The Beatles (White Album / Super Deluxe)

The BeatlesNovember 22, 1968
Pop℗ This Compilation ℗ 2018 Calderstone Productions Limited (a Division of Universal Music Group) / Apple Corps Limited
125
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After the longest wait yet for the ‘official’ next album, there was widespread and heightened anticipation of what The Beatles would do to follow Sgt. Pepper. Issued on 22 November 1968, the stark white cover of their ninth UK album signalled they had, once again, overturned all expectations. Called simply The Beatles, but forever to be known as ‘The White Album’, the double-LP may be the most eclectic album ever released. The Beatles seemed determined to write and play in every style imaginable.

The origins of the music are rooted in The Beatles’ visit to Rishikesh, India where they studied transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Their trip in March 1968 was a communal experience that reinforced the group’s unity. It certainly inspired a prolific phase of songwriting. In May, before sessions began at EMI Studios, The Beatles taped acoustic demo versions of 27 songs at George Harrison’s house. They began recording these new compositions at Abbey Road on 30 May and studio work occupied most of their time until the final date on 16 October 1968. ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Revolution’ were the first songs to be heard from the sessions when they were released as a stand-alone single on 30 August 1968. It is doubtful whether any other artist would have even considered leaving off their album such a monumental hit single.

The juxtaposition of loud and soft is one of the reasons ‘The White Album’ is so surprising. The raucous rocker ‘Helter Skelter’ precedes the delicate ‘Long Long Long’. The pastoral calm of ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ is placed between the fiery ‘Yer Blues’ and the wildness of ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey’. As usual, there are many humorous touches - as heard in ‘The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill’, ‘Rocky Raccoon’, ‘Piggies’ and ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’. In 1968, The Beatles changed their approach to recording. As Ringo remembered: ‘On “The White Album” we ended up being a band again and that’s what I always love.’ Conversely, more than ever before, it was not considered necessary for all of The Beatles to play on every song. Only sixteen out of 30 tracks featured the participation of all four. Uncredited, Eric Clapton played lead guitar on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’.

It was clear to everyone in 1968 that The Beatles had recorded an album that was in sharp contrast to its predecessor. As George Harrison explained: ‘We always tried to make things different. There was no chance of a new record ever being like the previous one.’ The group’s remarkable achievement in creating ‘The White Album’ is that, despite such dazzling diversity within the collection, each track is stamped with the unmistakable sound of The Beatles.

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Disc 1

Songs
Popularity
1
Back In The U.S.S.R. (2018 Mix)2:43
2
Dear Prudence (2018 Mix)3:55
3
Glass Onion (2018 Mix)2:17
4
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (2018 Mix)3:08
5
Wild Honey Pie (2018 Mix)0:53
6
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (2018 Mix)3:14
7
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2018 Mix)4:45
8
Happiness Is A Warm Gun (2018 Mix)2:44
9
Martha My Dear (2018 Mix)2:28
10
I'm So Tired (2018 Mix)2:03
11
Blackbird (2018 Mix)2:18
12
Piggies (2018 Mix)2:04
13
Rocky Raccoon (2018 Mix)3:33
14
Don't Pass Me By (2018 Mix)3:50
15
Why Don't We Do It In The Road? (2018 Mix)1:41
16
I Will (2018 Mix)1:45
17
Julia (2018 Mix)2:56

Disc 2

Songs
Popularity
1
Birthday (2018 Mix)2:42
2
Yer Blues (2018 Mix)4:01
3
Mother Nature's Son (2018 Mix)2:47
4
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (2018 Mix)2:24
5
Sexy Sadie (2018 Mix)3:15
6
Helter Skelter (2018 Mix)4:29
7
Long, Long, Long (2018 Mix)3:06
8
Revolution 1 (2018 Mix)4:15
9
Honey Pie (2018 Mix)2:41
10
Savoy Truffle (2018 Mix)2:54
11
Cry Baby Cry (2018 Mix)3:01
12
Revolution 9 (2018 Mix)8:20
13
Good Night (2018 Mix)3:15

Disc 3

Songs
Popularity
1
Back In The U.S.S.R. (Esher Demo)2:59
2
Dear Prudence (Esher Demo)4:47
3
Glass Onion (Esher Demo)1:55
4
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Esher Demo)3:10
5
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (Esher Demo)2:40
6
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Esher Demo)2:41
7
Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Esher Demo)1:55
8
I'm So Tired (Esher Demo)3:10
9
Blackbird (Esher Demo)2:34
10
Piggies (Esher Demo)2:05
11
Rocky Raccoon (Esher Demo)2:44
12
Julia (Esher Demo)3:56
13
Yer Blues (Esher Demo)3:31
14
Mother Nature's Son (Esher Demo)2:24
15
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (Esher Demo)3:03
16
Sexy Sadie (Esher Demo)2:26
17
Revolution (Esher Demo)4:06
18
Honey Pie (Esher Demo)1:59
19
Cry Baby Cry (Esher Demo)2:27
20
Sour Milk Sea (Esher Demo)3:43
21
Junk (Esher Demo)2:36
22
Child Of Nature (Esher Demo)2:37
23
Circles (Esher Demo)2:16
24
Mean Mr Mustard (Esher Demo)2:05
25
Polythene Pam (Esher Demo)1:26
26
Not Guilty (Esher Demo)3:05
27
What’s The New Mary Jane (Esher Demo)2:43

Disc 4

Songs
Popularity
1
Revolution 1 (Take 18)10:28
2
A Beginning (Take 4) / Don’t Pass Me By (Take 7)5:06
3
Blackbird (Take 28)2:16
4
Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (Unnumbered Rehearsal)2:43
5
Good Night (Unnumbered Rehearsal)0:39
6
Good Night (Take 10 With A Guitar Part From Take 5)2:31
7
Good Night (Take 22)3:46
8
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Take 3)2:54
9
Revolution (Unnumbered Rehearsal)2:16
10
Revolution (Take 14 / Instrumental Backing Track)3:25
11
Cry Baby Cry (Unnumbered Rehearsal)3:02
12
Helter Skelter (First Version / Take 2)12:53

Disc 5

Songs
Popularity
1
Sexy Sadie (Take 3)3:08
2
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Acoustic Version / Take 2)3:02
3
Hey Jude (Take 1)6:44
4
St Louis Blues (Studio Jam)0:51
5
Not Guilty (Take 102)4:28
6
Mother Nature's Son (Take 15)3:11
7
Yer Blues (Take 5 With Guide Vocal)3:57
8
What’s The New Mary Jane (Take 1)2:06
9
Rocky Raccoon (Take 8)4:57
10
Back In The U.S.S.R. (Take 5 / Instrumental Backing Track)3:09
11
Dear Prudence (Vocal, Guitar & Drums)3:59
12
Let It Be (Unnumbered Rehearsal)1:18
13
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Third Version / Take 27)3:17
14
(You're So Square) Baby I Don’t Care (Studio Jam)0:42
15
Helter Skelter (Second Version / Take 17)3:39
16
Glass Onion (Take 10)2:12

Disc 6

Songs
Popularity
1
I Will (Take 13)2:20
2
Blue Moon (Studio Jam)1:11
3
I Will (Take 29)0:26
4
Step Inside Love (Studio Jam)1:34
5
Los Paranoias (Studio Jam)3:58
6
Can You Take Me Back? (Take 1)2:22
7
Birthday (Take 2 / Instrumental Backing Track)2:40
8
Piggies (Take 12 / Instrumental Backing Track)2:10
9
Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Take 19)3:09
10
Honey Pie (Instrumental Backing Track)2:43
11
Savoy Truffle (Instrumental Backing Track)2:57
12
Martha My Dear (Without Brass And Strings)2:29
13
Long, Long, Long (Take 44)2:54
14
I'm So Tired (Take 7)2:29
15
I'm So Tired (Take 14)2:17
16
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill (Take 2)3:12
17
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? (Take 5)2:03
18
Julia (Two Rehearsals)4:31
19
The Inner Light (Take 6 / Instrumental Backing Track)2:47
20
Lady Madonna (Take 2 / Piano & Drums)2:25
21
Lady Madonna (Backing Vocals From Take 3)0:54
22
Across The Universe (Take 6)3:53
4.9
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Additional Information

Genres
Total length
5:27:19
Tracks
107
Released
November 22, 1968
Label
℗ This Compilation ℗ 2018 Calderstone Productions Limited (a Division of Universal Music Group) / Apple Corps Limited
File type
MP3
Access type
Streaming and by permanent download to your computer and/or device
Internet connection
Required for streaming and downloading
Playback information
Via Google Play Music app on Android v4+, iOS v7+, or by exporting MP3 files to your computer and playing on any MP3 compatible music player
The original concept for Let It Be had been particularly ambitious: to write and rehearse a fresh batch of songs for a live television broadcast - in less than a month. Rehearsals began at Twickenham Film Studios on 2 January 1969, with a film crew capturing every moment while the group worked. The sometimes stressful circumstances led to George Harrison quitting The Beatles on 10 January 1969. He agreed to return on two conditions. First, rehearsals must be switched from the cold environment at Twickenham to the cosier surroundings of the basement studio in the Beatles’ Apple office building at 3, Savile Row in London. Second, the group would not perform in a live television concert.

While at Apple, the group stuck to the initial ‘back to basics’ idea of recording ’as live’ - without the studio effects and elaborate overdubbing of instruments and vocals that had distinguished their recent albums. The plan now was to be filmed making a record as simply as when they had first visited Abbey Road. With their old friend Billy Preston joining them on keyboards, half of the tracks on Let It Be were recorded in two days. On 30 January, to give the movie a dramatic final sequence, The Beatles braved the winter weather for an unannounced lunchtime concert on the roof of their Apple building. The open air versions of ‘Dig A Pony’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ and ‘One After 909’ are heard on the album. The following day, the cameras rolled for what was called the ‘Apple Studio Performance’. Three songs unsuitable for the rooftop concert were recorded: ‘Let It Be’, ‘The Long And Winding Road’ and ‘Two Of Us’. A studio version of ‘Get Back’ taped a few days earlier was released as a single in April 1969 and reached number one. Apart from its B-side ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, everything else from January remained under wraps until 1970.

When the documentary film was near completion, Phil Spector was allowed to ‘reproduce’ the recordings for a soundtrack album. Disregarding the rule of no overdubs, he added lavish orchestral arrangements to three songs, including a recording from February 1968 of ‘Across The Universe’. Spector’s freedom to edit, compile and rearrange the material on the album - without ever consulting Paul McCartney - was indicative of how much the group’s unity had shattered by now. When Let It Be was finally released in May 1970, The Beatles had effectively disbanded. The dream was over.
In September 1969, The Beatles delivered the last album they recorded together. Measured in terms of its enormous popularity and boundless musical ingenuity, Abbey Road challenges the status of Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band as their greatest achievement.

A key element of Abbey Road is the quality of the harmony singing. There are comic backing vocals in the cautionary tale of ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ and delicate choral work in ‘Sun King’. The most impressive example is heard on ‘Because’. The vocal blend of John, Paul and George was recorded three times to create a choir of nine voices. However, the album’s opener demonstrates how The Beatles’ great talent for arranging their songs did not necessarily lead to something elaborate. Adopting the principle of ‘less is more’, the combination of space with a tight performance creates the funky feel of ‘Come Together’. John’s singing provides a rock master class in controlled tension, energy and commitment. He gives another one with ‘I Want You (She’s so heavy)’, which brought the first side of the album to an astounding climax. Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash described it as a ‘huge influence as far as where I come from as a musician. The guitar melody on that is so perfect.’ Paul’s impressive rock vocal gymnastics are heard in ‘Oh! Darling’.

George’s compositions on Abbey Road showed his writing at a creative peak. ‘Something’ became one of the most covered songs in The Beatles' catalogue. His uplifting ‘Here Comes The Sun’ featured the newly invented Moog synthesizer - one of the first times it was heard on a pop LP. Ringo’s ‘Octopus’s Garden’ was a sparkling surprise amongst the variety of styles on side one. However, the character of Abbey Road is dominated by what was referred to as ‘The Long One’ on side two of the original LP. Starting with ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’, a medley of eight titles flowed together until ‘The End’ - its concluding couplet gained more significance once it was clear that the LP contained The Beatles’ last recordings.

Since its release, Abbey Road has continued to grow in stature. The sheen of George Martin’s production and the group’s immaculate performances make it tempting to think they pulled out all the stops for their last musical statement. But that is just speculation. They might have continued to record, but The Beatles stopped at the end of the decade they had helped to define. However, Let It Be, made in January1969, was still waiting in the wings.
In September 1969, The Beatles delivered the last album they recorded together. Measured in terms of its enormous popularity and boundless musical ingenuity, Abbey Road challenges the status of Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band as their greatest achievement.

A key element of Abbey Road is the quality of the harmony singing. There are comic backing vocals in the cautionary tale of ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ and delicate choral work in ‘Sun King’. The most impressive example is heard on ‘Because’. The vocal blend of John, Paul and George was recorded three times to create a choir of nine voices. However, the album’s opener demonstrates how The Beatles’ great talent for arranging their songs did not necessarily lead to something elaborate. Adopting the principle of ‘less is more’, the combination of space with a tight performance creates the funky feel of ‘Come Together’. John’s singing provides a rock master class in controlled tension, energy and commitment. He gives another one with ‘I Want You (She’s so heavy)’, which brought the first side of the album to an astounding climax. Former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash described it as a ‘huge influence as far as where I come from as a musician. The guitar melody on that is so perfect.’ Paul’s impressive rock vocal gymnastics are heard in ‘Oh! Darling’.

George’s compositions on Abbey Road showed his writing at a creative peak. ‘Something’ became one of the most covered songs in The Beatles' catalogue. His uplifting ‘Here Comes The Sun’ featured the newly invented Moog synthesizer - one of the first times it was heard on a pop LP. Ringo’s ‘Octopus’s Garden’ was a sparkling surprise amongst the variety of styles on side one. However, the character of Abbey Road is dominated by what was referred to as ‘The Long One’ on side two of the original LP. Starting with ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’, a medley of eight titles flowed together until ‘The End’ - its concluding couplet gained more significance once it was clear that the LP contained The Beatles’ last recordings.

Since its release, Abbey Road has continued to grow in stature. The sheen of George Martin’s production and the group’s immaculate performances make it tempting to think they pulled out all the stops for their last musical statement. But that is just speculation. They might have continued to record, but The Beatles stopped at the end of the decade they had helped to define. However, Let It Be, made in January1969, was still waiting in the wings.
The Beatles’ tenth album was released in January 1969. Unusually for a soundtrack album, this was exactly six months after the Yellow Submarine movie’s premiere in London. One side of the original LP was devoted to six Beatles tracks and the other featured a new recording of the film’s orchestral score composed by The Beatles’ producer George Martin. Clearly, the title song had to be included so ‘Yellow Submarine’, a number one from 1966, opens the album. It also featured ‘All You Need Is Love’ from 1967, which was, as Paul McCartney saw it, ‘basically the message of the movie’.

The remaining tracks were previously unreleased songs first heard in the film. Three came from 1967. George Harrison’s ‘It’s Only A Northern Song’ dated from the sessions for St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but was replaced on that album by his composition ‘Within You Without You’. Another of his songs ‘It’s All Too Much’ was recorded on 25 May 1967 - a week before Sgt. Pepper was released. It was around this time that The Beatles signed up to provide some new as well as old songs for the movie. The sing-a-long catchiness of ‘All Together Now’ proved perfect for the finale of Yellow Submarine. As John recalled, during the latter part of the film’s production, ‘they wanted another song so I knocked off “Hey Bulldog”. It’s a good-sounding record that means nothing.’ Typical Lennon understatement. This outstanding example of how hard The Beatles could rock together was recorded, overdubbed and mixed in a single ten-hour session on 11 February 1968.

Directed by George Dunning, the innovative animation of Yellow Submarine evoked the psychedelic spirit of Sgt. Pepper to show the triumph of Love over Evil. As George Harrison observed: ‘That film works for every generation - every baby, three or four years old, goes through Yellow Submarine.’ It is an illustration of how easily children fall under the spell of The Beatles’ music - a melodic force more powerful than all the sour Blue Meanies of the world.
After the longest wait yet for the ‘official’ next album, there was widespread and heightened anticipation of what The Beatles would do to follow Sgt. Pepper. Issued on 22 November 1968, the stark white cover of their ninth UK album signalled they had, once again, overturned all expectations. Called simply The Beatles, but forever to be known as ‘The White Album’, the double-LP may be the most eclectic album ever released. The Beatles seemed determined to write and play in every style imaginable.

The origins of the music are rooted in The Beatles’ visit to Rishikesh, India where they studied transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Their trip in March 1968 was a communal experience that reinforced the group’s unity. It certainly inspired a prolific phase of songwriting. In May, before sessions began at EMI Studios, The Beatles taped acoustic demo versions of 27 songs at George Harrison’s house. They began recording these new compositions at Abbey Road on 30 May and studio work occupied most of their time until the final date on 16 October 1968. ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Revolution’ were the first songs to be heard from the sessions when they were released as a stand-alone single on 30 August 1968. It is doubtful whether any other artist would have even considered leaving off their album such a monumental hit single.

The juxtaposition of loud and soft is one of the reasons ‘The White Album’ is so surprising. The raucous rocker ‘Helter Skelter’ precedes the delicate ‘Long Long Long’. The pastoral calm of ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ is placed between the fiery ‘Yer Blues’ and the wildness of ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey’. As usual, there are many humorous touches - as heard in ‘The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill’, ‘Rocky Raccoon’, ‘Piggies’ and ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’. In 1968, The Beatles changed their approach to recording. As Ringo remembered: ‘On “The White Album” we ended up being a band again and that’s what I always love.’ Conversely, more than ever before, it was not considered necessary for all of The Beatles to play on every song. Only sixteen out of 30 tracks featured the participation of all four. Uncredited, Eric Clapton played lead guitar on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’.

It was clear to everyone in 1968 that The Beatles had recorded an album that was in sharp contrast to its predecessor. As George Harrison explained: ‘We always tried to make things different. There was no chance of a new record ever being like the previous one.’ The group’s remarkable achievement in creating ‘The White Album’ is that, despite such dazzling diversity within the collection, each track is stamped with the unmistakable sound of The Beatles.
After the longest wait yet for the ‘official’ next album, there was widespread and heightened anticipation of what The Beatles would do to follow Sgt. Pepper. Issued on 22 November 1968, the stark white cover of their ninth UK album signalled they had, once again, overturned all expectations. Called simply The Beatles, but forever to be known as ‘The White Album’, the double-LP may be the most eclectic album ever released. The Beatles seemed determined to write and play in every style imaginable.

The origins of the music are rooted in The Beatles’ visit to Rishikesh, India where they studied transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Their trip in March 1968 was a communal experience that reinforced the group’s unity. It certainly inspired a prolific phase of songwriting. In May, before sessions began at EMI Studios, The Beatles taped acoustic demo versions of 27 songs at George Harrison’s house. They began recording these new compositions at Abbey Road on 30 May and studio work occupied most of their time until the final date on 16 October 1968. ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Revolution’ were the first songs to be heard from the sessions when they were released as a stand-alone single on 30 August 1968. It is doubtful whether any other artist would have even considered leaving off their album such a monumental hit single.

The juxtaposition of loud and soft is one of the reasons ‘The White Album’ is so surprising. The raucous rocker ‘Helter Skelter’ precedes the delicate ‘Long Long Long’. The pastoral calm of ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ is placed between the fiery ‘Yer Blues’ and the wildness of ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey’. As usual, there are many humorous touches - as heard in ‘The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill’, ‘Rocky Raccoon’, ‘Piggies’ and ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’. In 1968, The Beatles changed their approach to recording. As Ringo remembered: ‘On “The White Album” we ended up being a band again and that’s what I always love.’ Conversely, more than ever before, it was not considered necessary for all of The Beatles to play on every song. Only sixteen out of 30 tracks featured the participation of all four. Uncredited, Eric Clapton played lead guitar on ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’.

It was clear to everyone in 1968 that The Beatles had recorded an album that was in sharp contrast to its predecessor. As George Harrison explained: ‘We always tried to make things different. There was no chance of a new record ever being like the previous one.’ The group’s remarkable achievement in creating ‘The White Album’ is that, despite such dazzling diversity within the collection, each track is stamped with the unmistakable sound of The Beatles.
The television movie Magical Mystery Tour was devised, written and directed by The Beatles. In the UK, the colour film was first transmitted in black and white on 26 December 1967. Consequently, the impact of some special effects was diminished by watching in monochrome and this may have contributed to the bafflement and disappointment experienced by some viewers. On the other hand, many in the large viewing audience were simply expecting some light entertainment for Christmas, not an experimental fantasy. In America, the film was not shown on TV, which made the artwork on the US album seem all the more mysterious. Nevertheless, The Beatles’ music showcased in Magical Mystery Tour was an undeniable success.

The Beatles’ latest material from the film was released in the UK on an unusual format - a double-EP - with three tracks on each seven-inch disc. The songs range in style from the wistful ballad ‘The Fool On The Hill’ and uplifting ‘Your Mother Should Know’ to the ethereal ‘Blue Jay Way’ written by George Harrison. ‘I Am The Walrus’ is as wildly experimental as the film in which it was featured. But The Beatles trusted listeners to be as adventurous and open-minded as they were as record makers. Jeff Lynne’s life was changed when he heard ‘I Am The Walrus’: ‘The actual sound of it was just like something from outer space to me. The cello parts are just unbelievable.’

In the USA and other countries, EP releases were no longer considered viable. Instead, the six new film songs were compiled into an album with current hit ‘Hello, Goodbye’ and tracks previously released on singles. Now regarded as one of the greatest singles ever released, in February 1967 ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’/‘Penny Lane’ had heralded what was to be a year of groundbreaking recordings. The second Beatles single of the year, ‘All You Need Is Love’, was performed at Abbey Road during a live global TV broadcast on 25 June. The ambitious Our World programme was the first to link five continents by satellite, allowing an audience of 350 million to be introduced to The Beatles' specially written anthem.

Magical Mystery Tour is a perfect companion to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Together, the two albums include all of the group’s 24 recordings released in 1967 - the peak year of what is often described as The Beatles’ ‘psychedelic’ period. Satisfaction guaranteed.
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