The Beatles or "The White album" as it became better known was released on 22nd November, 1968 on the fifth anniversary of their second album, With The Beatles. A total of 34 new tracks were released in 1968 and 30 were contained on this one double-LP.
Following the recording of their single "Lady Madonna" in February, the Beatles flew to Rishikesh, India for several weeks of meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi during which they enjoyed a prolific period of song writing. Recording began at Abbey Road on 30th May and studio work occupied most of their time until the final session in mid October.
The colourful artwork that had adorned Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour albums was absent here. The double wallet merely had words The BEATLES embossed on the front cover. Early copies also had a individual number stamped on the front. Inside the package along with the two discs wrapped in black inner sleeves were four individual photographs of the guys and a folded poster containing a photo-collage with the lyrics to the songs on the reverse.
The Beatles was the group's first album to appear on the Apple label. The change from Parlophone to Apple had first taken place with the release of the "Hey Jude" single in August, 1968.
Despite the fact that it was a double album it entered the UK chart at no. 1 and occupied that position for eight of the 22 weeks it spent in the chart. The US situation was even more impressive with a nine week stay in the top spot during an initial chart run of 65 weeks.