Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Meet The Beatles' bestsellers

November 17, 2010: 6:30 AM ET

One day after Tuesday's release, their 15 albums and 1 box set are all in the iTunes' top 50

Source: iTunes Music StoreI

It was often said during Apple's (AAPL) protracted negotiations with Apple Corps. and EMI to put The Beatles' catalog on iTunes, that anybody who cared about the music had already ripped the CDs.

Apparently that's not the case.

A quick check of the iTunes bestseller list Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after The Beatles' albums appeared on the store, found all of them -- including the lamentable Magical Mystery Tour -- in the top 50.

Even the box set, at $149 a pop hardly an impulse purchase, was No. 12.

The most popular of the bunch, at No. 7, turned out to be Abbey Road, The Beatles' last studio album (most of Let it Be was recorded earlier).  The uneven White Album and the trippy Sgt. Pepper followed closely at Nos. 9 and 10, respectively.

The compilations -- the Blue Album (No. 16) and Red Album (No. 18) -- narrowly edged our personal favorites: Rubber Soul (No. 19) and Revolver (No. 20)

EMI reportedly sold 3.3 million Beatles CDs at $19 to $25 apiece after the remastered discs came out last fall (Amazon hastily cut the prices Tuesday to match Apple's). If the digital versions turn out to be popular gifts this holiday season, all the parties that make money off The Beatles could do even better on iTunes.

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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