The Last Ever Beatles Song “Now And Then” Is Here!
via The Beatles / YouTube
IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!
On November 2nd, The Beatles delighted the world with the release of what has been dubbed “the final Beatles song” by the surviving band members. This fresh recording, titled “Now and Then,” is an evolution of a 1970s John Lennon demo and features later contributions from the remaining three Beatles.
Following a similar approach as the mid-’90s releases “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” from the Beatles Anthology, “Now and Then” completes this musical journey. However, there is an interesting twist to this tale — Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and their team are said to have harnessed artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance Lennon’s vocals, a technological innovation that was unavailable during the earlier Anthology era.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Back in June, McCartney first mentioned “Now and Then” during a Radio 4’s Today interview, where he referred to it as “the final Beatles record.” He explained that AI was used to “extract” Lennon’s voice from the original demo, enabling them to finalize the song, as reported by the BBC.
To clarify any misconceptions about AI’s role in the process, McCartney later elaborated on the matter. He emphasized that nothing artificial or synthetic was created in the process; instead, existing recordings were meticulously refined. This practice has been ongoing for years, and the result is an authentic, heartfelt creation that they hope fans will cherish as much as they do.
In addition to the song’s release, a music video for “Now and Then” is scheduled to premiere on Friday, November 3. Prior to the song’s release, a mini-documentary detailing the song’s creation was presented on Wednesday, November 1. You can watch the documentary alongside the song to gain insights into this remarkable musical journey.
In their press release it stated:
“The story of ‘Now And Then’ begins in the late 1970s, when John recorded a demo with vocals and piano at his home in New York’s Dakota Building. In 1994, his wife, Yoko Ono Lennon, gave the recording to Paul, George and Ringo, along with John’s demos for ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love,’ which were both completed as new Beatles songs and respectively released as singles in 1995 and 1996, as part of The Beatles Anthology project. At the same time, Paul, George and Ringo also recorded new parts and completed a rough mix for ‘Now And Then’ with producer Jeff Lynne. At that point, technological limitations prevented John’s vocals and piano from being separated to achieve the clear, unclouded mix needed to finish the song. ‘Now And Then’ was shelved, with a hope that one day it would be revisited.
In 2022, Paul and Ringo set about completing the song. Besides John’s vocal, ‘Now And Then’ includes electric and acoustic guitar recorded in 1995 by George, Ringo’s new drum part, and bass, guitar and piano from Paul, which matches John’s original playing. Paul added a slide guitar solo inspired by George; he and Ringo also contributed backing vocals to the chorus.”