The Beatles are, well, the Beatles. Perhaps the biggest and most successful act in music history, and, of course, on Billboard’s charts, as confirmed by their standing at No. 1 on Billboard’s Greatest of All Time Artists recap.
The Fab Four were only active for a brief period in the 1960s, but that short span left an indelible mark on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart and Billboard 200 albums list. The group charted 64 total songs on the Hot 100 between 1964 and 1970, of which 20 hit No. 1 — a record for the most leaders that still stands.
The band also charted 26 albums on the Billboard 200 from 1964 to 1970 (14 of which topped the chart in that time frame), but have charted an additional 18, thanks to compilations, live recordings, special releases/anthologies and more. To date, The Beatles have earned 19 No. 1 albums, also the most in the chart’s history.
The group returns to the Hot 100 on the Nov. 18, 2023-dated chart thanks to its new single, “Now and Then.” The track, billed as the final Beatles song, was 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. It was completed, and released Nov. 2 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.
The song debuts at No. 7 on the Hot 100, becoming the band’s 72nd career entry, and first since “Real Love” reached No. 11 in 1996. It’s The Beatles’ 35th top 10, extending their record for the most among groups. Plus, the band has now charted on the Hot 100 in five distinct decades: the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and now, the 2020s.
As the iconic group returns to Billboard’s charts, here’s a look at 10 records the band still holds on the Hot 100 or Billboard 200 (as of the charts dated Nov. 18, 2023).
Most No. 1 Songs on the Hot 100
The group has held the record of 20 for the most No. 1 hits since 1965, when it surpassed Elvis Presley. As for the acts behind The Beatles: Mariah Carey has the second-most with 19, followed by Rihanna (14), Drake (13), Michael Jackson (13), Madonna (12), The Supremes (12), Whitney Houston (11) and Taylor Swift (11).
Most No. 1 Hits Earned on the Hot 100 in a Calendar Year
In 1964, the band topped the Hot 100 with six different songs: “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Love Me Do,” “A Hard Day’s Night” and “I Feel Fine” (which hit No. 1 on the final chart of that year, dated Dec. 26, 1964). That’s the most ever in a single calendar year. The group then tallied five No. 1s in 1965, the second-most in a calendar year. As for all the acts who have tallied four in a single year, they are Jackson 5 in 1970, George Michael in 1988, Usher in 2004 and Rihanna in 2010.
Most Cumulative Weeks Spent at No. 1 on the Hot 100 Among Groups
The Beatles have spent a combined 59 total weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in their career, the most among groups. That was the all-time record among all acts until 1999, when Mariah Carey surpassed them (she’s now up to a record 91 weeks). Rihanna has also surpassed them, with a combined 60 weeks spent on top.
Only Act to Have 2 Consecutive Self-Replacements at No. 1 on the Hot 100
The Beatles spent 14 consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 in 1964. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” ruled for seven weeks from Feb. 1 to March 14, and was replaced by “She Loves You,” which topped the chart for two weeks before being supplanted by “Can’t Buy Me Love,” which then led for five weeks. It’s the only time in history that an act has replaced itself on the Hot 100 twice, with three different songs.
Most Top 5 and Top 10 Hits on the Hot 100 Among Groups
The group has earned 29 total top five hits to date, the most among groups, and the third-most overall after Drake (41) and Taylor Swift (31; who passed the band on the Nov. 11, 2023-dated charts after releasing 1989 [Taylor’s Version]). The Beatles held the overall top five record all the way up until 2022, when Drake passed them after releasing Honestly, Nevermind.
The Beatles have also earned 35 total top 10 hits, the most among groups, and the fourth-most overall after Drake (76), Taylor Swift (49) and Madonna (38). Madonna broke the Beatles’ longstanding record in 2002 with “Die Another Day.” And then Drake broke Madonna’s record in 2020 with his DJ Khaled collabs “Popstar” and “Greece.”
The Beatles first reached the top 10 of the Hot 100 on the chart dated Jan. 25, 1964, with their U.S. breakthrough single “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” which became the first of their record 20 No. 1s. As “Now and Then” debuts at No. 7 on the Nov. 18, 2023-dated chart, they now have top 10 hits spanning 59 years, nine months and three weeks, the longest span of all time (excluding holiday songs). They surpass Elton John, who has logged a top 10 span of 51 years, seven months and three weeks, dating to his first week in the top 10 (with “Your Song” on Jan. 23, 1971) and running through “Hold Me Closer” with Britney Spears (Sept. 10, 2022).
Most Top 5 Hits Earned on the Hot 100 in a Calendar Year
The Beatles earned a whopping 10 top five Hot 100 hits in 1964 alone, a single-year record that still stands.
Only Act to Simultaneously Claim the Top 2 Spots of the Hot 100 & Billboard 200
Twenty-one total artists have claimed the top two spots of the Hot 100 simultaneously, and nine artists have claimed the top two spots of the Billboard 200 in the same week, but the Beatles are the only act in history to have the top two songs and top two albums in the U.S. at the same time. The group claimed the top two spots of both charts for nine total weeks in 1964.
Most No. 1 Albums on the Billboard 200
The Beatles have held the all-time record of 19 for the most No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 since 1964. As for the acts just behind them: Jay-Z has the second-most No. 1s, with 14, followed by Drake and Taylor Swift (13 each), Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand (11 each), and Eminem and Kanye West (10 apiece).
Most Cumulative Weeks Spent at No. 1 on the Billboard 200
The Beatles have spent a combined 132 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, combining all 19 of their No. 1 albums. That’s more than double the artist just behind them, Taylor Swift (65 total weeks on top). After Swift, Garth Brooks has spent the third-most time at No. 1 with 52 weeks, followed by Michael Jackson (51), Whitney Houston (46) and Adele (40).
Only Act to Earn New No. 1 Albums in 7 Consecutive Calendar Years
The Beatles tallied new No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 for seven consecutive years, from 1964 to 1970. That’s the longest consecutive stretch of No. 1 albums in history. The next-longest stretch of new No. 1 albums is five years, held by Taylor Swift (2019-23), Drake (2015-19), Jay-Z (2000-04) and Paul McCartney (1973-77).