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Beatles mate picks iTunes

Sir Elton says 'only Apple' for me

While the world waits for EMI to re-issue the remastered Beatles catalogue on Apple's iTunes, one of John Lennon's old mates has decided to beat them to it by releasing his entire catalogue through the market-leading music download service.

All Sir Elton John music will be available exclusively through iTunes starting next week.

The entire catalogue of 400 tracks will be made available through the store starting 26 March, his artist management agents explained. The music will be available exclusively there until 30 April, when it will be made available through other music services.

The artist explained: "I've wanted my music to be available for digital download worldwide for some time, but I knew that the entire catalogue not just the hits needed care and attention to be released in this way. Now that it's happening, I'm pleased for the fans' sake. The world has certainly changed since Philips Records issued my first single on seven-inch vinyl 39 years ago this month."

While some albums are already available through iTunes, the artist will now make over 30 albums available online.

The move coincides with the global release in physical and digital formats of a new, 18-track compilation of his work, Rocket Man The Definitive Hits, from Universal's Mercury Records imprint.

A selection of Sir Elton's biggest hits will also be made available as mobile-phone realtones for the first time, while a selection of his music videos will also be made available online.

Elton and band featured on John Lennon's hit "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night", and his last-ever live performance was on stage with Elton John.

Sir Elton celebrates his 60th birthday this weekend with a concert performance at New York's Madison Square Garden.

The artist has sold over 200 million albums worldwide since 1970, and is one of the most successful touring performers and top-selling recording artists of all time.

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