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The Beatles Have Been Trading One Hit Album For Another For Weeks

The Beatles are one of the bestselling artists in U.S. history when it comes to albums. It makes sense, then, that the band would regularly appear on at least one of Billboard’s rankings of the top-consumed full-lengths in America. This week, the group can be found on the most important albums tally in the country—but not with the same effort that kept them on the list last frame.

This week, The Beatles trade one hit compilation for another on the Billboard 200. The band has claimed one space on Billboard’s ranking of the most-consumed albums in the U.S. for the past several weeks, but for some time, it’s never been with the same title for more than one frame in a row.

The Beatles’ 1967-1970 is back on the Billboard 200 this week. The compilation reappears at No. 170. The collection of some of the band’s biggest hits from the years noted in the project’s title moved 8,985 equivalent units in the past tracking period, according to Luminate.

Last week, The Beatles also filled just one space on the Billboard 200, but it was with a different album. Their highly successful compilation 1 returned to the chart last frame—and in nearly the same position the band appears in at this moment. 1 landed at No. 175 last frame.

The week before that, a similar exchange took place. 1967-1970 could be found on the Billboard 200 at No. 179 during the chart week dated May 11.

The Beatles are trading one compilation for another week after week, and while that’s certainly odd to see, there may be a simple explanation. The chances are that both titles are performing well, but that they are taking turns, with each standing out as the most successful of the two. Billboard’s rules state that if certain songs are found on more than one project—such as an album and a compilation, or, in this case, more than one compilation—whichever one performs best as a title will get all the consumption activity connected to those tracks, making it far and away the most successful on the charts.

As Americans continue to stream and buy The Beatles’ smash singles, they’re contributing to the success of one of their compilations…but only one at a time. Some weeks, 1 wins out. Other times, all that consumption of early Beatles cuts benefits 1967-1970, while 1 is forced to step away and declines precipitously in consumption.

1967-1970 also returns to another chart, following 1’s recent resurgence. The hits-packed set is back on the Top Rock & Alternative Albums chart this week at No. 43. In the past, it’s climbed as high as No. 3, and the compilation has only spent a total of 24 frames on this list.

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