It will be released simultaneously worldwide on Thursday 2 November Now and Then, the Beatles’ last song. 2023 brings us one of the most anticipated releases in their long and eventful history. What is called “The Last Song” (also in reference to something biblical like The Last Supper, Last dinner) is the final Fab 4 song, written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo, over four decades later.
A surprise that no one expected, but then together or individually the Beatles have always had the great talent of surprising anyone.
Now And Then will be released simultaneously worldwide at 3.00 pm (Italian time) on Thursday 2 November, published by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. The double A-side of the single combines the last Beatles song with the first: the band’s 1962 debut UK single, Love Me Docompletes the circle perfectly.
Both songs were mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos® while the original cover was created by renowned artist Ed Ruscha. The new music video by Now And Then it will debut the day after the release of the unreleased song, coming out on Friday 3 November.
There will be a documentary film dedicated to the Beatles’ last song
A 12 minute documentary film titled Now And Then – The Last Beatles Songwritten and directed by Oliver Murray, will premiere on November 1st.
The docu will be uploaded to the Beatles’ official YouTube channel and will be a moving short that tells the story behind the Beatles’ final song.
The film contains exclusive video material and commentary by Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson.
You can watch the official trailer of the documentary Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song in the video you find at the bottom of this article.
The Beatles’ collections will be published in new editions
On November 10, the Beatles’ collections, 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) and 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’), will be published in new 2023 editions by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. Since their first appearance 50 years ago, these albums have immortalized the Beatles’ music, making it so for subsequent generations as well. Now the tracklists of both collections have been extended, with all songs mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos. 4 new CDs and a 180 gram 6LP vinyl collection join “Red” and “Blue” in a collector’s box set. The UK version of the single Love Me Do opens 1962-1966 (2023 Edition), while Now And Then is contained within 1967-1970 (2023 Edition) to complete collections spanning their entire career.
The story of the song Now And Then
Behind the song Now And Then there is an exciting story that begins in the late 1970s, when John Lennon recorded a demo with vocals and piano in his home, the Dakota Building in New York.
In 1994 his wife, Yoko Ono Lennon, gave the recording to Paul, George and Ringo, along with other John demosFree As A Bird And Real Lovewhich were later completed as new Beatles songs and released as singles in 1995 and 1996, respectively, as part of the Th projectand Beatles Anthology. Meanwhile Paul, George and Ringo also recorded new parts and completed a first mix of Now And Then with producer Jeff Lynne. At the time, the limitations of technology prevented John’s voice and piano from being separated to achieve the clean, clear mix needed to complete the song. Now And Then was thus discarded, in the hope of being able to revisit it one day. That day has finally arrived…
Much of the credit goes to Peter Jackson
Then in 2021 the docu-series was released The Beatles: Get Back, directed by director Peter Jackson, who stunned viewers with his acclaimed film and audio restoration work. Using WingNut Films’ MAL audio technology, Jackson’s team ‘de-mixed’ the film’s mono soundtrack, managing to isolate the instruments and vocals and all the individual voices within the Beatles’ conversations. This achievement opened the doors to the new mix of Revolvers from 2022, taken directly from the original 4-track master tapes.
That’s where the question of what could be done with the demo of Now And Then it arose spontaneously. Peter Jackson and his recording engineers, led by Emile de la Rey, applied the same technology to John’s original home recording, preserving the clarity and integrity of the original vocal performance by separating it from the piano.
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr began completing the song in 2022
In 2022 Paul and Ringo began completing the song. In addition to John Lennon’s voice, Now And Then It contains the electric and acoustic guitar recorded in 1995 by George, a new drum part by Ringo and Paul’s bass, guitar and piano, which matches John’s original playing. Paul added a George-inspired slide guitar solo; he and Ringo also contributed backing vocals in the chorus.
In Los Angeles, Paul oversaw a recording session at Capitol Studios for a nostalgic string arrangement, written by Giles Martin, Paul and Ben Foster. Paul and Giles have also added a final, wonderful touch: backing vocals from the original recordings of Here, There And Everywhere, Eleanor Rigby And Becausewoven into the new song using techniques perfected during the making of the show and album LOVE. The finished track is produced by Paul and Giles and mixed by Spike Stent.
Paul McCartney: “And there it was, John’s voice, clear and clear. He is very emotional”
McCartney said: “And there it was, John’s voice, clear and clear. He is very emotional. And we all play, it’s an authentic Beatles recording. I think it’s an exciting thing to still be working on Beatles music in 2023 and about to release a new song that the public hasn’t heard.”
Ringo Starr said: “It was the closest we got to having him in the room with us again, it was really exciting for everyone. It was like John was there, you know. He is fantastic “.
Olivia Harrison, widow of the late George (who died in 2001) said: “In 1995, after several days spent in the studio working on the track, George felt that the technical difficulties with the demo were insurmountable and concluded that it was not possible to complete the demo. track to a sufficiently high standard. If he were here today, Dhani and I know that he would have joined Paul and Ringo and put his heart into completing the recording of Now And Then”.
John Lennon’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, said: “It was incredibly touching to listen to them work together after all the years since my father died. It’s the last song my dad, Paul, George and Ringo got to do together. It’s like a time capsule and it’s like everything was predestined to be this way.”
Great excitement for the new Beatles song since last June
There was great excitement about Now And Then since last June, when Paul first announced a new Beatles song in an interview.
This last chapter in the Beatles’ recording history will be followed by new editions of the two compilation albums which have always been seen as the definitive introduction to their work. Since their debut in 1973, the 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) and 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’) collections have brought countless listeners of all ages and from all parts of the world closer to the Beatles’ historic fan base . Available in an extended version in the new 2023 releases (from 10 November), the collections span the entire career of the Beatles with the 75 best tracks, from the first single Love Me Doto the last Now And Then. 21 tracks are added (12 in Red and 9 in Blue), to offer the best of the Beatles’ repertoire.
Below you can watch the official trailer of the documentary Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song.