The Beatles’ New Song, “Now and Then,” Tops U.K. Singles Chart, Setting Multiple Records

The Beatles’ “last” song, “Now and Then,” has captured the No. 1 spot on the U.K.’s Official Singles Chart after its first full week of release, helping the band to set multiple records in doing so.

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For starters, “Now and Then” becomes the Fab Four’s first No. 1 U.K. hit since “The Ballad of John and Yoko” ascended to the top spot in 1969, and the 54-year gap is the largest span of time a U.K. artist has ever had between chart-topping singles. Kate Bush set the previous record, thanks to the 44-year span between “Wuthering Heights” reaching No. 1 in 1978 and “Running Up That Hill” topping the tally last year.

[RELATED: Paul McCartney Says Working on New Beatles Song “Now and Then” Was “Magical” and “Joyful”]

The Beatles have also broken the record for the longest time span between an artist’s first and last No. 1 hits, 60 years and six months, as the band scored its first U.K. chart-topper with “From Me to You” in May 1963. The previous record was held by the late Elvis Presley, who enjoyed his first No. 1 hit, “All Shook Up,” in 1957, and had his last, a reissue of “It’s Now or Never,” in 2005—a gap of 47 years, six months.

In addition, the band extends its record as the British artist with the most No. 1 U.K. singles overall— 18. Cliff Richard, Ed Sheeran, and Westlife are tied for second on that list with 14. The only artist with more No. 1 U.K. hits is Presley with 21.

The Beatles also became the oldest band to ever have a No. 1 hit in the U.K., with surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr aged 81 and 83, respectively.

“It’s mind boggling. It’s blown my socks off,” McCartney said about the milestone in an exclusive statement to the Official Charts Company. “It’s also a very emotional moment for me. I love it!”

The Official Charts Company also reported that “Now and Then” has notched a number of other impressive U.K. figures. The track is the fastest-selling single of the year so far, with 48,600 physical and download sales combined based on its first seven days of release. It’s enjoyed the biggest single week of physical sales, 38,000, since 2014, when X Factor winner Ben Haenow’s “Something I Need” notched 47,000. “Now and Then” is also the fastest-selling vinyl single since the century began, moving 19,400 certified copies so far.

Meanwhile, the track also amassed more than 5 million streams during its first week of release, by far the most any Beatles song has ever been streamed in a single week. The previous record was “Here Comes the Sun,” which notched 1.05 million streams during a one-week period in 2021.

“Now and Then” is available now via digital and streaming, and also can be purchased on CD, vinyl, and cassette.

As previously reported, “Now and Then” was built around a demo the late John Lennon recorded in the late 1970s that McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison worked on during the 1990s but didn’t complete. Then, after the quality of Lennon’s vocal track was improved using modern technology, McCartney and Starr recorded new vocal and musical parts in 2022, and a string arrangement was added to complete the song.

The big chart news comes on the same day that The Beatles released expanded versions of their 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 compilations, commonly known as “The Red Album” and “The Blue Album.”

Originally released in 1973 as two-LP sets, the 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 collections each have been expanded with an extra disc’s worth of music, with “Now and Then” among the songs added to “The Blue Album.” In all, the two compilations include 21 extra tracks, with 36 new mixes.

The 1962-1966 and 1967-1970 reissues are available separately as two-CD or three-LP sets, as well as together as four-CD or six-LP packages. The deluxe albums also have been released as digital downloads and via streaming platforms.

In other news, The Beatles have even more reason to celebrate, as an animated video created for the 1966 Fab Four tune “I’m Only Sleeping” that premiered last year has just been nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Music Video category.

Photo by Potter/Express/Getty Images

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