Call it a hunch, but somehow we knew these newly remastered Beatles CDs would be a big deal.
Now the first week sales figures are in, and they’re a doozy. According to a press release from EMI, the band’s reissue campaign has smashed all previous global sales records. In the first five days of availability, Beatles fans snatched up 2.25 million CDs (both as individual discs, and multiple-disc box sets) in the U.S., England and Japan alone.
Here’s how the figures break down globally.
US: During the first five days of release, consumers purchased more than one million copies of re-mastered Beatles titles, and the individual CD and boxed sets debuted strongly across multiple Billboard charts.
On Billboard’s Comprehensive Albums chart, which lists the most popular album releases in the US, including current and catalogue titles, The Beatles set a new record for the most simultaneous titles by a single artist (18), including five of the top 10 and nine of the top 20.
On the Pop Catalog chart, The Beatles achieved another new Billboard chart first for the most simultaneous titles in the top 50 (16), a record they previously set themselves with 12 titles in December 1995. The Beatles have nine of the chart’s top 10 titles, and all 14 re-mastered CDs are in the top 20, led by ‘Abbey Road’ at number one and ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ at number two.
On the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, ‘The Beatles’ stereo boxed set debuted at number 15, and ‘The Beatles in Mono’ limited edition boxed set debuted at number 40.
UK: In last week’s chart, The Beatles had four titles in the top 10, seven in the top 40 and 16 in the top 75, including both the stereo and mono boxes, as well as 2000’s ‘Beatles 1’ compilation. This set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the UK charts according to the UK Official Charts Company. In this week’s UK chart, The Beatles have 13 albums in the top 75. A further 84,000 CDs were sold last week, bringing their total sales of the remasters to more than 354,000 in 11 days and their total UK sales this decade to 6,755,000.
Japan: All 14 re-mastered titles and boxed sets debuted in the top 25 of the international chart, including seven of the top 10, led by the stereo boxed set at number two, the mono boxed set at number three, ‘Abbey Road’ at four and ‘Let It Be’ at six. Across all titles and box sets, more than 840,000 albums were purchased by consumers in Japan in the first three days of sales.
Canada: The Beatles have 15 of the top 20 catalogue titles including all of the top 11. The stereo boxed set is a new entry in the current albums chart at number four, the highest debut for a boxed set in Canada since Nielsen SoundScan started tracking sales. Cumulative sales across all titles were just under 160,000 over the counter.
France: All 14 of the re-mastered titles and boxed sets entered the latest album chart, including three in the top 10, led by ‘Abbey Road’ at number four, a new record for the most original studio albums in the French album chart in one week.
Italy: The Beatles have 17 titles in the current chart – all 14 re-mastered titles, the two boxed sets, plus the ‘1’ compilation, a record for the most simultaneous entries in the album chart.
Belgium: With 17 entries in the current chart – the 14 re-mastered titles, two boxed sets and ‘1’ compilation – The Beatles have set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the Belgian chart as confirmed by chart compiler Ultrapop.
Sweden: The Beatles have 16 titles simultaneously in the top 60, led by ‘Abbey Road’ at number six. Local industry body IFPI have confirmed that this is a record for the Swedish charts.
Argentina: Seven of the current top 10 albums are Beatles re-masters, led by ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band at number two, ‘Abbey Road’ at number three and ‘The Beatles’ (The White Album) at number four. All 14 re-mastered titles are in the top 20 and the boxed sets are at numbers 73 and 74 in the chart.
Spain: 13 Beatles albums plus both boxed sets debuted in the latest chart, a record for a single artist. The combined sales of the boxed sets places them at number four in the chart.
Poland: All 14 re-mastered albums and two boxed sets debuted in the current top 100, led by ‘Abbey Road’ at six. This is a record for the highest number of simultaneous entries in the Polish chart.
Switzerland: 14 Beatles titles, including the stereo boxed set, debuted in the most recent album chart, a record for the most simultaneous titles in the album chart.
Denmark: The latest album chart includes 15 re-mastered Beatles titles, plus the ‘1’ compilation, including four of the top 20.
Australia: The Beatles have 14 titles in the current chart, including the ‘1’ compilation.
Germany: The combined sales of the stereo and mono boxed sets, with one boxed set counted as one unit sale, places them as the number three best seller in the latest chart.
Austria: The current top 75 contains 12 re-mastered titles plus the stereo boxed set.
Portugal: The re-mastered titles occupy 11 places in the current top 30 album chart, including three of the top 10.
Norway: The combined stereo and mono boxed sets debut at number three with a further 12 re-mastered titles in the top 100.
Colombia: Half of the current top 10 albums are Beatles re-masters titles.
Korea: During the first sales week The Beatles occupied 16 of the top 17 spots in Korea’s Hottracks album chart.