Beatles for Christmas: iTunes, Amazon sales

beatles digital downloads cardFor the original wave of Beatles fans, Christmas meant something new from the Fab Four.

Albums released for holiday buying in the ’60s included “With the Beatles,” “Beatles for Sale,” “Rubber Soul,” “The Beatles (White Album),” “Let It Be” and “Magical Mystery Tour.” Imagine finding those platters under the tree one golden morning.

The tradition continues in 2010 with the iTunes debut of Beatles songs and albums. The long-awaited downloads came to e-market after EMI’s rerelease of the group’s catalog on CD. iTunes gift cards featuring the Fabs became instant collectors items (pictured). Meanwhile, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were repped with holiday-friendly reissues.

And so the Beatles once again loom large over music sales as we enter the final stretch of holiday gift shopping.

Here’s at how the Beatles — the band we remember after all these years — are selling on iTunes and Amazon (as of early Dec. 11)*:

On iTunes’ rock album chart, the Beatles took half of the top 10, led by “Abbey Road” (#2), followed closely by the “1967-1970 (Blue)” compilation (#5), “The Beatles” aka White album (#6), “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (#7) and the “1962-1966” (Red) compilation (#9).

The new downloadable “Beatles Box Set” came in at #13, followed by “Rubber Soul” (#14) and “Revolver” (#17). Also charting high were “Let It Be” (#25), “Magical Mystery Tour” (#28) and “Help!” (#32). “Yellow Submarine” sailed in last, at #178.

On Amazon’s rock CD chart, “The Beatles Stereo Box Set” came in at a fab #10, followed by the Blue album (#16), “Abbey Road” (#28), the White Album (#35), “The Beatles 1” hits collection (#37), “Sgt. Pepper” (#39), “Rubber Soul” (#56) and the Mono box set at #58. The vinyl version of “Abbey Road” even made its way onto the list.

By comparison, the “Elvis 30 #1 Hits” was the only charter for the King, while the Stones could only muster two spots — for the “Hot Rocks” collection and the new version of “Exile on Main Street.”

On iTunes’ overall album sales chart, “Abbey Road” was the best performer at #47. The Stereo box set ranked best on Amazon’s overall sales chart, at #37, tailed by the Blue and Red sets.

As for the singles, the iTunes rock chart was topped by John and Yoko’s holiday classic “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).” Lennon’s “Imagine” held #7 and “Let It Be” abided at #8.

Other Beatles singles in the top 25 of the iTunes rock chart: “Here Comes the Sun” (#11), “Yesterday” (#14), “Hey Jude” (#18), “In My Life” (#20), “Come Together” (#23) and “Twist and Shout” (#25).

�I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes,� Ringo Starr said Nov. 16, when news of the Apple-Apple deal broke.

Amazon does not have rights to the Beatles’ singles as MP3s. The music on iTunes is all in stereo, while Amazon stocks the Mono box set.

Psychedelic albums of note on the iTunes rock chart:

  • 19. The Wall (Pink Floyd)
  • 46. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  • 111. Animals (Pink Floyd)
  • 129. Experience Hendrix collection
  • 143. Dark Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd)
  • 194. The Doors
  • * Online sales charts are updated all day long, so these rankings are always in flux.

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