Spotify numbers confirm: You still haven’t heard enough of the Beatles

Selections from the Beatles' back catalog were made available to streaming services last week.

Selections from the Beatles’ back catalog were made available to streaming services last week.

(Associated Press)

As one of the (if not the) cornerstone artists in modern pop music history, the Beatles are ingrained in popular culture to such an extent that much of the band’s music is as essential and inescapable as the air surrounding us.

At any given moment, the average classic rock radio station is between seven and 10 songs away from playing a Beatles track, and if pressed many music fans can conjure half of the band’s titanically influential catalog from memory.

Still, that wasn’t enough to diminish the interest of streaming listeners, who have flocked to the Beatles catalog since it was made available on nine streaming outlets, including Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Tidal, beginning Christmas Eve.

According to Spotify’s numbers, fans streamed some 70 million Beatles songs in the first three days, drawing from 17 albums released that includes the red- and blue-packaged retrospective sets and the 2000 best-of compilation “1.” (Not among the offerings: the odds-and-ends “Anthology” box sets, the Phil Spector-excising remix of “Let It Be” released as “Let It Be...Naked” in 2003 or the highly touted mono mixes, which came out in 2009.)


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Has a new generation used this at-the-ready access to plumb the depths of the Beatles’ catalog for fresh discoveries? Maybe, but the most popular streaming choices in the U.S. have been some of the Beatles’ biggest hits. “Come Together” from “Abbey Road” so far leads the way with more than 3 million streams, followed by “Hey Jude,” “Here Comes the Sun” and “Yesterday,” which each have more than 2 million listens.

Also on Spotify’s top 10 Beatles selections are indelible songs such as “Let It Be,” “Twist and Shout,” “Blackbird,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You.” At the bottom of the list thus far is “In My Life” from “Rubber Soul.”

Does this level of interest indicate a new wave of interest in the Beatles? Perhaps. But for perspective’s sake, Adele’s equally ubiquitous “Hello” is approaching 300 million as the lone offering from the singer’s blockbuster album “25.” Admittedly, the song had a head start, but the Fab Four have some catching up to do.


Read more from me on Twitter: @chrisbarton.


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