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The Beatles To Release 'Last Song', 'Now And Then'
Christian Eede , October 26th, 2023 18:17

Written and sung by John Lennon, the track has been pieced together across a number of years by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr

The Beatles are to release what has been dubbed their last song, 'Now And Then'.

Out next month, the existence of the track was first teased by Paul McCartney in June of this year when he revealed that he had recorded the song with the help of AI technology. It will be released digitally and as a double A-side single (on 7-inch and 12-inch vinyl, as well as cassette) also featuring the band's very first release, 1962's Love Me Do'. A short film about the making of 'Now And Then' is also set to be unveiled on November 1 – a trailer for it can be viewed above.

'Now and Then' was written and sung by John Lennon, who recorded the track as a demo at his home in New York in 1978. The original recording featured just Lennon's voice and piano. In 1994, Yoko Ono gave the demo to McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Working with ELO's Jeff Lynne, the remaining three Beatles recorded new parts for a version of 'Now and Then', but technological limitations at that time had prevented them from separating Lennon's vocals from the piano on his original demo, and so release plans were shelved at that time.

McCartney and Starr recently revisited the song and teamed up with director Peter Jackson and a team of sound engineers, who used AI to isolate Lennon's vocal on the original demo tape. "There it was, John's voice, crystal clear," McCartney said in a press release. "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."

Starr added: "It was the closest we'll ever come to having him back in the room, so it was very emotional for all of us. It was like John was there, you know. It's far out."

The track was completed by McCartney and Starr last year. In addition to Lennon's decades-old vocals, it features electric and acoustic guitar played by Harrison and recorded in 1995, a new drum part and backing vocals from Starr, and bass, guitar and piano by McCartney.

Capitol / UMe will release 'Now And Then' on November 2, 2023.