Forty-five years after their breakup, the Beatles still know how to give the world the perfect Christmas present. In a move that was heavily rumored last week before its confirmation, the band’s catalog arrived on all major streaming outlets on Christmas Eve morning. The catalog was rolled out at midnight in each time zone.
The biggest selling group in music history has long been one of the most notable holdouts to the streaming revolution. In fact, they had only begun offering their music for sale on iTunes in 2010.
The albums that are being offered for streaming are those that were designated as their core releases when their discography was standardized globally in 1987 and have been the official releases ever since: Please Please Me, With the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles for Sale, Help!, Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the American version of Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles (or The White Album), Yellow Submarine, Abbey Road and Let It Be. The release will also include the Past Masters compilation that includes all of the songs that were not released on their studio albums (such as “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Hey Jude,”) the famed 1962-1966 (“The Red Album”) and 1967-1970 (“The Blue Album”) greatest hits albums and 1, the band’s greatest hits album from 2000.
The band’s 1995 Anthology box sets are not included, and neither are the alternate Let It Be…Naked and Yellow Submarine Songtrack albums, the soundtrack for Cirque du Soliel’s LOVE or the American configurations of their early albums.
The Beatles’ entrance into streaming leaves only a few artists that have never been available on a service. Previously streaming-adverse acts such as Pink Floyd and AC/DC have long had their music available. Neil Young has removed his catalog from Spotify and other services (aside from his Geffen catalog), but it was available until relatively recently. Some of the remaining major acts who have never had their catalog available for streaming include Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, King Crimson, Tool and Joanna Newsom. Other acts only have their music exclusive to one service, including Prince (Tidal), Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke and Peter Gabriel (all on Apple Music).
The Beatles, who some observers expected to be an Apple Music exclusive due to their previous relation with the company, will also be available on Spotify, Tidal, Google Play Music, Amazon Prime and smaller outlets such as Slacker, Deezer and Rhapsody.
The band’s entrance onto Spotify and the other services comes shortly after George Harrison’s solo catalog was made available on the sites, as well as the release of the 1+ set that made the band’s pioneering promotional films and music videos available to purchase for the first time.
Our staff has compiled a playlist of their favorite Beatles classics and deep cuts, which you can check out below.