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Sunday, 19 November, 2000, 22:06 GMT
Beatles album tops the chart
Beatles fans at HMV
The first buyers were enthusiastic at London's HMV store
An album of Beatles' songs, some more than 30 years old, has gone straight to number one in the UK charts and become the fastest-selling album of the year.

Few people in the world will not have heard, or indeed owned, many of the songs on the Beatles' compilation, called simply 1, but that has not put the music-buying public off.

The album has already gone platinum, selling 319,126 copies within a week of being released.

A spokesman for The Beatles said the remaining members of the band, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, were "dead chuffed" by the chart success.

Classic Beatles graphic from the official website
Classic Beatles graphic from the official website
The album of 27 songs has been outselling Westlife, the current darlings of the pre-teen market, and Oasis, who once saw themselves as the Fab Four's successors.

By Friday, Oasis's album had only amassed 40,629 sales and entered the chart on Sunday at number five.

It also sold five times as many copies as Westlife's Coast To Coast album, which went straight in at number one the previous Sunday.

Many in the music industry predict the album, which is also number one in Germany, France, Spain and Canada, could go on to become one of the biggest sellers of all time.

As the highest-selling album of the year so far, the album 1 has beaten previous chart topper Robbie Williams, whose Sing When You're Winning sold 313,000 copies in its first week.

Influential

The Oasis album Standing on the Shoulder of Giants sold 311,000 copies in seven days earlier this year.

The album brings together all of The Beatles' UK and US number one singles from 1962 to 1970, from Love Me Do to The Long And Winding Road.

In eight years the band redefined popular music and left a musical legacy as influential now as it was in the 60s and 70s.

Few successful bands today can claim they have not been influenced by The Beatles and even less can claim they have not drawn on the wealth of work left by the band in some way.

Thirty years after the band split up they remain as popular as ever, with a recently released book, Anthology, in the top 10 of book charts across Europe, as well as the album 1 set to sell hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of copies.

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See also:

13 Nov 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: The Beatles
01 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Beatles to launch website
19 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Beatles' film producer dies
06 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Westlife: Pretenders to Beatles' throne?
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