The Beatles, 50 years after their final studio LP, are rock’s only million-selling act through the first half of 2020.
Factoring in the modern metric of album sales plus album equivalent units (via song downloads and streaming), the group moved 1.094 million units from January through June, according to Nielsen’s Mid-Year Report. The top five rock list also includes Queen (with 768,000 units), Imagine Dragons (593,000), Fleetwood Mac (565,000) and Metallica (551,000).
The top five rock albums are Queen’s Greatest Hits (1) (448,000), Elton John’s Diamonds (372,000), Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Chronicle, Vol. 1 (299,000), Journey’s Greatest Hits (273,000) and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours (265,000).Queen’s Greatest Hits (1) ranked fourth in the top 10 vinyl albums category (56,000 sales), followed by the Beatles’ Abbey Road at fifth (54,000 sales) and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon at eighth (44,000).
Comparing music consumption trends from the same period of 2019, the Nielsen report found that streaming has increased, vinyl LP sales are up and both CD and digital album sales continue to plummet.
Despite the music industry’s shakiness, the Beatles remain relevant. The same goes for film: Grammy-winning director Jonas Akerlund will helm an upcoming movie, Midas Man, chronicling the life of the band’s longtime manager, Brian Epstein. And Peter Jackson is still prepping The Beatles: Get Back, a documentary about Let It Be sessions. Both projects are now scheduled for 2021.