The Beatles – Now And Then

Technology and Music… how can you not love that mix when it results in so many wonderful things, especially this?

Official Audio of the 2023 Beatles tune – Now And Then.

Peter Jackson has brought to me some of the most treasured entertainment of my life. And now, thanks to him, here is one more.

Now and Then’s eventful journey to fruition took place over five decades and is the product of conversations and collaborations between the four Beatles that go on to this day. The long mythologised John Lennon demo was first worked on in February 1995 by Paul, George and Ringo as part of The Beatles Anthology project but it remained unfinished, partly because of the impossible technological challenges involved in working with the vocal John had recorded on tape in the 1970s. For years it looked like the song could never be completed. But in 2022 there was a stroke of serendipity. A software system developed by Peter Jackson and his team, used throughout the production of the documentary series Get Back, finally opened the way for the uncoupling of John’s vocal from his piano part. As a result, the original recording could be brought to life and worked on anew with contributions from all four Beatles. This remarkable story of musical archaeology reflects The Beatles’ endless creative curiosity and shared fascination with technology. It marks the completion of the last recording that John, Paul and George and Ringo will get to make together and celebrates the legacy of the foremost and most influential band in popular music history.

Posted on YouTube only 7 hours ago and already 2,369,545 views. I’m not the only one loving it.

This is one of three tunes that John recorded in 1978 on a boombox in the Dakota. Just John and the piano. The tape was marked “For Paul” (that gets me all choked up, doesn’t it get you, too?) so at last, in 1994, Yoko gave it to the lads for who were compiling Anthology. Two of the tracks were released but the third had too much hiss and buzz so it was shelved.

Now And Then sounds similar to Free As A Bird which you can hear here. Don’t forget to check out the video notes, he explains quite a bit about that project. Although similar I like Now And Then more, maybe because it’s more melancholy? The other song is Read Love which you can watch on YouTube here. The video is good. The song reminds me a lot of John & Yoko’s last album, Double Fantasy. Which I loved. Of course.

I’ve listened to Now And Then many times now and hear different things every time. Four minutes never passed so quickly. So much good stuff in this tune. I can’t get enough of it. It’s perfect even if it does make me teary.

More than forty years ago a light winked out in the world of music and something in me was forever changed. The assassination of John Lennon shook my world. The horror. The loss. But here we have Paul and Peter bringing something dead back to life. What a beautiful thing it is.

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