Behind the Scenes: Now and Then

A few days ago, I wrote about The Beatle’s final” new song, Now and Then. To be honest, I thought the track was good but not great. Though my opinion changed favorably after learning the backstory of the song.

At the start of the video, Paul McCartney says, When we lost John, we knew that it was really over.” The discovery of John’s original demo recording of, Now and Then, became an opportunity for the remaining Beatles to complete their fallen band members’ unfinished track.

Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr first worked on completing this track in 1995. But the technological challenges of isolating John’s vocals proved too difficult and the project was tabled. Then in 2001, George Harrison passed away.

It wasn’t until 2022 that Paul and Ringo returned to Now and Then. Peter Jackson, the director behind the Get Back documentary, and his team developed technology to isolate all the individual parts of a track using machine learning. They were able to perfectly isolate John’s voice. Paul arranged and recorded the bass line and piano chords, Ringo recreated the drum line, and George Harrison’s parts from 1995 were also re-recorded.

Watching the official music video after watching the behind the scenes was an emotional experience. It featured footage from throughout The Beatle’s career from their humble start in Liverpool to the height of Beatlemania. A young George Harrison and John Lennon even made a cameo using AI. The video ended with photos from each Beatles in their youth to a final shot of all four members bowing then fading into the background.

November 5, 2023

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