Fab Four's newly digital catalogue moves 450,000 albums

No one at iTunes is singing “You Never Give Me Your Money”: The Beatles sold 450,000 digital albums and 2 million tracks in their first week on Apple’s music store.

The company reported that the Fab Four’s 1969 album “Abbey Road” was the best-selling title, while, surprisingly, “Here Comes the Sun” — a George Harrison song, and not a John Lennon-Paul McCartney composition – was the top-selling track.

Individual Beatles albums are priced at $12.99 ($19.99 for double sets), while single tracks are premium priced at $1.29.

As of mid-afternoon Tuesday, “Abbey Road” remained in iTunes’ top 20. The so-called “digital boxed set” of the Beatles’ complete studio catalog, priced at $149, was still in the top 50. All told, the group occupied 13 slots in the iTunes top 100.

Some observers initially dismissed the commercial potential of the digital Beatles catalog, which arrived tardily at online retail via an exclusive pact with Apple on Nov. 16 (Daily Variety, Nov. 17). Remastered editions of the band’s titles were issued on CD with great fanfare by EMI last year, and illegal torrents of the group’s songs have long been available.

However, the quartet’s heavily-covered iTunes debut spurred music retailers to re-price their catalog competitively: Amazon.com quickly discounted the physical boxed set to just $130, while individual titles like “Abbey Road” dropped to $7.99.

(Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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