It’s here – the final ever song by The Beatles, ‘Now and Then’, has been released to the world.
The greatest band of all time might have broken up more than 50 years ago and lost two of their members to the passage of time, but thanks to new technology they’ve been able to collaborate on a new single.
The track was originally written and performed by John Lennon, and it has a fascinating back story.
The demo was composed by Lennon in 1978, two years before he was shot and fatally wounded outside the Dakota building, in New York’s Upper West Side.
George Harrison worked on the track in 1995, before his death in 2001, then the song was finished by Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr with the help of AI technology in 2023.
Work on the song was originally abandoned in 1995 as the group felt the quality of the original recording wasn’t good enough. However, a dedicated sound team was able to separate Lennon’s vocal performance from the piano.
“There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear,” McCartney says, of the moment he heard Lennon’s clean vocals for the first time. “It’s quite emotional. And we all play on it, it’s a genuine Beatles recording. In 2023, to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s an exciting thing.”
News of the track being released delighted fans around the world, and now the first verdicts are in.
Emotions run high among Beatles fans
There are plenty of people feeling emotional after hearing the Fab Four together again after all this time, and can you blame them?
The Independent’s Mark Beaumont writes in his five-star review that Lennon is “here in the room, bright and clear and miraculously alive” on the track, which he called the musical event of the year. Read more here.
Liam Gallagher shares his verdict
The always nuanced Oasis frontman has had a sneak preview of the song calling it 'biblical, celestial, heartbreaking and heartwarming.'
AI doesn't always get a good wrap but if it allows us to hear one last song from our favourite artist then we suppose it's ok in this instance. The Independent's Roisin O'Connor explains how tech helped 'Now and Then' come into existence.
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