The Beatles White Album
and their trip to India
The Beatles’ tenth album, The Beatles, commonly referred to as “The White Album” is a double album which was released on November 22, 1968. The album features 30 songs including 4 songs by George Harrison and Ringo Starr’s first composition.
The White Album was the first Beatles album to be released on the Apple label. It was their first and only double album and became the biggest selling double album of all time.
The album included four color photographs of each member of the Beatles (taken by photographer Linda Eastman) as well as a foldout poster which features a collage of personal and professional pictures of The Beatles. A miniature version of the photos and poster are also included in the CD release.
1) Back in the USSR (Lennon/McCartney)
2) Dear Prudence (Lennon/McCartney)
3) Glass Onion (Lennon/McCartney)
4) Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (Lennon/McCartney)
5) Wild Honey Pie (Lennon/McCartney)
6) The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill (Lennon/McCartney)
7) While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Harrison)
8) Happiness is a Warm Gun (Lennon/McCartney)
9) Martha My Dear (Lennon/McCartney)
10) I’m So Tired (Lennon/McCartney)
11) Blackbird (Lennon/McCartney)
12) Piggies (Harrison)
13) Rocky Raccoon (Lennon/McCartney)
14) Don’t Pass Me By (Starkey)
15) Why Don’t We Do It In the Road? (Lennon/McCartney)
16) I Will (Lennon/McCartney)
17) Julia (Lennon/McCartney)
1) Birthday (Lennon/McCartney)
2) Yer Blues (Lennon/McCartney)
3) Mother Nature’s Son (Lennon/McCartney)
4) Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey (Lennon/McCartney)
5) Sexy Sadie (Lennon/McCartney)
6) Helter Skelter (Lennon/McCartney)
7) Long, Long, Long (Harrison)
8) Revolution I (Lennon/McCartney)
9) Honey Pie (Lennon/McCartney)
10) Savoy Truffle (Harrison)
11) Cry Baby Cry (Lennon/McCartney)
12) Revolution 9 (Lennon/McCartney)
13) Good Night (Lennon/McCartney)
Singles: Lady Madonna/The Inner Light (released March 15, 1968)
(available on The Beatles Past Masters, Volume Two)
Hey Jude/Revolution (released August 30, 1968)
(available on The Beatles Past Masters, Volume Two)
The Beatles (White Album) (Remastered)
(released September 2009)
Beatles Remastered Stereo Box Set
Beatles Remastered Mono Box Set
The Beatles (White Album): iTunes Digital Download (released November 2010)
Beatles iTunes Digital Box Set
Watch the Beatles music video for “Hey Jude”
The Beatles travel to India
and meet with the Maharishi
In February 1968, the Beatles decide to take an extended course on Transcendental Meditation with the Maharishi. The trip is planned for three months in Rishikesh, India.
The Beatles embark on a spiritual quest and vow to give up drugs. George is the most affected by Eastern religion and it becomes a lifelong study for him. John and Paul are also intrigued by the Maharishi and his teachings. Ringo is not as enthusiastic and only stays for 10 days.
During the trip, doubts begin to surface among the Beatles and their friends regarding the Maharishi’s motives. He uses the Beatles for publicity, and he seems to be more of a businessman than a spiritual guide. Paul leaves after 6 weeks.
John and George are soon to follow. While George doesn’t believe the rumors about the Maharishi, John is very disillusioned and writes “Sexy Sadie,” a commentary on being duped by the Maharishi.
The trip turns out to be very productive in terms of songwriting. While in Rishikesh, The Beatles write the majority of the 30 songs that will appear on their next album, The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album).
The Beatles drew on India’s great spiritual history for inspiration. Today you can see the effect of India on modern day society. Yoga training centers can be fould all over the world and are epicenters of human spirituality.
For great photos, see “The Beatles in Rishikesh” by Paul Saltzman
DAYTRIPPIN’ MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE: For further info on their trip, read “The Beatles Spiritual Quest in India” in-depth article
John Lennon finds love with Yoko Ono
It was quite obvious during the recording sessions for The White Album that there were growing tensions between the four members of The Beatles. Each song was recorded less as a collaboration and more like a lead singer and his backup group. Ringo even quit the group for a week.
But the main source of tension in the recording studio was due to the presence of an invited guest of John’s–his new attached-at-the-hip companion, Yoko Ono.
Although John Lennon had met Yoko Ono in 1966, it took them two years to start an intimate relationship. They met for the first time at the Indica Gallery in London where Yoko was having an exhibit. John was intrigued with Yoko’s art, but did not view her as a potential mate after their initial meeting.
As a struggling artist, Yoko was very persistent in asking John to fund her art shows. She finally succeeded in getting him to finance her exhibit called “The Half Wind Show”, although he requested to be listed as an anonymous sponsor.
Yoko sent John her book called Grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings, which he would read frequently before going to bed. She sent him numerous notes encouraging him to think, or “imagine”, in a different way. The more John learned about Yoko’s artistic philosophies, the more connected he felt with her on an intellectual level.
By the time the Beatles went to India in 1968, John had considered asking Yoko to go with him instead of Cynthia. His marriage to Cynthia was not doing well, since it arose out of the fact that Cynthia was pregnant.
Yoko was also married at the time to her second husband, Tony Cox. Although John decided not to ask Yoko to come to India, he was heavily influenced on the trip by the letters she kept sending him.
Finally in May 1968, John invited Yoko over to his Weybridge home one night. They began making an experimental record, later to be released on an album called “Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins“.
After they finished recording, they consummated their relationship, and the rest is history. Cynthia came home the next day to find Yoko and John sitting in their robes.
Although John had previously admitted to Cynthia of his numerous affairs during their marriage, this one was different. John had found not only a new female partner, but a new creative partner.
For more info on Yoko Ono’s art career, read “Yes Yoko Ono“, which documents her life in art.
Paul McCartney finds love
with Linda Eastman
Coincidentally, around the time that John found Yoko, Paul found a new creative partner as well. He met Linda Eastman in 1967 around the time of the Sgt. Pepper release. But Paul was still in a relationship with Jane Asher, and they announced their engagement in December 1967.
Jane Asher was an actress in her own right, and did not like being in Paul McCartney’s shadow. There was tension in the relationship because their demanding schedules kept them away from each other often.
Paul McCartney also had many affairs while he was with Jane, but their relationship was finally over once Jane came home to find Paul in bed with another woman.
Meanwhile Paul and Linda had a few clandestine encounters between 1967 and 1968. Paul and Jane Asher officially broke up in the Summer of 1968. After that, Paul asked Linda to come live with him in London.
Linda seemed to be a good match for Paul since she was a photographer who loved rock and roll music, yet she was a single mother who was ready to run a household for her family. So when she became pregnant in early 1969, Paul asked Linda to marry him. To the devastation of many female Beatles fans, Paul and Linda were married on March 12, 1969.
For more info on Linda’s life, read “Linda McCartney: A Portrait” by Danny Fields
Continue to the eleventh Beatles album, Yellow Submarine