ENTERTAINMENT

Listen to the last new Beatles’ song with John, Paul, George, Ringo and AI tech: ‘Now and Then’

Nov 2, 2023, 12:39 PM | Updated: 1:39 pm

FILE -The Beatles, foreground from left, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Sta...

FILE -The Beatles, foreground from left, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr on drums perform on the CBS "Ed Sullivan Show" in New York on Feb. 9, 1964. Sixty years after the onset of Beatlemania and with two of the quartet now dead, artificial intelligence has enabled the release of a “new” Beatles song.“Now And Then,” will be available Thursday, Nov. 2. (AP Photo/File)

(AP Photo/File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The final Beatles recording is here.

Titled “Now and Then,” the almost impossible-to-believe track is four minutes and eight seconds of the first and only original Beatles recording of the 21st century. There’s a countdown, then acoustic guitar strumming and piano bleed into the unmistakable vocal tone of John Lennon in the song’s introduction: “I know it’s true / It’s all because of you / And if I make it through / It’s all because of you.”

More than four decades since Lennon’s murder and two since George Harrison’s death, the very last Beatles song has been released as a double A-side single with “Love Me Do,” the band’s 1962 debut single.

“Now and Then” comes from the same batch of unreleased demos written by Lennon in the 1970s, which were given to his former bandmates by Yoko Ono. They used the tape to construct the songs “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love,” released in the mid-1990s. But there were technical limitations to finishing “Now and Then.”

On Wednesday, a short film titled “The Beatles — Now And Then — The Last Beatles Song” was released, detailing the creation of the track. On the original tape, Lennon’s voice was hidden; the piano was “hard to hear,” as Paul McCartney describes it. “And in those days, of course, we didn’t have the technology to do the separation.”

That changed in 2022, when the band — now a duo — was able to utilize the same technical restoration methods that separated the Beatles’ voices from background sounds during the making of director Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary series, “The Beatles: Get Back.” And so, they were able to isolate Lennon’s voice from the original cassette and complete “Now and Then” using machine learning.

When the song was first announced in June, McCartney described artificial intelligence technology as “kind of scary but exciting,” adding: “We will just have to see where that leads.”

“To still be working on Beatles’ music in 2023 — wow,” he said in “The Beatles — Now And Then — The Last Beatles Song.” “We’re actually messing around with state-of-the-art technology, which is something the Beatles would’ve been very interested in.”

“The rumors were that we just made it up,” Ringo Starr told The Associated Press of Lennon’s contributions to the forthcoming track in September. “Like we would do that anyway.”

“This is the last track, ever, that you’ll get the four Beatles on the track. John, Paul, George, and Ringo,” he continued.

McCartney and Starr built the track from Lennon’s demo, adding guitar parts George Harrison wrote in the 1995 sessions and a slide guitar solo in his signature style. McCartney and Starr tracked their bass and drum contributions. A string arrangement was written with the help of Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles producer George Martin — a clever recall to the classic ambitiousness of “Strawberry Fields,” or “Yesterday,” or “I Am the Walrus.” Those musicians couldn’t be told they were contributing to the last ever Beatles track, so McCartney played it off like a solo endeavor.

On Friday, an official music video for “Now and Then,” directed by Jackson, will premiere on the Beatles’ YouTube channel. It was created using footage McCartney and Starr took of themselves performing, 14 hours of “long forgotten film shot during the 1995 recording sessions, including several hours of Paul, George and Ringo working on ‘Now and Then,’” Jackson said in a statement.

It also uses previously unseen home movie footage provided by Lennon’s son Sean and Olivia Harrison, George’s wife, and “a few precious seconds of The Beatles performing in their leather suits, the earliest known film of The Beatles and never seen before,” provided by Pete Best, the band’s original drummer.

“The result is pretty nutty and provided the video with much needed balance between the sad and the funny,” said Jackson.

KSL 5 TV Live

Entertainment

Salt Lake County heard from the public Tuesday, regarding the upcoming revitalization project. (KSL...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Abravanel Hall renovation funding to be determined as residents plead for preservation

Funding for major Abravanel Hall renovations has not yet been identified as its future remains uncertain amid ongoing discussions over a proposed "sports, entertainment, cultural and convention district" surrounding a renovated Delta Center.

23 hours ago

The Utah Symphony during its 61st Salute to Youth concert at Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City on Tu...

Carole Mikita

Lead architect of Abravanel Hall says demolition plans are motivated by disposable mentality

A lead architect of Abravanel Hall says we need a better conservation mentality to preserve heritage and the important building he helped create.

1 day ago

FILE - Matthew Perry poses for a portrait on Feb. 17, 2015, in New York. Authorities are investigat...

Associated Press

Matthew Perry’s death under investigation over ketamine level found in actor’s blood

An investigation has been opened into the death of Matthew Perry and how the “Friends” actor received the anesthetic ketamine, which was ruled a contributing factor in his death.

1 day ago

FILE - Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives at the LA Premiere of "The Four: Battle For Stardom" at the CBS R...

Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press

Sean Combs admits beating ex-girlfriend Cassie, says he’s sorry, calls his actions ‘inexcusable’

Sean “Diddy” Combs admitted that he beat his ex-girlfriend Cassie in a hotel hallway in 2016 after CNN released video of the attack, saying in a video apology he was “truly sorry” and his actions were “inexcusable.”

3 days ago

Cailey Fleming, left, and John Krasinski pose with the character "Blue" at the premiere of Paramoun...

Lindsay Bahr, The Associated Press

John Krasinski’s ‘IF’ hits a box office nerve with $35 million debut

John Krasinski’s imaginary friends movie “IF” claimed the top spot at the box office this weekend according to studio estimates Sunday. Its $35 million North American debut was also a bit lower than some projections.

3 days ago

A new Amazon series will explore the past of Elle Woods, played in the 'Legally Blonde' movies by R...

Alli Rosenbloom, CNN

‘Legally Blonde’ prequel series to follow Elle Woods navigating high school in the ’90s

A new Amazon series will explore the past of Elle Woods, played in the 'Legally Blonde' movies by Reese Witherspoon (center), who is shown in a scene from the first film.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Listen to the last new Beatles’ song with John, Paul, George, Ringo and AI tech: ‘Now and Then’