LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Paul McCartney, George Harrison and the songs of John Lennon can all be found in the top 15 of the U.S. pop album chart, the biggest confluence of ex-Beatles in years.
McCartney celebrated his 65th birthday (June 18) by holding at No. 3 for a second week on the Billboard 200 with his new solo album “Memory Almost Full.”
The late George Harrison joined Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison in the Traveling Wilburys. The supergroup’s two albums have been repackaged with a DVD and that collection entered the chart at No. 9.
The charity album “Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur,” featuring cover versions of John Lennon songs by artists like U2, Green Day and Big & Rich, opened at No. 15.
It’s been just over 16 years since a Traveling Wilburys album appeared on the Billboard 200. The quintet’s first set debuted at No. 57 in November 1988, and peaked at No. 3. The self-titled album spent 53 weeks on the chart. The follow-up, “The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3,” recorded after Orbison’s death, debuted at No. 40 in November 1990, and peaked at No. 11, ultimately spending 22 weeks on the chart. That means the new collection is the second-highest charting of the three releases by the Traveling Wilburys.
In the United Kingdom, the coming together of the former Beatles is in even sharper relief. “The Traveling Wilburys Collection” debuted at No. 1, McCartney’s “Memory Almost Full” fell five places to No. 10, and an album by John Lennon, “Lennon Legend - The Very Best Of” opened at No. 30. The “Instant Karma” album won’t be released until June 25, and will only be eligible for the separate compilation album chart.