Beatles White Album Tracks, Ranked – From Blackbird to While My Guitar Gently Weeps
The Beatles’ self-titled ninth album is known more adoringly by the world as The white album.
While the cover is as simple as it gets – a sea of white with the band’s name printed a bit more halfway down – the tracks on it are anything but: a compilation of oddities with varying genres that have been clearly judged too extraordinary for the charts (none were released as singles in the UK).
The majority of the pieces were written in the spring of 1968 when the quartet traveled to Rishikesh in India to participate in a Transcendental Meditation course under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. When the band returned home, their recording sessions for the album sparked creative differences, causing walkouts and rivalries that continued until the band disbanded in 1970.
The white album may feature both the high and low of each band member’s playing, but the result is still the Beatles’ most enchanting record. Below is a ranking of the 30 titles.
30. Wild Honey Tart
Fortunately, one of the shortest Beatles songs. An experimental number included simply because George Harrison’s wife, Patti Boyd, was a fan.
29. Revolution 9
A chaotic eight-minute sound collage that does not follow the avant-garde style adopted in Revolver track “Tomorrow never knows”. It’s just a shame that this recording doesn’t have so much to remember.
28. Good Night
It seems odd to end an album of this stature with a mediocre song sung by Ringo. Despite a vibrant orchestral arrangement by George Martin, “Good Night” – like all lullabies – might put you to sleep.
27. â€¨Why don’t we do it on the road?
Essentially a Paul McCartney track (he recorded it alone) and as good as a song inspired by the sight of two monkeys making love on a street in India.
26. Don’t Ignore Me
This Ringo Country Song Was Written Years Ago The white albumand – while suitably slapping on the thighs – never outlives her status as a makeup artist.
25. Honey Pie
A snappy but uninspiring homage to wartime music hall entertainment that manages to feel fresh. One of the weakest McCartney tracks on the record.
24. â€¨The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
John Lennon himself described this song as “a bit funny”. He’s not wrong. Though it came early, “Bungalow Bill” lingers in the mind as a slice of pitch-changing weirdness.
23. Revolution 1
While the rockier version — released as the B-side of “Hey Jude” — makes this version more bluesy average by comparison, its politically charged lyrics, expressing Lennon’s anti-war sentiment, make it a staple.
22. Rocky Raccoon
This country pastiche, set “somewhere in the black mining hills of Dakota”, is proof of McCartney’s songwriting versatility, and is enhanced by a vibrant honky-tonk piano from the longtime record producer of the band, George Martin.
21. â€¨Everyone has something to hide except me and my monkey
With its jangly guitar riff, repetitive lyrics, and frantic bassline, this song — born out of growing unease with Yoko Ono’s presence in the studio — gets funnier with every listen.
The Beatles White Album at 50
20. Martha my dear
One of the album’s most unjustly maligned tracks, “Martha My Dear” – inspired by McCartney’s Old English Sheepdog of the same name – is the first of two tracks recorded by the singer in music hall style (see also: “Honey Pie”). The results are irresistibly charming.
19. cry baby cry
Lennon translated elements of the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” for this effort, which is accompanied by an additional eerie segment by McCartney titled “Can You Take Me Back?” Unremarkable, but still easy to listen to.
18. I’m so tired
John Lennon’s tired voice remains hopelessly seductive to this day. A favorite of his, the song is best when considered a sequel to Revolver track, “I’m just sleeping”.
The second-half opener treads familiar Beatles ground with an improvised riff that might be the biggest earworm on the record. Hilariously, Lennon would go on to call it “garbage.”
16. Long Long Long
Or: George Harrison’s love letter to God. Thanks to its muted delivery, you can almost smell the Indian incense burning while the song was being recorded in an effort to create its calm atmosphere. It worked perfectly.
15. Mother Nature’s Son
Inspired by a Maharishi lecture, “Mother Nature’s Song” was recorded at the height of the band’s hostility towards each other. The anguish in McCartney’s voice alone makes it one of the most moving songs on the album.
On first listen, “Piggies” is too weird to appreciate. Once its Orwellian nature is embraced, however, it becomes a merry two-fingered face to the establishment told by Harrison in baroque pop form. Also, the harpsichord section is a highlight of the recording.
The first record ends on a sanguine note with Lennon’s ode to his late mother, Julia. It remains the only Beatles song he wrote and performed on his own.
12. I will
Crystal clear proof that no one can write a love song as easily as McCartney. “I Will” is one of his personal favorite tunes – a choice that’s hard to argue with.
11. Back in the USSR
This track welcomes listeners to the album with open arms. McCartney merged the sound of Chuck Berry and the Beach Boys for what he hoped would be a parody of his peers (he loved to sing about Ukraine like it was California), but the result exceeded his expectations by becoming a classic in its own right. right.
10. Glass Onion
Lennon embraced his cheeky side with “Glass Onion,” a self-referential track that parades as symbolic. Instead, it was designed to trick fans into believing their songs meant more than they really are.
9. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
It’s hard to deny the joy of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” perhaps the most confusing result of the quartet’s temporal meditation pilgrimage. McCartney’s ode to reggae – which references ska musician Desmond Dekker – remains one of their most vibrant and downright fun-to-sing tracks.
8. Your blues
This track sees Lennon take on the blues to deliver a song that stands among the greats he has attempted to emulate (see: Sleepy John Estes, John Lee Hooker). The result is proof that Lennon rarely did anything wrong – even when he himself half-expected it.
7. â€¨Truffle of Savoy
Advance the album’s most criminally overlooked song. On paper, a song about Eric Clapton’s sweet tooth might not be the most exciting prospect. However, despite being the only Harrison track on the album that doesn’t convey deep meaning, it doesn’t get much more exciting or, in fact, better than “Savoy Truffle”. The underrated Beatles.
6. Sexy Sadie
Lennon’s scathing response to an allegation that Maharishi made a sexual advance on Mia Farrow. To this day, “Sexy Sadie” drips with bittersweet disdain, its brooding final minute – inspiring Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and Arctic Monkeys’ “Four Out Of Five” – managing to make people cringe no matter the number of times you have heard it.
Lennon and Harrison weren’t the only band members driven to action by politics: ‘Blackbird’ was allegedly written by McCartney in the wake of rising racial tensions in the United States, a topic that belies the beautiful calm of the finished piece. . For many, it is the pinnacle of McCartney’s career and remains a standout in his solo shows.
4. â€¨Dear Prudence
Lennon wrote this song in order to attract Prudence Farrow, the sister of Rosemary’s baby star Mia, emerging from solitary confinement after a growing obsession with meditation. It’s a delicate delight, starting out slow and steadily swelling with every passing second, finding its way under your skin. One of the band’s most covered songs.
3. Helter Skelter
There’s no denying that “Helter Skelter” is one of the best rock songs ever recorded. Inspired by The Who’s “I Can See for Miles”, it’s McCartney’s boisterous attempt to create the loudest noise possible. Perhaps the fiercest, searing track that paved the way for heavy metal is a far cry from the tame love songs people were used to from the songwriter.
2. Happiness is a hot gun
A weapon loaded with a tune that stands as one of Lennon’s best songs. Seemingly three songs in one, “Happiness is a Warm Gun” is something he would later describe as “rock and roll history”. Not bad for a song that’s only two minutes and 43 seconds long. It was banned by the BBC for its sexually provocative imagery hinted at in the song’s coda which sees an easy-to-trigger Lennon shouting his lyrics as the remaining trio provide brilliant backing vocals (“bang bang, shoot shoot”). Unsurprisingly, it’s said to be McCartney and Harrison’s favorite white album Track.
1. While my guitar gently cries
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” isn’t just George Harrison’s greatest song – it’s also one of the Beatles’ greatest. Born out of discord – in the world, as well as in the band he had grown up with – the song marked Harrison’s reunion with the guitar after having devoted his time to the sitar for the previous two years. Perhaps it’s the unlikelihood of his success that makes him so powerful to this day: Inspired by the belief that it’s all coincidence, Harrison decided to write a song based on the first line he saw in opening a book. The result? “Weep softly”. The finished song, with its pow-wow melody backed by Eric Clapton’s climactic solo, is testament to Harrison’s genius. The music really isn’t getting any better.