The Beatles have topped the charts with their “final” track ‘Now And Then’ – six decades after they secured their first Number One.
Released earlier this month, the track was billed as the last song from the Fab Four and stemmed from an old John Lennon demo tape – completed by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr with the help of AI.
It also came alongside both a short video documenting their time completing the project and a Peter Jackson-directed music video that included previously unearthed footage of the band.
Now it has been confirmed that the long-awaited track has gone on to top the charts – 60 years since the band claimed their first Number One track.
This feat means that McCartney and co. now boast the longest period between an artist’s first and last Number One single – with their first being ‘From Me to You’ in May 1963 (60 years and six months ago). Previously, Elvis Presley held the record with 47 years and six months between his 1957 hit ‘All Shook Up’ and a reissue of ‘It’s Now or Never’ that was released in 2005.
‘Now And Then’ reaching peak position on the charts also marks the longest gap ever between Number One singles. This comes as the rock veterans last reached Number One 54 years ago with ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ (1969.) Prior to the “final” track Kate Bush held the record for 44 years between ‘Wuthering Heights’ (1978) and’ Running Up That Hill’ (2022).
The band secured the top spot with 78,200 combined UK chart units (including both sales and streaming).
Other accomplishments with the chart-topping single include being the fastest-selling single of the year to date – with 48,000 in the first seven days of release – and the fastest-selling vinyl single of the century so far, selling 19,400 copies.
It has also reached the biggest one-week physical sales in almost a decade (38,000), beating The X Factor 2014 winner Ben Haenow’s ‘Something I Need’.
In terms of streaming, the track now marks the most-streamed Beatles track in one week ever – clocking in 5.03million streams compared to the previous record set by ‘Here Comes the Sun’ (1.05million in seven days in 2021).
Finally, since the release of ‘Now And Then’, The Beatles have become the British act with the most Number One singles ever – securing 18 chart-topping tracks – and the oldest band ever to score a UK Number One single.
“It’s mind boggling. It’s blown my socks off,” said McCartney of the impressive number of accolades captured by the song. “It’s also a very emotional moment for me. I love it!”
Martin Talbot, Chief Executive Officer of the Official Charts Company recalled the accomplishments set by Macca and Starr too, adding: “Beatlemania has returned this week – and what an amazing few days it has been for The Fab Four.
“The return of John, Paul, George and Ringo with the last ever Beatles single, Now And Then, has cemented their legend by breaking a catalogue of records – and in doing so underlined the extraordinary scope of their enduring appeal, across all the generations, with huge numbers of streams, downloads and vinyl singles.”
He continued: “If there were ever any doubts that The Beatles are the greatest band of all time, they have surely consigned them to history this week.”
In other Beatles news, earlier this week it was reported that Ringo Starr initially had doubts that the band’s success would last.
“None of us thought it would last a week,” he said. “Paul was going to write, I was going to open a hairdresser’s, George would get a garage. But it went on and then it ended. And at the right time, I think. But, you know, that didn’t stop us playing with each other.”
Elsewhere, the surviving members have continued the run of new material this month – releasing new expanded editions of ‘1962-1966 (The Red Album)’ and ‘1967-1970 (The Blue Album)’, mixed in stereo and Dolby, today (November 10).