The Beatles’ single ‘Free As A Bird’ was released in the United Kingdom on 4 December 1995.
The song had been public knowledge since 10 May, when ABC TV held a press conference in California to announce the Anthology project. A press release issued the same day stated, in part:
The unprecedented musical event will feature John, Paul, George and Ringo, with the latter three bringing additional instrumentation, voices and arrangements to two unreleased John Lennon songs on which he sings and plays…
The new Beatles songs featured on the special, ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’, will be released by Apple Records.
The song received its world premiere on BBC Radio 1 shortly after 4am on Monday 20 November 1995. The Anthology 1 album was released the following day, with ‘Free As A Bird’ its opening song.
The single was released in the UK on 4 December 1995 on 7″ vinyl, cassette, and compact disc. It sold 120,000 copies in its first week.
‘Free As A Bird’ entered the UK singles chart at number two, and spent a total of eight weeks on the chart.
The single was released in the USA on 12 December, and peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100.
It was The Beatles’ 34th Top 10 single in America. The song later won the 1997 Grammy award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Also on this day...
- 1972: US single release: Hi, Hi, Hi by Wings
- 1969: Recording, mixing: Item 1 and Item 2 by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
- 1969: George Harrison live at City Hall, Sheffield with Delaney & Bonnie
- 1969: Television: 24 Hours: The World Of John And Yoko – day three
- 1969: Recording, mixing: Blue Turning Grey Over You by Ringo Starr
- 1968: George Harrison invites Hells Angels to Apple
- 1965: Live: City Hall, Newcastle
- 1964: UK album release: Beatles For Sale
- 1962: Television: Tuesday Rendezvous
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.