The highly-anticipated project was first teased by McCartney back in June when he confirmed that he was working on a new track with the drummer, which would come together as the “final” song of the band’s discography.
Titled ‘Now And Then’, the release stems from a demo tape recorded by late bandmate John Lennon and was completed with the help of AI – which lifted the songwriter’s vocals off the initial recording and allowed the surviving members to work with them.
Since first sharing details of the song, both McCartney and Starr have continued to tease the upcoming project for months. This included the latter revealing that he thought the project was “beautiful”, and later admitting that working on the single was “like having John Lennon back”.
They also hinted that the project was set to arrive imminently last week when they posted images of a cassette tape across social media and internet as well as projections across the Fab Four’s native Liverpool.
Last night (November 1), a short film was broadcast on The One Show and the band’s YouTube Channel, which documented the history behind the track and how it came together.
Check out the song below.
The aforementioned poignant 12-minute film, which you can view here, was also broadcast as part of a series of programmes on the BBC to celebrate the legacy of The Beatles.
In the video, McCartney recalls how Lennon first wrote and recorded a demo of ‘Now And Then’ in his New York City home in the late ’70s – featuring just his piano and vocals. Following his death, his wife Yoko Ono would later give the recording to McCartney, George Harrison and Starr in 1994, along with the demos for ‘Free As A Bird’ and ‘Real Love’.
The latter two were both released as ‘new’ Beatles tracks in the mid-’90s as part of The Beatles ‘Anthology’ project.
The surviving members – alongside producer Jeff Lynne – also recorded new parts and completed a rough mix for ‘Now And Then’, but the project was ultimately put on hold as “technological limitations” meant that Lennon’s vocals and piano were not able to be separated for a clear enough mix.
“It took almost a quarter of a century for us to wait until the right moment to tackle ‘Now And Then’ again,” McCartney stated in the video, explaining that working with Peter Jackson on 2021’s Get Back docu-series made him want to revisit the track and try again.
The track has now been marketed as a double A-side with their 1962 debut UK single, ‘Love Me Do’ – combining their first single with their last.
A music video – which will be the first-ever music video directed by Peter Jackson – is also set for release tomorrow (November 3). According to the renowned filmmaker, the visual accompaniment will include new footage of McCartney and Starr, as well as recently unearthed footage of all four members.
Additionally, next week (November 10) will see The Beatles release new expanded editions of ‘1962-1966 (The Red Album)’ and ‘1967-1970 (The Blue Album)’, mixed in stereo and Dolby.
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– Armessa Music News