The White Album may be turning 50, but Sgt Pepper is Britain’s favourite Beatles album

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
November 21, 2018, 12:00 AM GMT+0

John and Paul still overshadow George and Ringo in public preferences

Thanks to a special edition reissue, the White Album is again back in the charts this week – a full 50 years after it first hit shops. Beatlemaniacs up and down the country are again treating their ears to classics such as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Helter Skelter” and “Happiness is a Warm Gun”.

But a new YouGov poll of fans of The Beatles shows that the venerable album – officially entitled “The Beatles” but known as “The White Album” due to its minimalist cover design – is the favourite of only 8% of people, making it only the third most popular overall.

The top spot instead goes to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which is favoured by a quarter (25%) of fans. A Hard Day’s Night clinches second place at 10%.

Almost half of Britons (48%) consider themselves to be fans of The Beatles. Unsurprisingly, age is the key factor, with those aged 65 and over the most likely to love the band (66%), and those aged 18-24 the least likely (26%).

John Lennon and Paul McCartney were always considered the two most prominent members of the band, and this is reflected in the preferences of fans. Asked to choose their favourite Beatle, 31% chose Lennon and 30% McCartney – effectively a tie.

John Lennon is noticeably more popular among men – 38% of male fans picked him as their best Beatle, compared to 24% of female fans. Women tended to prefer the other three Beatles, albeit by much narrower margins.