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The Beatles on iTunes: Got to Admit It’s Getting Better (Sales, That Is)


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It's been 24 hours since Apple's long-overdue (yet premature) announcement that the Beatles' catalog would finally be available on iTunes. So how are the Fab Four doing on the iTunes Top Albums charts? Surprisingly well, actually. The Amp was skeptical about what the Beatles' impact on the digital sales chart would be, figuring it was "too little, too late" on the part of both Apple and Apple Corps, but the numbers have proven us wrong. After spending the majority of Tuesday outside the Top 10 ("Abbey Road" peaked at Number 11 yesterday), all of the Beatles' albums and collections available on iTunes are now in the Top 50. On the flip side, however, Lee DeWyze is outselling all the Beatles albums, which is slightly distressing. Here's how the Beatles are faring:

Number 7: "Abbey Road"
Number 8: "The Beatles (The White Album)"
Number 9: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
Number 11: "The Beatles (Digital) Box Set"
Number 13: "The Beatles: 1967 - 1970 (The Blue Album)"
Number 16: "The Beatles: 1962 - 1966 (The Red Album)"
Number 18: "Rubber Soul"
Number 20: "Revolver"
Number 21: "Magical Mystery Tour"
Number 22: "Let It Be"
Number 26: "A Hard Day's Night"
Number 28: "Please Please Me"
Number 29: "Help!"
Number 32: "With the Beatles"
Number 33: "Past Masters, Vols. 1 and 2"
Number 36: "Beatles For Sale"
Number 45: "Yellow Submarine"

Our analysis: People love the Beatles' druggie era, as all the post-"Rubber Soul"/strange-facial-hair albums beat out the Beatlemania/mop-tops/still-wearing-matching-suits LPs. "Abbey Road," the Beatles' final album, remains the fan favorite, which is accurate considering it's the Beatles' best album (that's not up for debate). Many critics in the "Who cares that the Beatles are on iTunes?" camp are likely eating their words this morning as iTunes' $149 "The Beatles Box Set," a collection of the entire discography, currently resides at #11 on the chart and is outselling Taylor Swift's "Speak Now." Translation: $$$$$$$.

The iTunes Top Songs chart is also littered with assorted Beatles tracks, since they were made available as à la carte downloads. That chart provides some interesting insight into the popularity of Beatles songs four decades later that can't be measured by radio play or critics list of Fab Four tracks. Here's how they rank within the Top 100 at press time:

Number 19: "Here Comes the Sun"
Number 24: "Let It Be"
Number 30: "In My Life"
Number 32: "Blackbird"
Number 36: "Come Together"
Number 50: "Hey Jude"
Number 51: "With a Little Help From My Friends"
Number 64: "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"
Number 66: "Twist and Shout"
Number 71: "Eleanor Rigby"
Number 74: "A Day in the Life"
Number 77: "I Saw Her Standing There"
Number 79: "Yesterday"
Number 80: "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
Number 83: "Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds"
Number 86: "Something"
Number 88: "Help!"
Number 95: "A Hard Day's Night"
Number 97: "Can't Buy Me Love"

The masses that did not already own the Beatles' catalog digitally have spoken, and "Here Comes the Sun" is the surprising top seller. We did not anticipate that. We expected "Let It Be" or "Hey Jude," not the George Harrison-penned "Abbey" track. Did "Glee" sing "Here Comes the Sun" or something? If they haven't, it's probably in the cards soon.

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