Beatles sales on iTunes hit new milestone

The-BeatlesmoneyImage Credit: Apple Corps. Ltd. EMIAll you need is love, kids. Also, a credit card, and wi-fi. And bam! you’ve got yourself one of iTunes’ greatest hits to date: The Beatles catalog.

Since the four unknown Liverpudlians finally arrived on iTunes last November 16, sales have been (shocker!) swift—two million songs and 450,000 albums (13 are available via the site) in the first week alone. And now, iTunes reps tell EW, they have hit new marks: 5 million and one million, respectively.

The top song, George loyalists will be happy to learn, remains the same: “Here Comes the Sun.” As does the top album, Abbey Road. Clearly, the catalog’s momentum has slowed since its initial bow two months ago; still, these are not-exactly-shabby numbers for music originally released over 40 years ago, and long available physically at any mall, record store, or swap meet in the land.

What do you think, readers—will sales stay fab? And are those who click picking the Beatles’ best?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

More from EW.com:
What’s the world’s favorite Beatles song? iTunes has the answer
With Beatles now on iTunes, who are the last holdouts—and why?


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Comments (75 total) Add your comment
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  • The Man

    It’s refreshing to see that, for all of the “garbage” that’s out on the airwaves today, people still appreciate the classics. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that everything played on the radio is garbage, but, at a time when there seems to be very little in the way of innovation in music, it’s nice to see that one of the most important and inventive music groups is still considered relevant with regards to sales of their albums and songs.

    • Rick

      Most of it IS garbage. Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson? Really? How long will their music last? ten yrs.? Doubtful. My brother’s grandkids are Beatles fans!

    • jzop

      If you can’t find innovation in music today, then either you are not looking or you are not looking in the right places.

    • Alan Stanwyck

      I’m not surprised. Wingman Pheromones is the #1 selling cologne right now – so yes, the Beatles can do it.

      • Thomas Peracchio

        Right you are, guy paid to plug a product and not comment on the subject! BTW – Wingman Pheromones smells like dog crap and is guaranteed to alienate the opposite sex.

  • z

    A bit surprised it wasn’t “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” as the #1 Album. Very fitting for “Here Comes the Sun” to be #1 after the long wait.

  • Alice

    Actually the No. 1 Beatles download is not Here Comes the Sun, according to Billboard. Let it Be is on the iTunes list twice (because it appears on multiple Beatles albums) and when you add the Let it Be downloads together, Let it Be is the No. 1 download.

    And Here Comes the Sun only goes to show that Paul wasn’t the only one who wrote syrupy songs. Seriously, Here Comes the Sun is one of the Beatles LEAST interesting songs.

    • dave

      alice just wrote one of her LEAST interesting comments

      • Alice

        Guess that’s why you responded, eh? Because it was so uninteresting.

      • dave

        LOL not really

      • Julie

        No, Alice, he responded because it’s too stupid to let it pass without comment.

    • Ringo

      Thanks for sharing…who cares.

    • Rick

      Tell that to Harrison’s estate. They are laughing to the bank. Everyone has an opinion. You may think that, but that song is one of their best.

    • MO-JM

      Well, there’s no accounting for taste, I guess (or sunniness)

    • T-Bone

      Alice, I don’t agree. The acoustic guitar arrangement that George Harrison composed in the song is outstanding and complex. It is a pleasant song, with teeth to it.

      • Thomas Peracchio

        Here Comes the Sun is a terrific piece, with a bright sound. Syrupy? Find a song with a lighter touch than this!

    • Vlad

      Isn’t it amazing that after 50 years we’re still arguing which of the Beatles is the best song writer?:)

  • ian

    Abbey Road always seems to be the most purchased but It’s far from their best. Sgt Peppers, White Album and Revolver are all better but get less attention it seems.

    • Barry

      That’s your personal opinion. My favorite has always been Abbey Road.

  • Winston O’Boogie

    These sales are no surprise what-so-ever. The Beatles sold in the past in huge quantities, they sell now in huge quantities and they will continue to sell in huge quantities forever.

  • urchin_c

    I agree, why is this surprising. Beatles have always sold gazillions. That’s because their music is melodic and fresh…even ater numerous listening. What people don’t seem to grasp is that every generation has a certain percentage of new listeners…those who appreciate great songs. It’s not the same old baby boomers buying the same songs over and over again. I can tell you that younger listeners are listening. I know. My daughter listen to them now and play Beatles Rock Band all the time.

    • PN

      A lot of people like their songs, even the younger generation of music listeners. The Beatles’ songs are still solid. Even though I was born in the ’70s I thought their earlier songs like She Loves You were very catchy and infectious. They showed a lot of their old footage on TV in the mid ’70s and I was hooked! I respect Paul McCartney more as a solo artist on his own because of his songs with the Beatles. John Lennon wrote solid records with Paul when they were a band together.It made him a more durable solo artist in the ’70s.

  • tromba

    I grew up in the 60’s. Can’t name 10 Beatles songs on a bet. They were not all that good – they were just there first.

    • Alice

      So why are you commenting on a Beatles story if you have no interest in the band? Just want to prove what bad taste you have? Well you’ve done it.

      • Rick

        Amen.

      • Gary

        If you grew up in the ’60s as I did and you find ‘The Beatles’ not that good then you took just a little to much acid.

      • Get Real

        Let me get this straight. If a person disagrees with you, you ask them why they post.

        So much for valuing free speech. Assassinate the character instead of arguing the point.

        You should get into politics.

    • Barry

      Ignorant statement. Numbers don’t lie.

    • jzop

      THANK YOU! However, it did spark a good conversation with my 12-year-old about the hazards of doing drugs… “I am the walrus…” wtf?

    • PenguinMan

      You grew up in the 60’s and can’t remember 10 songs, humm, sounds like you took some good drugs

    • Thomas Peracchio

      Dude, not everybody was raised in Communist China.

  • tonefreak

    I bought the original mono cd release of Please Please Me (used) at an indy record store (yes, LPs)this weekend for 8 bucks. Better mix and sound quality than mp3s off itunes store AND supporting a local business. Cheaper, too. There are better alternatives.

    • Matt

      It is absolutely NOT better sound quality but some (old) people have come accustomed to hearing the hisses pops and cracks from the worn out vinyl. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy vinyl because it is a different listening experience but in no way is the quality better.

      • Tim

        A clean and good condition record, like what tonefreak is talking about, will not exhibit the hisses and pops that you think the old people hear. Find someone with a good stereo and you’ll be surprised…

      • Aaron

        You’re wrong there. I’m not an “old” person (in my 20s) and mp3 files present audio compression that does not exist on records. MP3 files are great for stuff recorded digitally but not for older analog type stuff.

    • Paul

      You go, truth speaker!

  • Josh

    Does this mean the Apple Computer vs. Apple Records war is over?

    • Rick

      I heard there was a settlement. Most likely a HUGE one. Lol

  • Robert

    It’s all a matter of taste…..but I think that if you took the top 100 songs of all times, the Beatles would come-up more times than any other group.

  • SteveB

    I am 55, I have every original Beatles album, and pretty much all the CDs too. The Beatles will forever transcend the generations. How many times I’ve listened to their music and it never gets stale! (well, maybe ‘Blue Jay Way’, but that’s it) My theory on why Abbey Road is #1 is that it is the closest thing in overall sound to today’s music and production values. It’s very smooth. But give me 40 free minutes & I’ll take either Revolver or Sgt Pepper over anything else I have in my collection. I put it on, turn off my mind, relax & float downstream. ;-))

    • Dale

      Steve I agree with you 100%. I am building a theater that will double as a music listening room and can’t wait to put on one of those you mention or Rubber Soul.

      • Rick

        I’m jealous! lol

  • gary

    The thing about the Beatles music was and is it’s freshness. Every album different .Rubber Soul was the change . Revolver the way. Sgt Pepper the opened door. For a band that was’nt together very long they put out an enormous amount of the finest music of the 20th century.40 ,50,100 years from now it will stand.

  • davidniebla

    THE BEATLES THE BEST BAND EVER IN THE HISTORY LOVE ALL SONGS DAVID

  • big A

    Lest we forget the most touching song they did from Revolver.. “Here there and everywhere”. Whenever I look at my wife I think of that tune.

  • tom

    Beatles WHITE ALBUM is the greatest LP of all time – period…and I have their whole collection 20 times over and another 6000 lps to boot !

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