The Beatles make history, many times over, with “Now And Then” (Apple Corps) which powers to No. 1 in the U.K.
The Fab Four’s “last” release powers to the summit of the Official U.K. Singles Chart, published Friday, Nov. 10, having opened at No. 42 based on just 10 hours of sales and streams.
The outright leader at the midweek point, when it outpointed the rest of the top 5 combined, “Now And Then” is the Beatles’ 18th U.K. No. 1, extending their record as the British act with the most leaders. The King, Elvis Presley, reigns over that particular list, with 21 No. 1s.
Also, “Now And Then” tops the weekly tally a full 60 years and six months after the Beatles’ first No. 1, “From Me To You,” marking the longest gap between an act’s first and last chart-topping hit, the Official Charts Company reports.
For the record, the Beatles’ first single “Love Me Do,” the b-side to “Now And Then,” peaked at No. 17 back in 1962.
The impressive numbers behind the latest No. 1 are worth a closer a look.
“Now And Then” chalks up 78,200 combined chart units in the U.K., including 48,600 sales (physical and download) – making it the fastest selling single of 2023.
It’s 38,000 physical sales are the most by a single in almost a decade. The last record to top it was “Something I Need,” by The X Factor 2014 champion Ben Haenow, which raked in 47,000 physical sales. It’s the fastest-selling vinyl single of the century so far with 19,400 copies sold on wax in the U.K., and it’s easily the group’s most-streamed single (5.03 million plays) and video (2.15 million plays) in a seven-day cycle.
Also, the Beatles are the act with the longest gap ever between No. 1 singles (54 years), and the oldest band to top the national singles chart. Surviving members Ringo Starr (83) and Paul McCartney (81) are the second and third oldest chart-topping artists, respectively, after Sir Captain Tom Moore, who was 99 when the charity fundraiser “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (Decca/Universal) with entertainer Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir led the tally in April 2020.
“If there were ever any doubts that the Beatles are the greatest band of all time,” comments Martin Talbot, CEO of the Official Charts Company, “they have surely consigned them to history this week.”
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