30 Years Later, the Beatles Continue to Top the ChartsDo the Beatles still rule the world of popular music in the 21st century?
They certainly seem to. The legendary band's achievements are transcending time and space. Although the Beatles disbanded at the end of 1970, a newly released album aptly titled "1" has roared up the charts of fastest-selling albums here and abroad.
A compilation of 27 songs which ranked first on pop charts, the new album now tops the charts in many countries, including the United States and Britain.
"It was released on Nov. 14 in the U.S. and sold about 595,000 copies in its first week," said EMI Korea's public relations officer, Kim Dong-kee. "Now it is heading to the top in Korea."
Songs include "From Me To You," which topped British charts for seven weeks in 1963; "Yesterday," which topped U.S. charts for four weeks in 1965; "I Want To Hold Your Hand," a U.S. chart-topper for seven weeks in 1964; and "The Ballad of John And Yoko," which topped British charts for three weeks in 1969.
Said a Korean fan, Lee Hye-sook: "This is the album I have been waiting for. It has all the songs I like, such as 'Yellow Submarine,' 'A Hard Day's Night' and 'All You Need Is Love.' "
But a music critic, Lee Jong-hyun, said: "It's no surprise the album is so popular. The songs are catchy and appeal to the public. But I don't think the album does justice to the Beatles' powerful musical spirit and their willingness to experiment artistically. There seems to be something lacking."
"1" follows closely on the huge success of "The Beatles Anthology." The anthology is a definitive warts-and-all history of the band from its early days to its greatest musical achievements. Painstakingly compiled from worldwide sources, it tells what really went on in the ups and downs in the band members' personal lives.
The three surviving members - Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr - and John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, gave the project their blessing and provided material.
On Dec. 17, the ABC network screened a new 90-minute documentary entitled "The Beatles Revolution," which became a big hit worldwide.
by Kim Jae-seon
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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