The Beatles’ final single release is Anthony D’Amato’s biggest-selling record in almost 30 years.
According to Anthony D’Amato, owner of the historic record shop bearing his name, the Fab Four’s recently released single Now and Then is the shop’s biggest-selling record since Elton John’s Candle in the Wind CD in 1997.
D’Amato is the store’s current owner and the fifth generation of his family to run the store also known as D’Amato Records. He told Times of Malta he had been surprised by the volume of sales.
“This record has taken the world by storm... we’re struggling to find more stock,” he said.
“Nobody was expecting this volume of sales – we underestimated demand by around tenfold.”
Stressing the song was proving popular among people of all ages, D’Amato said teenagers through to those in their 80s had gone to the Valletta outlet to buy a copy.
And while The Beatles’ music has always proven popular, D’Amato thinks this record is special.
“It’s a great song and the way they did it was very touching... for me, it’s up there with Yesterday,” he said.
D’Amato said the strong sales reflect revival for the record shop business, which 10 years ago was “completely dead”.
This record has taken the world by storm... we’re struggling to find more stock
A decade ago, sales of vinyl records were non-existent and CD sales were dying, D’Amato explained.
“Over 90 per cent of record shops worldwide had closed; we only survived thanks to our loyal clientele,” he said, adding some of the shop’s customers had been visiting the store on a weekly basis since the 1960s.
Now, however, with popular artists like Taylor Swift increasingly choosing to release their music on vinyl, the fortunes of record shops have improved, D’Amato said.
“Business is healthy, it’s one of the best times for record shops,” he said.
Released on November 2, Now and Then is the first Beatles song to be released in decades and more than 40 years after it was first recorded as a demo by John Lennon.
Written and sung by Lennon in 1978, the track was one of several on a cassette that was later given to Paul McCartney by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in 1994.
The track was completed by McCartney and fellow surviving band member Ringo Starr with the help of artificial intelligence (AI), which was used to include Lennon’s vocals and the guitar playing of George Harrison.
According to the UK’s official singles chart, the single has already become The Beatles’ most-streamed track in one week by Thursday.
And, if sales of Now and Then are anything to go by, this could signal a new golden age for a record store which claims to be the oldest in the world, having first opened its doors in 1885.