Vinyl, Cassettes & Retail

Who Says CD Sales Are Dead? Remastered Beatles Sell 2.25 Million In 2 Weeks

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Without the help of a single digital download, The Beatles have broken multiple chart records around the world following the 9-9-09 CD release of their digitally re-mastered catalog. In the major music markets of North America, Japan and the UK, consumers purchased more than 2.25 million copies of The Beatles' re-mastered albums during the first five days of release.

A 20 country breakdown new Beatles chart accomplishments:

  • US: During the first five days of release, consumers purchased more than one million copies of re-mastered Beatles titles, and the individual CD and boxed sets debuted strongly across multiple Billboard charts.
    • On Billboard's Comprehensive Albums chart, which lists the most popular album releases in the US, including current and catalogue titles, The Beatles set a new record for the most simultaneous titles by a single artist (18), including five of the top 10 and nine of the top 20.
    • On the Pop Catalog chart, The Beatles achieved another new Billboard chart first for the most simultaneous titles in the top 50 (16), a record they previously set themselves with 12 titles in December 1995. The Beatles have nine of the chart's top 10 titles, and all 14 re-mastered CDs are in the top 20, led by 'Abbey Road' at number one and 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' at number two.
    • On the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, 'The Beatles' stereo boxed set debuted at number 15, and 'The Beatles in Mono' limited edition boxed set debuted at number 40.
  • UK: In last week's chart, The Beatles had four titles in the top 10, seven in the top 40 and 16 in the top 75, including both the stereo and mono boxes, as well as 2000's 'Beatles 1' compilation. This set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the UK charts according to the UK Official Charts Company. In this week's UK chart, The Beatles have 13 albums in the top 75. A further 84,000 CDs were sold last week, bringing their total sales of the re-masters to more than 354,000 in 11 days and their total UK sales this decade to 6,755,000.
  • Japan: All 14 re-mastered titles and boxed sets debuted in the top 25 of the international chart, including seven of the top 10, led by the stereo boxed set at number two, the mono boxed set at number three, 'Abbey Road' at four and 'Let It Be' at six. Across all titles and box sets, more than 840,000 albums were purchased by consumers in Japan in the first three days of sales.
  • Canada: The Beatles have 15 of the top 20 catalogue titles including all of the top 11. The stereo boxed set is a new entry in the current albums chart at number four, the highest debut for a boxed set in Canada since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales. Cumulative sales across all titles were just under 160,000 over the counter.
  • France: All 14 of the re-mastered titles and boxed sets entered the latest album chart, including three in the top 10, led by 'Abbey Road' at number four, a new record for the most original studio albums in the French album chart in one week.
  • Italy: The Beatles have 17 titles in the current chart – all 14 re-mastered titles, the two boxed sets, plus the '1' compilation, a record for the most simultaneous entries in the album chart.
  • Belgium: With 17 entries in the current chart – the 14 re-mastered titles, two boxed sets and '1' compilation – The Beatles have set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the Belgian chart as confirmed by chart compiler Ultrapop.
  • Sweden: The Beatles have 16 titles simultaneously in the top 60, led by 'Abbey Road' at number six. Local industry body IFPI have confirmed that this is a record for the Swedish charts.
  • Argentina: Seven of the current top 10 albums are Beatles re-masters, led by 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band at number two, 'Abbey Road' at number three and 'The Beatles' (The White Album) at number four. All 14 re-mastered titles are in the top 20 and the boxed sets are at numbers 73 and 74 in the chart.
  • Spain: 13 Beatles albums plus both boxed sets debuted in the latest chart, a record for a single artist. The combined sales of the boxed sets places them at number four in the chart.
  • Poland: All 14 re-mastered albums and two boxed sets debuted in the current top 100, led by 'Abbey Road' at six. This is a record for the highest number of simultaneous entries in the Polish chart.
  • Switzerland: 14 Beatles titles, including the stereo boxed set, debuted in the most recent album chart, a record for the most simultaneous titles in the album chart.
  • Denmark: The latest album chart includes 15 re-mastered Beatles titles, plus the '1' compilation, including four of the top 20.
  • Australia: The Beatles have 14 titles in the current chart, including the '1' compilation.
  • Germany: The combined sales of the stereo and mono boxed sets, with one boxed set counted as one unit sale, places them as the number three best seller in the latest chart.
  • Austria: The current top 75 contains 12 re-mastered titles plus the stereo boxed set.
  • Portugal: The re-mastered titles occupy 11 places in the current top 30 album chart, including three of the top 10.
  • Norway: The combined stereo and mono boxed sets debut at number three with a further 12 re-mastered titles in the top 100.
  • Colombia: Half of the current top 10 albums are Beatles re-mastered titles.
  • Korea: During the first sales week The Beatles occupied 16 out of the top 17 spots in Korea's Hottracks album chart.

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  1. But isn’t this BECAUSE they are selling the CD-quality track and not the mp3’s??? Why listen to chopped off files if you can listen to what the mastering engineers intended? Therefore you buy the CD…

  2. I tend to disagree. How many of those CDs were immediately imported to as AAC/MP3, and the nice boxset left prominently on a shelf to look pretty & gather dust? The vast majority of people find no practically meaningful difference in quality between a decent quality MP3 and a WAV.
    I think CD sales are driven less by audiophily than by two other factors: what/where people listen to music, and the power of owning something physical. Would a concurrent digital release have cannabalized CD sales? Maybe only modestly, but I think you’d see a big increase in total album sales…

  3. I bet A LOT of those who bought these CDs, ripped them and listen to the albums on their iPods. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This release is awesome and a nice goodbye to a format that should die soon: the CD.
    If these albums came as downloads, but instead of iTunes you had to buy replicas of the Album artwork at Best Buy, Starbucks and Amazon (with a download code linking to a high quality format), these would sell quite as well and be even more innovative: keep the nostalgia element (with the physical album artowrk), be greener (no need to create CDs), and be a a little bit cheaper (no CD cost).

  4. The Beatles…THE F.. BEATLES…I just don’t understand why people continue to buy music that they already own. If garlic bread could reproduce music, the Beatles would sell a million.
    In this scenario the format is irrelevant. People just want to buy Beatles so they can put it on their shelf and then listen to Radio instead. I guess 50% of those that purchased the CD listened to it.

  5. I am personally going to be buying the CD box set, but only because it’s a special release. Everything else I listen to is either in MP3 format or streaming from or other sites. I would guess there are quite a lot of people in a similar situation…usually stream, but want the best quality for this pretty awesome set. If I could stream it at CD quality, I would, instead of buying CDs.

  6. we can learn NOTHING about the state of the music biz/industry or cd sales by referencing the beatles. to say they exist in their own sphere is to understate it severely…

  7. I call this The Michael Jordan Syndrome. During MJ’s days on the court viewership of the NBA soared. People who didn’t even really like basketball were watching for one reason: They had heard that MJ was the best player in the history of basketball.
    The same thing has happened with Tiger Woods and Golf, people want to be able to say, “I saw the best that ever lived.”
    This applies to the Beatles as well. People buy these products as a way of experiencing what they’ve been told is the best ever.

  8. I’d like to see polling data on the general understanding of the word “remastered”. I think that was a draw for a lot of people (after all, it does seem like the Beatles catalog has been on CD for a little while…).

  9. Say what you mean, but your unfounded and ignorant opinion will not make anyone sells more music than the beatles. From now until the day you die. And I’m 24, by the way.

  10. Of course you buy the CD because you want a lossless file in this case. It is The Freaking Beatles. It’s not like my 14 year old nephew is rushing out to Best Buy to get his hands on this. It is his grandfather who just bought the Bose CD player off of an infomercial. I own 3 Wax Trax Black Box sets for the very same reason. Funny how technology advances but we listen to music with a file type nearly 15 years old through ear buds with the sonic quality of my laptop speakers.

  11. I think this is cool….Because the original CD mastering job sounded like apricot scented dogshit smeared across a rusted bedpan.
    The fact that these beautiful songs have been redeemed in the modern age by Geoff Emmerich himself is cause to celebrate…
    But I still like the MFSL Vinyl Masters the best.
    Either way, The Beatles would never get signed today if they were 22 years old unless they knew who to blow, and how to look doing it….But as savvy as they were after their time in Hamburg they probably would have started their own label….but it would have taken them a long time to save up for a Neumann VSM Lathe, and longer to learn how to use it….
    You see what I did there…old and new and all that.
    drunk post,

  12. As most of you were not even born when the Beatles were at their height, I was fortunate at 9 years old to be taken to the The Beatle concert in Sydney in 1964 and grew up with them. If you were not there don’t bother commenting on their current sales and what you might think of if they would get a gig today. If they did get a recording today as the age of 22 the recording company would have better sales but more importantly BETTER MUSIC THAN THE SHIT THAT IS AROUND TODAY. The beatles never needed fanfare or to cause controversy to get headlines.THEY LET THERI MUSIC DO THE TALKING! CHILDREN!!!!!!

  13. maybe its the music did you ever think of that. with all the shit out today lady gaga etc. the beatles made music that is timeless no matter what the format

  14. The Beatles were/are the greatest on all levels videos,artwork,lyrics,melody,singing not screaming or rap n to garbage….lets face it folks kids now like hip hop garbage tattoos and not having their GEDs or drivers lic.pull your pants up and put your hat on right..stay in school.Beatles are the measuring /yardstick all artists are judged by.The Beatles are the best kiddies your rap is shit

  15. That is so funny, because, at the time (1986), in my household we refused to move to CDs at all, since what we listened to the most wasn’t available in that format. As soon as the CD releases were announced, I moved to the new format with a vengeance.
    And you’re right, this is, in all likelihood, the swan song of the CD. The Beatles are, were and will forever remain the alpha and the omega of the CD format!

  16. The amazing aspect of their genius is listening to the evolution of their music and in essence the evolution of rock. They rewrote the history of music starting with “Love Me Do” and reached their zenith with ‘Abbey Road.” When one listens to their albums in the order of their release, you see the true growth and how it influenced everything that came after.That influence is still strong today. There will never be anything like them again.

  17. if you have a pretty decent 2 channel amp and 2 pretty good quality speakers you can really tell the difference in the sound quality of these remastered cds compared to the previous cds. On a car stereo i can not tell too much of a difference. the mono set is good Sgt pepper is much better in mono on a good home stereo. I have the records the cd’s and these new remasters, these remasters sound the best to me.The beatles were a great band and i still love to listen to the music, now that the remasters are out i have lisitened to them too much, i get a kick out of how great they sound. even their early stuff sounds great, john could really sing rock and roll and make it sound so easy. they sure were great together as a band. I do not like rap but the kids seem to love it , sounds familar, my parents back in the day did not like the beatles music but the younger people loved it. who cares if you enjoy a certain kind of music or rap then enjoy it. we could argue till domesday about who the greatest bands are or were , depending on what kind of music you like. As for me at 50 years old, i enjoy the Beatles and still think they are the Best ever, Well thats just my opinion, and that is not because other people say so , i enjoy the music and think they sound great still, all these years later. some of the early albums were recorded in a few days only.

  18. The quality of these recordings are just incredible, especially the improvements on their earlier recordings either on CD or Vinyl. (I recently purchased the 2009 Re-mastered vinyl of rubber soul…if you haven’t heard the vinyl re-masters and you’re a vinyl/beatle enthusiast.. you will be blown away.)

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