The last “new” Beatles song,was released on Thursday, 60 years later .
The new version features the vocals of all four original Beatles performers, with surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr essentially finishing what was initially an old John Lennon demo recording. The track draws in many ways from the band’s signature style and features an emotional chorus where together the vocals of McCartney and Lennon sing “I miss you”.
The original “Now and Then,” recorded by Lennon more than 40 years ago, comes from the same group of demo recordings that his former bandmates used to create the songs “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” in the mid-90s.
Written by Lennon in 1978 and completed by McCartney and Starr last year, “Now and Then” also features sounds by the band’s late guitarist George Harrison, using tracks from one of his 1995 studio recordings. McCartney also added a new string guitar part. with the help of Gilles Martinthe son of late Beatles producer George Martin, the Associated Press reported last month.
How did the Beatles create a new song?
“Now and Then” partly used artificial intelligence to separate Lennon’s original vocals before incorporating musical additions from McCartney and Starr in the studio last year. A short documentary film chronicling the making of “Now and Then” was released on the Beatles’ official YouTube channel on Wednesday, ahead of an upcoming music video set to be released approximately 24 hours after the release of the song itself.
“The turbulent journey of Now and Then has spanned five decades and is the product of conversations and collaborations between all four Beatles that continue to this day,” reads the short film’s description on YouTube. “John Lennon’s long-mythologized demo was first worked on in February 1995 by Paul, George and Ringo as part of The Beatles Anthology project, but it remained unfinished, in part due to the impossible technological challenges involved in the work with the voice that John had recorded on tape in the 1970s.”
“For years it seemed like the song could never be completed,” he continues. “But in 2022, there was a stroke of luck.”
In the documentaryMcCartney and Starr were amazed at how clearly Lennon’s vocals came through in the new version of “Now and Then.”
“All these memories came back,” McCartney said. “My God, how lucky am I to have these men in my life? To still be working on Beatles music in 2023? Wow.”
Starr added: “It was the closest we’d ever get to seeing him (Lennon) in the room again… Far.”
Which Beatles are still alive?
Two of the four original members of the Beatles are still alive: McCartney, who played bass for the group and shared writing and singing responsibilities with Lennon, and Starr, the group’s drummer. At ages 81 and 83 respectively, McCartney and Starr continued to make music both solo and in collaboration with other performers over the years.
Lennon, who was co-songwriter, lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Beatles, died in 1980 at the age of 40. He was shot multiple times and fatally wounded by Mark David Chapman as he entered his New York apartment building on December 8 of that year. Lennon’s death is remembered as one of the most infamous celebrity murders of all time.
Harrison, the Beatles’ first guitarist, died on November 29, 2001 from cancer. He was 58 years old.