The Beatles break chart records around the world in 2009

EMI have announced record sales following the release of the remastered Beatles CDs on 9 September 2009.












More than 2.25 million albums were sold in North America, Japan and the United Kingdom during their first five days. This figure includes both the individual remastered CDs and the mono and stereo box sets, but excludes non-traditional retail outlets whose sales are not tracked.

  • The stereo and mono boxed sets reached the top three on the German chart
  • Beatlemania has returned, with fans new and old embracing these beautiful albums in their re-mastered and re-packaged forms. By putting the needs and desires of consumers first the band are breaking new records around the world more than four decades after they first started recording. All of us at EMI Music are very proud to have been a part of this exciting project and to have delivered an insightful and globally executed marketing plan.
    Elio Leoni-Sceti, EMI Music CEO

    United States

    In the US The Beatles sold more than one million units in the first five days, and the group set a new record by simultaneously having 18 albums on the Billboard Top Comprehensive Albums chart. Five of these were in the top 10; Abbey Road proved the most popular at number three, with sales of 89.000, though it was held off by Jay-Z's Blueprint 3 and Miley Cyrus' The Time Of Our Lives. Abbey Road also topped the Top Pop Catalog Albums chart.

    The Beatles' other best-sellers, according to Billboard, were: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (number five, 74,000 copies); The Beatles (White Album) (number seven, 60,000); Rubber Soul (number eight, 58,000); Revolver (number 10, 46,000); Help! (39,000); Let It Be (32,000); Past Masters (31,000); Magical Mystery Tour (30,000); A Hard Day's Night (29,000); the stereo box set (26,000); Please Please Me (23,000); With The Beatles (22,000); Beatles For Sale (21,000); Yellow Submarine (14,000); and The Beatles in Mono (12,000).

    The individual reissues were eligible to chart on both the Top Comprehensive Albums chart and Top Pop Catalog Albums chart. The former houses all albums, regardless of their age, while the latter is for those 18 months or older. The Billboard 200 includes only current and new releases, which allowed the stereo and mono box sets to chart at numbers 15 and 40 respectively.

    In the Billboard Top Pop Catalog chart, the Beatles occupied nine out of the top 10 slots, with only Michael Jackson's Number Ones (number six with sales of 45,000) the lone non-Fab Four title. The group did, however, set another Billboard record for having the most simultaneous titles in the top 50 (16), beating their own record of 12, set in December 1965.

    The Beatles took five of the top 10 and nine of the top 20 places on Billboard’s Comprehensive Albums chart, which lists the overall most popular album releases in the US, regardless of release date.

    United Kingdom

    In the UK the group had four titles in the official albums chart's top 10 in the week after 09/09/09, although they were held off the top spot by Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again compilation.

    The Beatles had a total of seven titles in the top 40 and 16 in the top 75, including both the stereo and mono box sets and the 1 compilation, according to the UK Official Charts Company. This set a new record for the most simultaneous albums by one artist in the UK charts.

    More than 345,000 copies of the remasters were sold in 11 days, and total UK sales in this decade were 6,755,000, according to EMI.

    Japan

    In Japan all 14 remastered albums and the two box sets made the top 25 of the international chart, with sales of 840,000 within the first three days on sale.

    The Beatles had seven titles in the top 10, with the stereo box leading the way at number two, followed closely by The Beatles in Mono at number three. Abbey Road charted at number four and Let It Be was at number six.

    Canada

    The Beatles held 15 of the top 20 catalog titles in Canada, including the first 11 places. Cumulative sales for the remasters were around 160,000, according to EMI.

    The stereo box set debuted at number four, the highest for such a release since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales.

    France

    The Beatles had three albums in the French top 10, led by Abbey Road at number four. All 14 remastered titles and box sets figured on the charts, setting a new record for the most original studio albums charting in the same week.

    Spain

    The Beatles had a record 13 albums in the Spanish chart, plus both box sets, setting a record for a single artist. According to EMI, the combined sales of the boxed sets places them at number four in the chart.

    Italy

    All 14 remastered titles reached the Italian chart, along with the two box sets and the 1 compilation, setting yet another record for the most simultaneous entries in the album chart.

    Belgium

    According to chart compiler Ultrapop, The Beatles set a new record for the most simultaneous albums in the Belgian charts with 17 entries: the 14 re-mastered titles, two boxed sets and the 1 compilation.

    Sweden

    The Beatles set a Swedish chart record with 16 titles simultaneously in the top 60, topped by Abbey Road at number six, according to IFPI.

    Argentina

    Seven of the top 10 places in the album chart went to The Beatles. Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was the most popular, peaking at number two, followed by Abbey Road at three and the White Album at four.

    All 14 remasters figured in the top 20, and the box sets reached numbers 73 and 74.

    Germany

    The Beatles ranked as the third highest-selling artist due to combined sales of the stereo and mono box sets, with each counting as one unit.

    Poland

    All 14 remastered albums and the two box sets appeared in the top 100, with Abbey Road at number six. The Beatles set a new record for the most simultaneous entries in the Polish chart.

    Switzerland

    Fourteen Beatles titles, including the stereo boxed set, figured on the Swiss charts, setting another record for the most simultaneous titles on the albums chart.

    Denmark

    Fifteen remastered Beatles titles, as well as the 1 compilation, appeared in the albums chart. Four of them were in the Danish top 20.

    Australia

    Fourteen titles appeared in the Australian albums chart, including the 1 compilation.

    Austria

    The current top 75 contains 12 re-mastered titles and the stereo boxed set.

    Portugal

    Eleven of the top 30 places were taken by the remastered titles, including three inside the top 10.

    Norway

    Sales of the stereo and mono boxes were combined to make a number three placing in the Norwegian albums chart. Twelve of The Beatles' individual remastered albums reached the top 100.

    Colombia

    Half of the Columbian top 10 was occupied by The Beatles' remastered CDs.

    Korea

    Sixteen of the top 17 places in the Korean Hottracks album chart were occupied by The Beatles during the first week of the remasters being on sale.

    Also on this day...

    Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

    2 responses on “The Beatles break chart records around the world in 2009

    1. THEBEATLESWEREBRILLIANTCOOL&VERYGOODMUSICIANS!

      I was born after 1964,but I have been a huge highly impressed Beatles fan(specifically a big John and Paul fan) since I was9, I got my first Beatles book for my 11th birhday,and I had every Beatles album by age 13.

      So far I got remasters of A Hard Day’s Night and Abbey Road, but all I have been listening to is A Hard Day’s Night, it’s great! It’s a better album than Let It Be which is 5 years later. It was recorded over a year before I was even born and months before I was even conceived too.The were the Greatest Rock Band Ever and the whole world still knows it!

      1. Joe Post author

        A Hard Day’s Night is one of my favourite Beatles albums – it perfectly captured those heady moments of Beatlemania. They had other great albums, but I think it’s the best of their early period (and, incidentally, The Beatles’ only solely Lennon-McCartney album).

        Do pick up the other remasters if you can – they all sound great.

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