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23 December 2015

Fixing a hole: The Beatles’ back catalogue will appear on digital music services for the first time

From Christmas Eve, the albums will be available on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play and Tidal. 

By Barbara Speed

The biggest drawback of the various streaming services on offer is the artists they’re missing. Taylor Swift isn’t on Spotify, Jay-Z’s mates keep releasing albums exclusively on Tidal, and the Beatles aren’t anywhere. Well, until now.

According to this announcement on their official website, the Beatles’ entire back catalogue will appear on a slew of streaming services at 12:01 am local time on Christmas Eve after lengthy wranglings between Apple Records and EMI, which own the music’s copyright, and digital music services across the industry. The music will be available on Google Play, Tidal, Spotify, Apple Music, Slacker, Groove, Rhapsody, Deezer and Amazon Prime – so basically everywhere but Pandora. 

Apple Records has kept the songs close to its chest for decades: until 2010, they weren’t even available on Apple’s iTunes store. But now it looks like the floodgates are open, just in time for Christmas Day. Best present ever. 

To whet your appetites, here are some of our best pieces on the Fab Four we’ve run over the past few years, with love from us to you: 

Come together: the collision of culture, chemistry and magic that created the Beatles – Hunter Davies 

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Why I didn’t tell the whole truth about the Beatles – Hunter Davies

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From the archive: The Menace of Beatlism – Paul Johnson

Who was the fabbest of the four? – Alan Johnson, Terry Jones, Joan Bakewell, Geoff Lloyd

From the archive: Beatles and before – Eric Hobsbawm