The Beatles’ single ‘Free As A Bird’ was released in the United States on 12 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, entered the UK singles chart at number two, and spent a total of eight weeks on the chart.
In the USA it peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, and became The Beatles’ 34th Top 10 single.
‘Free As A Bird’ later won the 1997 Grammy award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
Also on this day...
- 2011: Paul McCartney live: Hartwall Areena, Helsinki, Finland
- 1969: George Harrison live: Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen with Delaney & Bonnie
- 1969: John Lennon is interviewed for South African radio
- 1969: Album release: Live Peace In Toronto 1969 by Plastic Ono Band
- 1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono are interviewed for Dutch television
- 1968: John Lennon and Yoko Ono are interviewed for BBC radio’s Night Ride
- 1965: Live: Capitol Cinema, Cardiff
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Nottingham
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.