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1 (Beatles album)

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1 (Beatles album)

This article is about the 2000 compilation album. For the 1983 compilation album, see The Number Ones. For the 1963 EP, see The Beatles (No. 1).

the Beatles
Released 13 November 2000
Recorded 11 September 1962 – 1 April 1970, EMI, Apple, Olympic and Trident Studios, London; Pathé Marconi Studios, Paris
Genre Rock, pop
Length 79:08
Label Apple/Parlophone, Capitol
Producer George Martin, Phil Spector
Compiler George Harrison, George Martin, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr
the Beatles chronology

Yellow Submarine Songtrack
Let It Be... Naked

1 is a compilation album by the Beatles, released on 13 November 2000. The album features virtually every number-one single released in the United Kingdom and United States from 1962 to 1970 by the Beatles. Issued on the 30th anniversary of the band's break-up, it was their first compilation available on one compact disc. 1 was a commercial success, and topped the charts worldwide. 1 has sold over 31 million copies.[1]

In addition, 1 is the fourth best-selling album in the U.S. since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking U.S. album sales in January 1991,[2] and the best-selling album of the decade in the U.S. from 2000 to 2009,[3] as well as the best selling album of the decade worldwide. It is also the fastest selling album in history.[4] 1 was re-released in digitally remastered format in September 2011.[5]


Compiled by producer George Martin and the (then) three surviving members of the band, 1 includes the 27 Beatles songs that went to number one in the United Kingdom on the Record Retailer magazine charts and/or the United States on the Billboard magazine charts. It is worth noting, however, that the song "For You Blue" was listed in Billboard chart compilations at No. 1, as a double A-sided single with "The Long and Winding Road",[6] but Capitol Records treated "For You Blue" as strictly a B-side and did not promote it as an A-side. Meanwhile, "Day Tripper" was included on 1, since it charted at No. 1 in the UK as a double A side with "We Can Work It Out", while in the US, only "We Can Work It Out" was No. 1. The only singles released in both the UK and US that did not reach No. 1 in either country, and were therefore ineligible for inclusion on the album, were "Please Please Me" and "Strawberry Fields Forever"—both reached No. 2 in the UK charts. The former was largely known as "The Beatles' first UK number one single"; however, it reached the top spot in the musical magazines New Musical Express and Melody Maker but not on the chart published by Record Retailer (now Music Week). On the other hand, "Strawberry Fields Forever" was part of a double A-side single along with "Penny Lane". Being a double A-side, UK sales policies counted the sales as a half of the real amount sold, a fact that kept the single at No. 2 in the charts, behind Engelbert Humperdinck's debut single "Release Me".

This album is essentially a combination of both the US and UK versions of the earlier album 20 Greatest Hits, with "Something" added to the mix (that song was left off 20 Greatest Hits because of time constraints). On 1, "Hey Jude" was released in its original full-length version (slightly over seven minutes); on the American version of 20 Greatest Hits it had been released as a shortened version.


Before 1, all 27 songs were available mainly in two remastered CD versions. First on the respective Beatles albums released in 1987 (as well as Past Masters, Volume One and Past Masters, Volume Two, released in 1988). The second remastering was made available on the CD versions for 1962–1966 and 1967–1970 (released in 1993).

But the songs on 1 were remastered specifically for the release in 2000. According to the liner notes of the album, the original analogue masters were "digitally remastered at 24 bits resolution, processed using Sonic Solutions NoNoise technology and mastered to 16 bit using Prism SNS Noise Shaping." The remastering was overseen by Peter Mew of Abbey Road Studios and took place there.[7]

In 2011, 1 was re-released on CD and digitally via iTunes. This newest release used the 2009 remasters rather than the original 2000 remasters.


The package of 1 was intended to be simplistic and ambitious at the same time. Its cover was designed by Rick Ward, and consists of a pop-art yellow number one on a red background. (The emphasis on the 1 digit was used on many of the compilations of number-one hits by different artists that followed this album; for example, ELV1S by Elvis Presley or Number Ones by the Bee Gees). The album's back cover features the famous photos of The Beatles taken by Richard Avedon copyrighted on 17 August 1967. The design exclusively uses variations of the Helvetica typeface.

1 was released on mainly in the UK in three formats — CD (on Apple 7243 5 29970 2 2), vinyl (Apple 529 3251) and cassette (529 9704), and Worldwide in two formats — CD (Apple 7243 5 29325 2 8), and cassette (Apple 7243 5 29325 4 2). The CD includes a 32-page booklet with a coloured page with international picture covers (a total of 163 covers are displayed on the whole booklet) and details (recording date, location, release date, chart stats) for each of the singles. It also includes on its first two pages a collage with 27 1's in different colours (all of them following the same art as the cover) with the sentence "27 No. 1 singles = 1" (which was used as a catch phrase for the promo ads for the album), and a foreword by George Martin.

The CD case for the album is rather unique as it has an International Standard Book Number on the back cover.[7]

The LP and cassette keep the main art of the CD version, but in a different form. The double vinyl record version was not released in the US, but the imported British edition was available. The vinyl version features a large full-color fold-out poster showing 126 picture sleeves (37 fewer than on the CD), and reproductions of the four Richard Avedon photos. The Avedon portraits also appear on the inside of the gate-fold cover. The records have custom labels featuring the same graphics as the front cover and are packaged in custom inner sleeves. The deluxe packaging of the vinyl album, with its four portraits and poster, is reminiscent to that of The Beatles. The cassette included a 20-page insert, including the collage, the George Martin commentary and paged Avedon's portraits on its inlay and the whole description for the tracks as a total of 36 covers on its inlay reverse.

Sales and chart performance

The reception of 1 surpassed all critical and commercial expectations. It reached No. 1 in over 35 countries, achieving the record for the album debuting at the top of the most national charts ever. It became the highest-selling of 2000 and later, of the entire decade. This achievement made The Beatles the first and only artist to have the best-selling albums of two different decades. They also had the best-selling album of the 1960s, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. No tracks from Sgt. Pepper appear on this album. With this album, The Beatles also achieved having an album hit the No. 1 position in the U.S. in four non-consecutive decades (1960s, 1970s, 1990s and 2000s).

In the United Kingdom, 1 became The Beatles' 17th No. 1 album with sales of 319,126 copies (achieving record sales for only one week in 2000). On 18 December 2000, reported that the album has "become 2000's biggest-selling album—in only five weeks." 1 was the first album to stay at the top spot for nine weeks in almost ten years (the last being the Eurythmics's Greatest Hits), the best-selling album of 2000, and the fourth best-selling album of the 2000s so far in the UK. In its eleventh week, 1 sold a total of two million copies in the UK. It spent a total of 46 weeks inside the Top 75. On July 2013 it was certified 10× platinum by the BPI, for over 3 million copies sold in the UK. It is the 26th best-selling album in the UK—according to an assessment by the Official Charts Company and the British Phonographic Industry that counted album sales in the UK from 28 July 1956 to 14 June 2009—, and the second best-selling Beatles album in that country (only beaten by Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which is the second best-selling album in the UK).[8]

In the United States, the response was similar. 1 debuted at No. 1 with a sales over 595,000 copies. In its second week, sales increased to 662,000 but it was knocked off the top spot by Backstreet Boys's Black & Blue. The album returned to the No. 1 spot the following week, and spent a total of eight weeks at No. 1, a record The Beatles share only with Creed's 2001 title, Weathered. The album sold 1,258,667 copies during Christmas week of 2000, which was its highest-selling week. With this number, The Beatles achieved a new record: it was the seventh highest one-week sales in Soundscan history, and the highest for an album not in its first week of sales. The album spent 104 weeks inside the Billboard 200 and became the sixth best-selling album in the United States in 2001. On 15 April 2005, 1 was certified Diamond in America, and 1 is included on the list of the Top 100 Albums by the Recording Industry Association of America.[9] By July 2012, 1 had sold 12,108,000 units,[10] and it is the best-selling album of the 21st century in the U.S.[11] and the fifth best-selling album in the Soundscan era (1991–present).[12]

In Canada, 1 debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 54,668 copies in its first week.[13] The album was certified Diamond (1,000,000 units) by the CRIA in February 2001, just four months after its release.[14] As of 2009, 1 has sold 1,103,000 units in Canada, making it the fifth best selling album ever in Canada of the Nielsen SoundScan era.[15]

In Germany, 1 debuted at No. 1 and managed to stay there nine non-consecutive weeks. Though this, it stayed only seventeen weeks in the top ten of the German Albums Chart, but fifty weeks in the total chart. By selling 1,650,000 copies and reaching 11× Gold, it's the third best-selling album of the decade 2000–2009 and the best-selling non-German language album.[16][17]

In 2009, Apple Corps, The Beatles' company, stated that worldwide sales of 1 had exceeded 31 million copies worldwide.[1] Worldwide in 2000 the album sold 13.8 million copies with 2 million or more copies sold during 2 consecutive weeks and was the fourth best selling album behind Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP, Britney Spears' Oops!... I Did It Again, and Santana's Supernatural.

Release variations

  • 2000 CD. Apple 7243 5 29970 2 2 (Released in UK only)
  • 2000 CD. Apple 7243 5 29325 2 8 (Worldwide Release)
  • 2011 remastered CD release. Apple 50999 083070 2 6


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[18]
NME 9/10[19]
Q 4/5 stars[20]
Melody Maker 5/5 stars[21]

1 has received generally positive reviews. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic gave the album five stars out of five. He stated that there is "no question that this is all great music", although he also stated that "there's really no reason for anyone who owns all the records to get this too".[18]

Track listing

All songs by Lennon–McCartney, unless otherwise noted. Tracks 1–3 are in mono; all others are in stereo.

  1. "Love Me Do" – 2:20
    • Released in the UK on 5 October 1962, and in the US on 27 April 1964, where it reached No. 1 in the US for one week on 30 May. This is the version released in the US with Ringo Starr on tambourine and session musician Andy White on drums.
  2. "From Me to You" – 1:56
    • Released on 11 April 1963 in the UK and reached No. 1 on 2 May, where it stayed for seven weeks.
  3. "She Loves You" – 2:21
    • Released in the UK on 23 August 1963, where it stayed at No. 1 for six weeks, then again on 28 November. Released in the US on 16 September 1963, and went to No. 1 for two weeks on 21 March 1964.
  4. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" – 2:24
    • Released in the US on 26 December 1963, it reached No. 1 for seven weeks between 1 February and 20 March 1964. Released in the UK on 29 November 1963 and stayed at No. 1 for five weeks.
  5. "Can't Buy Me Love" – 2:11
    • Released on 20 March 1964 in the UK and on 16 March 1964 in the US. The song reached No. 1 for three weeks in the UK on 2 April 1964. The song went to No. 1 in the US for five weeks on 4 April 1964.
  6. "A Hard Day's Night" – 2:33
    • The song reached No. 1 in the UK for three weeks on 23 July 1964 and was No. 1 for two weeks in the US on 1 August 1964.
  7. "I Feel Fine" – 2:18
    • The song stayed at No. 1 for five weeks in the UK starting on 10 December 1964, and reached No. 1 in the US on 26 December 1964.
  8. "Eight Days a Week" – 2:44
    • Released on 15 February 1965 in the US, where it went to No. 1 for two weeks on 13 March 1965.
  9. "Ticket to Ride" – 3:10
    • Released on 9 April 1965 in the UK, was No. 1 for three weeks on 22 April 1965. The song was released in the US on 19 April 1965, reaching No. 1 for one week on 22 May 1965.
  10. "Help!" – 2:18
    • Released on 23 July 1965 in the UK, it reached No. 1 for three weeks on 5 August 1965. In the US, it was released on 19 July 1965, also reaching No. 1 for three weeks on 4 September 1965.
  11. "Yesterday" – 2:05
    • Released on 13 September 1965 in the US, attaining No. 1 for four weeks on 9 October 1965.
  12. "Day Tripper" – 2:48
    • Released on 3 December in the UK, reaching No. 1 for five weeks on 16 December 1965. A tape drop-out that appears in previous stereo releases of this song has been corrected here.
  13. "We Can Work It Out" – 2:15
    • Released in the UK on 3 December 1965 and reached No. 1 for five weeks on 16 December 1965. The song was released on 6 December 1965 in the US, and reached No. 1 for three weeks on 8 January 1966.
  14. "Paperback Writer" – 2:18
    • Released on 10 June 1966 in the UK and on 30 May 1966 in the US. The song reached No. 1 for two weeks in the UK on 23 June, and also for two weeks in the US on 25 June 1966.
  15. "Yellow Submarine" – 2:38
    • Released on 5 August 1966 in the UK, where it reached No. 1 for four weeks on 18 August.
  16. "Eleanor Rigby" – 2:06
    • Released on 5 August 1966 in the UK, reaching No. 1 for four weeks on 18 August, as part of a double-A-Sided single with "Yellow Submarine".
  17. "Penny Lane" – 2:59
    • Released on 17 February 1967 in the UK, and on 13 February 1967 in the US.. The song reached No. 1 in the US on 18 March for one week.
  18. "All You Need Is Love" – 3:47
    • Released on 7 July 1967 in the UK, it reached No. 1 for three weeks on 19 July. In the US, it attained No. 1 for one week on 19 August 1967.
  19. "Hello, Goodbye" – 3:27
    • Released on 24 November in the UK, it reached No. 1 for seven weeks on 6 December 1967. In the US, the song was released on 27 November 1967, and reached No. 1 for three weeks on 30 December 1967.
  20. "Lady Madonna" – 2:16
    • Released on 15 March 1968 in the UK, reaching No. 1 for two weeks on 27 March.
  21. "Hey Jude" – 7:04
    • Released on 26 August 1968 in the US and on 30 August in the UK. It reached No. 1 in the UK for two weeks on 11 September and was No. 1 for a record nine weeks in the US, starting on 28 September 1968.
  22. "Get Back" – 3:12
    • Released on 11 April 1969 in the UK and on 5 May 1969 in the US. It reached No. 1 in the UK for six weeks on 23 April, and in the US for five weeks on 24 May 1969.
  23. "The Ballad of John and Yoko" – 2:59
    • Released in the UK on 30 May 1969 reaching No. 1 for three weeks on 11 June.
  24. "Something" (George Harrison) – 3:01
    • Released on 31 October 1969 in the UK, and on 6 October in the US It reached No. 1 for one week in the US on 29 November 1969.
  25. "Come Together" – 4:18
    • Released on 31 October 1969 in the UK, and on 6 October in the US. As the B-side of a double A-sided-single with "Something", it reached No. 1 in the US on 29 November, and stayed there for one week.
  26. "Let It Be" – 3:50
    • Released on 6 March 1970 in the UK, and on 11 March 1970 in the US, reaching No. 1 for two weeks on 11 April 1970.
  27. "The Long and Winding Road" – 3:37
    • Released in the US on 11 May 1970 and reached No. 1 for two weeks on 13 June 1970. This version has the orchestral "wall of sound" added by re-producer Phil Spector. It is the only track not produced by George Martin.

Each of the four sides of the vinyl represented appropriately different styles and phases of The Beatles' career: in order, Beatlemania's Mersey Beat, folk-rock/pre-psychedelic style, purely experimental/psychedelic style, back-to-basics/rock style. This was apparently a coincidence, considering that the songs are distributed on the sides following a balance-time rule. (The cassette edition comprises the first two vinyl sides on its side A and the last two vinyl sides on its side B, with a length of 38:32 and 40:35 respectively.)


  • John Lennon: Vocals, guitars, keyboards, harmonica
  • Paul McCartney: Vocals, bass, piano, acoustic guitar, drums on "Ballad of John and Yoko"
  • George Harrison: Guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals on "Something"
  • Ringo Starr: Drums, percussion, lead vocals on "Yellow Submarine"


In popular culture

In the 2002 direct-to-video film The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch, David Bowie is seen holding a vinyl album entitled The Rutles 1. He calls it a "piece of marketing extravagance." The album's cover is practically identical to that of The Beatles' album, with the Rutles' name appearing in the same dropped-T logo as the one that was used by The Beatles and a large painted "1" in the center, backed a red background.

Chart performance and certifications

In the United States, 1 was the No. 1 album of 2001 according to Billboard magazine. It was the only time a Beatles album achieved that mark.

See also

Notes and references

External links

  • at
Preceded by by R. Kelly
Billboard 200 number-one album
2–8 December 2000
23 December 2000 – 9 February 2001
Succeeded by
Black & Blue by Backstreet Boys
Preceded by
Coast to Coast by Westlife
UK number one album
25 November 2000 – 27 January 2001
Succeeded by
The Greatest Hits by Texas
Preceded by
All That You Can't Leave Behind by U2
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
20 November 2000 – 21 January 2001
Succeeded by
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Preceded by
The History of Shogo Hamada "Since1975" by Shogo Hamada
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart number-one album
27 November 2000
Succeeded by
Ballad 3; The Album of Love by Southern All Stars

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