The Beatles – Now And Then
After almost 50 years of waiting, it was possible to record the last truly joint song of the Beatles using a tape left behind by John Lennon. “Now and Then” has collected over five million views on this platform alone within 22 hours of its premiere on YouTube, and ardent fans are singing with delight over it.
Although The Beatles broke up in 1970, during their 10 years of activity together, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr actually created a legend of modern music. The tragic death of Lennon, who was shot by an unstable admirer, ended any chance that the band would ever join forces live again. Nevertheless, after half a century and thanks to modern technologies, millions of fans of the British group received the last, farewell song, on which all members of the band – including the deceased Lennon and Harrison – worked on it to some extent.
How was The Beatles’ last song created?
“Now and Then” is officially the last song by The Beatles, written and sung by John Lennon, and refined by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. It started with Lennon recording a demo of the song at home – he plays the piano and sings on it. After the musician’s death, this recording lay in a drawer for several years. However, in 1994, Yoko Ono’s widow gave the tapes with this song as well as “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” to the remaining band members, who eagerly started working on the material. The remaining two songs were released as singles, but there was a problem with the third composition. On the home recording, the piano often “covered” Lennon’s vocals in such a way that it could not be used in the song. In the mid-1990s, there was no good way to separate the vocal line from the background music, so the entire material ended up in a drawer again for many years.
Another blow was the death of George Harrison, who died on November 29, 2001. Olivia Harrison recalls: – In 1995, after a few days of working on the track in the studio, George felt that the technical problems with this demo were insurmountable. He concluded that it was impossible to complete the song to a high enough standard. If he were here with us today, me and Dhani know that he would wholeheartedly engage in working with Paul and Ringo to complete the recording of “Now and Then” – emphasizes the guitarist’s widow.
The song was completed 50 years after the original demo tape was recorded thanks entirely to Peter Jackson’s maniacal love for the band. While working on the documentary “The Beatles: Get Back”, the director and his team developed the WingNut Films’ MAL technology, which allows not only the restoration, but also the separation of separate audio tracks in excellent quality from archival recordings. Jackson and his crew of sound engineers thus developed “Now and Then” in 2022. That’s when Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr entered the studio again.
For Lennon’s digitally extracted vocals and Harrison’s guitar parts from 1995, Ringo re-recorded drums and bass, and Paul recorded guitar and piano, which he adapted to Lennon’s playing style. Additionally, McCartney added a slide guitar solo inspired by George’s playing, and he and Starr sang backing vocals on the chorus. The whole is complemented by backing vocals from the original recordings of “Here, There And Everywhere”, “Eleanor Rigby” and “Because”, as well as melancholy strings.
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