The Beatles, legendary icons of rock, have unveiled what’s being hailed as their “final song”—”Now and Then.” Released on November 2, this emotional piece features John Lennon’s vocals from a late 1970s demo and a poignant guitar solo by George Harrison. It’s the culmination of a remarkable journey, offering a glimpse into the band’s evolution and timeless legacy. All four Beatles feature on the track, which will be the last credited to Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr.
This song has been in the making for 45 years, starting with John Lennon’s initial composition in 1978, and is the product of conversations and collaborations between the four Beatles that go on to this day. The long mythologised John Lennon demo was first worked on in February 1995 by Paul, George and Ringo as part of ‘The Beatles Anthology’ project. However, it remained unfinished due to technological challenges.
Recently, a stroke of luck emerged in 2022 when a software system developed by Peter Jackson’s team, used during the production of the documentary series ‘Get Back’, finally untangled Lennon’s vocals from the piano on the original tape, revitalizing the long-dormant demo. The completion of “Now and Then” involved a collaborative effort among the surviving Beatles—Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr—infused with the spirit of the departed legends, George Harrison and Lennon. Harrison’s guitar parts from 1995 were seamlessly woven into the track, enhancing the signature Beatles sound.
This musical feat isn’t just about creation but a testament to the band’s enduring bond and curiosity for innovation. The song itself, upon completion, resonated profoundly with music critics and fans alike, eliciting emotional responses that speak volumes of its timeless quality. They lauded its poignant chorus where Lennon and McCartney’s voices intertwine, delivering a raw and intensely powerful moment that tugs at heartstrings.
Accompanying this musical marvel is a captivating music video directed by Peter Jackson, promising unseen footage from the band’s early years, and offers a glimpse into The Beatles’ evolution from their leather-clad days before they skyrocketed to fame.
“Now and Then” serves as a fitting conclusion to The Beatles’ journey. It is bundled as a double A-side single with their iconic 1962 debut “Love Me Do,” showcasing their everlasting impact on the popular music landscape. This remarkable story of musical archaeology reflects The Beatles’ endless creative curiosity and shared fascination with technology. This single marks the completion of the last recording that John, Paul, George and Ringo will get to make together and celebrates the legacy of the foremost and most influential band in popular music history.
As the final notes of “Now and Then” echo through time, it remains an ode to an era gone by—a bittersweet yet triumphant conclusion to the illustrious saga of The Beatles, leaving an indelible mark on music history for generations to come.
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