If you’re following the UK music charts this week, you’d be forgiven for thinking we’d entered a time warp, because storming to number one – ahead of acts like Taylor Swift, Raye Chase & Status – is none other than The Beatles.
That’s right, the Fab Four are on course to land a number one single for the first time in over 50 years, after releasing their “final” song Now And Then last week.
Based on a demo John Lennon recorded in his apartment in 1977, the two surviving Beatles – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – used AI restoration technology to clean the track up, and make it sound as though John is singing in the room with them.
The song also features contributions from the late George Harrison, after he and his bandmates first first attempted to record a version of Now And Then in the 1990s.
So far, Now And Then has had a mixed reception from critics, with some hailing the track as “a 2023 pop odyssey” with “harmonies [that] swell to the heavens”, while others have dismissed it is “a dreary ballad”.
Still, despite some of the less favourable reviews – and the fact that, while it may be Radio 2’s Song of the Week, it is getting no airtime on Radio 1 – Now And Then is on track to make it all the way to number one, according to the Official Charts Company.
If they can carry on with this trajectory and top Friday’s charts, it will be the first time the Liverpool lads will have done so since The Ballad Of John And Yoko in 1969.
There must be something in the water, as The Beatles aren’t the only legacy artist to have made a chart comeback in recent years.
Back in September 2021, ABBA’s song Don’t Shut Me Down debuted at number nine in the charts – and bagged the Swedish pop sensations their first UK top 10 single since One Of Us in 1982.
This summer saw the Padam-ic happen – where fans went wild for Kylie Minogue’s latest offering, Padam Padam. The infectious electrobanger peaked at number eight, becoming the Australian star’s first top 10 in the UK since her 2010 tune All The Lovers.
Meanwhile, The Rolling Stones have also enjoy chart success with their first album in 18 years, Hackney Diamonds.
The near-octogenarian rockers have had rave reviews for the new songs, with one critic branding it “the best rock’n’roll album for 40 years” – and, despite the Beatles and Stones’ infamous musical rivalry, the record even features Paul McCartney playing bass on the track Bite My Head Off.