By John Ensor •
Published: 26 Oct 2023 • 18:09
Credit: Ralf Liebhold/Shutterstock.com
A new song by The Beatles is set to be released next month, featuring the vocals of John Lennon.
On November 2, the world will experience the release of the new Beatles track ‘Now And Then’, which showcases the previously unheard vocals of John Lennon, 42 years after he was fatally shot, writes Billboard.
This song, initiated by Lennon prior to his death in 1980, saw continued efforts by the other remaining members, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, to complete the project.
The completion of this track has come two decades after the death of Harrison in 2001, with McCartney and Starr finalising it for worldwide release. This song will be launched as a double A-side, paired with the Beatles’ first release, ‘Love Me Do’, bringing their musical odyssey to a poetic end.
Fans can anticipate a music video for ‘Now And Then’ on November 3, along with a pre-release 12-minute documentary titled ‘Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song’ on November 1.
Back in the 1970s, Lennon began the creation of this song with a piano demo and his vocals. However, his tragic murder in New York City put a halt to its completion.
In 1994, Yoko Ono handed over this recording to the surviving Beatles. Technical limitations of that era hindered the separation of vocals and piano, making it difficult for McCartney, Starr, and Harrison to finish it.
Fast forward to 2021, the docuseries ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ breathed new life into old recordings. Peter Jackson’s sound team collaborated with the Beatles, revitalising ‘Now And Then’. With Harrison’s 1995 guitar recordings, and the inclusion of drums, bass, piano, and backing vocals, the song was reborn.
Sir Paul commented: ‘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, I think it’s an exciting thing.’
‘Ringo went on to explain: ‘It was the closest we’ll ever come to having him back in the room so it was very emotional for all of us.’
Harrison’s wife, Olivia, reflected on the technical challenges faced in the 1990s, affirming that had Harrison been alive, he would have collaborated in the song’s completion.
Lennon’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, remarked, ‘It’s the last song my dad, Paul, George and Ringo got to make together. It’s like a time capsule and all feels very meant to be.’
Earlier this year, McCartney’s announcement of a new Beatles track shocked many. On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he detailed the AI-driven process to refine Lennon’s voice from old cassettes for ‘Get Back’. He clarified that the use of AI was purely for cleaning existing recordings, with no synthetic elements introduced.
In wrapping up this musical journey, the world awaits with bated breath for the new Beatles track, a testament to their timeless legacy.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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