It's been a long and winding road.
Every year, starting around Thanksgiving, if you turn on the radio or walk into a store, Sir Paul McCartney’s oft-maligned ode to the season "Wonderful Christmas Time" is on heavy rotation. But this year, for the first time, you can take to a streaming service of your choice to listen to some of McCartney’s earlier work.
That’s right -- at 12:01 a.m. everywhere in the world on Dec. 24, the legendary band’s catalog will be streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play, Microsoft Groove, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker and Tidal, according to an announcement on the Beatles's website today.
It has taken a while for the Beatles to jump on the digital bandwagon. It’s not hard to see why. Famously, Michael Jackson bought the rights of 250 Beatles songs in the mid '80s for $47.5 million. The late Prince of Pop then sold them to Sony Music in 1995 for $95 million and McCartney is set to get the rights back in 2018. The band lent its likeness and music to a Rock Band game in 2009 and the Beatles catalog arrived in iTunes in 2010.
The band started in 1960, but The Fab Four as we now know them formed in 1962 with the addition of Ringo Starr to the group. The group ultimately dissolved in 1970. In the intervening years the influential musicians sold 250 million records globally and had 20 number-one hits on the Billboard charts.