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It's Now or Never (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"It's Now or Never" is a ballad recorded by Elvis Presley in 1960. It is one of two popular songs based on the Italian song of Neapolitan language "'O Sole mio" (music by Eduardo di Capua), the other being "There's No Tomorrow", recorded by U.S. singer Tony Martin in 1949, which inspired Presley's version. The lyrics were written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold. The single is the best-selling single by Presley (20 million copies), and one of the best-selling singles of all time.[1] It was recorded by Bill Porter at RCA Studio B in Nashville.[2]

In the late 1950s, while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, Presley heard Martin's recording. According to The New York Times, quoting from the 1986 book Behind The Hits, "he told the idea to his music publisher, Freddy Bienstock, who was visiting him in Germany... Mr. Bienstock, who many times found songwriters for Presley, returned to his New York office, where he found songwriters, Mr. [Aaron] Schroeder and Wally Gold, the only people in that day. The two wrote lyrics in half an hour. Selling more than 20 million records, the song became number one in countries all around and was Presley's best selling single ever... a song [they] finished in 20 minutes to a half hour was the biggest song of [their] career."[3]

In 1960, "It's Now or Never" was a number-one record in the U.S., spending five weeks at number one and the UK, where it spent eight weeks at the top in 1960 and an additional week at number one in 2005 as a re-issue, and numerous other countries, selling in excess of 25 million copies worldwide, Elvis Presley's biggest international single ever. Its British release was delayed for some time because of rights issues, allowing the song to build up massive advance orders and to enter the UK Singles Chart at number one, a very rare occurrence at the time. "It's Now or Never" peaked at number seven on the R&B charts.[4]

Barry White credited this song as his inspiration for changing his life and becoming a singer following his release from prison.[5]

A live version featuring "'O Sole mio" is available on the 1977 live album Elvis in Concert. "'O Sole mio" is sung by tenor Sherrill Nielson.

In early 2005, the song was re-released along with the other Presley singles in the UK, and again reached number one on the UK Singles Chart for the week of 5 February 2005. The re-release held the record for the lowest selling number-one single in UK chart history until Orson's "No Tomorrow" in 2006.[6] The song also appears in the TV mini-series Elvis.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Elvis Presley - It's Now Or Never w/lyrics
  • ✪ elvis presley - its now or never (1960)
  • ✪ It's now or never - Karaoke - Elvis Presley original key
  • ✪ The Good Life Radio x Sensual Musique • 24/7 Live Radio | Deep & Tropical House, Chill & Dance Music
  • ✪ Cha Cha It's Now Or Never



Chart history


"It's Now Or Never" entered the US Billboard Hot 100 top 40 at no.14 on July 25 1960. After two weeks at no.3, the song climbed to no.1 for a five week stay, beginning August 15th. In that same week, the B-side to the single - "A Mess Of Blues" - also charted, reaching no.32 independently. During its run at the top of the US charts, "It's Now Or Never" kept "Walk, Don't Run" by The Ventures at no.2 before succumbing to "The Twist" by Chubby Checker on 19 September. Elvis fell to no.3, spending a further seven weeks inside the top 40 before dropping out on 14 November (the same week that his follow-up, "Are You Lonesome Tonight?", debuted on the chart). As an aside, Elvis' former bass player's group Bill Black Combo charted with their version of "Don't Be Cruel" around the same time.


In the UK the single gained an eventual release in late October 1960, following copyright discussions. It became the first song to enter the new Record Retailer charts at no.1 - later adopted as the UK Singles Chart. During an eight-week run at the top, Elvis held off strong competition from Shirley Bassey ("As Long as He Needs Me") and The Drifters ("Save the Last Dance for Me") before claiming the coveted Christmas number one for 1960. A week later he was deposed by Cliff Richard and the Shadows' "I Love You". Elvis dropped to no.2 and would leave the top 10 as "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" began its ascent to no.1. After 18 weeks, "It's Now Or Never" left the UK top 40 on 15 March 1961. Due to the single's delayed UK release, "A Mess Of Blues" had already attained A-side status and peaked at no.2 on 21 September 1960.

"It's Now Or Never" would be one of several songs to return to the UK top 40 in the wake of Elvis' death, reaching no.39 on 3 August 1977.

Later, on 5 February 2005, the song returned to the top of the UK charts for one more week as part of a week-by-week reissue series of his former chart-toppers. This gave Elvis his 21st UK number one single, his fourth of the new millennium. Overall, "It's Now Or Never" has managed 22 weeks in the UK top 40.

Charts and certifications

John Schneider version

"It's Now or Never"
It's Now or Never - John Schneider.jpg
Single by John Schneider
from the album Now or Never
ReleasedMay 1981
LabelScotti Brothers
Songwriter(s)Wally Gold, Aaron Schroeder, Eduardo di Capua
John Schneider singles chronology
"It's Now or Never"
"Them Good Ol' Boys Are Bad"

American country music singer and actor John Schneider released in 1981 a cover of the song as his first single and the title track of his debut album Now or Never. Schneider's version was a top five hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Uses in popular culture

An instrumental version is used in a scene from Masahiro Shinoda's 1964 film Pale Flower.

Presley's version appears in a 2017 TV commercial for Jose Cuervo.

At the 20th anniversary concert of the Suntory Hall in Japan in 2006, Italian tenors Vincenzo La Scola and Giuseppe Sabbatini and American tenor Neil Shicoff sang a bilingual version of the song together. For their respective solo parts, the two Italians sang the original Neapolitan lyrics, while Shicoff sang two segments of "It's now or never"; and all three joined together for the final chorus with the Neapolitan lyrics[30].

Chart performance

Chart (1981) Peak
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 7
Canadian RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks 5
New Zealand
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 14
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 4
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 5

See also


  1. ^ Collins, Ace (2005). Untold Gold: The Stories Behind Elvis's #1 Hits. Chicago Review Press. pp. 155–162. ISBN 9781569765074.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Martin, Douglas (December 6, 2009). "Aaron Schroeder, Writer of Hit Songs for Elvis Presley, Dies at 83". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 468.
  5. ^ Barry White with Marc Eliot, Love Unlimited, New York: Broadway Books, 1999, p. 22.
  6. ^ O'Brien, Jon (17 March 2016). "15 songs from the 00s you probably forgot made number one". Metro. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  7. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book: 1940-1969: the Hit Songs and Records from Thirty Years of Specially Compiled Charts. Australian Chart Book Limited. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  8. ^ " – Elvis Presley – It's Now or Never" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  9. ^ "Elvis Presley - It's Now or Never". Media Control. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  10. ^ a b " – Elvis Presley – It's Now or Never" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  11. ^ " – Elvis Presley – It's Now or Never". VG-lista. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  12. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  13. ^ "Elvis Presley Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  14. ^ "Elvis Presley - Awards". Allmusic. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  15. ^ Joel Whitburn's top pop singles 1955-2006. Record Research. 2008-01-08. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
  16. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  17. ^ " – Elvis Presley – It's Now or Never" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  18. ^ "Chart Track: Week 4, 2005". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  19. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  20. ^ " – Elvis Presley – It's Now or Never". Singles Top 100. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  22. ^ "Billboard Top 50 - 1956". Billboard. Longbored Surfer. 1956. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  23. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1960". Cash Box Magazine. 1960. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  24. ^ "The Official UK Singles Chart 2005" (PDF). UKChartsPlus. Retrieved 8 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 60th Anniversary Interactive Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Elvis Presley" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  27. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2, illustrated ed.). Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0-214-20480-4.
  28. ^ Copsey, Rob (August 17, 2017). "Elvis Presley's Top 50 biggest selling songs revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  29. ^ "American single  certifications – Elvis Presley – It's Now or Never". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  30. ^

External links

It's Now Or Never lyrics

This page was last edited on 2 January 2019, at 01:30
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