos given away with the album.
The stunning guitar work on 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' was supplied by George's friend, and then Cream guitarist, Eric Clapton.
'Julia' was written by John for his mother.
'Hey Jude' was originally intended to have been on 'The White Album'.
Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison sang backing vocals on 'Birthday'.
'The White Album' was originally going to be called 'A Doll's House', which, when thinking about the diversity of the album, makes some kind of sense.
Charles Manson used 'The White Album' to justify his reign of madness.
'What's The New Mary Jane' and 'Not Guilty' were two tracks with intriguing titles which didn't make the final cut re 'The White Album'.
'Don't Pass Me By' was the first Ringo solo composition to be included on a Beatles album.
'Sexy Sadie' was an embittered attack on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

- Paul Rance.

Product image for ASIN: B000BKSU1K
The Beatles "White Album" T-shirt

'The White Album' Track Listing
(All Lennon-McCartney compositions unless otherwise stated)

Side One
Back In The U.S.S.R.
Dear Prudence
Glass Onion
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Wild Honey Pie
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Harrison)
Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Side Two
Martha My Dear
I'm So Tired
Piggies (Harrison)
Rocky Raccoon
Don't Pass Me By (Starkey)
Why Don't We Do It In The Road?
I Will

Side Three
Yer Blues
Mother Nature's Son
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
Sexy Sadie
Helter Skelter
Long, Long, Long (Harrison)

Side Four
Revolution 1
Honey Pie
Savoy Truffle (Harrison)
Cry Baby Cry
Revolution 9
Good Night

This website is designed by