The Beatles Release Final Song “Now And Then” Marking the End of an Era
It has been an eventful week for fans of the legendary band, The Beatles. After much anticipation, the group released a new song titled “Now And Then.” While the excitement surrounding the release is palpable, there is also a bittersweet feeling among fans as they come to terms with the fact that this will be the last recording ever from the iconic band.
The concept of “Now And Then” being deemed as ‘The last Beatles song’ serves as a reminder that this is the final piece of music we will ever hear from The Beatles. This notion of finality is not new to the band’s history. Moments such as 1969, 1970, and 1980 marked significant milestones that led to the breakup of the influential group. In ’69, John Lennon made the decision to dissolve the band, followed by Paul McCartney publicly announcing the split in ’70. Tragically, 1980 saw Lennon’s untimely death.
Nevertheless, the end is not always as it seems for the Fab Four.
In 1995, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr collaborated on the release of John Lennon’s old demo tapes for “Real Love” and “Free As A Bird” as part of the band’s retrospective project, “Anthology.” Although work on a third song was underway, it was eventually halted due to complications with the source material.
Fast forward to 2021, where advancements in technology allowed present-day musicians to untangle John Lennon’s voice from his piano demo using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Paul, Ringo, and producer Giles Martin, son of George Martin, were able to resume the work that was left unfinished almost three decades ago.
This brings us to “Now And Then.”
Penned by John Lennon, this introspective piano-driven track embodies Lennon’s signature style with its melancholic minor key. Giles Martin lent his expertise in arranging an orchestral accompaniment, following in his father’s footsteps by enhancing the musical ideas of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Paul contributed his harmonies, while Ringo added his unique touch. It is worth noting that we haven’t seen much of Ringo’s contribution even during the heyday of The Beatles. Retaining Harrison’s rhythm guitar from 1995 and with both Paul and Ringo updating their bass and drum parts, the song has truly become a Beatles tune in 2023. Paul even delivers a slide guitar solo reminiscent of George’s style.
During their work on John’s song, Paul found himself contemplating whether they should proceed, imagining John in his New York City apartment, passionately playing his piano during a demo session. However, Paul realized that if given the chance to ask John if they should complete this final song, the answer would undoubtedly be a resounding “yes.”
Accompanying the release of “Now And Then” is a new music video directed and edited by Peter Jackson, which features present-day Paul and Ringo alongside a younger John and George, seemingly reunited one last time. The video evokes a strong sense of nostalgia and sentimentality.
The question arises if “Now And Then” by The Beatles is any good. The late George Harrison captured it perfectly when he said, “To hear John’s voice, that’s what we should cherish.” In essence, what we should truly cherish is the opportunity to hear John, Paul, George, and Ringo play a new song together.
As fans eagerly await what the future holds, they can only hope that this will not be the last we hear from the legendary band.