Now and Then – trailer and story

Now and Then’s eventful journey to fruition took place over five decades and is the product of conversations and collaborations between the four Beatles that go on to this day. The long mythologised John Lennon demo was first worked on in February 1995 by Paul, George and Ringo as part of The Beatles Anthology project but it remained unfinished, partly because of the impossible technological challenges involved in working with the vocal John had recorded on tape in the 1970s. For years it looked like the song could never be completed. But in 2022 there was a stroke of serendipity. A software system developed by Peter Jackson and his team, used throughout the production of the documentary series Get Back, finally opened the way for the uncoupling of John’s vocal from his piano part.

As a result, the original recording could be brought to life and worked on anew with contributions from all four Beatles. This remarkable story of musical archaeology reflects The Beatles’ endless creative curiosity and shared fascination with technology. It marks the completion of the last recording that John, Paul and George and Ringo will get to make together and celebrates the legacy of the foremost and most influential band in popular music history.

The Beatles’ double-A-side single for “Now And Then” and “Love Me Do” pairs the last Beatles song with the band’s first UK single. Powerful musical bookends to The Beatles’ recorded canon, both songs are also featured in the expanded Anniversary Editions for 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) and 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’).

“Now And Then”

“Now And Then” is the last Beatles song, written and demoed by John Lennon in the mid/late 1970s. With John’s voice now pristine in the mix, “Now And Then” features elements from the 1995 sessions including George Harrison’s guitar parts, and vocal and instrumental parts recorded by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in 2022, along with a new arrangement for strings. Produced by Paul and Giles Martin, “Now And Then” is the last song recorded by all four Beatles, a powerful and fitting finale for the band’s timeless recordings.

“Love Me Do”

The song that started it all, “Love Me Do” was The Beatles’ first UK single in 1962. For the first time, the iconic song has been de-mixed using machine aided learning and remixed in true stereo. “Love Me Do” launched The Beatles’ journey to unparalleled worldwide success and acclaim that continues to this day.

Back cover

Together and apart, The Beatles have always had a talent for the unexpected. And now, 2023 brings one of the most anticipated releases of their long and endlessly eventful history. “Now And Then” is the last Beatles song – written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.

Arriving as a double A-side with the “Now and Then” single, “Love Me Do” was restored at Abbey Road by engineer Miles Showell from two 60-year-old 7” singles at Abbey Road before it was sent to Peter Jackson’s WingNut Films to be de-mixed using MAL audio technology and finally to Giles Martin & Sam Okell to be remixed in true stereo. The labels are Apple on the “Now and Then” side and red Parlophone on the “Love Me Do”-side.

Showell half-speed mastered the single along with both “Red” and “Blue”, Giles Martin and Sam Okell completed all stereo and Atmos mixes and Abbey Road’s Oli Morgan handled the Atmos masters.

Cassette edition very limited edition, mimicking Lennon’s demo cassette.


Paul says: “There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear. It’s quite emotional. And we all play on it, it’s a genuine Beatles recording. In 2023 to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s an exciting thing.”

Ringo says: “It was the closest we’ll ever come to having him back in the room, so it was very emotional for all of us. It was like John was there, you know. It’s far out.”

Olivia Harrison says: “Back in 1995, after several days in the studio working on the track, George felt the technical issues with the demo were insurmountable and concluded that it was not possible to finish the track to a high enough standard. If he were here today, Dhani and I know he would have whole-heartedly joined Paul and Ringo in completing the recording of ‘Now And Then.’”

Sean Ono Lennon says: “It was incredibly touching to hear them working together after all the years that Dad had been gone. It’s the last song my dad, Paul, George and Ringo got to make together. It’s like a time capsule and all feels very meant to be.”


“Now And Then” will be released worldwide at 2pm GMT / 10am EDT / 7am PDT on Thursday, November 2 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. The double A-side single pairs the last Beatles song with the first: the band’s 1962 debut UK single, “Love Me Do,” a truly fitting full-circle counterpart to “Now And Then.” Both songs are mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos, and the release features original cover art by renowned artist Ed Ruscha. The new music video for “Now And Then” will debut on Friday, November 3. More details including global premiere plans will be announced.

A 12-minute “Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song” documentary film, written and directed by Oliver Murray, will debut on November 1. The film’s global online premiere will be hosted on The Beatles’ YouTube channel at 7:30pm GMT / 3:30pm EDT / 12:30pm PDT. This poignant short film tells the story behind the last Beatles song, with exclusive footage and commentary from Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson.

“Now And Then” Credits:

Produced by Paul McCartney, Giles Martin
Additional Production: Jeff Lynne
Vocals: John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Backing Vocals: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
Guitars: George Harrison
Guitars, Bass, Piano, Electric Harpsichord, Shaker: Paul McCartney
Drums, Tambourine, Shaker: Ringo Starr

Additional Credits:

String Arrangement: Paul McCartney, Giles Martin, Ben Foster
Mixed by Spike Stent
Engineered by Geoff Emerick, Steve Orchard, Greg McAllister, Jon Jacobs, Steve Genewick, Bruce Sugar, Keith Smith
Source Separation / MAL Courtesy of WingNut Films Productions Ltd.
Head of Machine Learning: Emile de la Rey
Project Management: Adam Sharp

Recorded at Hog Hill Studio, Capitol Studios and Roccabella West
Mastered by Miles Showell

Project Producers: Jonathan Clyde and Guy Hayden
Executive Producer: Jeff Jones

Pre-order Now And Then

34 Responses

  1. Deirdre Kelly says:

    Tremendously exciting

  2. RR says:

    His pop art credentials notwithstanding, Ed Ruscha’s artwork is hideous. This emperor has no clothes. Shame!

  3. Blakey says:

    That cover….
    Should have got Klaus Voormann or Peter Blake to do a cover for it.

  4. Kevin says:

    Can’t we buy this on CD anywhere?

    I’m still not seeing any sign of this on Amazon.US, nor the expanded reissues for the Red and Blue albums.

  5. Fiendish Thingy says:

    $22US for a 7” vinyl single?

    For some young person being introduced to the Beatles for the first time, the expanded red/blue has quite a nice combination of hits and album tracks, however…they are all the Giles remixes, which would give a young person quite a distorted experience of how the Beatles actually sounded when the recordings were originally issued.

    I won’t be going anywhere near these atrocities.

    Thankfully, the 2009 mixes are still in print…

  6. mpb says:

    Will the love me do B-side be a remix of the Ringo version, the Alan White version, or a mash up of both?

  7. Bob says:

    While I’m pleased to see the Beatles release a package to hook a current audience, I’m slightly underwhelmed by this. No matter how many songs you put on it. For those of us that were alive back in 1973,(and remember the 4 LP Alpha to Omega set sold on TV that led to this series of releases) we faithfully bought every iteration along the way. Including: original vinyl and colored vinyl releases of the mid 70’s, CD releases in the late 80’s, early 90’s and remasters of the late 2000’s. A 2023 release doesn’t seem necessary regardless of the milestone year.
    It’s unfortunate because the “LAST” Beatles release deserves it’s own spotlight and chance to shine. Not stuck at the end of an expanded compilation. And for us long timers, closure, perhaps, of the greatest musical legend in our life times, deserves to be treated as such… And that cassette is too expensive as well. S&H nearly $25.00.

    • Stoneburner says:

      Is it just me, but why did you buy so many versions of the same thing? Pardon me for saying but that seems a bit daft.

  8. Filipe says:

    The cover is a bit lame, too simplistic, the back one is much better.
    But what’s really important is the music!

  9. Dave Cox says:

    Well all I can say is these new Beatles issues is just another money making exercise at the expense of their loyal fans. I have have bought all these tracks through the years many many times, so on this occasion I am going to pass and will buy only 1 copy of the vinyl single which is way overpriced and I don’t think much of it’s cover. I wonder why there was no cd single as if we could not guess !!!!!! They should have included Real Love and Free As A Bird on this collection but no doubt they will turn up on another overpriced compilation in the future. In my opinion they should have released an Anthology 4 with the lead track being Now And Then which would have made for a much more interesting listen for the fans. I would have normally bought both box sets but not this time and I also have stopped buying Ringo’s vastly overpriced 4 track eps.

    Dave Cox

  10. Blakey says:

    I’ll get New Order’s 12′ of ‘True Faith/1963’ instead.
    180g vinyl, Lovely Peter Saville cover, inner sleeve, and it’s cheaper than the ‘Now and Then’ 7′ single.

  11. Andrew Holliday says:

    ‘Now and Then’ was clearly intended, 1990s technology/George’s opinion notwithstanding, to be on Anthology 3 – which is probably where it still deserves to be. At the very least the single should have included the two previous outliers (Free as a Bird/Real Love-which (I’ve just realised) could also now be remixed sans the cassette piano bits).

    None of this really matters – we’re all going to buy it anyway (in some form), although I have to admit that Love Me Do in Dolby Atmos isn’t something that strikes me as having much immersive audio potential….

  12. Shad Radna says:

    I’ve read the comments so I know nobody is buying any of these releases. But on the off-chance that somebody in the UK is interested, HMV’s red 12″ has for the moment switched back from Sold Out to Pre-Order. Whether that’s a mistake or they’ve had some cancellations, obviously I don’t know.

    • James P says:

      Thanks, Shad. Rather irritatingly the prices fell since my early pre-order at HMV, so I cancelled and ordered again.

  13. Kozmo says:

    I’ve ordered the CD single from Amazon.UK, since the US store won’t list it and they completely buggered up my attempt to buy it as a download and then disconnected my call when I contacted customer service. And many pages won’t load or can’t be navigated today, to find a work around. Typical lousy experience from Amazon.US. They don’t list any “deluxe set” of the Red and Blue CDs either, nor is “Now and Then” listed on the tracks for the Blue CD. I’ll have to go to YouTube to listen to the new song but I can’t own it? I sure miss the days when you could go to a shop and BUY a copy of a new recording.

    • Karl Egil Stubsjoen says:

      Is this still a problem? I live in Norway and accessed both the New Blue and the Now and Then single, on Apple Music yesterday

      • Kozmo says:

        I received the UK CD single yesterday from; and eventually I as able to also download my mp3 purchase from, but it took days of effort. Only will permit me to purchase music downloads within the US. I don’t have experience with Apple Music, I’m afraid. I also FINALLY got my order for the “new” red and Blue CD sets processed at but only after mistakenly ordering (and having to return) the old red and blue sets because those listings kept appearing when I Searched for them and were misleadingly labeled. Sheesh!

    • Karl Egil Stubsjoen says:

      I preordered last week! 😉 In a Norwegian, online music store.

  14. Robert Jay says:

    When the song was released, I felt it was just “ok”. However I will say after seeing the music video for the song, I like it much more. Should we base all music on the video is the quandary. After all, Sgt. Pepper was strictly music and not a music video for each song.

  15. Kozmo says:

    Has anyone explained what the back cover art is supposed to mean? I struggle to figure out what the significance is of these disparate elements. Too clever by half, or just a thrown-together bunch of rubbish?

    • admin says:

      It’s photo of a clock featuring the words “Now and Then.” According to the sleeve notes in the sheet which accompanies the single, the clock was made by American artist Chris Giffin, based in Jefferson, Oregon. She had a distinctive style, producing unique artworks from recycled and found objects. George Harrison bought the clock in 1997 from a shop in Providence, RI and kept for years in Friar Park.
      Last year, apparently, Olivia Harrison decided to have a closer look at the clock. “I put it on the mantelpiece,” she recalled. “Then the phone rang. It’s Paul, and he begins to remind me of this third song with ‘Real Love’ and ‘Free As a Bird.’ I said, ‘I remember it.’ He said, ‘It’s called “Now and Then.”’ I’m standing there with the phone in one hand, looking at the clock that said Now and Then. I was sort of dumbfounded. I said, ‘I think this is George saying it’s OK.’” Of course, Beatles fans being the kind of people they are, before that story was out, started to search for clues in the clock.

  16. Kozmo says:

    I really like the track but it has such a sad, melancholy air it makes me cry to hear it. That and all that surrounds it — the last Beatle recording. Exeunt omnes, what a journey — those guys have been a constant throughout my entire life, from kidhood to now.

  17. Blakey says:

    An interesting fact. The Red and Blue albums were compiled by Allan Steckler. The same man who compiled the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks 1964-1971 best of.

    Allen Klein instigated both, but Steckler chose the tracks.

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