- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 9, 2007



Britain’s Royal Mail yesterday released a first-ever series of stamps featuring the Beatles and immediately predicted they would break global records for sales of a single issue.

Demand from countries including Japan, the United States and Canada already has put the six-stamp issue on target to become Royal Mail’s biggest seller apart from collections related to occasions such as royal weddings.

“Judging by the unprecedented response we have already received from collectors and the public, the Beatles is on course to be the best-selling issue internationally,” said the Royal Mail’s Julietta Edgar.

“We chose to celebrate a band as exceptional as the Beatles because of their contribution to the world — and that popularity has been demonstrated by the interest this stamp issue has received across the globe,” she added.

The new stamps — which already have smashed a record set by Queen Elizabeth II’s 80th birthday issue last year — feature iconic Beatles album covers, including “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Abbey Road” and “Revolver.”

In Canada, demand is so strong that Canada Post is offering the stamps for sale through its own branches — the first time another country’s postal service has done so with a Royal Mail issue.

The Beatles issue includes both standard-size stamps and a miniatures set, a first for the Royal Mail, enabling both collectors and members of the public to celebrate the band’s legacy on the different formats.

The four-stamp miniature sheet focuses on some of the memorabilia produced for fans of the group.

All the stamps were designed by London-based design studio Johnson Banks.

The Beatles — songwriting duo John Lennon and Paul McCartney along with guitarist George Harrison and drummer Ringo Starr — remain one of the most successful groups of all time more than 35 years after their breakup.

Since the deaths of Mr. Lennon and Mr. Harrison, Mr. McCartney and Mr. Starr have continued to keep the flame alight. They released the band’s first album for a generation in November.

“Love,” the soundtrack to the Las Vegas show by Cirque du Soleil, comprises 26 of the band’s hit songs, many of which are mixed together using previously unheard studio material.

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