Nov. 22, 2013 marked the 45th anniversary of the Beatles’ ninth studio album, The White Album, which was their only double album.
The album was written and recorded while the band was having troubles after they went to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India and in early 1968, where they had a productive writing session.
The album reached #1 on the charts in both the US and the UK and sold over 20 million copies, and it went platinum in Britain in September 2013.
In 2003, the album was ranked #10 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
When the Beatles went to the studio to record the album between May 1968 and October 1968, the members were driven apart because of conflict and disagreements with one another.
Paul McCartney played the drums for two tracks (as well as every other instrument on “Back in the U.S.S.R.”) on the album because Ringo Starr left the band for a short period of time.
Not every member of the band contributed to all of the songs on the album. Some of the tracks were solo recordings because each of them wanted to show their own talents to people across the world.
Adam Forziati, a senior communications major at Westfield State University, said thathe has “always been drawn to this particularly-quirky Beatles album.”
“I would have to say my favorite song would be a contest between ‘Wild Honey Pie’ and ‘Martha My Dear,'” said Forziati, “Although it is a challenge to choose even two favorites.”
Forziati commented that he liked the different directions the lengthy release endeavors to take and how the album still manages to tie together.
“You know none of these songs could not be on another Beatles album,” said Forziati. “I would rank it number two.”
Tim O’Malley, a sophomore special education major at Westfield State University, stated that “The White Album is one of the All Time Classics.”
“I can’t pick one favorite song off the album,” said O’Malley, “So I narrowed it down to four; ‘Rocky Racoon,’ ‘Helter Skelter,’ ‘Blackbird,’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps.'”
O’Malley said that he “[likes] that it’s one of the classic boundary pushing Beatle albums [because] you can’t put the album into one musical category, it’s a mix of everything.”
“I have heard that ‘Back in the USSR’ was a spoof of The Beach Boys, ‘Rocky Racoon’ was a spoof of Bob Dylan, and ‘Helter Skelter’ was a spoof of The Who,” said O’Malley.
O’Malley said that he rates it in his top five favorite Beatles albums “If I could change one thing about the album, I’d get rid of ‘Revolution 9,'” said O’Malley. “That song scares me when I hear it and I’m alone in a dark room.” O’Malley also said that he dislikes songs like ‘Piggies’ and ‘Honey Pie’ because they make the album seem less serious.
“The White Album is in my opinion, one of the greatest albums ever made,” said John Schofield, a sophomore business major at Westfield State University. “Though not as good Sgt. Pepper’s or Abbey Road.”
“The fact that ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ ‘Dear Prudence,’ ‘Blackbird,’ ‘Revolution,’ and ‘Glass Onion’ are on the same album is simply astonishing,” said Schofield.
Schofield also proclaimed that the song, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps,’ which featured Eric Clapton on lead guitar, “is the single most inspiring song in [his] life.”
“After listening to it, I not only heard Clapton for the first time,” said Schofield, “but also one of the most inspirational rock guitar solos of all time.”
Schofield, a guitarist himself, said that after he listened to it he picked up the guitar and never looked back.
Schofield said he would not change a thing about the album, which he considers “holy” because it’s “a mix of brilliant classic rock songs and weird experimental crap” that he enjoys very much.