TORONTO – It was a bit of Beatlemania all over again today as Canadian record stores faced a flood of fans clamouring for the two new remastered box sets, CD reissues, and a Fab Four-themed “Rock Band” video game.
In Toronto, HMV’s flagship store sold out of the limited edition box sets within about 40 minutes, according to an employee.
Both sets include the entire Beatles catalogue remastered on CD for the first time.
One set has the Beatles’ classics mixed into stereo, while a super limited-edition mono set is available for purists.
HMV Canada’s director of product Ken Kirkwood says sales have been consistently strong right across the country and anything with the Beatles name on it is flying out the door.
He says the chain’s Top 15 selling CDs are all Beatles remasters, while the various versions of the new “Rock Band” game are dominating the Top 5 video game chart.
“It’s right across the board,” Kirkwood said of the Beatles frenzy at HMV stores.
“I don’t think there’s a place in Canada where there are people that aren’t (Beatles) fans.”
He said the mono box set would definitely be sold out across the country by the end of the day, while a few stereo sets might still be kicking around.
All the Beatles albums were also rereleased individually for those who didn’t want to shell out for the box sets ($189 for the stereo package and $219 for the mono) and Kirkwood said the top seller was “Abbey Road,” followed by “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the “White Album,” “Revolver” and “Rubber Soul.”
“You can see the way the sales have gone that there are customers we’ve had that bought every single album,” Kirkwood added.