The Beatles have never wavered in popularity, well, perhaps during the unfortunate "more popular than Jesus" incident. But, their visibility in the mainstream of music ebbs and flows. While they are always high-volume sellers on the music sales scene, there have been recent occasions when a new compilation of their music has caused a storm of attention and sales.
In 2000, one of their biggest-selling albums was released- a compilation of their number-one hits. No new music was released, no lost songs were rediscovered, it was just the classics all together in a new way. That album, called "Beatles 1," was a unprecedented hit for a compilation. Sales soared immediately, selling 3.6 million albums during its first week alone. In the first three weeks it sold 12 million albums all over the world.
At the time, Beatles 1 sold the fastest of any album in history, and sold the highest number of albums for the year. It is now ranked number 15 in album sales out of all albums anywhere in the world. The sales were so high that the album was released again five years later, and continues to be one of the top-selling albums on Amazon and in record stores everywhere.
The unprecedented success of the Beatles 1 led to a second hot compilation album that took on an entirely different, and slightly bizarre, theme. The Beatles Love was released in 2003, following closely after the Beatles 1 and likely aspiring to its historic sales record. The album featured remixes of classic songs, to be used as the backdrop of the Cirque du Soleil. The remixes on Beatles Love were reminiscent of the acrobat circus-like performance, and were mixed so that they blended together seamlessly, one after another. The entire album is one series of Beatles, much like one 78-minute song. The album was met by a little more controversy than Beatles 1, as the songs themselves were changed so radically, but it achieved stratospheric sales, spending several weeks in the #1 album spot. The Beatles Love continues to be a high selling album today.
The Beatles 1 made other album releases run for cover.
The Beatles Love gave old songs a brand new spin.