CSPC: The Beatles Popularity Analysis

(only some of ) Dad's Beatles collection

Full Length related records Sales

It sounds fairly logical to add together weighted sales of one era – studio album, physical single, downloads, streams – to get the full picture of an album popularity. For older releases though, they also generate sales of various live, music videos and compilation albums.

All those packaging-only records do not create value, they exploit the one originated from the parent studio album of each of its tracks instead. Inevitably, when such compilations are issued this downgrades catalog sales of the original LP. Thus, to perfectly gauge how worth this latter is, we need to re-assign sales proportionally to its contribution of all compilations which feature its songs. The following table explains it all.

Remaining Long Format Part 1 – US Albums #1

I previously mentioned how Please Please Me, With the Beatles and Beatles for Sale weren’t available in the US until the CD issue of 1987. In fact, they got locally issued albums instead including the first batch listed on this table.

On various articles listing the Beatles sales, they tend to add directly total US album sales into the UK releases as per the chronological order. For example, the second main US album Meet the Beatles! gets mixed with the second main UK LP With the Beatles. As shown in the table, this is a wrong assumption. The album not only has tracks from Please Please Me, but it also sold that well in the US thanks to the inclusion of popular stand-alone hits like I Want to Hold Your Hand.

How to understand the table from the picture? For each compilation, we first define its sales. Sticking to our example, Meet the Beatles! sold 6,1 million units in the few countries it got released. Its tracks combine for 66,7 million streams on Spotify. Those tracks got initially released from 3 original sources which are the albums listed in the fourth column. Then we learn that songs first issued on With the Beatles are responsible for 34% of Meet the Beatles! total streams, meaning it created 34% of its appeal which is the equivalent of 2,101,000 sales.

Naturally, as both I Want to Hold Your Hand and She Loves You, the Beatles biggest early hits, were issued as Orphan tracks, this folder album appears to be responsible for most of those US packages sales.

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I’m curious why their digital singles sales are so low compared to the likes of Queen and MJ?


I guess that one important reason is that they wait many years until put the catalogue there (2009), and 5 years later that market started to collapse, so they had few years to make sales. I mean, even Elvis have a little more digital sales, when the Beatles outstream him x2.


It’s explained on page 31 of this article.


I would love to see the sales of George Harrison. Both John Lennon and Paul Mccartney are updated while George and Ringo are missing. I assume Ringo hasn’t sold that well but George had string of succesful albums starting with All Things Must Pass. Maybe in the future when The Beatles sales are going to be updated you could also do George and Ringo, same as it was done with Neil Young, when both Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young were done at the same time. I’m sure a lot of people would love to see that. Thank… Read more »

Tom Riise

An update on The Beatles would be great.

Eric Williams

BFD on amount of records sold. Theres more people in the world. All these groups/people are playing because of the BEATLES. I bought my first guitar from a guys living room. I traded my flute in for an electric guitar, at Jacks Drum Shop, after Feb. 1964 when they were on Ed Sullivan. There was no Guitar Center, or anything like that. Since the BEATLES, everyone and their brother play guitar.

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