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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Beatles soared up the iTunes record charts on Tuesday, with five of their classic albums entering the Top 20 less than 24 hours after the band's catalog was released for the first time on the world's No.1 digital retailer.
"Abbey Road" was leading the pack on Tuesday evening, with "The White Album" and "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" also proving the most popular Beatles album downloads on Apple's iTunes store. The special digital "Beatles Box Set", priced at $149 was also climbing up Top 20 along with the "Blue Album" of greatest hits.
On the U.S. iTunes singles charts, "Here Comes the Sun", "Let it Be" and "Blackbird" were among six Beatles singles moving steadily up the top 100 downloads, according to real-time data on the iTunes website.
Detailed figures on the numbers of U.S. downloads will be available next week from chart tracker Nielsen Soundscan.
Apple's iTunes store on Tuesday released 13 of the albums made famous more than 40 years ago by the Fab Four, ending years of fruitless negotiations between Apple founder Steve Jobs, the Beatles management company Apple Corps, and record label EMI.
Paul McCartney said he it was "fantastic to see the songs we originally released on vinyl receive as much love in the digital world as they did the first time around."
Drummer Ringo Starr said he was "particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes" and John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono said it was an appropriate move in what would have been Lennon's 70th birthday year.
In London, the Official Charts Company said it was certain that "their music will make a big impact" on the official UK singles charts, starting on Sunday when weekly sales and download figures are released.
According to Apple Corps, the band had sold more than 600 million records, tapes and CDs of its 1960s songs before Tuesday's iTunes releases.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte