It was an album that changed everything for the Beatles. Gone were the structured sounds of their early pop hits. Gone was the conceptualization and thematic undertones of Sgt. Pepper. That album is a masterpiece from beginning to end and should really be listened front to back every time. It marked the culmination of the band’s evolution of sound and psychedelic ways, but with the White Album it was easily taken to the next level. The Beatles had now become the band that would shape the sound of rock forever.


This was an album that was really 4 individual albums recorded and conceived separately, yet it comes together in one package as arguably the definitive Beatles work. If you listened front to back, you’d wonder how all of these different sounds could be conceived for a single work. History will tell us that John, Paul, George and Ringo had had enough of each other up to then; the trappings of fame and fortune taking its toll on each of them. The death of manager Brian Epstein resulted in the band deciding to manage themselves going forward. The end result was really the four Beatles going in four different directions. They were all living separate lives, and as such resulted in four different takes on what they thought the album should sound like. Taken as individual tracks, the songs on the album bear that out. But put together as a whole by George Martin’s hand, this is the album that so many artists of today from all genres of music cite as having a massive influence on their career.


“The White Album is one of those important records for me, it’s in my DNA and it’s been in the background playing all of my life. I love all of these songs and I LOVE The Beatles” – Pat Steward, The Odds


It’s got everything. From tracks like “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” reminiscent of their early innocent pop sounds, to the deep guitar crunching sounds of “Back in the USSR”, “Helter Skelter” and “Revolution”, to the introspective Paul and George guitar pieces “Blackbird” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, to the lush, expansive tones of “Hey Jude” (not on the album, but recorded during the sessions).

“If, as Rick Rubin has stated, the single most convincing evidence for the existence of God is the Beatles, then surely the White Album is the Old Testament, New Testament, and the Ten Commandments all rolled up into one convenient double album” – Dave Genn, 54-40

From pop to punk (George Martin’s assistant Chris Thomas went on to produce the Sex Pistols), there is no Beatles album that has had an impact on music the way the White Album has had.


To say that artists like Dave Grohl, Noel Gallagher, The Eagles, Heart, Lady Gaga and more were and continue to be influenced by the Beatles’ White Album, of course, is only scratching the surface. The tentacles of influence will continue spread out for decades to come.


“The White Album was a mind-blowing treasure trove of mysteries, beauty and rock n roll intensity that sent me on a journey to figure it all out. I’m still working on it …and it came with a poster!!” – Craig Northey, The Odds


How did the White Album influence YOU? Is it a better album than the Baha Men’s classic Who Let The Dogs Out? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

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Filed under: 1968, The Beatles, white-album