The Beatles Album

Highly Appreciated

The Beatles,  also known as the White Album, is the ninth studio album by English rock group the Beatles, released on 22 November 1968.  A double album, its plain white sleeve has no graphics or text other than the band’s name embossed, which was intended as a direct contrast to the vivid cover artwork of the band’s earlier Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Although no singles were issued from The Beatles in Britain and the United States, the songs “Hey Jude” and “Revolution” originated from the same recording sessions and were issued on a single in August 1968.  On release, The Beatles received favourable reviews from the majority of music critics.  The band and Martin have since debated whether the group should have released a single album instead.  Nonetheless, The Beatles reached number one on the charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States and has since been viewed by some critics as one of the greatest albums of all time.  (More from Wikipedia)

One student came up with the name, the Holy Ghost Reception Committee #9 – the numeral I figure came from the Ed Wood cult classic horror film Plan 9 from Outer Space, but I’m just guessing.  (Their first album predates The Beatles – the so-called White Album – that included the avant garde track “Revolution 9”, so that wasn’t it). 


(August 2014)


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Paul McCartney has said that the origin of “Mother Mary” is not Mary the Mother of Jesus, but rather his own mother, Mary Mohin McCartney, who had died of cancer when he was 14.  McCartney had a dream about his mother during the tumultuous period when the double-LP The Beatles – a/k/a the White Album – was being recorded; he recalled (as quoted in Wikipedia):  “‘It was great to visit with her again.  I felt very blessed to have that dream.  So that got me writing “Let it Be”.’  He also said in a later interview about the dream that his mother had told him, ‘It will be all right, just let it be.’  When asked if the song referred to the Virgin Mary, however, McCartney has typically answered the question by assuring his fans that they can interpret the song however they would like.”  


In addition to “Mother Mary” – a term frequently used by believers to refer to Mary – Wikipedia notes that “let it be” is also a part of the response by Mary to the Annunciation by the Angel Gabriel:  “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).  


(September 2014)


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But it was on The Beatles (“the White Album”) where George Harrison really shone both as a performer and as a songwriter.  By contrast, much of the Lennon/McCartney material were story songs about animals – Harrison also wrote one of these, “Piggies” – and throwaways like “Why Don’t We Do it in the Road”.  One of Harrison’s songs got included on each of the four sides of the double LP; and his Side 1 contribution in particular, “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a real tour de force.  Eric Clapton plays lead guitar on the song (uncredited).  


The other George Harrison songs on The Beatles are all standout cuts on the album and illustrate the variety that George has brought in his songwriting all along:  “Piggies, “Long, Long, Long”, and “Savoy Truffle”.  
Many rock critics have noted that the sheer length of All Things Must Pass – the triple LP (including the bonus disk Apple Jam) that George Harrison released after the Beatles broke up – showed the volume of excellent Harrison compositions that never made it onto any Beatles albums.  Eric Clapton was one of the key musicians in those recording sessions; the two also co-wrote one of my favorite songs by Cream, “Badge
The Beatles also includes “Don’t Pass Me By”; other than “Octopus's Garden” (from Abbey Road), this is the only song written solely by Ringo Starr (listed under his real name, Richard Starkey as is normal in songwriting credits) that appears on an official Beatles album.  Starr also shares a songwriting credit with John Lennon and Paul McCartney on “What Goes On” (from Rubber Soul), and the instrumental “Flying” (on Magical Mystery Tour) shows all four bandmembers as the writers.  

(June 2015)


Last edited: March 22, 2021