Before releasing their first single, Love Me Do, in 1962, no one – not even the band themselves – could have foreseen the impact of The Beatles. Sixty years on, the world is being treated to one final track with Paul, John, George, and Ringo all present, along with a little help from my friends AI.
Paul McCartney first teased Now And Then in the summer, telling the world that he had recorded one final song by The Beatles with the help of Artificial Intelligence. It’s now time for that song to be released, and Now and Then, the final piece of recorded output featuring all of the Fab Four, will be out on November 2.
Fans will even be able to purchase a vinyl (available in 7″ and 12″) or a cassette with the song, which will include Love Me Do on the B-side. Ahead of the song’s release, a documentary will be released about the making of Now And Then, directed by Olivier Murray.
How was ‘Now And Then’ created?
As you’ll hear on the song, Now and Then was sung (and written) by John Lennon in 1978, two years before he was shot and killed outside his New York home. Yoko Ono, Lennon’s widow, gave the recording to Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in 1994. The band, however, were unable to separate Lennon’s vocals and the piano, as he had recorded them simultaneously.
Which is where AI comes in. Peter Jackson, creator of The Beatles documentary Get Back, helped Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr isolate the vocals on the recording via technology, which is how we have the final Now and Then track.
George Harrison recorded his guitar parts, both electric and acoustic back in 1995, before he passed away in 2001, with Starr adding drum and backing vocals; and McCartney laying down new bass, guitar and piano elements to complete Now And Then in 2022.
Speaking on the creation of Now and Then, Paul McCartney said in a press release: “There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear…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.”
Ringo 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.”
Now and Then will be released on November 2, with the accompanying documentary on its making dropping a day before.