Now and Then by The Beatles

Now and Then by The Beatles

The greatest band in history just released their final song.

A new Beatles song just came out. You might think that that isn’t possible, but it is. In 1994, Paul McCartney was gifted two cassette tapes by John Lennon’s widow. One of the cassette tapes featured an unfinished John Lennon song: Now and Then. It created some buzz, but the tape was slowly forgotten. The tape continued to be overlooked until October 25 of this year, when a cassette tape appeared on the Beatles website. On October 26, it was officially announced that on Thursday, November 2, Now and Then would be released on vinyl, cassette, and for streaming. So on November 2, the world was given the bittersweet ending of the Beatles’ career. 

The first time I listened to Now and Then, I was surprised by how much it felt like a final song, even though it wasn’t meant to be. The middle eight is sung by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Lennon was brought back to sing with the Beatles via the power of AI. They used AI to amplify the voice of John Lennon to the front of the song and make Paul McCartney’s voice sound younger than it actually is. 

The lyrics from the song hold a meaning that holds true to the song’s significance as the last they would ever sing together. With lines such as: 

Now and then I miss you 

 Now and then I want you to be there for me

While no one can know for sure whether John Lennon wrote the song with the other Beatles in mind, it sure does seem like it, with these lyrics expressing a longing for the other members of the band. Another moving part of the song was the George Harrison-like slide guitar solo played by Paul McCartney. The solo is very similar to something the late George Harrison would have played, which makes it more moving. The day before the song was released, November 1, the official Beatles YouTube channel released a short documentary about the song. The documentary highlights the entire journey of the making of the song, and you can watch it here:

You might notice that John Lennon’s voice is very clear throughout the entire song, even though it was recorded on a cassette tape during the 70s. This was made possible by the power of AI, which was used to isolate Lennon’s vocals and enhance them. The AI was also used to make McCartney’s voice sound younger than it actually is, which makes the listener able to feel his presence in the vocals, but not able to hear him directly. When the song was recorded in 1977, it was incomplete, but the producers were able to make the transitions between the old parts of the song and the new parts seamless. 

Despite the fact that Now and Then was recorded in the 70s and released in 2023, it feels like it belongs in both eras. The use of AI to bring John Lennon’s voice back to life and make the vocals of Paul McCartney sound younger shows the power of technology in the music industry. The song’s lyrics express a longing for something that has been lost, which is fitting for the final song from one of the greatest bands in history. The George Harrison-like slide guitar solo played by McCartney adds an emotional depth to the song that is hard to describe. Overall, Now and Then is a must-listen for any Beatles fan, as well as anyone who appreciates great music. The fact that it was released over 50 years after the Beatles disbanded is a testament to their enduring legacy.

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About the Contributor
Cooper Guvenoz, Staff Writer
Cooper is an eighth grader who writes for the Wred Feather Newspaper. He enjoys reading, watching movies, and playing board games in his free time.

Comments (8)

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  • M

    Mrs. SislowNov 28, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    Your enthusiasm for this Beatles song is apparent! Thanks for such a great article!

    Reply
  • J

    Jaxon SmithNov 16, 2023 at 8:22 pm

    Rock the Beatles! Great article. You are an impeccable writer with talent. Keep on chugging old school!

    Reply
  • M

    Meghan CannonNov 13, 2023 at 8:55 am

    Fascinating article, Cooper. It certainly makes me wonder what else will be possible with the power of AI. Great use of media throughout- I really enjoyed learning more from the documentary!

    Reply
  • K

    Kimberly Van SickleNov 10, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    So happy this momentous event in music history was covered! In-depth and well-written.

    Reply
  • M

    Mrs. CozziNov 10, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    So glad to see the Beatles being enjoyed by a younger generation. Really enjoyed the short documentary too.

    Reply
  • M

    Madelyn FreyNov 9, 2023 at 3:59 pm

    This is really interesting!

    Reply
    • M

      Mr. LoverskyNov 10, 2023 at 10:36 am

      I had no idea! I love the Beatles’ work- so many great song! And this just adds one final song to their amazing body of work.

      Reply
      • M

        Maddie FreyNov 12, 2023 at 5:12 pm

        Exactly!

        Reply