I have to say, I’ve had a good life thus far.  I really am eternally grateful and I’m sure I’ll have a million tales to tell when I eventually pull up a cloud to sit and reminisce on the other side of them pearly gates.

itunes-beatles-1-front-cover-42072One such tale would undoubtedly be that I lived through the rise and fall and resurrection of the Beatles.

And in fact I did so at the very time when such things were of prime importance.  Being in the same age group as Messers McCartney, Lennon, Harrison and Starr (well, just a touch younger!), I was thumping a bass guitar in the Executioners line-up just as he and his band were beginning to take Merseyside – and then The World – by storm.

My teenage band cut our musical teeth emulating the instrumental sounds of  Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch and Jet Harris. But very soon after first hearing John, Paul, George and Ringo twisting and shouting, we kicked the instrumentals-only gig list into the shadows and began to “beatlise” every song we covered.

Earlier I said “the rise and fall and resurrection of the Beatles”  They lasted longer than (and of course were far more successful than) The Executioners, but when they split up it was far more devastating to me personally.  John’s murder hit me almost as hard as would a family bereavement and George’s passing sadly put paid to any remote chance of a Beatles reunion.

So what do I mean by resurrection?

Well just think about it.  The first Beatles single Love me Do was pressed in good old fashioned vinyl in 1962 as were their huge catalogue of releases in the ensuing eight years up to the break-up following Let it Be.  Since then we have seen many reincarnations and remasters put out on CD and other forms for digital media.

The most significant  aspect of the “resurrection” of the Beatles was their appearance on iTunes.  Whether you like iTunes or loath it (I’m the latter, by the way) this new way of selling music has opened up a whole back-catalogue of music to be rediscovered by post Beatles generations.

iTunes   Browse the top album downloadsAs of today, Beatles 1 is at number 46 in the iTunes Album Charts.  Forget all the figures being bandied about regarding their record sales during their heyday.  Disregard the fact they have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act in history.  What we are taking about is a generation who embraced punk and rap and what ever else, are buying (downloading) Beatles tracks and albums.

iTunes   Music   The BeatlesOf the 37 Beatles album currently available on iTunes, Beatles 1 is the most popular.  Released on 13 November 2000. The album features virtually every number-one single they released in the United Kingdom and United States from 1962 to 1970. Issued on the 30th anniversary of the band’s break-up, it was first available on CD and topped the charts worldwide, selling over 31 million copies.

It is now 43 years since the Beatles disbanded.  For their music still to be selling in such numbers is a phenomenal achievement.

Here is the Track listing for Beatles 1
  1. Love Me Do” – 2:20
    • Released in the UK on 5 October 1962, and in the US on 27 April 1964, where it reached No. 1 in the US for one week on 30 May. This is the version released in the US with Ringo Starr on tambourine and session musicianAndy White on drums.
  2. From Me to You” – 1:56
    • Released on 11 April 1963 in the UK and reached No. 1 on 2 May, where it stayed for seven weeks.
  3. She Loves You” – 2:21
    • Released in the UK on 23 August 1963, where it stayed at No. 1 for six weeks, then again on 28 November. Released in the US on 16 September 1963, and went to No. 1 for two weeks on 21 March 1964.
  4. I Want to Hold Your Hand” – 2:24
    • Released in the US on 26 December 1963, it reached No. 1 for seven weeks between 1 February and 20 March 1964. Released in the UK on 29 November 1963 and stayed at No. 1 for five weeks.
  5. Can’t Buy Me Love” – 2:11
    • Released on 20 March 1964 in the UK and on 16 March 1964 in the US. The song reached No. 1 for three weeks in the UK on 2 April 1964. The song went to No. 1 in the US for five weeks on 4 April 1964.
  6. A Hard Day’s Night” – 2:33
    • The song reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 23 July 1964 and was No. 1 for two weeks in the US on 1 August 1964.
  7. I Feel Fine” – 2:18
    • The song stayed at No. 1 for five weeks in the UK starting on 10 December 1964, and reached No. 1 in the US on 26 December 1964.
  8. Eight Days a Week” – 2:44
    • Released on 15 February 1965 in the US, where it went to No. 1 for two weeks on 13 March 1965.
  9. Ticket to Ride” – 3:10
    • Released on 9 April 1965 in the UK, was No. 1 for three weeks on 22 April 1965. The song was released in the US on 19 April 1965, reaching No. 1 for one week on 22 May 1965.
  10. Help!” – 2:18
    • Released on 23 July 1965 in the UK, it reached No. 1 for three weeks on 5 August 1965. In the US, it was released on 19 July 1965, also reaching No. 1 for three weeks on 4 September 1965.
  11. Yesterday” – 2:05
    • Released on 13 September 1965 in the US, attaining No. 1 for four weeks on 9 October 1965.
  12. Day Tripper” – 2:48
    • Released on 3 December in the UK, reaching No. 1 for five weeks on 16 December 1965. A tape drop-out that appears in previous stereo releases of this song has been corrected here.
  13. We Can Work It Out” – 2:15
    • Released in the UK on 3 December 1965 and reached No. 1 for five weeks on 16 December 1965. The song was released on 6 December 1965 in the US, and reached No. 1 for three weeks on 8 January 1966.
  14. Paperback Writer” – 2:18
    • Released on 10 June 1966 in the UK and on 30 May 1966 in the US. The song reached No. 1 for two weeks in the UK on 23 June, and also for two weeks in the US on 25 June 1966.
  15. Yellow Submarine” – 2:38
    • Released on 5 August 1966 in the UK, where it reached No. 1 for four weeks on 18 August.
  16. Eleanor Rigby” – 2:06
    • Released on 5 August 1966 in the UK, reaching No. 1 for four weeks on 18 August, as part of a double-A-Sided single with “Yellow Submarine”.
  17. Penny Lane” – 2:59
    • Released on 17 February 1967 in the UK, and on 13 February 1967 in the US.. The song reached No. 1 in the US on 18 March for one week.
  18. All You Need Is Love” – 3:47
    • Released on 7 July 1967 in the UK, it reached No. 1 for three weeks on 19 July. In the US, it attained No. 1 for one week on 19 August 1967.
  19. Hello, Goodbye” – 3:27
    • Released on 24 November in the UK, it reached No. 1 for seven weeks on 6 December 1967. In the US, the song was released on 27 November 1967, and reached No. 1 for three weeks on 30 December 1967.
  20. Lady Madonna” – 2:16
    • Released on 15 March 1968 in the UK, reaching No. 1 for two weeks on 27 March.
  21. Hey Jude” – 7:04
    • Released on 26 August 1968 in the US and on 30 August in the UK. It reached No. 1 in the UK for two weeks on 11 September and was No. 1 for a record nine weeks in the US, starting on 28 September 1968.
  22. Get Back” – 3:12
    • Released on 11 April 1969 in the UK and on 5 May 1969 in the US. It reached No. 1 in the UK for six weeks on 23 April, and in the US for five weeks on 24 May 1969.
  23. The Ballad of John and Yoko” – 2:59
    • Released in the UK on 30 May 1969 reaching No. 1 for three weeks on 11 June.
  24. Something” (George Harrison) – 3:01
    • Released on 31 October 1969 in the UK, and on 6 October in the US It reached No. 1 for one week in the US on 29 November 1969.
  25. Come Together” – 4:18
    • Released on 31 October 1969 in the UK, and on 6 October in the US. As the B-side of a double A-sided-single with “Something”, it reached No. 1 in the US on 29 November, and stayed there for one week.
  26. Let It Be” – 3:50
    • Released on 6 March 1970 in the UK, and on 11 March 1970 in the US, reaching No. 1 for two weeks on 11 April 1970.
  27. The Long and Winding Road” – 3:37
    • Released in the US on 11 May 1970 and reached No. 1 for two weeks on 13 June 1970. This version has the orchestral “wall of sound” added by re-producer Phil Spector. It is the only track not produced by George Martin.