The Beatles ‘ White Album Returns to Top 10 on Billboard

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The Beatles ’ self-titled album, often referred to as the White Album, re-enters the Billboard 200 chart at No. 6 following its 50th anniversary reissue on Nov. 9.

The set climbs back onto the tally with 63,000 units earned (up 1,499 percent) in the week ending Nov. 15, according to Nielsen Music. Of that sum, 52,000 were in traditional album sales (up 5,596 percent). By Keith Caulfield – Billboard –

The former No. 1 revisits the top 10 for the first time since 1969, following the album’s 50th anniversary reissue.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units.

The White Album, first released in 1968, was remastered and reissued in a variety of formats, including some with a bevy of bonus tracks. The set spent nine nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 between Dec. 28, 1968 and March 1, 1969. It’s one of the Beatles’ record 19 No. 1 albums on the tally.

Until this week, the White Album was last higher on the chart on March 29, 1969, when it ranked at No. 5 (the final week in the top 10 of its initial chart run).

Recently last week, producer Chris Thomas and engineer Ken Scott, have been speaking about the double LP, which has the formal eponymous title of The Beatles.

Scott and Thomas recall John Lennon’s surprising choice of favorite songs; why Ringo Starr walked out at one point; how George Harrison came into his own and stood up to George Martin.

 

Thomas, now 71, recals: ”  “I came back at the beginning of September. There was a little handwritten note from George Martin on my desk saying ‘I hope you had a nice holiday, I am off on mine now. Make yourself available to The Beatles. Neil and Mal know you’re coming down.’”

(Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans were both assistants to the band.) “Talk about thrown in the deep end!” says Thomas. In the first session, he nervously interrupted the group a few times to point out various mistakes and won them over with his production skills.

George Harrison had demoed his anti-capitalistic rant “Piggies” on acoustic guitar. Thomas, looking for a different instrument, found a harpsichord being used for a classical recording in Abbey Road’s Studio No. 1: “George was playing it and suddenly started on another song. I said, ‘that’s fantastic, it is much better than ‘Piggies.’’ It was ‘Something.’ It was the first time George had played it to anybody and I said: ‘It’s great, we should really do that.’ He said ‘Do you really think it is good? I will give it to Jackie Lomax.beatles

There was tension at times between George Martin and the band. We were in No. 2 mixing ‘Savoy Truffle.’ George Harrison wanted it very high-endy, it was almost painful. We recorded the saxes and he wanted them distorted. George Martin came in halfway through and said ‘’Don’t you think it’s a bit toppy?’ and George Harrison turned around and said ‘Yeah, and that’s the way I want it.’ George Martin just went out.”

 

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