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"It's Now or Never"
Single by Elvis Presley
A-side It's Now or Never
B-side A Mess of Blues
Released July 5, 1960
Format Vinyl single
Recorded April 3, 1960
Genre Pop
Length 3:15
Label RCA Records
Writer(s) Wally Gold, Aaron Schroeder
Elvis Presley singles chronology
"Stuck on You"
"It's Now or Never"
"Are You Lonesome Tonight?"

"It's Now or Never" is a popular song recorded by Elvis Presley in 1960. The melody of the song is borrowed from the Italian standard, "'O Sole Mio", but the inspiration for it came from the song, "There's No Tomorrow", recorded by U.S. singer, Tony Martin, in 1949.

In the late 1950s, while stationed in Germany with the U.S. Army, Presley heard Martin's recording and put to tape a private version of the song. Upon his discharge, Presley requested that new lyrics be written especially for him, a job that was undertaken by the songwriting duo of Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold, with a demo by David Hill.

In 1960, "It's Now or Never" was a number-one record in the U.S. and the UK, where it spent nine weeks at the top, and numerous other countries, selling in excess of 25 million copies worldwide, his biggest international single ever. Its UK 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 [1].

Barry White heard this song in 1960 when he was in jail for stealing tires. The song had such an impact on White, that it convinced him to pursue a career in music. [2]

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. The song also appears in the TV mini-series Elvis.


John Schneider version

"It's Now or Never"
Single by John Schneider
from the album Now or Never
Released 1981
Genre Country
Label Scotti Brothers
Writer(s) Wally Gold, Aaron Schroeder
John Schneider singles chronology
"It's Now or Never"
"Still Fallin' in Love with Love"

American country music singer and actor John Schneider released a cover of the song as his first single and the title track of his debut album. Schneider's version was a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and also peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Chart performance

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


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 468. 
  2. ^ It's Now Or Never Songfacts

External links

Preceded by
"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" by Brian Hyland
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
August 9, 1960 – September 12, 1960 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"The Twist" by Chubby Checker
Preceded by
"Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison
UK number-one single
5 November 1960 – 30 December 1960
Succeeded by
"I Love You" by Cliff Richard & The Shadows
Preceded by
"Goodies" by Ciara featuring Petey Pablo
UK number-one single
5 February 2005 – 11 February 2005
Succeeded by
"Like Toy Soldiers" by Eminem


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