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The Villages
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

‘Now and Then’ puts Beatles back together for one last song

Tony Violanti
Tony Violanti

The Beatles are back with a new record release, and you can call them the Fab Five.
In addition to John, Paul, George and Ringo, the fifth Beatle is AI. That’s alphabet jargon for the new computer technology known as Artificial Intelligence.
The new track is called “Now And Then,” and will feature a vocal by John Lennon. He died in 1980 but thanks to AI, they were able to “extricate” Lennon’s vocals from an old demo tape.
“There it was, John’s voice crystal clear,” Paul McCartney, 81, said in a press statement. “It’s quite emotional. And we all play on it. It’s’ a genuine Beatles recording.”

Ringo Starr, 83, added percussion to the recording.

George Harrison died in 2001 and had heard the demo before his death. He listened to a version of it with producer Jeff Lynne, formerly of Electric Light Orchestra.
Harrison, at the time, called the song “rubbish.” But AI technology has changed that tune. George would have “wholeheartedly” joined Paul and Ringo in completing the song, said Olivia Harrison, George’s widow.
The lyrics to “Now And Then,” go like this, according to the BBC:
“Now and then, I miss you/Now and then, I want you to return to me.”

After Lennon’s death in 1980, his widow Yoko Ono, gave the song on a cassette labeled “For Paul” to McCartney, the BBC reported.

McCartney plays bass, piano and slide guitar on “Now and Then.”  He and Starr also sing back-up vocals. Some acoustic guitar parts by Harrison are also on the song.
“This is the last track, ever, that you’ll get the four Beatles on the track,” Starr told the Associated Press.

“In 2023 to still be working on Beatles’ music and about to release a new song that public haven’t heard, I think it’s an exciting thing,” McCartney stated.
Both appreciate John Lennon’s technological resurrection.
“It as the closest we’ll ever come to having him back in the room,” Starr stated. “So it was every emotional for all of us. It was like John was there, you know.”

“Now And Then” will be included Nov. 10, on the re-release of remixed versions of the Beatles “Red” and “Blue” albums.

Starr described the Beatles creating a new song in 2023 with a ‘60s catch phrase.
“Far out,” Ringo said.

Tony Violanti covers arts and music for Villages-News.com. He was inducted into the Buffalo NY Music Hall of Fame as a music journalist.

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