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The Beatles, Last Work

Last Record fot the Liverpool quartet.

02 novembre 2023

As was the case with 'Love Me Do' in 1964, the Beatles' first single, 2023 will be remembered for being the year of their definitive last single 'Now and Then'.

Now And Then is the last Beatles song, written and recorded by John Lennon towards the end of the 1970s. With John's voice now pristine in the mix, Now And Then features elements from the 1995 sessions, including George Harrison's guitar parts and vocals and instrumentals recorded by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in 2022, plus a new arrangement for the strings. 

Produced by Paul and Giles Martin, Now And Then is the last song recorded by all four Beatles, a powerful and fitting finale to the band's timeless recordings.

The new Beatles song is the result of an important arrangement work by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison on an old demo recorded by John Lennon on the piano in 1978. Artificial intelligence, then, did what was missing . The final version of the song was released on November 2, 2023.

Many have defined the song as a sort of "artificial resurrection" given that AI (artificial intelligence) is involved.

Lennon's voice, however, is not generated by artificial intelligence but thanks to technology it was possible to separate the melody from the piano: in this way it was possible to overdub the instrumental arrangement and complete the song.

The original song was recorded by John Lennon in the seventies on the now famous cassette with "For Paul" written on it, intended for his friend. Many believe that this was one of the first steps towards a possible reunion of the band. Then, that cassette was delivered by Yoko Ono to McCartney in 1994. And the artist, together with Harrison and Starr, worked on many drafts left by Lennon. Thus, the posthumous song Free as a Bird appeared in the Anthology 1 compilation in 1995.

According to what was communicated, however, when they found Now and Then in their hands, they gave up working on it, given that the bass of the piano made it impossible to hear Lennon's voice clearly. So much so that Harrison had spoken of this song as "fucking rubbish".

In 2022, however, thanks to artificial intelligence software it was possible to extract cleaned voices, guitars and pianos. And so, McCartney and Starr decided to go back into the studio and record Now and Then. The result is what has been present in our headphones for a few days, with Lennon's original voice, but "cleaned up" and mixed together with the other sounds.