[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/600px-TheBeatles68LP_7544.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:No, that's not whitespace, that's the album cover.]]

''The White Album'' is the unofficial title for Music/TheBeatles' self-titled 1968 album. The record owes its nickname due to the completely white album cover.

''The White Album'' was the Beatles' first double album. The songs feature a lot of variation in style and mood. Overall the record sounds almost like a compilation record featuring the band members as solo artists instead of a unity. Indeed, it was a TroubledProduction, complete with Ringo leaving the band for a while (Music/PaulMcCartney took over on drums for "Back in the USSR" and "Dear Prudence", and John and George also recorded drum tracks for "Back in the USSR").

Though not as popular as other Beatle records like ''[[Music/SgtPeppersLonelyHeartsClubBand Sgt. Pepper]]'' or ''Abbey Road'', ''The White Album'' is still a huge inspiration for numerous rock bands. When something gets compared to ''The White Album'', it's almost invariably a shorthand way of saying "long album with huge NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly variety of styles, inevitably will attract complaints about AlbumFiller".

!!! List of songs (Disc 1):
# "Back in the USSR"
# "Dear Prudence"
# "Glass Onion"
# "Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da"
# "Wild Honey Pie"
# "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
# "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
# "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"
# "Martha My Dear"
# "I'm So Tired"
# "Blackbird"
# "Piggies"
# "Rocky Raccoon"
# "Don't Pass Me By"
# "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"
# "I Will"
# "Julia"
----
!!! List of songs (Disc 2):
# "Birthday"
# "Yer Blues"
# "Mother Nature's Son"
# "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"
# "Sexy Sadie"
# "Helter Skelter"
# "Long, Long, Long"
# "Revolution 1"
# "Honey Pie"
# "Savoy Truffle"
# "Cry Baby Cry"
# "Revolution 9"
# "Good Night"
----
!!! "Trope-La-Di, Trope-La-Da, Life goes on, brah":
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: "Rocky Raccoon", "(The Continuing Story Of) Bungalow Bill", "Sexy Sadie".
* AffectionateParody: Several songs on this album imitate a certain musical style and whether these songs are a homage or a parody (or both) are left to the individual listener's opinion.
* AgeProgressionSong: "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da".
* AlbumFiller: George Martin even asked the Beatles to trim it down to one album since he felt there was too much filler, but the band didn't listen, being eager to fulfill their album commitment to the EMI record label as quickly as possible, and being unable to agree which songs to remove (Harrison noted that by that point there was "too much ego" involved). Every listener will have his own list of which songs on this album are a case of ThrowItIn and there have even been bootleg editions of this record where the set list has been rearranged and songs that are considered filler have been removed.
* BitingTheHandHumor: "Glass Onion" is a sarcastic attack on their obsessive fans.
* BlackComedy: The little piglets in "Piggies" are whacked down and then eaten by other pigs.
* BookEnds: "Rocky Raccoon" and the Gideons' Bible he finds.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: Ringo is getting nearer to the microphone during "Good Night" when he says: "Good night, everybody. Everybody, everywhere", as if directly talking to us, the audience.
* BrokenRecord:
** "Wild Honey Pie" ("HONEY PIE! HONEY PIE!") and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?", widely considered to be [[IncrediblyLamePun White]] AlbumFiller.
** On a more disturbing way, "Number nine, number nine, number nine..."
* BSODSong: "I'm So Tired"
* CallBack: The lyrics of "Glass Onion" consist almost entirely of references to the band's previous songs, including "I Am the Walrus", "She Loves You", "The Fool on the Hill", "Fixing a Hole", and "Strawberry Fields Forever". In the case of "The Fool on the Hill", the song even includes a little snatch of flute as a musical echo of the original's introduction.
* ContinuityNod:
** "Glass Onion" seems to be built ''entirely'' on this.
** "Savoy Truffle" - ''"We all know 'Ob-La-Di-Blah-Da'..."''
* DarkerAndEdgier:
** Several songs like "Cry Baby Cry", "Julia", "Piggies"... are quite haunting compared to their previous songs.
** "Revolution 9" is perhaps their edgiest track ever officially released.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Taken to levels all but unheard of on a record. It's an INTENSE rollercoaster lasting ''over 90 minutes long''...climaxing in "[[NightmareFuel Revolution 9]]"...before finally ending with [[SweetDreamsFuel "Good Night"]].
* EpicRocking:
** Hardcore Beatles fans are dying to get a hold of [[MissingEpisode the legendary 27 minute long version of "Helter Skelter"]].
** There's a reason Ringo shouts ''"I GOT ''BLISTERS'' ON MY ''FINGERS!''"'' at the end of the White Album version.
* EverythingsBetterWithChocolate: Or, rather, [[SubvertedTrope worse]], as "you'll have to have them all pulled out after the 'Savoy Truffle.'"
* EvolvingMusic: "Revolution" and "Revolution 1", two very different takes on the same song.
* FakeOutFadeOut: "Helter Skelter", and too many times to count on "Revolution 9".
* GenreRoulette[=/=]InTheStyleOf:
** Many of the album's more acoustic-based songs seem to draw from [[FolkMusic Folk Rock]].
** "Rocky Raccoon," more or less an explicit semi/AffectionateParody of cowboy ballads.
** "Honey Pie" is a direct homage to the British music hall style and has a 1920s/1930s nostalgic feel to it.
** "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is ska.
** "Helter Skelter" is incredibly heavy, and has been called one of the first Music/HeavyMetal songs on occasion.
** "Long, Long, Long" is ''very'' Music/BobDylan; George admitted it was heavily inspired by "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands".
** "Birthday" is a slightly traditionalist rock n' roll song.
** "Yer Blues" is moaned and played as a traditional blues song.
** "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" is more or less a Music/LittleRichard tribute.
** "Good Night" sounds like a crooner song. Music/JohnLennon purposefully told George Martin to write a cheesy Nelson Riddle-type string arrangement.
** "Revolution 9" is a very brutal avant-garde composition.
** "Piggies" puts Music/GeorgeHarrison's social commentary over a [[LyricalDissonance dissonantly]] upbeat BaroquePop backing.
** GenreMotif/{{Country}} fan Ringo brought in a Nashville fiddler for "Don't Pass Me By", his first solo songwriting credit.
* GriefSong: "Julia", about John's mother.
* HappyBirthdayToYou: "Birthday" is this, as well as a "Happy Birthday to ''Me''".
-->''They say it's your birthday!''
-->''Well, it's my birthday too, yeah!''
* HiddenTrack: "Can You Take Me Back", the song fragment on Side 4 of the White Album (included at the end of "Cry Baby Cry" on modern CD tracks), which to this day doesn't even have an official title. [[note]]It's actually an edited bit from an improvised jam in-between formal takes of "I Will". [[/note]]
* HistoryMarchesOn: "Back in the USSR" is the first song on the album, which was released on November 22, 1968. 23 years, one month and four days later, the [[HistoryOfTheUSSR USSR was dissolved]].
* IntercourseWithYou: "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?"
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: The song "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" has Lennon singing about holding a gun in a tongue-in-cheek erotic manner: "When I feel my finger on your trigger/ I feel nobody can do me no harm".
* LastNoteNightmare:
** Particularly "Long, Long, Long".
** "Helter Skelter" is a different sort of LastNoteNightmare, as it finishes with Ringo throwing his drumsticks across the room and ''screaming'' "'''I GOT BLISTERS ON MAH FINGERS!!'''" The version that wound up on the ''"White Album"'' was the 18th take of the day. That explains the blisters.
* LighterAndSofter: "Revolution 1", compared to the single version. Musicologist Alan Pollack even writes in his commentary that, even though the single version was recorded afterwards, "Revolution 1" sounds to him like a ''parody'' of the single version.
* LongTitle: "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and [[EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys My Monkey]]"
* MetalScream: Paul shows off his skills on this in "Revolution" and "Helter Skelter".
* MindScrew:
** "Revolution 9". While "Revolution 1" is a nice, slow, relatively tame rock song (especially compared to the harsher single), "Revolution 9"is eight minutes of pure, untapped, minimalist cacophony. A LastNoteNightmare, that really is a nightmare, regardless if it's a whole song...
** [[BrokenRecord Number nine, number nine, number nine...]]
* MinimalisticCoverArt: ''The Beatles'' is all white, save for the name of the album embossed onto it, and on some LP printings, a unique serial number stamped on it (going for a bit of irony in something so plain also being unique from every other copy of it). Ever since, fans have called it ''The White Album''.
** In fact, this might be the UrExample, since most album covers until then looked more like advertising posters (not to mention some of the more artistic ones, like the Beatles' own ''Revolver'' and ''Sgt. Pepper's'', as well as Music/TheRollingStones' ''Their Satanic Majesties Request'').
* MissingEpisode: The 27 minute version of "Helter Skelter" is the most notable example having never been released officially or on any bootlegs, but a number of songs were recorded with the intention of being put on (or recorded during the sessions of) this album, most of which are heavily bootlegged (such as a full version of "Can You Take Me Back") or included on ''The Beatles Anthology'' ("What's the New Mary Jane?"). One track that had only just found its way onto bootlegs in 2010 was a ten minute recording of the version of "Revolution 1" that ended up on the album, which largely provides the basis of "Revolution 9".
** Some songs originally written for the album eventually ended up being later rerecorded and released on John, Paul, and George's solo albums ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_(album)#Songs as detailed here]]).
* MommasBoy: The titular character of "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" is "the all-American bullet-headed Saxon mother's son." And behind that tough exterior, he really does rely on his mom's defense when people start to question him - hence why he always brings her along on hunting trips "in case of accidents."
* MurderBallad: "Rocky Raccoon", "Piggies".
* ObsessionSong: "Julia".
* OneWomanSong: "Julia", "Martha, My Dear", "Sexy Sadie".
* OnlyAFleshWound: "Rocky Raccoon"
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Although the official title of this album is simply ''The Beatles'' most people know it as or name it ''The White Album''. Even radio announcers specify it under this nickname, whenever they mention the album.
* OutOfClothesExperience: Alluded to in "Revolution 9." "If... you become naked."
* TheParody[=/=]AffectionateParody: The song "Back in the USSR" is both a parody of Music/ChuckBerry's "Back in the USA" and a decent imitation of Music/TheBeachBoys' "Surfing Sound," and the part that begins "Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out" is a direct sendup of "California Girls."
* PrecisionFStrike: "Piggies". "What they need's a ''damn'' good whacking." George's mother actually suggested the line.
** An actual F-strike in "Revolution 9", "join the ''fucking'' navy and went to sea...". Of course, most listeners will be too busy [[NightmareFuel freaking out]] to notice.
* ProtestSong: Subverted with "Revolution", a protest about protesters (and specifically those supportive of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, in John's ''"Chairman Mao"'' reference" - this may specifically refer to then-recent May '68 general strike and protests in France, where many student protesters marched holding up pictures of Chairman Mao).
** Double subverted in "Revolution 1", where Lennon realized that he didn't actually know if he was for or against the protesters.
-->"But when you talk about destruction
-->Don't you know that you can count me out... in!"
* PunnyName: "Bungalow Bill" instead of "Buffalo Bill".
* [[RealLifeWritesThePlot Real Life Writes The Song]]:
** "Dear Prudence" was inspired by Prudence Farrow, Mia's sister, who kept inside meditating while the group was in India.
** "The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill" was a tiger-hunting man they met in Rishikesh.
** "Sexy Sadie" was directed towards the Maharishi, who was accused of molesting one woman, infuriating John. Originally, the song was to have been an even more blatant attack (John had become generally disillusioned with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during their time in India), but it was toned down to avoid offending George, who was still an admirer.
*** All he really did was replace every instance of "Maharishi" with "Sexy Sadie".
* RecordProducer: George Martin.
* {{Sampling}}: "[[MindScrew Revolution 9]]".
* ScareChord:
** Ends "Piggies".
** The ending of "Long Long Long" is way scarier. A case of ThrowItIn helps, as a wine bottle placed on the Hammond organ's Leslie speaker began to shake when Paul hit a certain note. George added the wailing voice and Ringo threw in the ominous snare roll. It sounds like a coffin is closing at a funeral while the widow weeps.
* SelfBackingVocalist: Paul on "I Will" and "Wild Honey Pie". John, who usually didn't do this, had a duet with himself (interpolating lines) on "Julia".
* SelfTitledAlbum: ''The Beatles'', although pretty much everyone knows it better as ''The White Album''.
* ShoutOut:
** "Back In The USSR": The line "and Georgia is always on my mind" is a reference to "Georgia On My Mind", a song from the 1930s popularized by Music/RayCharles.
** "Julia"--while it's about John's late mother, guess what the Japanese for [[Music/YokoOno "ocean child"]] is?
** "Martha My Dear" is about Music/PaulMcCartney's dog.
** "Piggies" is based on Creator/GeorgeOrwell's ''Literature/AnimalFarm''.
** "Savoy Truffle" lists a lot of actual flavors of chocolate, and is also a joke about Music/EricClapton's weakness for chocolate.
** In "Yer Blues" Lennon claims to be "just as suicidal as Dylan's Mr. Jones". This is a reference to "Ballad of a Thin Man" from Music/BobDylan's ''Music/Highway61Revisited''.
* SingleStanzaSong: "Wild Honey Pie" and "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" . Also, "Can You Take Me Back", the HiddenTrack right before ''"Revolution 9"''.
* SomethingBlues: "Yer Blues".
* SongOfSongTitles: "Glass Onion" name-checks "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am the Walrus", "Fixing a Hole", "Lady Madonna"'' and ''"The Fool on the Hill".
* SoundtrackDissonance: "Helter Skelter", a loud, badass epic rock song... about a fairground slide.
* SpecialGuest: Music/EricClapton plays lead guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (because Harrison thought the presence of a respected outsider would get everyone to stop arguing for a while; reportedly, it worked); famed session musician Nicky Hopkins plays piano on "Revolution" and a few other tracks; engineer/producer Chris Thomas plays the harpsichord on "Piggies"; and jazz musician Jack Fallon provides the fiddle on "Don't Pass Me By".
** A lot of the Beatles' friends and [[CreatorCouple significant others]] were roped in to contribute. Mal Evans does backing vocals and handclaps on "Dear Prudence", handclaps on "Birthday", and he and John made a bunch of harsh trumpet noises on "Helter Skelter". "Birthday" also included backing vocals from Pattie Boyd and Music/YokoOno, and Music/RingoStarr's wife Maureen Starkey sang backing vocals on "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"'alongside Yoko, who also contributed SpokenWordInMusic and tapes and sound effects to "Revolution 9". And ''that''''s not even counting all the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beatles_(album)#Personnel session musicians]].
** This album actually has the only fleeting moment where a non-Beatle performs lead vocals: the second verse of "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill", where Yoko Ono sings "Not when he looked so fierce" (with John adding "His mummy butted in"), and singing "If looks could kill it would've been us instead of him" alongside John.
* SpokenWordInMusic: "Revolution 9".
* SpiritualSuccessor: A tough act to follow, but in terms of a double album with various themes and styles Music/TheClash's ''London Calling'' (1979)'' probably comes the closest.
* StudioChatter: The end of "Piggies", the beginning of "Revolution 1", and most famously Ringo's "I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!!!" at the end of "Helter Skelter".
* StylisticSuck: "Yer Blues" is deliberately written as an amateur BluesRock song, parodying [[PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy British musicians who tried making blues songs of their own]] despite not being familiar enough with {{Blues}} culture. Therefore, instead of authentic blues metaphors and idioms, it has both overly straightforward lyrics about being depressed and blues-like metaphors and idioms that try to sound authentic but mean nothing. And then there is the solo... or rather, the ''two'' solos played simultaneously.
** Lennon later admitted that the lyrics were inspired by his own CreatorBreakdown, as the song was written while he was "trying to reach God and feeling suicidal" but he deliberately made them as over-the-top as possible so that if anyone worried and asked, he could pass the song off as just a parody. The parody aspect also comes from Lennon's own wish to write a {{Blues}} song but not being sure if he was capable of imitating the blues musicians he listened to in school, making him opt instead to parody the British blues-rock boom at the time.
* TakeThat: "Sexy Sadie" was aimed at the Maharishi.
* UnintentionalPeriodPiece:
** "Back In The USSR": Since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 this song sounds rather surreal...
** "Revolution 1": "But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman [[MaoZedong Mao]]/ you ain't gonna make it with anyone, anyhow". In the late 1960s and early 1970s Maoism was a bit more widespread than it is nowadays.
* UnpluggedVersion:
** "Revolution 1", in contrast to the single version.
** Music/GeorgeHarrison recorded a well-known acoustic version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." It finally got released on ''The Beatles Anthology''.
* WriterRevolt: "Revolution 1" was recorded first and John intended it to be a single, but Paul and George criticised it for being "too slow to be a single".[[note]] Lennon's acoustic demo version was uptempo, but when they recorded "Revolution 1" a few weeks later he elected to slow it down. Paul and George have both gone on record saying that they thought the demo was superior to all the subsequent released versions, though it's missing the Chairman Mao verse.[[/note]] In retaliation, John arranged a much faster, more heavily distorted and aggressive take of "Revolution", that ended up becoming the single instead. As Giles Martin said on the sleeve-notes for ''Love'', "even today it defines 'distortion'". John was in fact in such a "you want it louder and faster? I'll show you louder and faster!" mood when the single was recorded that he added some deliberately sloppy vocal overdubs and plugged his guitar directly into the mixing console to get a harsher sound and supplied the opening MetalScream, and engineer Geoff Emerick added so much compression to Ringo's drums that he inadvertently made the click track audible.
----
->''"Good night. Good night everybody. Everybody, everywhere.''
->''Good night."''
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