Billboard Music Awards
"Let It Be" Leads Beatles Digital Debut
The Beatles' much-ballyhooed arrival in Apple's iTunes Store makes waves on Billboard's charts as a number of the Fab Four's singles and albums dot our tallies. All told, the group sold 1.42 million tracks last week in the U.S. and a further 119,000 digital albums according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The Beatles' top-selling song download of the week is its 1970 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 "Let It Be," which moved 63,000. In the runner-up slot is 1969's "Here Comes the Sun" with 55,000. They arrive at Nos. 26 and 29 on the Digital Songs chart, respectively, and are among 11 Beatles tunes this week on the 75-position chart, which will be refreshed along with all of Billboard's charts on Thursday (Nov. 25).
Half of the Beatles' top 10 sellers -- including "Sun" -- were never released as commercially available singles but have remained popular airplay-only album cuts. (Note that SoundScan and Billboard combine multiple versions of a song's tracks into one overall total, reflected on our Digital Songs chart.)
It's interesting to see that six of their top 10 sellers are also unavailable on the Beatles' greatest-hits collection "1." The 2000 release contains the group's 27 No. 1 singles from both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Official U.K. Singles chart. It has sold 11.7 million copies in the United States, making it the seventh-best-selling album since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. So perhaps casual fans --who likely already own "1" -- cherry-picked tunes that they were lacking in their iTunes library.
As for the band's biggest digital album last week, that would be "Abbey Road," which moved 16,000 and debuts at No. 8 on Top Digital Albums. Their $149 box set was the second-largest seller, with 13,000. They are two of seven Beatles sets on the 25-position tally. The set which moved the fewest downloads for the week was the "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack, which sold 2,000 downloads.
The Beatles' Top 10 Song Downloads (Week Ending Nov. 21)
Title - Sales - Year Released - Hot 100 Peak
Let It Be - 63,000 - 1970 - No. 1 (2 weeks)
Here Comes the Sun - 55,000 - 1969 - N/C*
In My Life - 45,000 - 1966 - N/C*
Hey Jude - 38,000 - 1968 - No. 1 (9 weeks)
Come Together - 38,000 - 1969 - No. 1
Yesterday - 35,000 - 1965 - No. 1 (4 weeks)
Blackbird - 32,000 - 1968 - N/C*
Twist and Shout - 30,000 - 1964 - No. 2 (4 weeks)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps - 27,000 - 1968 - N/C*
With a Little Help From My Friends - 26,000 - 1967 - N/C*
*N/C - Single was not initially commercially released and did not chart.
Source: Nielsen SoundScan