A masterclass in studio creativity, the new Beatles album project "Love" (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol) is also shaping up to be a massive commercial success.

A masterclass in studio creativity, the new Beatles album project "Love" (Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol) is also shaping up to be a massive commercial success.

U.K. retailers are confident the album will prove a sales winner in the lead-up to Christmas. "Any Beatles recording will always have wide appeal -- both with the hardcore fans and more mainstream music buyers," says HMV U.K. & Ireland London-based head of music Gary Rolfe. "Obviously, the Christmas gift market means it will have the potential to reach an even wider audience this time around, particularly as the packaging is so well presented and there is much anticipation around George Martin's production of the album."

Initial shipments ahead of the Monday (Nov. 20) international release are "great," and the recording has achieved No. 1 pre-sale status on Amazon.com, EMI Music U.K. & Ireland chairman/CEO Tony Wadsworth tells Billboard.com.

As previously reported, "Love" is the soundtrack to Cirque du Soleil's Beatles show of the same name in Las Vegas. It encompasses "mash-ups" of elements from throughout the Beatles' storied career, reconstituted by the band's producer, George Martin, and his son Giles.

The album was premiered for journalists this morning (Nov. 17) at London's Abbey Road Studios. "The first score I did with the Beatles was for 'Yesterday'. This is the final one," said George Martin, who was inducted Tuesday (Nov. 14) into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame. "It's top and tail. And it's very important to me."

When asked by host Paul Gambaccini how he felt on completing the two-year project, Martin quipped, "great relief. I'm too old for this lark now." Martin went on to explain, "It's been an odyssey, a journey and it's been a lot of fun along the way. This music is to convey the unanimity of the Beatles. It was a great privilege for me."

"It's a unique album, there's nothing to measure it by," added Wadsworth. "It will be interesting to see how other artists take it on board and recreate their own works."