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TURNED OUT NICE AGAIN...
The record industry's success story of 1995 was The Beatles Anthology I. The most talked about TV series was The Beatles Anthology and the most eagerly awaited and discussed single was Tree As A Bird'. As the world considers the Beatles' just-issued second single "Real Love' and second album Volume 2, Geoff Baker scans back through his files to resume the story so far.
Derek Taylor, Apple Press Officer, London, September 1995
"That was the thing about the Beatles: They always were The Big One."
MJI Broadcasting, Inc. 20 November 1995
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY SOARS LIKE A BIRD
Part one of The Beatles Anthology was the most-watched program on any network last night, averaging an 18.6 rating and a 28 share from 9.00 to 11.00pm E/T. An estimated 47 million people watched the special. ABC had a 51 per cent advantage over NBC, and a 77 per cent advantage over CBS.
Memo to Paul McCartney from Geoff Baker, 21 November 1995
EMI says they have already shipped 5.5 million copies of Anthology 1 (instantly topping the already incredible sales of The Beatles At The BBC).
Meanwhile, in one of today's newspapers, the album was reviewed by one Peter Best. He wrote: "This is the Beatles' greatest ever album, and not just because I'm on it. The Beatles Anthology 1 is a true landmark, as important as any album ever compiled ... 'Free As A Bird' is breathtaking - it's one of the most touching pieces of music that I have ever heard and I defy anyone to listen to it and not get a lump in their throat."
Memo to Derek Taylor from Geoff Baker, 22 November 1995
News from across the pond. MJI Broadcasting reports that, according to a poll of Tower Records stores, Anthology 1 is outselling Garth Brooks big time - at a rate of 8 to 1 in Atlanta, 12:1 in Boston, 18:1 in Chicago, 35:1 in Philadelphia and, in New York, at the rate of 38:1. I expect Brooks is delighted he chose now to release...
New York Times, 24 November 1995
No one who was conscious in the early 1960s could mistake the sound that opened last Sunday night's segment of The Beatles Anthology. The communal squeal of Beatlemania became an aural icon for the baby-boomer generation. Now it is obvious that the screamers, despite the silliness of that momentary hysteria, were essentially right. The Beatles were the most creative rock 'n' roll band of all time.
Press Release from ITV Network Centre, London. 27 November 1995.
BEATLES GIVE ITV ITS HIGHEST SUNDAY NIGHT SHARE OF THE YEAR.
Fourteen million people tuned into the opening episode of The Beatles Anthology yesterday evening, helping ITV achieve its biggest Sunday primetime viewing share to date this year, according to live overnight data. When video viewing is taken into account for the official consolidated figures, the audience is likely to exceed 15 million.
Memo to Paul McCartney from Geoff Baker, 29 November 1995
According to EMI's latest, Anthology 1 has gone straight in at number one in Australia, France and Germany. It's gone gold in Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Austria and Chile; it's platinum in Japan, New Zealand, Belgium and Hong Kong. It's gone double platinum in Australia and the UK, quadruple platinum in Canada, and in the USA it's gone sextuple platinum, seven time platinum. I'm still waiting for a USA chart figure.
MJI Broadcasting, 29 November 1995. News just in...
THE BEATLES ANTHOLOGY NUMBER ONE WITH A BIG FAT BULLET
The results are in, and The Beatles Anthology debuts at number one on next week's Billboard album chart with sales of 855,473 in its first week in stores, according to Soundscan. However, Soundscan does not monitor sales in supermarkets, wholesalers and drug stores. Capitol estimates that another 200,000 copies were sold through those outlets.
The album broke the record for the first week sales of a double album.
Memo to Derek Taylor from Geoff Baker, 30 November 1995
Some good quotes in from the USA. On hearing 'FAAB', record producer Don Was said, " I would put this in the top five greatest Beatles songs ever." Also, CNN is quoting Keith Richards as saying, "I knew this cat John Lennon, and he would have loved it" and Sting as saying, "It's the biggest moment in the industry for years."
PS. MJI Broadcasting reports that Anthology 1 is officially the biggest selling album in one week in the history of the world. And anywhere else, for that matter.
USA TODAY, 30 November 1995
BEATLES BREAK RECORD WITH ANTHOLOGY
The Beatles Anthology 1 has sold more than one million copies since November 21, history's highest first-week sales for a double-album, according to Capitol Records.
Press release, from the Beatles' Press Office, 12 December 1995
The Beatles have hit a new success as Britain's leading rock and roll export this Christmas. Global demand for the greatest British band has reached a new 25-year high, with the album Anthology 1 winning 24 platinum discs and eight gold awards worldwide and the TV series selling to 102 countries.
Demand around the world has astonished the Beatles' record company EMI, who have now shipped seven million Anthology albums in just two weeks.
"Beatlemania is raging again throughout the world," says EMI chairman Rupert Perry. "Once again the Beatles have proven that their songs are among Britain's greatest exports. Our country should be proud of them." [Fat chance - ed.]
Extract from the minutes of a Publicity/Promotions meeting at Apple, 26 January 1996
Capitol Records' Bruce Kirkland reported that Anthology 1 was number one in the US album charts for four weeks. EMI's Mike Heatley reported a worldwide sale of nine million albums to date. Kirkland's market research shows that in the USA 41 per cent of all those who bought Anthology 1 were teenagers. "It's clear," he said, "that we've turned on a new audience here."
Memo to Derek Taylor from Geoff Baker, 31 January 1996
Anthology 1 now has eight times platinum status in the USA alone. What is the word for this? Does this make it "octad" platinum or is it "octuple" platinum? Have the Beatles given cause for a new word to be invented?
Q magazine, February 1996
As ever, they're there first. None of the Beatles' contemporaries has yet launched a we-were-the-greatest campaign as all-conquering as the Anthology palaver.