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The Beatles back catalogue makes iTunes debut

The Beatles

Story by Jack Foley

AFTER years of negotations and failed attempts, iTunes is finally able to offer The Beatles’ back catalogue to music lovers.

Apple has been negotiating with record label EMI for years to bring the Fab Four’s catalogue online and now that they have succeeded The Beatles albums are available for purchase and download for £10.99 each.

In addition, double albums can be purchased for £17.99 and individual songs for 99p.

A box set containing all 13 remastered studio albums is also available for £125, which includes the Beatles very first US concert in its entirety.

Commenting on the news, Apple chief executive and self-confessed Beatles fan Steve Jobs said it had “been a long and winding road to get here”.

But he added: “We love The Beatles and are honoured and thrilled to welcome them to iTunes.”

Sir Paul McCartney was equally enthusiastic, saying: “It’s fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around.”

While former band colleague and drummer Ringo Starr added: “I’m particularly glad to no longer be asked when The Beatles are coming to iTunes.”

In spite of the lengthy battle to get The Beatles on iTunes, the band has had internet exposure.

Last year, for instance, EMI released limited edition apple-shaped USB drives containing The Beatles’ 14 studio albums as digital files, while in September 2009 The Beatles: Rock Band video game was released.

The desire to get The Beatles on iTunes, though, stems from the fact they continue to be one of the world’s top-selling bands even though the group formed around 50 years ago.

Neilsen SoundScan reported that they have sold more than 30 million albums in the past decade, while EMI claim they are the top-selling band in music history.

Ironically, the Apple deal comes amid uncertainty for EMI as the company’s owner, private equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, owes millions in debt payments to Citigroup, which helped bankroll the purchase of EMI in 2007.

iTunes, on the other hand, is flourishing as it is now the largest music retailer in the world.