The Beatles Are Back in the Top 10 of a Billboard Airplay Chart With ‘Now and Then’

The Beatles return to the top 10 of a Billboard airplay chart for the first time in 28 years thanks to “Now and Then,” which debuts at No. 9 on the Adult Alternative Airplay tally dated Nov. 18.

The song marks the legends’ first time in the top 10 of a radio ranking since “Free As a Bird” debuted and peaked at No. 8, in the song’s lone week in the top 10, on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart dated Dec. 9, 1995.

The Beatles chart their first top 10 on Adult Alternative Airplay, which began in 1996. The Beatles placed on the inaugural tally (dated Jan. 20, 1996) with “Free As a Bird,” which peaked at No. 11; follow-up “Real Love” peaked at No. 16 that March, marking the other of their three charted titles on the survey.

Concurrently, “Now and Then” bounds 37-23 in its second week on the all-rock-format, audience-based Rock & Alternative Airplay chart; it debuted on the Nov. 11 ranking following one day of airplay, logged on its release on Nov. 2. The song earned 1.7 million audience impressions in its first full week (Nov. 3-9), according to Luminate. (It drew 1.1 million in reach Nov. 2.)

That first day of streams, airplay and sales enabled “Now and Then” to debut at No. 11 on the Nov. 11-dated Hot Rock & Alternative Songs chart. In addition to its radio airplay, the song garnered 2.3 million official U.S. streams and sold 17,000 downloads Nov. 2.

The first full week of activity for “Now and Then” (Nov. 3-9) will be reflected on the Nov. 18-dated Billboard charts, which will update on on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

“Now and Then” is billed as the final Beatles song, first recorded as a demo in 1977 by John Lennon and initially meant for the band’s three-edition Anthology series in the mid-‘90s before being shelved by the surviving members of the band. (“Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” were released from the first and second Anthology editions, respectively.) It was completed and released this year after new technology helped extract Lennon’s vocals from the original demo while also using guitar recordings from George Harrison from the initial attempt to finish the song.

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