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The Beatles make history as Now And Then tops charts 54 years after last No.1

The Beatles have made history with their new single Now And Then, which has topped the charts a record breaking 54 years after their last No.1 back in 1969.

Now And Then, which was released last week as a double A-side with The Beatles debut 1962 single Love Me Do, has been 53 years in the making. Based on a piano demo recorded by John Lennon in 1970, AI technology was used to help create the track.

The song also includes new contributions from Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, as well as guitar parts recorded by George Harrison in the mid-‘90s, when the three remaining Beatles attempted to revive Now And Then during the sessions that spawned Free As A Bird and Real Love. Both songs were also the result of reworked demos previously recorded by Lennon.

Commenting on the news that Now And Then had reached No.1, McCartney said: “It's mind boggling. It's blown my socks off. It's also a very emotional moment for me. I love it!"

Martin Talbot, head of the Official Charts Company, said: "The return of John, Paul, George and Ringo with the last ever Beatles single 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."

The Beatles last No.1 was The Ballad of John and Yoko in 1969.

So far, Now And Then has notched up 78,200 combined UK chart units across sales and streaming, as well as the biggest one-week physical sales in almost a decade, with 38,000 - the most since X Factor 2014 winner Ben Haenow, who sold 47,000 copies of Something I Need.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Beatles are the British act with the most No.1 singles in UK charts history (18). They are exceeded only by Elvis Presley, with 21 chart-topping singles.

Prior to the release of Now And Then, the record for largest gap between No.1 singles was set by Kate Bush. Last year, her single Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) topped the chart 44 years after she reached No.1 with Wuthering Heights back in 1978. Her 2022 ascent to the top of the charts was driven largely by a spike in popularity of the song after it’s prominent use in the fourth season of hit series Stranger Things.

A mini documentary on the making of Now And Then was released to coincide with the single.