In a surprising announcement, the remaining members of the legendary band, The Beatles, have revealed that they will be releasing their final song titled “Now and Then.” This highly anticipated release is set for November 2, 2023, and will be available worldwide in various formats, including digital, 7″ vinyl, 12″ vinyl, and cassette. The song is a double A-side single, accompanied by their debut single, “Love Me Do,” which was originally released in 1962. This farewell song features vocals from the late John Lennon and instrumental contributions from George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr.
The Making of “Now and Then”
The genesis of “Now and Then” dates back to 1978 when John Lennon recorded a demo track with vocals and piano in his New York home, the Dakota Building. Tragically, two years later, Lennon was fatally shot outside his residence on 72nd Street in the Upper West Side neighborhood of Manhattan. However, his wife, Yoko Ono Lennon, preserved the recordings and eventually shared them with Lennon’s former bandmates, Harrison, McCartney, and Starr, almost two decades later.
Despite the initial recording, the trio put the project on hold due to technological limitations that prevented them from separating Lennon’s vocals and piano to create a clear sound for the final cut. It was not until 2022, with the advancement of audio software developed for Peter Jackson’s documentary “The Beatles: Get Back,” that the team was able to isolate instruments and vocals. Emile de la Rey, the leader of Jackson’s sound team, applied this cutting-edge technology to Lennon’s original home recording, ensuring the clarity and integrity of his vocals.
Emotional Reunion and Collaboration
The completion of “Now and Then” brought forth a wave of emotions for the surviving Beatles members. Paul McCartney described the experience of hearing Lennon’s voice once again as “quite emotional.” He expressed his excitement about the upcoming release, emphasizing that it is a genuine Beatles recording. McCartney, along with Starr, cleared up any confusion about the use of artificial intelligence, emphasizing that the recordings were cleaned up over the years but no synthetic alterations were made to Lennon’s voice.
Starr echoed McCartney’s sentiments, stating that the final recording made it feel as if Lennon was present in the room with them. The emotional impact of Lennon’s voice resurfacing after all these years was profound, reminding them of the incredible talent and unique bond they shared as a band.
The Beatles’ Legacy
Since the 1960s, The Beatles have been synonymous with the counterculture movement and have played a pivotal role in shaping popular music as an art form. Their extensive catalog, spanning from 1962 to 1970, includes 12 studio albums and over 200 mostly original songs. The band’s influence and musical contributions have left an indelible mark on generations of musicians and fans alike.
A Bittersweet Farewell
With the release of “Now and Then,” Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have announced that this will be their final record as The Beatles. Their decision marks the end of an era for rock and roll enthusiasts worldwide. The band’s legacy will forever live on through their timeless music, but this final release serves as a poignant farewell to their remarkable journey as a group.
In addition to the release of “Now and Then” and “Love Me Do,” The Beatles have prepared a music video for the title track, set to debut on November 3. The band has also planned the release of expanded reissues of their iconic albums, 1962-1966 (The Red Album) and 1967-1970 (The Blue Album), which will include the final song as a special addition.