Last week the world stopped (well, Apple thought it would), when Steve Jobs announced that tracks by The Beatles can finally be downloaded from iTunes.
The earth duly continued spinning and thoughts turned to the impact this development would have on the UK singles charts.
Surely, the public would suddenly rush to download a rash of Beatles tracks that they didn’t already own on LP, cassette or CD, wouldn’t they?
To increase the likelihood of chart domination, Simon Cowell conveniently scheduled a Beatles week on The X Factor, allowing the remaining finallists to ‘make the songs their own’.
As if that wasn’t enough, Apple ran iTunes TV ads, featuring black-and-white photos of the Beatles, the whole weekend.
And the result of this endeavour? The biggest-selling Beatles song of the week-ending 21 November was Hey Jude, which rocketed into the charts at… No.40! Yes, you read that right – no.40.
OK, so The Beatles did score 31 tracks in the top 200, but that’s not the same as taking over the entire chart, is it?
Now I like the Beatles (not obsessed), but as an average fan my first thought was: don’t most people own their favourite Beatles songs on CD already? If they don’t own the ‘red’ and ‘blue’ albums, then the relatively recently-released No.1s must have made its way into their collection.
And, if they do own any of these, then putting them in their CD drive and ripping them to iTunes sort of negates the need to download Hey Jude, doesn’t it?
Surely, there’s only so much Beatles you can flog to people. Yes, they were revolutionary in 1963, but most people are a little bored of ‘new’ Beatles now.
Also, the cynical X-Factor tie in was let down by the fact that most of the performances on Saturday were so poor, that younger viewers probably think the Beatles are about as relevant to them as Al Martino. Where’s the Elvis week – that’s what we want to know!
On a sidenote, it’s interesting that not all ‘modern’ reworkings of classic artists go unrewarded. Ellie Goulding’s version of Elton John’s Your Song (currently doing the rounds on the John Lewis Xmas ad) has stormed into the charts at No.3, just behind JLS and Take That.