It was forty years years ago today.

On September 26, 1969 The Beatles released their much-heralded Abbey Road album, which captured their final recording session together (though earlier recordings were later released on Let It Be).

Whoda' thunk The Beatles would still dominate the music news four decades later?

Two weeks ago their video game "The Beatles: Rock Band" was released to much hoopla and frenzied demand the same day that their digitally re-mastered catalog hit the street, propelling them onto the record charts (yawn) again.

The following week five of the ten best-selling albums in the US were Beatles albums. (I thought I was having an acid flashback to April 1964 when they had the top five singles in the Billboard Hot 100.)

How is it possible that every product release by The Beatles—even the Love soundtrack from Cirque du Soleil a few years back—can crash the party, gobble market share, and grab headlines? Is it because The Beatles were that good or because the contemporary competition is that weak? (Try both.)