With the CD release of their digitally re-mastered catalog on 9/9/09, The Beatles broke sales chart records around the world, once again showing their lasting influence on the world of music. In the major music markets of North America, Japan and the U.K., consumers purchased more than 2.25 million copies of The Beatles’ re-mastered albums, both individually and in two multiple-CD boxed sets, one in stereo and one in mono, during the first five days of release.
According to EMI, in the U.S. alone, consumers purchased more than one million copies of re-mastered Beatles titles during the first five days of release. On Billboard’s Comprehensive Albums Chart, which includes current and catalog 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 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.
In the U.K. last week, 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 boxed sets, as well as 2000’s Beatles 1 compilation. This set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the U.K. charts, according to the U.K. Official Charts Company. In this week’s U.K. 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 over 354,000 in 11 days and their total U.K. sales this decade to 6,755,000.
The Fab Four made waves in other countries too. In Japan, all 14 re-mastered titles and boxed sets debuted in the top 25 of the international chart, including seven of the top 10. Across all titles and boxed sets, more than 840,000 albums were purchased by consumers in Japan in the first three days of sales. In Canada, The Beatles have 15 of the top 20 catalog 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 began tracking sales. In France, all 14 of the re-mastered titles and boxed sets entered the latest album chart, including three in the top 10. This is a new record for the most original studio albums in the French album chart in one week. And in Italy, The Beatles have 17 titles in the current chart – a record for the most simultaneous entries in the album chart. The band also has set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the Belgian chart, the Polish chart, and the Swedish Top 60.