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The Beatles’ ‘Now and Then’ Heading For U.K. No. 1

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The Beatles’ “last” song “Now And Then” is on track for the U.K. chart title.

Based on sales and streaming data captured from the first 48 hours in the chart week, “Now And Then” is in pole position, outselling the rest of the top 5 combined, the Official Charts Company reports.

If it holds its spot, “Now And Then” will become the Fab Four’s 18th U.K. chart-leader, and their first in 54 years, since “The Ballad of John and Yoko” topped the weekly tally back in 1969.

“Now And Then” actually debuted at No. 42 in the U.K. last week based on just 10 hours of sales, but is now expected to jump 41 places to the top of the Official Singles Chart when chart is published this Friday, Nov. 10.

The crown would cap a remarkable journey for “Now And Then.” The track began life as a demo written and sung by John Lennon, was later developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and now completed by Paul and Ringo, the surviving members of The Beatles, more than 40 years after the group began work on it.

The late Lennon’s vocals and piano part were recorded to tape at New York’s Dakota Building in the 1970s, and remained there until film director Peter Jackson and his team at WingNut Films developed the MAL audio technology, powered by AI, which could separate the stems. The result is a lush production, with a string arrangement, written by Giles Martin, Paul and Ben Foster, and featuring contributions from all four Beatles.

On the day of its release last Thursday (Nov. 2), “Now And Then” was named as BBC Radio 1’s Hottest Record. The song is all-love, McCartney told Radio 1’s Clara Amfo. “Just a loving feeling,” he says of the recording, “because that’s often what we were trying to do with our records, we were trying to spread love. And in this one it is very poignant. It’s John talking about ‘I miss you’ and stuff like that so, I think emotion, that would be the key word for people to take away from it, ‘emotion’.”

Jackson helmed the official music video for “Now And Then,” which dropped last Friday.

The closest competition on the First Look chart, according to the Official Charts Company, is BTS star Jung Kook’s “Standing Next To You,” which is eyeing a No. 2 start. That would be the K-pop artist’s highest peak of his solo career in the U.K. Jung Kook has three U.K. top 10s to his name, with a best of No. 3 for 2023’s “Seven” featuring Latto.

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