The new track – dubbed the last single by the band to feature all four original members – arrived yesterday (November 2), following months of hype.
Titled ‘Now And Then’, 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.
It 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.
Check it out below.
Made alongside Apple Corps Ltd., Capitol and UMe, the project is the first music video the filmmaker has ever worked on, and follows on from his collaboration with the band for the 2021 documentary series The Beatles: Get Back.
In a press release shared earlier this week, Jackson detailed his reluctance to take on the monumental task of making the visuals for the “final” song – stating that he found the “collection of anxieties almost too overwhelming to deal with.”
He also stated that he tried to use the lack of relevant footage of the band as an excuse to shy away from the task – as he was handed 14 hours of newly unearthed footage of the members together in 1995.
New footage of the surviving members working on the project is also embedded in the final result and Jackson later shared his outright refusal to use any CGI shots in the music video, saying that “every shot of The Beatles needed to be genuine”.
As well as working with McCartney and Ringo Starr for the project, Jackson also enlisted help from John Lennon’s son Sean and George Harrison’s wife Olivia, who each provided him with “some great unseen home movie footage” for the project. Some of “the earliest known film of The Beatles” is also embedded, provided by Pete Best and showing the four-piece performing in leather suits.
Elsewhere in his statement, the filmmaker confirmed that the project was put together with the help of Jabez Olssen, who also worked on the Get Back docu-series, and Harrison’s son Dhani was present for the making of the music video to help capture the right atmosphere.
“I realised we needed the imagination of every viewer to do what we couldn’t, and have each viewer create their own personal moment of farewell to The Beatles,” Jackson explained.
“Fortunately, Dhani Harrison happened to be visiting NZ at this time. I discussed the ending with him, and described one vague idea I’d been toying with. His eyes immediately filled with tears – so that is the way we went.”
As previously mentioned, the basis of the track stems from an idea John Lennon wrote and recorded with just his piano and vocals in the late ’70s. In 1994, his widow Yoko Ono gave the recording to McCartney, Harrison and Starr.
Working on the project with Macca, Starr later revealed that hearing the demo made him feel like John Lennon was back with them, and also described the finished result as “beautiful”. They also teased the single with images of a cassette tape posted across social media and internet as well as projections across the Fab Four’s native Liverpool.
Next, The Beatles are set to release new expanded editions of ‘1962-1966 (The Red Album)’ and ‘1967-1970 (The Blue Album)’, mixed in stereo and Dolby, next Friday (November 10).
– Armessa Music News