The Beatles, Jay-Z top Billboard charts
'Abbey Road' tops reissues; 'Blueprint 3' Jay-Z's 11th No. 1Love. Love. Love.
Beatles fans in the U.S. expressed that particular emotion en masse last week, snatching up a combined 568,000 copies of the band's newly remastered albums.
The 14 titles in the reissue series -- ranging from 1963's "Please Please Me" to 1970's "Let It Be" and including "Past Masters Vols. 1 & 2" -- also were released as boxed sets Sept. 9. "The Beatles in Stereo" sold 25,700 units, and "The Beatles in Mono" moved 11,600, good for respective No. 15 and No. 40 bows on the Billboard 200.
Combine those sets with the remasters, the hits compilation "1" and the Cirque du Soleil project "Love," and the Fab Four sold 626,000 units for the week ending Sept. 13, nearly doubling the band's U.S. sales during the rest of 2009.
Since SoundScan began tracking music sales in 1991, the Beatles have never sold fewer than 1 million albums in a year. The group's best year came in 2000, when "1" helped the band sell 7,289,000 in the U.S.
Five of the moptops' albums were among the week's 10 overall best-sellers in the U.S., and nine made the top 20. The top mover among the remasters was 1969's "Abbey Road" at 88,700, followed by the 1967 classic "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" with 73,800 -- the third- and fifth-biggest sellers of the week. "Yellow Submarine" (14,300) and "Beatles for Sale" (20,900) sold the fewest.
The Beatles control nine of the top 10 spots on Billboard's Pop Catalog chart -- with Michael Jackson's "Number Ones" spoiling the sweep at No. 6 -- and 16 of the top 25. The band also has five of the top 10 on Billboard's Comprehensive Albums chart, with combines current and older titles.
Even without the remasters, the Beatles would have been in the Billboard 200 news this week. That's because Jay-Z's "The Blueprint 3" tops the chart with 476,000 units sold in its debut week.
How does that link to pop's biggest group? It gives Jay-Z his 11th No.1 album, breaking his tie with Elvis Presley for the second-most ever -- behind the Beatles' 19.
Elsewhere on the Billboard 200, Cyrus holds at No. 2 while last week's No. 1, Whitney Houston's "I Look To You," falls to No. 3 with 88,000 (down 71%). Raekwon's "Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. 2" debuts at No. 4 with 68,000 while Brooks and Dunn's "#1s ... And Then Some" starts at No. 5 with 55,000. Trey Songz's "Ready" slides three positions to No. 6 with 45,000 (down 65%) while Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." zips up four slots to No. 7 with 44,000 (up 29%).
Boys Like Girls' "Love Drunk" debuts at No. 8 with 41,000, Kings of Leon's "Only By The Night" is down two rungs to No. 9 with 40,000 (down 11%) and Taylor Swift's "Fearless" moves down one position to No. 10 with 33,000 (down 6%).
Overall album sales in the week ending Sept. 13 totaled 6.7 million units, up 7% compared with the sum last week (6.29 million) and down 2% compared with the same sales week of 2008 (6.84 million). Year to date album sales stand at 244.1 million, down 14% compared with the same total at this point last year (284.4 million).
Billboard's Keith Caulfield contributed to this report.