It debuted at number 11 in the charts, climbed to number two, then finally reached number one in its third week of release. The delay may have been caused by the slightly higher price for a double album, which could have prevented many young fans from affording it.
Nonetheless, the White Album became a huge commercial success for The Beatles. It spent 155 weeks on the Billboard 200 chart, and eventually became the group’s best-selling album according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The album has been certified 19-times platinum and is the 10th best-selling album of all time in the United States.
Unlike in the United Kingdom, the US version of the White Album was issued only in stereo. The catalogue number was Apple SWBO-101.
After just one month on sale the White Album had sold more than four million copies worldwide, and by the end of 1970 global sales were around 6.5 million. Until the release of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack it was the best-selling double album of all time.
Also on this day...
- 2014: Paul McCartney live: Allianz Parque, São Paulo, Brazil
- 2012: Paul McCartney live: BC Place, Vancouver, Canada
- 2008: Beatles iTunes deal has ‘stalled’
- 2008: US album release: Electric Arguments by The Fireman (Paul McCartney and Youth)
- 1969: John Lennon returns his MBE to the Queen
- 1966: Recording: Pantomime: Everywhere It’s Christmas
- 1965: The Beatles go Christmas shopping in Harrods
- 1964: Radio: Saturday Club
- 1963: Television: Late Scene Extra, Scene At 6.30
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.