Oct 27, 2023 2 min read

The Beatles to release “last song” next week

The Beatles will release their “last song” to feature contributions from all four members next week. Titled ‘Now And Then’, a John Lennon demo was “de-mixed” using AI technology in order to then create the finished version

The Beatles to release “last song” next week

The Beatles have announced that they will release their “last song” next week. Titled ‘Now And Then’, the song is taken from the same John Lennon demo tape as ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’, which were released in the 1990s. However, it has been keep under wraps until now because the quality of the original recording was “rubbish”.

The three songs appeared on a demo tape recorded by John Lennon after the Beatles’ split in 1970, which was labelled ‘For Paul’. It was then given to Paul McCartney by Yoko Ono following Lennon’s death in 1980. The surviving Beatles created finished recordings of ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’, which were released in 1995 and 1996. However, while they also worked on ‘Now And Then’, it was ultimately abandoned due to the sound quality of Lennon’s recording.

Now, using AI technology, McCartney and Ringo Starr have completed the song, using Lennon’s vocals, guitar parts recorded by George Harrison in the 90s, and new musical contributions.

The idea came from Peter Jackson’s work on the ‘Get Back’ documentary, which saw him use new technology to ‘de-mix’ the mono soundtrack of original footage shot in the late 1960s and uncover previously unheard conversations between band members. McCartney wondered if the same technology could be applied to Lennon’s old demo. Long story short, it could.

McCartney first talked about the project earlier this year. Now it’s completed, he says of the process: “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”.

Starr adds: “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 song is set to be premiered on 2 Nov, and will appear on a repackaged version of the band’s ‘1967-1970’ compilation (aka ‘The Blue Album’). That compilation - alongside an updated version of ‘1962-1966’ (or ‘The Red Album’) - is out on 10 Nov.

A short film to accompany the release of ‘Now And Then’ will be released on 1 Nov. Watch a trailer for that here:

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