UK single release: Hey Jude

9.00am, Friday 30 August 1968 (45 years ago)

The Beatles second – and final – UK single of 1968 was an all-time classic. Hey Jude, with Revolution on the b-side, was also the group’s first on their Apple label.

The single was issued as Apple R 5722, although the catalogue number followed Parlophone’s convention, and the rights remained with the EMI subsidiary.

Furthermore, Philips were sub-contracted to press a number of extra copies, as EMI were unable to meet public demand. The Philips copies had the Apple logo on the label, but had a press-out centre with three prong. The Apple/EMI version had a solid label.

Hey Jude spent 16 weeks on the UK charts from 7 September. It spent two weeks at number one from 11 September, before being knocked off by Mary Hopkin’s Those Were The Days, produced by Paul McCartney and released on this day as Apple 2.

At seven minutes and 11 seconds, Hey Jude was the UK’s longest number one single until 1993. Its success encouraged artists and radio stations alike to throw out the unwritten rule that singles should be no longer than three minutes.

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