Report: “Now and Then” on Track to Become Beatles’ First No. 1 U.K. Hit in 54 Years

The Beatles’ new song, “Now and Then,” has blasted out of the gates in the band’s U.K. homeland, and is easily on pace to hit No. 1 on the singles chart there, the Official Charts Company reports.

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The track, which is being billed as The Beatles’ “last song,” was released on Thursday, November 2, and, according to the U.K. chart-monitoring organization, is outselling the other four singles at the top of the current sales tally.

[RELATED: The Beatles’ “Now and Then” Video Offers Fans a Poignant Farewell to the Fab Four]

If “Now and Then” does make it to No. 1, it would become The Beatles’ 18th career chart-topping single in the U.K., more than any other British artist, and the Fab Four’s first since “The Ballad of John and Yoko” ascended to No. 1 in 1969.

“Now and Then” debuted at No. 42 on the latest U.K. singles chart after only being available for 10 hours before weekly sales were counted.

“What a week it will be if The Beatles return with a Number 1 in the Official Singles Chart,” said the Official Charts Company’s CEO, Martin Talbot. “The Fab Four are a key part of the history of British music and the U.K.’s charts, so to have returned with such a huge impact is incredible.”

As previously reported, “Now and Then” was built around a demo that the late John Lennon recorded in 1978 and that Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and the late George Harrison added parts to during the 1990s but didn’t complete. McCartney and Starr then revisited the track recently and finished it with help from the same audio technology that director Peter Jackson employed on The Beatles: Get Back docuseries, which was used to cleanly lift Lennon’s vocals off the demo recording.

Meanwhile, Starr has posted a video on his social media pages that features an audio clip of him commenting on how he feels about people’s enduring love for The Beatles’ music and their continued fascination with the band.

“It blows me away that every generation listens to The Beatles,” the famous drummer says in the video, which also features a montage of film clips of the band members from various parts of their career. “And it blows me away that the beats going on. That’s what it’s about, the beat goes on, and only the four of us were in there who know what it was like.”

“Now and Then” was released as a digital single on Thursday, and in a variety of physical formats on Friday, November 3, while an official music video for the song, directed by Jackson, premiered the same day.

The track also will be included on an expanded version of The Beatles’ 1967-1970 compilation, also known as “The Blue Album,” that will be released on November 10. An expanded edition of The Beatles’ companion 1962-1966 compilation, aka “The Red Album,” we be released on the 10th as well. Both reissues can be pre-ordered now.

(Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

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