Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beatles on iTunes

(Main UK releases succession: 1963-1970)

Yesterday, Apple triggered the imaginations of iTunes fans everywhere when they announced that today would be another day "that you'll would never forget;" would it be a software upgrade? longer music previews? or a day of free music? Nope, it's The Beatles.

The legendary rock band now have their whole catalogue in the store, dating back to 1963's debut Please Please Me, and have all been remastered to fit the iTunes LP format--priced at £10.99 and $12.99 in the UK and US iTunes, there's even an iTunes exclusive digital box set going for £125, for people willing to splash that amount of cash. It's exciting, although I know a lot of people already own a lot of the Beatles albums, either through physical albums or torrent sites, which arguably offer better quality, so the question arises of whether this new addition to iTunes is totally worth it?

But personally, I've only ever owned 1 Beatles song and that's 1965's US 4-week chart topper "Yesterday" from their fifth album Help! from the same year, therefore when I've been asked, I've always regarded that as my favorite album of theirs, despite not having actually listened to the whole thing before. I was reading into some back-story of that particular album and that the cover was suppose to spell HELP in flag semaphore but instead spells NUJV, apparently Robert Freeman, the photographer, didn't think those positions looked good, so they improvised.

I'm actually pretty amped to start listening to their catalog--along with a handful of others, I've always wanted to give 1967's Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band a listen, often regarded as one of the best albums of all time, ranking at the top of numerous lists calculating that feat, including Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. While, I haven't had the chance to get into the Beatles until now, a fellow band from around the same era I have been able to get into are The Beach Boys, particularly 1966's critically acclaimed eleventh album Pet Sounds ("Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)" is one of my favorites of theirs).

Billboard note that since sales tracking began in 1991, the legendary four-piece have sold 61 million albums--which also includes 1 million this year, however total sales tally to around 250 million worldwide. According to the RIAA, 207 million of that coming from the US and 7 million from the UK. They also note that now that their songs are now available to be purchased separately, will there be a significant drop in sales? or will the excitement of the highly anticipated addition to iTunes cause a surge in sales? I think the latter.


Paul said...

meh. any beatles songs i wanted are already on my computer - surely people know how to rip cds onto their laptops by now?! Crikey!! I'm hoping this won't ruin the singles charts this week...

ww_adh said...

I see Amazon.com has set the price on those nice deluxe edition remasters that came out last year to $8 (they were $19). I assume in response to iTunes. So actually, if you want Beatles albums, that's a really good deal, maybe even if you live in Britain, since that would be about 1/3 off their regular price there (Amazon.co.uk has them at £7.99, but isn't showing that as a sale price).