As It Was
Writer(s): Harry Styles, Thomas Hull, Tyler Johnson (see lyrics here)
Released: March 31, 2022
First Charted: April 14, 2022
Peak: 115 US, 112 BA, 11 DG, 12 ST, 111 AC, 18 A40, 14 AA, 34 AR, 110 UK, 118 CN, 18 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 1.8 UK, 12.39 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 687.19 video, 2484.87 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
“As It Was” was released as the lead single for Harry Styles’ third album, Harry’s House. It debuted atop the UK charts and the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. In its first 24 hours of release, “As It Was” became the most-streamed song in a single day in the United States with 8.3 million streams. SF
It was knocked from the top the next week on Billboard, but then returned to #1. Then it did it again. And again. And again. On September 3, 2022, “As It Was” became the first song in the history of the charts to ascend to the top five different times. BB During all that time, it never dipped lower than #3. It became one of the longest running #1 songs in the history of the U.S. pop charts – and the UK charts, and the Canadian charts, and the Australian charts. It topped the charts in more than 30 countries overall. WK
Styles said the song is “about metamorphosis and embracing change…and former self and perspective shift.” SF However, “the jaunty instrumentation is distinctly more cheerful than the introspective lyrics.” SF The song has been described as “a guitar-driven synth-pop track” WK which, as Variety’s Chris Willman said it takes heavy inspiration from Depeche Mode and a-ha. WK He said it also adopted a style similar to the Weeknd’s 2019 blockbuster single “Blinding Lights.” WK
The Guardian’s Beau Beaumont-Thomas said it is a “song for everyone; an effervescent, high-tempo hit to have you clicking your heels.” WK Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield called it “a straight-from-the-heart cry that’s also an irrestible dance-floor challenge.” WK
First posted 9/4/2022; last updated 7/26/2023.