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Beatles: Runaway iTunes Smash

Top sellers include Abbey Road, The White Album, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

November 17, 2010 10:12 AM ET

A day after The Beatles' catalog arrived on iTunes, the band's albums are storming the iTunes chart. As of 9 a.m. ET on Wednesday, all 17 albums made available on Tuesday were in the top 50 of the digital-music store's albums chart — and three of those full-lengths — Abbey Road, The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band — were in the top 10. The band's career-spanning box set, which sells for $149, sat at No. 11.

The Top Ten Beatles Songs Of All Time

iTunes doesn't release exact sales data for its charts, which are updated frequently throughout the day, and digital-album sales from all online merchants, including Amazon and other sites, are broken out separately from overall album totals by Nielsen SoundScan. First-week numbers for the Beatles' reissues won't be officially available until next Wednesday, when SoundScan will release sales totals for the week ending November 21.

On the singles side, the highest-selling Beatles song as of 9 a.m. Wednesday was "Here Comes The Sun," which was at No. 20, behind current hits like Ke$ha's chart-topping "We R Who We R" and Willow's "Whip My Hair." "Let It Be," "In My Life," "Blackbird" and "Come Together" were the only other individual Beatles songs in the top 50 at that time.

Which artists are iTunes' last holdouts?

In other chart news, Susan Boyle's The Gift debuted atop the Billboard 200 on the chart released today. The second album from the British singer, who rose to fame on the Simon Cowell-assisted "Britain's Got Talent," sold 318,000 copies in the week ending November 14. The Gift contains the covers of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" and Lou Reed's "Perfect Day," as well as her take on Christmas standards like "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "The First Noel." Also debuting on the albums chart were Kid Cudi's Man on the Moon II (No. 3, 169,000 sales), the pop-hits pileup Now 36 (No. 4, 89,000 sales), Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits (No. 5, 88,000), Reba McEntire's All The Woman I Am (No. 7, 64,000) and Cee-Lo Green's The Lady Killer (No. 9, 41,000).

On the digital tracks chart, the cover of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" that was performed during the November 9 episode of "Glee" debuted at No. 1, selling 214,000 copies for the biggest first-week Soundscan total for a song from the Fox hit show. The Black Eyed Peas' new single, "The Time (Dirty Bit)," also debuted on the chart at No. 3, selling 170,000 copies.

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Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

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