Ringo Starr shared his heartfelt sentiments about producing The Beatles’ forthcoming “final” track, ‘Now And Then’. The iconic drummer collaborated with ex-bandmate Paul McCartney to produce this ultimate song that showcases all four Beatles, thanks to advanced AI technology. The worldwide release is set for 2pm GMT on Thursday, November 2.
The initial version of ‘Now And Then’ was penned and recorded as a demo by John Lennon in the late 1970s, featuring just his voice and piano. Yoko Ono, Lennon’s wife, later handed the demo to McCartney, George Harrison, and Starr in 1994.
While the remaining Beatles and producer Jeff Lynne tried to incorporate new elements into the song, they couldn’t cleanly extract Lennon’s vocals and piano due to technical constraints.
Fortunately, the duo of McCartney and Starr were able to apply the same tech used to refine the audio in Peter Jackson’s 2021 documentary, ‘Get Back’, and in the 2022 remix of ‘Revolver’, to enhance Lennon’s voice for this track.
Reminiscing about the experience, Starr said McCartney reached out to him, expressing interest in ‘Now And Then’. The conversation went, “’What do you think?’ and I responded, ‘I think it’s great’.” Starr added that, after adding their respective parts, the collaboration felt like a bittersweet reunion, noting the emotion they felt as if Lennon was right there in the studio with them.
McCartney previously commented on how vividly Lennon’s voice came through on the track, describing it as “crystal clear” and emotionally charged. He mused on the joy of working on Beatles’ music even in 2023, and the thrill of releasing a fresh track that the world hasn’t heard yet.
In related news, The Beatles are gearing up to launch remastered versions of ‘1962-1966 (The Red Album)’ and ‘1967-1970 (The Blue Album)’ in stereo and Dolby, scheduled for Friday, November 10.
Hints about ‘Now And Then’ have surfaced on social media and online, especially with images of a cassette tape and projections in Liverpool, The Beatles’ hometown.
Furthermore, The One Show on BBC One will air an extended episode on November 1, featuring a touching short film about the song, helmed by Oliver Murray.