Everyone has their favorite album by The Beatles, even the four members themselves. However, they also disagreed with each other on the quality of each album, and producer George Martin had his own opinions as well. George Martin disagreed with John Lennon on one Beatles album, which Lennon considers his favorite, while Martin found it a “disappointment.”
John Lennon’s favorite Beatles album was ‘The White Album’
1968’s The White Album was a drastic shift from 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Instead of being a cohesive concept album, The White Album is more like a compilation album featuring songs written by each member of The Beatles individually. In an interview with Penthouse, Lennon said Paul McCartney didn’t love the album because it was so individualized. However, Lennon considers it his favorite because it has the best music.
“Paul was always upset about the White Album. He never liked it because on that one I did my music, he did his, and George did his,” Lennon said. “And first, he didn’t like George having so many tracks. He wanted it to be more a group thing, which really means more Paul. So he never liked that album, and I always preferred it to all the other albums, including Pepper, because I thought the music was better. The Pepper myth is bigger, but the music on the White Album is far superior, I think.”
George Martin found ‘The White Album’ disappointing
George Martin was essentially the fifth Beatle, as his production was just as important as the writing and music itself. He loved working with The Beatles, so seeing the band distancing themselves from one another hurt him. The White Album was an early indicator of this, which could be why Martin isn’t a fan of it. In an interview shared by Beatles Bible, Martin explained why he thought the album was a “disappointment.”
“The White Album was the disappointment I referred to,” Martin explained. “I wanted to pair that down and issue one single album with the best stuff from it, but they insisted on putting down all the songs they thought of. Some of the songs I thought were fairly trite, and some of them I thought were very good, so if we distilled it, we could’ve had a really super album.”
How did ‘The White Album’ perform on the charts?
The White Album wasn’t quite as popular as Sgt. Pepper’s or 1969’s Abbey Road, but it’s still one of The Beatles’ most successful albums. John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote most of the songs, but Harrison did have a few classic Beatles tunes on there, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. It received praise from a majority of critics, although some found it to be too long and too fragmented.
On the charts, The White Album reached No. 1 on the charts in every country it was released in, including the U.S. and the U.K. In the U.S., it remained at the top of the Billboard 200 for nine weeks and stayed on the chart for 215. Whether you agree with Lennon or Martin, it’s undeniable that The White Album was another smash hit for The Beatles.