updated 07:05 pm EDT, Tue May 31, 2011
All three volumes, more available for pre-order
Apple and EMI Music have announced that the remastered versions of all three volumes of the Beatles' Anthology series will be available on iTunes beginning June 14th, with pre-orders being accepted now. There will also be an Anthology digital "Box Set" which will feature all 155 tracks, along with a Highlights compilation from the Anthology albums available as well. A video trailer for the package as well as a 50-minute "Meet the Beatles" radio show are now available for streaming from iTunes.
The Anthology double albums have all been completely remastered for digital release, and chronicle the career of the Liverpool band through pre-Beatles songs, audition tapes, radio appearances, demos, outtakes, some Post-Beatles collaborative material and other sonic leftovers and rarely-heard treasures, most of which received its first non-bootleg release when the original Anthology albums were released to accompany the documentary series in the mid-90s. The cover for the albums was designed by Klaus Voorman, who had created the famous cover for the album Revolver in 1966.
New to the iTunes offering is the "Highlights" album, consisting of 23 tracks culled from the other Anthology releases, selling for $13. The entire box set will retail for $80, and the individual albums (which were originally released as double CDs or triple LPs) will sell for $30 each. Despite the wide availability of the band's catalog in various forms, the digital remasters have proven to be a surprising hit: EMI says the Beatles' albums have sold 1.3 million copies on iTunes, and eight million individual song sales. All three volumes (along with the box set) are being sold as iTunes LPs, with elaborate "liner notes" and other features to encourage whole-album sales.