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Record Sales & Beatles Triva

Record Sales

During the week of April 4, 1964 The Beatles occupied the first five slots of the Billboard Hot 100, #1 - "Can't Buy Me Love," #2 - "Twist and Shout," #3 - "She Loves You," #4 - "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and #5 - "Please Please Me," the only group in rock and roll history to achieve this feat.

In 1964 the Beatles had the never-matched total of 15 American million-selling records (9 singles and 6 LPs), representing US sales of over 25 million in 1964 alone.

"I Want To Hold Your Hand" sold nearly 5 million records in the US by 1968, making it the best selling single of the 1960s (from a Capitol Records Press release, September 9, 1968).

When "Can’t Buy Me Love" was released in the US on March 16, 1964 it sold 940,225 copies on the first day, shattering all previous sales records. The single went on to sell over 3 million by the end of the year (Spizer, Bruce, 2000: The Beatles’ Story on Capitol Records, Part One: Beatlemania & The Singles, p. 36).

The motion picture soundtrack "A Hard Day’s Night" sold 1 million copies in the first four days of its US release making it one of the fastest selling LPs of the 1960s (Billboard article, July 11, 1964).

By August 1964 the Beatles had sold approximately 80 million records globally (Variety 235, August 12, 1964).

By February 1965 their global sales had moved beyond 100 million records (Variety 237, February 3, 1965).

Rubber Soul sold 1.2 million copies in the US during the first 9 days of its release (Billboard article, January 1, 1966).

By August 1966 the Beatles had sold 150 million records worldwide (Variety 243, August 3, 1966).

By May 1967 the Beatles’ global gross stood at $98 million (Variety 246, May 19, 1967).

The "Hey Jude" single had sold over 3 million times in America in its first 2 months of release and 3.7 million by mid-January 1969. It eventually sold over 4 million copies and was the fourth best-selling single of the 1960s (Spizer, Bruce, 2003: The Beatles on Apple Records, p. 32).

Although it carried a list price of $11.79 their double album The Beatles sold 1.1 million units during its first two weeks on sale, a record for a double-set at the time (Spizer, Bruce, 2003: The Beatles on Apple Records, p. 102).

"Abbey Road" sold over 3 million copies in the US in a little over a month, making it one of the best-selling LPs of the 1960s despite having been on sale for only the last three months of the decade (Spizer, Bruce, 2003: The Beatles on Apple Records, p. 164).

According to the Guinness Book of Records the Beatles had topped worldwide sales of 300 million units by 1969.

The Let It Be LP reportedly shipped 3.2 million copies in 13 days representing a gross retail value of nearly $26 million (Billboard article, June 6, 1970).

By October 1972 the Beatles’ worldwide sales total stood at 545 million units, a world record (Billboard 84, October 21, 1972).


"Dear Prudence" was written by John Lennon while the Beatles were in India visiting the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They had brought along an entourage of sorts including singer/songwriter Donovan, Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Mia Farrow and her sister Prudence, who was having a difficult stay. Prudence wouldn't come out of her hut so John played his guitar and serenaded her with the song lyrics, Dear Prudence... won't you come out to play?

The song "Octopus's Garden" was composed by Starr during one of his dido strikes. Bored by recording, he went to sea. When he returned the others enthusiastically welcomed him and his new song.

George Harrison co-operated with Eric Idle and Neil Innes in writing and filming (for television) the fictitious story of the Rutles, a "Rutlandbeat" group affectionately satirising the Beatles. Innes parodied particular Beatles songs with lyrics and titles (e.g. "Ouch!") only marginally less believable than those of the Fab Four.

Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney (and his wife Linda), and George Harrison all guest starred on The Simpsons although not at the same time.

Song Release Dates

1963 songs - I Want to Hold Your Hand

1965 songs -Help!, Yesterday, Drive My Car, Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown), Nowhere Man, In My Life

1966 songs -Taxman, Eleanor Rigby, I'm Only Sleeping, Got to Get You Into My Life

1967 songs -Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, When I'm Sixty-Four, A Day in the Life, Magical Mystery Tour, I Am the Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever, Penny Lane

1968 songs -Blackbird, Mother Nature's Son, Helter Skelter, Revolution 1

1969 songs - Come Together, Something, Here Comes the Sun, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window

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