Monday, December 04, 2006

Passion For The Beatles Is Odd?

In a poor review of the new Beatles oddity "Love," Newsweek has this odd comment: "the market for remastered Beatles music is almost weirdly robust." Huh? What is weirdly robust about loving the greatest band of all time? The only thing I find weird is that their albums haven't sold even more. At least Newsweek is right about one thing: remastering of their CD catalog is desperately overdue. Here are the figures for their core releases per the Recording Industry Association of America. Note: the RIAA foolishly counts multi CD sets as having sold X number of copies per set, so a 4 CD boxed set with 250,000 total sales counts as 1 million copies. "The White Album" is listed at 19x platinum but that equals 9.5 million total copies of the album sold. Obviously, you want to know how many copies it sold, not how many copies it sold times how many CDs are included, so that's why I adjust the figures. The "Red" and "Blue" greatest hits compilations have sold 7 and 8 million copies respectively and the #1 compilation has sold 10 million copies. What Beatles albums do you own? (I've got them all -- literally.)

Meet The Beatles -- 5 million copies in the US
The Beatles' Second Album -- 2 million
Something New -- 2 million
A Hard Day's Night -- 4 million
Beatles '65 -- 3 million
Help! -- 3 million
Rubber Soul -- 6 million
Revolver -- 5 million
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely... -- 11 million
Magical Mystery Tour -- 6 million
White Album -- 9 million
Yellow Submarine -- 1 million
Abbey Road -- 12 million
Let It Be -- 4 million


Robert Rouse said...

What some people may find amazing is how well the Beatles hold up compared to other bands from their time period. How many other bands from the '60s keep finding new generations of fans year after year. I was recently told by a man I respect that he thought the Rolling Stones, by sheer longevity and number of albums recorded make them the top band from the '60s by default. I informed him that there were several composers from the late 18th century who composed many more pieces that Mozart, but he probably wouldn't recognize them. He smiled, nodded, and took my point.

Michael in New York said...

Good comeback. I think the Stones HAVE gained more respect by hanging around and still delivering live, but surely recording "Voodoo Lounge" and "No Security" et al hasn't done their rep any good. To me, it's not the Beatles vs the Rolling Stones it's the Beatles vs Everyone Else and no one else comes close. However, you say "band" so maybe I'm cheating, but that Dylan guy is holding up pretty well.

Robert Rouse said...

I feel the same way about the Beatles vs. everyone else, and yes, Mr. Zimmerman does continue to release quality stuff.

BTW, as a side note, I'm adding a link to your site. I believe a lot of my readers will enjoy it.

Michael in New York said...

Thanks. I'm technically incompetent (I don't even have a link to my OWN main website), but when I relaunch early next year with a revamped site, I'll try to remember to return the favor.