(Credits: Far Out / YouTube Stills)
Following its release on November 2nd, The Beatles‘ final single ‘Now and Then’ has become the fastest-selling single of the century in the United Kingdom on vinyl.
Since its arrival, the single has sold over 38,000 physical units, but including streams and downloads, ‘Now and Then’ has racked up an impressive 78,200 combined chart units. The majority of the physical units have come from vinyl, with fans buying 19,400 copies of the Fab Four’s final song, making it the fastest-selling release by any artist since the turn of the century on the format.
The early version of ‘Now and Then’ stemmed from a demo tape John Lennon had made in his Dakota apartment building in the 1970s. Though the song was going to be a part of the Beatles Anthology alongside ‘Free as A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’, George Harrison ultimately rejected its inclusion because of the poor sound quality.
After the Get Back documentary was released on Disney+, the technology used by director Peter Jackson in the film allowed Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to finish off the track, which included contributions from all four band members during different time periods.
Additionally, the single has also reached number one in the singles chart in the UK, marking the first time that The Beatles have reached the top of the hit parade since ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ in 1969. ‘Now and Then’ has also been accompanied by a video directed by Jackson, featuring various pieces of archival footage from the band featuring Lennon and Harrison performing beside their bandmates once again.
In a five-star review of the song, Far Out said: “the track is a beauty – from John Lennon’s tear-jerking tones to the lulling lure of George Harrison’s slide guitar solo, Ringo Starr’s humility to fade into the background and facilitate everything with a singular rhythm, and Paul McCartney’s ability to orchestrate the magic like a man who has mastered music to such an extent he can make it dance to his command like a marionette”.
Listen to ‘Now and Then’ below.