Join Date: Feb 05, 2001
1960s press coverage of the Beatles` sales
The following articles are from Newspapers and Magazines of the 1960s dealing with all sorts of sales information regarding the Beatles. The source for all this is "Here, There And Everywhere - The First International Beatles Bibliography, 1962 - 1982" by Carol D. Terry, pierian press, 1985, and "The Beatles` Story On Capitol Records, Volume 1 & 2" by Brent Spizer, 498 productions, 2000.
PART I, excerpts from "The Beatles` Story On Capitol Records, Vol. 1 & 2":
I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND
"Boosted by saturation programming, Capitol`s first Beatles release was an instant best seller with over 250,000 copies sold in its first three days of release. By January 10, 1964, the single had sold over 1,000,000 units, enabling Capitol to obtain RIAA certification in time to present the band with a gold record award at a ceremony held at the Plaza Hotel one month later on February 10, 1964. By mid-January, the single was reportedly selling 10,000 copies an hour in New York City. The March 28, 1964, Billboard reported Capitol`s claim that the record had sold 3,400,000 units. The record went on to sell over 5,000,000 copies."
MEET THE BEATLES
"Testimony to the phenomenal sales of Capitol`s two Beatles records, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "Meet The Beatles!", appeared in the March 5, 1964, affidavit of Capitol vice president Voyle Gilmore in the New York ligitation between Capitol amd Vee-Jay Records. Gilmore claimed that Capitol was selling 500,000 Beatles records a week in February, and had already sold over 6,000,000 copies of their two Beatles releases. The March 28, 1964, Billboard reported sales of "Meet The Beatles!" at 3,650,000 units and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" at 3,400,000 units.
The fact that the Capitol LP was outselling the single caught everyone off guard. Prior to the Beatles, rock albums were normally not big sellers. Selling a few hundred thousands LPs was considered a tremendous success. A few of Elvis Presley`s albums had sold in excess of a million units, but these were either Christmas, greatest hits, sacred or movie soundtrack LPs. Neither of the King`s first two rock`nīroll albums hit sales of a million. And none of Capitol`s first three Beach Boys albums sold a million. The phenomenal sales of "Meet The Beatles!", which went on to sell over 5 million copies, taught the record industry that huge profits could be generated by well-crafted rock albums."
THE BEATLES` SECOND ALBUM:
"The Beatles` Second Album made its debut among Billboard`s Top LP`s at number 16 on April 25, 1964. The following week it replaced "Meet The Beatles!" as the top album on May 2, 1964, remaining number one for five weeks. The Beatles` monopoly of the number one LP spot ended on June 6, 1964, when the album slipped to number four behind the original Broadway cast album "Hello Dolly!", the original Broadway cast album "Funny Girl", and Louis Armstrong`s "Hello Dolly!" LP. The Beatles` Second Album remained on the Billboard charts for 55 weeks, including eleven in the top ten. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on April 13, 1964 (three days after its release!) and had sales of over two million in 1964."
CAN`T BUY ME LOVE
"In the United States, the single was released on Capitol 5150 on March 16, 1964 (two weeks ahead of its scheduled release of March 30). Billboard`s March 14 issue reported Capitol`s claim of advance orders of 1,700,000 copies and its plan to ask the RIAA to certify the disc as a gold record on its day of release. Two weeks later, Billboard reported that the label had "apologized" when the record failed to make the grade on its March 16 release date, having sold "only" 940,225 copies (which was still largest one-day sale of a single in U.S. history). Capitol`s embarrassment did not last long. The million mark was passed the following day, giving the label and the group a St. Patrick`s day celebration and a new meaning to the phrase "wearing of the green". By March 19, 1964, Capitol was feasting on factory requisitions of 2,100,000 units. In order to satisfy the huge demand for the single, Capitol had the disk pressed by three outside plants (RCA, Decca and Savoy) in addition to its factories in Scrantom and Los Angeles."
A HARD DAY`S NIGHT
"United Artist`s decision to issue A Hard Day`s Night ahead of the film`s release proved to be a wise one. On July 1, 1964, the company announced that the LP had sold and delivered 1 million copies in just four days. Billboard, in a story titled "Beatles` LP: 4 Days That Shake The Industry", reported the news in its July 11 issue, stating that the album had become one of the fastest selling LPs in the history of the record business."
"Something New entered the Billboard Top LP`s chart on August 8, 1964, at number 125. The following week it leaped to number six. By August 22, it began its nine-week stay at number two, unable to move past the United Artists soundtrack, which anchored down the top spot for 14 weeks. Billboard charted "Something New" for 41 weeks. Cash Box and Record World also charted the album at number two behind the United Artists release "A Hard Day`s Night". Although the Capitol LP failed to reach the top, it sold over two million units."
I FEEL FINE
"This single sold more than a million copies within its first week of release, becoming the fourth Capitol Beatles single to be certified gold. In England, the disk sold over 1 million copies in two weeks and topped all British charts."
THE BEATLES` STORY
"The Beatles` Story entered the Billboard Top LP`s chart on December 12, 1964, at number 97. On January 2, 1965, the double album reached its peak position at number seven, where it remained for four weeks before beginning its slide down the charts. Although not an initial million seller, the album was certified gold, signifying sales in excess of 1 million dollars, in its first week. A very respectable showing considering the album was little more than an elaborately packaged documentary record. Sales were also inhibited by the package`s hefty list price. At a time when the list price was $3.98 for mono records and $4,98 for stereo discs, the double album`s double price of $7.98 for mono and $9.98 for stereo was quite an eye-opener. But this was the Beatles. Capitol correctly surmised that Beatles fans would be willing to pay a then-record price for the album."
"Capitol had complete confidence that the album would be a tremendous seller. Its initial pressing of two million units was the most in the label`s history at that time. In a January 1, 1966, article titled "Rubber Soul A Whopper For The Beatles", Billboard reported that the group had topped themselves by selling 1,200,000 copies of the album in its first nine days. Heaviest sales were in major markets such as New York (over 200,000 units) and Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco (over 100,000 units each). Capitol indicated that the record was approximately selling 140,000 copies a day and that 60% of the 2,000,000 copies initially manufactured had been sold."
"While Nowhere Man was not as strong a single as "Eight Days A Week", or "Yesterday", it still provided the group and the label with another million seller. According to the March 12, 1966, Billboard, the single had sales of 744,000 copies eight days after its release. By the time Billboard`s April 23 issue hit the streets, the single had been certified gold."
"With sales of over 750,000 units in its first week, the disc quickly became the tenth Beatles Capitol single to be certified gold."
YELLOW SUBMARINE/ELEANOR RIGBY
"The September 24, 1966, Billboard reported that the single achieved sales of 1,200,000 copies during its first four weeks on the market. The 45 was the group`s 21st gold record, setting a record for the most gold records earned by any act in RIAA history."
JACKSONVILLE RECORDS FACTORY
"Capitol`s Jacksonville factory opened in the summer of 1965. According to Wayne Bridgewater, who began working at the plant a year after it opened and now serves at its manager, the factory was initially fitted with 48 album pressing machines transferred from Scranton and converted from manual to automatic. He recalls that, during the sixties, the plant primarily pressed Beatles records. There were times when 90% of production was devoted to the group. Jacksonville was, in many ways, "The house the Beatles built". By late 1966, the factory was pressing 50,000 albums per day. By the end of the decade, capacity had increased to 110,000 albums per day."
MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR
"Billboard charted this album for 91 weeks, including eight at number one, 14 in the top ten and 21 in the top 20. Cash Box and Record World also charted the album at number one. "Magical Mystery Tour" was certified gold on December 15, 1967, and sold over 1 and a half million copies before Christmas. It went on to sell over 5 million units."
"Althoug Lady Madonna failed to reach number one, Capitol claimed sales of over 1 million units within the disc`s first week of release. The April 20, 1968, Billboard reported that the single had been certified gold."
PART II, Newspaper articles and Magazines:
"Beatles` 1,000,000 Advance For Latest Single Gives Them Pre-Sale Gold Disk", Variety, December 4, 1963
"Beatlemania Bites Britain As Four From Liverpool Become A Showbiz Phenomenon, Press Clips Top Queen`s", Variety, January 8, 1964
"British Beatles Hottest Capitol Single Ever", Billboard, January 18, 1964
"Capitol Single A Smash, Capitol Rush LP", Cash Box, January 18, 1964
"US Rocks And Reels From Beatles Invasion", Billboard, February 15, 1964
"Rocking Redcoats Are Coming; Beatles Lead Massive Drive", Variety, February 19, 1964
"Potential $4 Million Box Office For Beatles On Closed Circuit TV", Broadcasting, February 24, 1964
"Beatles` Quickie 2 Week U.S. Tour Flips Their Capitol LP Past 2,000,000 Mark", Variety, February 26, 1964
"Beatles Booming Britain`s Biscuits Biz Past $60-Million Mark; EMI-Shares Soar", Variety, March 4, 1964
"Beatles Blanket U.S. Charts; Can`t Buy Me Love Vaults 1,000,000", Variety, April 8, 1964
"Beatles Nab Another $1-Million Seller", Variety, April 15, 1964
"Beatles` Soundtrack: A Blockbuster Before Their First Pic`s release", Variety, July 1, 1964
"Beatles` LP: 4 Days That Shake The Industry", Billboard, July 11, 1964
"Beatles` Score: 80,000,000 Disks", Variety, August 12, 1964
"Beatles Better All Box Office Records; Parlay N.Y. Fan Hysteria Into $150,000 Gross", Variety, September 2, 1964
"Beatles Boost EMI Income To New High", Billboard, October 10, 1964
"Beatles Grooving 1,000,000-Seller LP In British Market", Variety, October 14, 1964
"Beatles Lennon, McCartney Top BMI Songwriters With Ten Tunes In Top 100", Variety, January 20, 1965
"Beatles` Disk Sales Exceed 100,000,000", Variety, February 3, 1965
"RIAA Gold Disks Awards Point Up Beatles` Boff Business", Variety, February 10, 1965
"Lennon, McCartney Win 5 Ivor Novello Awards As Composers", Billboard, July 31, 1965
"Beatles` Sales Hit 150,000,000 Disks", Variety, August 3, 1965
"Beatles` $304,000 At Shea Ballpark All-Time Record One Night Show Biz Box Office", Variety, August 18, 1965
"55,600 - Beatles Play To World`s Largest Audience In New York", Melody Maker, August 21, 1965
"Beatles Up EMI Fiscal Profit To Peak $16,975,000", Variety, September 29, 1965
"Beatlemania Revamps British Disk Business By Booming Teen-Angled Indie Prods", Variety, January 5, 1966
"Beatles Help Spin West German Disk Business To $86-Million Profit in 1965", Variety, April 13, 1966
"Tokyo Is Girding For The Beatles; Arrival June 30 - 30,000 Tickets Drawn By Lot", New York Times, May 22, 1966
"Beatles` New Revolver LP Explodes Into Britain`s Most Covered Album", Variety, August 3, 1966.
"Beatles Again Top Gold Disk Award Winners In RIAA 1966 List", Variety, December 28, 1966
"Beatles` Global Gross: $98-Million", Variety, May 19, 1967
"Beatles` Sgt. Pepper Earns Gold Disk On Day Of Release", Variety, May 31, 1967
"Beatles` U.S. Sales Equal 206-Million Singles", Variety, October 11, 1967
"Beatles` Record-Busting LP May Be All-Time Biggest", Rolling Stone, December 21, 1968
"Split Of Beatles Clips Capitol Industries Stocks", Variety, April 22, 1970
"Beatles Sold 545,000,000 Units In 10 Years Making", Variety, October 18, 1972
"Beatles Sales: 545-Million Units", Billboard, October 21, 1972
PART III, Press releases by Capitol records (excerpts):
January 1964 (Beatles biography)
"In less than one year, the Beatles have:
01) Achieved a popularity and following that is unprecedented in the history of showbiz in Britain.
02) Became the first recording artists anywhere in the world to have a record become a million seller before its release (Their disk, "I Want To Hold Your Hand", was issued in England Nov. 29, 1963. By Nov. 26, 1963, advance orders had passed the million mark. The same record was released in the United States by Capitol on Dec. 26 and sold over 200,000 the first week.)
04) Sold over 3,000,000 records in England, shattering the previous sales mark held by the now vanquished-champ, Elvis Presley."
Their first recording "Love Me Do" was issued on EMI`s Parlophone label in October, 1962. It sold a respectable 100,000 copies, and it was the last time a Beatles single sold less than 500,000 in Britain. Their first million-seller, "She Loves You", came out in the spring of 1963. It was followed by two albums, "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles". Both LPs sold over 300,000 copies. Then, finally, came the unprecedented success of the newest single record "I Want To Hold Your Hand". In between there have been Extended Play recordings which also racked up sales of several thousands apiece in England."
July 1965 (updated biography):
"04) Capitol has sold over 30 million records in the U.S. (in 15 months), shattering all previous sales marks, including those formerly held by the now-vanquished champ, Elvis Presley.
06) The Beatles became the world`s biggest personal appearance act in the history of show business. Selling out such large stadiums and arenas as Shea Stadium in N.Y. and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.
Then finally came the unprecedented success of their recording of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", the first U.S. single (and first million-seller in the U.S. It has sold over 4 million copies!).
Since that time, it has been one million seller after another. Their first Capitol LP, "Meet The Beatles!", is one of the largest selling albums of all time. It presently topped 4.5 million in sales. They followed this with another million seller, "The Beatlesī Second Album", and then came others: "Something New", "The Beatles` Story", "Beatles `65" and "Beatles VI". These are only a few of many that have topped the $million mark."
[This Message Has Been Edited By Wolf On January 01, 2002 12:03 PM]