Hear ‘Now And Then,’ the last Beatles song, on The Beatles Channel
“Now And Then” is the last Beatles song — written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.
The track will be released worldwide on November 2 and is one of the most anticipated releases of the band’s long and endlessly eventful history.
Hear “Now And Then”
Tune in to The Beatles Channel (Ch. 18) on November 2 at 10 am ET to hear “Now And Then” at the top of the hour, the moment it’s released.
The song will continue to be played multiple times throughout the day, November 2–5, on The Beatles Channel as well as on Classic Vinyl, Classic Rewind, Deep Tracks, The Spectrum, The Blend, 60s Gold, and 70s on 7.
‘Now and Then’ Documentary Film
The Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song documentary film, written and directed by Oliver Murray, debuts November 1 on The Beatles’ YouTube channel at 3:30 pm ET. This 12-minute film tells the story behind the last Beatles song and features exclusive footage and commentary from Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon, and Peter Jackson.
“Now And Then”
The Last Installment of The Beatles Recorded History
In the late 1970s, John Lennon recorded a demo featuring his vocals and piano at his home in New York’s Dakota Building. In 1994, Yoko Ono Lennon shared John’s recording with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
While Paul, George, and Ringo recorded new parts for “Now And Then” with producer Jeff Lynne, the technology at the time couldn’t separate John’s vocals and piano, making it impossible to create a clear mix of the song. The track was shelved with the hope that one day it might be revisited.
In 2021, The Beatles: Get Back docuseries directed by Peter Jackson was released. The docuseries utilized groundbreaking audio restoration technology to de-mix the film’s mono soundtrack, isolating individual voices and instruments within The Beatles’ conversations. Peter Jackson and his sound team, led by Emile de la Rey, applied this groundbreaking technique to John’s original home recording of “Now And Then.” They successfully separated his vocals from the piano, preserving the clarity of his original performance.
The following year, Paul and Ringo took on the task of completing “Now And Then.” The song now includes John Lennon’s vocals, electric and acoustic guitar recorded by George Harrison in 1995, Ringo Starr’s new drum part, and bass, guitar, and piano from Paul McCartney. Paul added a slide guitar solo inspired by George, and both he and Ringo contributed backing vocals to the chorus.
In Los Angeles, Paul supervised a recording session at Capitol Studios to add a quintessential Beatles string arrangement written by Giles Martin, Paul, and Ben Foster. Paul and Giles also included backing vocals from the original recordings of “Here, There And Everywhere,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “Because,” masterfully woven into the new song. The final track was produced by Paul McCartney and Giles Martin and mixed by Spike Stent.
Paul McCartney shared, “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.”
Ringo Starr said, “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.”