Why ‘The White Album’ Is Officially Called ‘The Beatles’

The Beatles‘ The White Album is actually just called The Beatles. During an interview, Paul McCartney examined the origin of the title. In addition, John Lennon revealed what he thought of the album in retrospect.

A great artist helped come up with the official name of The Beatles’ ‘The White Album’
In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul said he worked on the packaging of The White Album with artist Richard Hamilton. Hamilton is most remembered for his pop art piece Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? The artist asked Paul a fateful question.

“Richard asked, ‘Has there been an album called The Beatles?’ so I referred back to EMI and they said, ‘No. There’s been Meet the Beatles!, Introducing… The Beatles in America, but there’d never been an album called The Beatles,’” Paul recalled. “So he said, ‘Let’s call it that,’ which is the official title of The White Album.” It’s interesting that Paul didn’t know the names of all The Beatles’ albums off the top of his head. Notably, the band released several other LPs with their name in the title.

Paul McCartney felt Richard Hamilton’s idea was too good for an album called ‘The Beatles’
Hamilton had another idea for the record. “So now he was saying, ‘Let’s call it The Beatles and have it white, really white,’” Paul recalled. “I was saying, ‘Well, I dunno. It’s a great concept, but we are releasing an album here. This is not a piece of art for a rather elite gallery; this is more than that.’

‘I see the point,’” Paul added. “‘It’s a nice idea, but for what we were to people, and still are, it doesn’t quite fit; we’re not quite a blank space, a white wall, The Beatles. Somebody ought to piss on it or smudge an apple on it for it to become The Beatles because a white wall’s just too German and marvelous for us.’”

Hamilton convinced Paul the idea would work if each copy of The White Album had a number embossed on it. EMI respected his idea at first but then gave up on it. The final album has a white cover with the name The Beatles on it.

John Lennon liked ‘The White Album’ even though he didn’t think it was perfect
The White Album turned out so well that even John liked it. The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono contains an interview from 1980. In it, John was asked if he had any favorite albums.

John said the only albums he liked in toto were Elvis Presley’s self-titled debut and a Carl Perkins album, but he couldn’t remember if it was Perkins’ first or second one. Despite this, he still had warm feelings toward a few Beatles albums. specifically naming The White Album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Please Please Me. Notably, he didn’t name classics such as Abbey Road and Let It Be. The White Album turned out great, even if few fans call it by its official name.

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