Home MusicCharticles The Beatles’ Makes Historic Return as “Now and Then” Tops UK Official Singles Chart

The Beatles’ Makes Historic Return as “Now and Then” Tops UK Official Singles Chart

by Jonathan Currinn
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Photo Credit: Apple Corps Ltd

In a momentous comeback, The Beatles’ latest single, “Now and Then”, has secured the coveted Number 1 position on the UK Official Singles Chart, adding another milestone to their illustrious career. The Liverpool legends—Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison—have now notched their 18th Number 1 hit, solidifying their status as the British act with the most UK Number 1 singles in Official Charts history.

“Now and Then” utilizes WingNut Films’ groundbreaking MAL audio technology, reuniting the iconic group one last time. This triumph comes exactly 60 years after their first chart-topping hit, “From Me to You”, setting a new record for the longest gap between an act’s first and last Number 1 single.

Originally written by John Lennon in 1977 as a solo piano demo, the song remained unfinished until Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr completed it, with overdubs and guitar tracks from the late George Harrison which are from the abandoned 1995 sessions. Lennon’s voice, extracted from the original demo using AI-backed audio restoration technology commissioned by Peter Jackson for his 2021 documentary, adds a poignant touch to the final version.

The track made a huge statement in the previous week’s chart, managing to debut at number 42 based on just 10 hours’ worth of sales after it was officially released on Thursday. In doing so, it’s not a surprise to see it vault right up to the top spot for this week’s chart. It marks their 18th number-one, extending their record as the British act with the most UK Number 1 singles in Official Charts history, with only Elvis Presley claiming more number 1’s – 21 UK chart-toppers to his name.

The sales performance of “Now and Then” is nothing short of extraordinary, claiming the top spot with 78,200 combined UK chart units across sales and streaming. Impressively, it stands as the fastest-selling single of the year to date, with 48,600 physical and download sales in its first seven days. The track boasts the biggest one-week physical sales in almost a decade at 38,000 since the winner of The X Factor series 11 Ben Haenow released his winning single “Something I Need” at 47,000 and holds the title of the fastest-selling vinyl single of the century so far, with 19,400 copies sold on vinyl.

In the streaming realm, “Now and Then” shattered records, becoming the most-streamed Beatles track in one week, accumulating 5.03 million streams. This surpasses the previous record set by “Here Comes the Sun” in 2021. The accompanying music video also set a new record as The Beatles’ most-watched in one week, amassing 2.15 million streams.

The remarkable success of “Now and Then” by The Beatles extends beyond its immediate chart-topping achievement. The Official Charts Company has illuminated additional triumphs that underscore the band’s unparalleled legacy. Notably, The Beatles have secured the record for the act with the longest gap between Number 1 singles, boasting an impressive 54 years. This surpasses the previous milestone set by Kate Bush, which saw “Running Up That Hill” top the charts last year highlighting a 44-year gap between that track and “Wuthering Heights”. This marks a significant testament to the enduring appeal of The Beatles’ music.

Furthermore, the band claims the longest period between an artist’s first and last Number 1 single, with an extraordinary 60 years and 6 months since their inaugural chart-topper, “From Me to You”. This beats Elvis Presley’s impressive 47 years and 6 months period between 1957’s “All Shook Up” and 2005’s reissue of “It’s Now or Never”. The track is also the first chart-topper to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) technology – something we expect to see more of as AI expands and advances.

In response to the groundbreaking achievement, Paul McCartney expressed his amazement, stating, “It’s mind-boggling. It’s blown my socks off. It’s also a very emotional moment for me. I love it!” Ringo Starr added, “The beat goes on Peace & Love.”

In other chart news, BTS member Jung Kook secured his fourth solo Top 10 single of 2023 with “Standing Next to You” which hit number 6. The UK Official Singles Chart also witnessed the early return of Christmas favourites, as Wham!’s “Last Christmas” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” re-entered the Top 40, at number 37 and number 40 respectively, spreading festive cheer ahead of the holiday season.

This historic achievement further cements The Beatles’ legacy as one of the greatest musical acts of all time. Their record-breaking release is set to stay at the top of the chart for some time as the resurgence of The Beatles continues.

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