Fifty years ago this week, The Beatles started work on their self-titled double allbum commonly known as The White Album. The album's first session was recorded in London at EMI's Studio Two with the session stretching from 2:30 PM to 2:40 AM the next day to record John Lennon's Revolution 1. It was the group’s first studio work since returning from India after an extended stay to study transcendental meditation under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Most of the songs were written while the group was in India, including Back In The U.S.S.R., Yer Blues, I Will, The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill, Rocky Raccoon, I’m So Tired, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Dear Prudence, Mother Nature’s Son and Sexy Sadie which was Lennon’s thinly-veiled attack on the Maharishi. Other highlights on the album included While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Julia, Helter Skelter, Glass Onion, Martha My Dear, Birthday and Ringo Starr’s country-flavored Don’t Pass Me By.
Paul McCartney doesn’t buy into the revisionist beliefs that The White Album could have made a single album on par with Revolver and other single-disc Beatles masterpieces saying “Well, y’know, you can always say that. Perhaps I’ll go with — but not definitely — in fact I think it’s a fine little album. I think the fact that it’s got so much on it is one of the things that’s cool about it, ’cause they’re very varied stuff, y’know ‘Rocky Raccoon,’ ‘Piggies,’ ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ — that kind of stuff. I think it’s a fine album. I’m not one for that: ‘Maybe it was too many of that — what do you mean? It’s great, it sold, it’s the bloody Beatles’ ‘White Album’ — shut up!”
The White Album was released on November 22, 1968, and went on to top the charts for nine non-consecutive weeks beginning on December 28.
Source: The Beatles Bible