Paul McCartney Talks About Bringing John Lennon’s Voice To Life
via PaulMcCartneyHD .Perú / Youtube
The much-anticipated release of a new Beatles song has already come to pass. The Beatles, a legendary band that officially disbanded in 1970, gave music enthusiasts a rare and exciting event with the unveiling of “Now And Then” on Thursday, November 2. The release was accompanied by an official music video directed by Peter Jackson, renowned for his work on the Lord of the Rings series, marking his first foray into short films.
Referred to as the “last Beatles song,” “Now And Then” initially began as a demo written and sung by John Lennon. It underwent further development and refinement by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Now, more than 40 years after its inception, Paul and Ringo, the surviving members of The Beatles, have finally completed it.
A crucial element of any Beatles project is a deep exploration, and the band provides just that with a new 12-minute documentary that complements the song and video. Directed by Oliver Murray and featuring insights from McCartney, Starr, the late Harrison, Jackson, and Sean Ono Lennon, Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song serves as an origin story, tracing the journey of a bold project that began in February 1995 when Paul, George, and Ringo embarked on a studio mission to reunite the band.
How The New Technology Brought John Lennon’s ‘Now And Then’ to Life
In 1995, as part of the Beatles Anthology project, “Real Love” and “Free as a Bird” were released. However, “Now And Then” remained unfinished and, as described by McCartney, “languished in a cupboard,” primarily due to the technological limitations of that era.
Lennon’s vocals, recorded on tape in the 1970s, remained dormant until Jackson and his team found a solution. Their groundbreaking technology, developed for the three-part documentary series Get Back, enabled the separation of Lennon’s vocals from his piano part, making it possible to complete the song.
Sean reminisces about his father’s penchant for making demos, saying:
“He was always making demos, and I do remember him recording into these tape cassette recorders. Mum had these handful of songs that my dad hadn’t finished. And she gave them to the other Beatles.”
Reflecting on their initial attempts to transform Lennon’s raw demo into a polished Beatles track, McCartney recalls:
“We listened to the track. There’s John in his apartment in New York City, banging away at his piano, doing a little demo. Is it something we shouldn’t do? Every time I thought, like that, I thought ‘wait a minute.’ Let’s say I had a chance to ask John. ‘Hey John, would you like us to finish this last song of yours?’ I’m telling you, I know the answer would have been ‘yeah.’ He would have loved that.”
Sean concurs, saying:
“My dad would have loved that because he was never shy to experiment with recording technology. I think it’s really beautiful.”
“Now And Then” has been named Radio 1’s Hottest Record and has already been released as a double A-side single with “Love Me Do” through Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.