Acoustic Sounds

The Beatles

Now and Then



Now and Then
By: Tracking Angle

November 2nd, 2023





The Beatles' "Now and Then" Music Video Details And Global Premier Plans


London – November 2, 2023 – As announced last Thursday, October 26, the last Beatles song, “Now And Then” is out today worldwide. Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe are pleased to share details and updated premiere plans for the song’s evocative new music video, which Peter Jackson has directed in his first foray into music video production.

The “Now And Then” music video will premiere worldwide tomorrow (Friday, November 3) at 1pm GMT / 9am EDT / 6am PDT on The Beatles’ YouTube channel. The poignant and humorous video invites viewers to celebrate The Beatles’ timeless and enduring love for one another with John, Paul, George and Ringo as they create the last Beatles song.

Tune in HERE tomorrow at 1pm GMT / 9am EDT / 6am PDT to join others from around the world to celebrate The Beatles’ “Now And Then” music video premiere.

Speaking about directing the music video, Peter Jackson says:

“When Apple asked me to make the music video, I was very reluctant - I thought my next few months would be a hell of a lot more fun if that tricky task was somebody else’s problem, and I could be like any other Beatles fan, enjoying the night-before-Christmas anticipation as the release of a new Beatles song and music video approached - in 1995, l loved the childlike excitement I felt as the release of Free As A Bird was inching closer.

I could have that experience once again - all I had to do was say no to The Beatles.

To be honest, just thinking about the responsibility of having to make a music video worthy of the last song The Beatles will ever release produced a collection of anxieties almost too overwhelming to deal with. My lifelong love of The Beatles collided into a wall of sheer terror at the thought of letting everyone down. This created intense insecurity in me because I’d never made a music video before, and was not able to imagine how I could even begin to create one for a band that broke up over 50 years ago, had never actually performed the song, and had half of its members no longer with us.

It was going to be far easier to do a runner.

I just needed a little time to figure out a good reason for turning The Beatles down - so I never actually agreed to make the music video for Now And Then (in fact I still haven’t to this day).

I told Apple how the lack of suitable footage worried me. We’d need to use a lot of rare and unseen film, but there’s very little … Nothing at all seemed to exist showing Paul, George and Ringo working on Now And Then in 1995 … There’s not much footage of John in the mid-seventies when he wrote the demo … I grizzled about the lack of unseen Beatles footage from the ’60s … And they didn’t even shoot any footage showing Paul and Ringo working on the song last year.

A Beatles music video must have great Beatles footage at its core. There’s no way actors or CGI Beatles should be used. Every shot of The Beatles needed to be genuine. By now I really had no idea how anyone could make a Now And Then music video if they didn’t have decent footage to work with, and this was far from being a lame excuse. My fear and insecurity now had solid reasons why they should prevail and allow me to say no without looking too much like a chicken.

I knew The Beatles don’t take no for an answer if their minds are set on something - but they didn’t even wait for me to say no. I found myself swept along as they quickly addressed my concerns. Paul and Ringo shot footage of themselves performing and sent that to me. Apple unearthed over 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, and gave all that to me. Sean and Olivia found some great unseen home movie footage and sent that. To cap things off, a few precious seconds of The Beatles performing in their leather suits, the earliest known film of The Beatles and never seen before, was kindly supplied by Pete Best.

Watching this footage completely changed the situation - I could see how a music video could be made. Actually, I found it far easier if I thought of it as making a short movie, so that’s what I did… My lack of confidence with music videos didn’t matter anymore if I wasn’t making one.

Even so, I still had no solid vision for what this short film should be - so I turned to the song for guidance.

After we had separated John’s voice on the demo tape over a year ago, Giles had produced an early mix of Now And Then. This had been sent to me back in 2022. I loved it. Since then I must have listened to Now And Then over 50 times, purely for pleasure.

Now I started listening to it intently for different reasons. I was hoping that ideas or inspiration for the short film would somehow float up from the music. And that began to happen. As I kept listening, it felt like the song was creating ideas and images that started forming in my head - without any conscious effort from me.

I teamed up with Jabez Olssen, my Get Back editor, to try and figure ways the new film footage could be used to support these wispy ideas. It was a very organic process, and we slowly started build little fragments, sliding pictures and music around in different ways until things began to click in.

We wanted the short film to bring a few tears to the eye, but generating emotion using only archive footage is a tricky thing. Fortunately, the simple power of this beautiful song did a lot of the work for us, and we finished the first 30 or 40 secs of the film fairly quickly.

Having done that, we jumped straight to the ending and tried to craft something that could adequately sum up the enormity of The Beatles’ legacy - in the last few seconds of their final recording. This proved to be impossible. Their contribution to the world is too immense, and their wondrous gift of music has become part of our DNA and now defies description.

I realized we needed the imagination of every viewer to do what we couldn’t, and have each viewer create their own personal moment of farewell to The Beatles - but we had to gently steer everyone to that place. I had some vague ideas, but didn’t really know how to achieve this.

Fortunately, Dhani Harrison happened to be visiting NZ at this time. I discussed the ending with him, and described one vague idea I’d been toying with. His eyes immediately filled with tears - so that is the way we went.

Jabez and I now began thinking about the middle section. We could actually watch the beginning and end now, and quickly realised our initial plan of having similar emotional power continue through this middle section would be completely wrong. That was not who The Beatles were. At their core they were irreverent and funny, and the middle section should capture that spirit. We needed to laugh at The Beatles, and laugh with them. They were always sending themselves up - and the more seriously other people took them, the more they would clown around.

Luckily we found a collection of unseen outtakes in the vault, where The Beatles are relaxed, funny and rather candid. These become the spine of our middle section, and we wove the humour into some footage shot in 2023. The result is pretty nutty and provided the video with much needed balance between the sad and the funny.

It was finally finished after WētāFX completed a few simple, but tricky VFX shots.

To be honest, while we hope we’ve given The Beatles a suitable final farewell, that’s something you’ll need to decide for yourselves when it’s finally released - only a few days from now.

Having got to the end, I’m very happy I’m not waiting for the release of somebody else’s Now And Then music video. I have genuine pride in what we made, and I’ll cherish that for years to come. A huge thanks to Apple Corps and the Fabs for giving me all the support I needed - and not allowing me to wriggle away.”

The music video’s global premiere follows today's worldwide release of The Beatles’ “Now And Then”/“Love Me Do” double A-side single. “Now And Then” was 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. 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.

Premiered yesterday (Wednesday, November 1), ‘Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song’ is a 12-minute short film telling the story of how “Now And Then” was finally finished, almost five decades after it was originally written. This poignant short film, directed by Oliver Murray, tells the story behind the last Beatles song, with exclusive footage and commentary from Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson. The short film is available for global viewing on The Beatles’ YouTube channel (HERE). The film’s trailer is available to watch HERE.

On November 10, The Beatles’ 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) and 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’) collections will be released in 2023 Edition packages by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. Since their first incarnations appeared 50 years ago, these albums have introduced successive generations to The Beatles’ music. Both collections’ track lists have been expanded for the new editions, with all the songs mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios, aided by WingNut Films’ audio de-mixing technology. The UK single version of “Love Me Do” now kicks off 1962-1966 (2023 Edition) and “Now And Then” is featured on 1967-1970 (2023 Edition) to complete the career-spanning collections, which also include new essays written by journalist and author John Harris.

Music Specifications


  • 2023-11-02 11:41:02 PM

    CHRIS ASSELLS wrote:

    THE SONG - I'm pre-sold, I've got everything they've put out in mono and stereo on vinyl and CD as well as stacks and stacks of bootlegs. I've got all of those Deluxe reissues and even bought that goofy "Love" thing. Like many of you I was there when Beatlemania was a thing and like many it stayed with me. I am a Beatle freak and going in I wanted to love it, really love it. Does it measure up to Beatles songs released in their lifetime? Of course it doesn't. While it's better than "Real Love" and "Free as a Bird" it doesn't come close to classic Beatles and expecting it to is asking too much. Hearing John's voice sing something new is a gift. Ringo's distinctive drums show how indispensable he is to The Beatles sound (and gave me little goosebumps when they came in). Paul mimics George's slide guitar playing as a tribute. A great John melody and that voice. It's all there, but ... Like "Real Love" and "Free as a Bird" it sounds like Beatles filtered through ELO and while that's a good thing for ELO it's not necessarily a good thing for the Beatles. The lyrics seem not up to John's standards. Feels like a first draft which is probably what it is. The lyrics are as simple as something off their first LP. Word was that Paul has long wanted to finish this and maybe viewed the lyrics as being about himself and The Beatles. Maybe he's right. I don't know. Pretty sure it's about Yoko. I could be wrong. Anyway, who am I to complain? It's a gift. The Beatles gave us so much that they owe us nothing.

    Maybe it'll grow on me or maybe it'll be like "Real Love" and "Free as a Bird" where I'll listen to it when it pops up but not seek it out. For now it's new John and that's enough.

    • 2023-11-03 11:47:58 AM

      Todd wrote:

      I’m with you. It’s fun to hear them on something new. The video is really fun. The song to me is just so-so

    • 2023-11-03 12:33:03 PM

      JACK L wrote:


      "Does it measure up to Beatles songs released in their lifetime? Of course it doesn't. While it's better than "Real Love" and "Free as a Bird" it doesn't come close to classic Beatles " qtd C Assells

      Agreed. Musically & sonically, it DOES NOT !

      Yes, "Now & Then" a never-heard single dubbed "the last Beatles song" is now available on all streaming platforms worldwide. Some 5 decades after the Fab Four broke up, the "Now and Then" traces its origins to a John Lennon demo from the late 70s.

      The selling point of this song now just released is the additional vocals & instrumentation recorded by Paul, George & Ring Starr in mid 1990s, some 3 decades from todate !

      Why taken sooo long to release just now? It was a huge technology issue which was not resolved until last year - to separate cleanly John Lennon's vocals from the original recorded demo.

      So now the finalized version in "Now and Then" features the electrical & acoustic guitars recorded in 1995 by Harrison, a new drum part by Starr, plus additional bass guitar, piano & slide guitar solo from Paul McCartney.

      Thanks for the latest AI technology employed for Beatles' old songs to make them 'listenable". More to come according to Peter Jackson, the production director !

      Sonically, I would not go for any digital remixes as they do not please my vinyl-tube spoiled ears. Thanks goodness, my Beatles Red Album which I picked up from a closing down record shop locally some 20 years ago (for only 10 bucks!!) gives me timeless Beatlemania enjoyment thru my tube home audio system.

      For Beatles new remixes, thanks but no thanks !

      JACK L

  • 2023-11-03 01:16:45 AM

    oldlistener2222 wrote:

    Heard the song, it's a dreary dirge, there's good reason why many demos are never fully formed into releasable songs. This should have stayed on that cassette. Sound quality is typical GM - blah Music 3, Sound 3

    • 2023-11-03 03:07:48 AM

      Max Bisgrove wrote:

      It's beautiful and you know the great thing about it is you don't ever have to listen to it again and I can listen as often as I like. It's a great system don't you think? Be sure and keep us informed about all the other new releases you don't like. We have a right to know.

      • 2023-11-03 08:52:46 PM

        oldlistener2222 wrote:

        Will do ;) Not a fan of the new Rollins Stones album either :)

  • 2023-11-03 11:19:54 AM

    bwb wrote:

  • 2023-11-03 12:07:19 PM

    PeterPani wrote:

    The song could be charming, but the sound is too "digital" for my ears and not charming. It is difficult to hear John's voice out of it.

    • 2023-11-03 12:28:50 PM

      bwb wrote:

      It is a chance to hear the 4 of them playing on the same recording for what is probably the last time. It is remarkable that they were able to make it even listenable. Criticizing it for the lack of audiophile qualities completely and utterly misses what this is all about.

      • 2023-11-03 02:08:06 PM

        JACK L wrote:


        "Criticizing it for the lack of audiophile qualities completely and utterly misses what this is all about." qtd bwb

        Like it or not, is an audiophile platform where music & sound quality go hand-in-hand.

        If the sound quality of "Now & Then" was not a demanding issue yet to be resolved, it would not have waited for nearly 3 decades (from 1995) to launch this "last Beatles song" just now.

        Listening to decent sound quality is believing

        JACK L

    • 2023-11-03 02:27:52 PM

      JACK L wrote:


      "but the sound is too "digital" for my ears and not charming." qtd PeterPani

      YES, my vinyl/tube spoiled ears just can't tolerate any music sound toooo clinical.

      Digital remixes like this 'last Beatles song" where soundtracks were done at different locations & different time eras is a worst example of digitality !!!!

      I know too well as I got a few 24bit-original-mastered reference CDs & over 40 digitally mastered/remastered LPs which are yet to impress me as much as my 1,000+ historic analogue LPs.

      So please tell me why should we analogue audiophiles want to pay a premium price to such "uncharming" digital sound ???

      • 2023-11-03 06:33:40 PM

        bwb wrote:

        and you also completely miss the point. It is not about creating an audiophile release. It is about getting the best that you possibly can with what you have to work with. It waited 3 decades until they had the technology to extract the vocal from the cassette. Then they did they best they could with this digital extraction. You can either bitch about how it is a digital mix or you can enjoy hearing the 4 of them "together" one last time. There are many recordings of wonderful music that do not meet audiophile standards. I choose to look past the limitations inherent in the process and enjoy the music.... I'm not suggesting that you pay a premium. I have no intention of buying it on vinyl. It sounds just fine streaming in my car.

        • 2023-11-04 12:49:25 PM

          JACK L wrote:


          " It waited 3 decades until they had the technology to extract the vocal from the cassette." qtd bwb.

          Really? I can "extract" music from any music cassettes into digital media in a few minutes !

          Please read my above post properly: " to separate CLEARLY John Lennon's vocals from the original recorded demo".

          To make John's voice listenable from the background noise/hum etC etc, it needs super top technology to do it right - AI - which is available to do the job successful only last year !!!!

          Me too, I listen to my favourite music off my USB while driving my car, that includes my favourite Beatles songs. Yet it can never replace my serious music sessions at home !

          Listening is believing

          JACK L

          • 2023-11-05 01:59:18 PM

            bwb wrote:

            "Really? I can "extract" music from any music cassettes into digital media in a few minutes !",,,,,,,,,,, Yes, really, because you are not capable of doing what they waited 30 years to do ...i.e. you are not capable of cleanly pulling out just the vocal and leaving everything else behind. THAT is what made this release possible.....check out the video of how they made it. You will hear it about 7 minutes in to hear it....... I know if you respond you will put some spin on all of this because you are incapable of ever even hinting that you might not be right... so go right ahead, it should at least be entertaining.

  • 2023-11-03 06:50:41 PM

    Michael Fremer wrote:

    I agree with most of the sentiments here. It goes on too long, it sounds like a Jeff Lynne ELO production. It was fun to hear once but will I play it again? Probably not. As for the Red and Blue, will be interesting to hear the remixes in this context but I really think these hits packages should have used the original mixes because that's what they were.....I hope Apple Corp realizes there's a big market for the original stereo tapes to be used to again cut AAA records.....

    • 2023-11-04 01:48:16 PM

      JACK L wrote:


      "I really think these hits packages should have used the original mixes because that's what they were..." qtd M Fremer

      I agree the origin master tapes should be used for the new remixes.

      But as posted above, this new remixes is made up of 1970s Beatles music soundtracks with the added-on music in 1995 by the "Threetles" - Paul, George & Ringo (per Jeff Lynne, the producer)

      My point is such remixes done at different venues & different eras would not sound as good as it should be if this new remixes were done in 2 separate discs instead of one disc combining the 2 performances 1970s+1995..

      Strictly on how it sounds as an analogue audiophile like yours truly.

      Enough said.

      JACK L

  • 2023-11-03 07:34:23 PM

    JuzDisGuy wrote:

    Wow, my god you people are insufferable. I am with the minority here, and think it's a good song. I also love the video. And I love that this was a of love for John's ex-bandmates, his ex-wife, his son and all those involved who love the Beatles. When you can't set aside the gear to appreciate what this is and how lucky we are to live in a time where technology allows us the privilege to enjoy a song that otherwise would have never seen the light of day, wow, just wow. Instead we have to listen to "it sounds too digital", "it doesn't measure up", it's too long", "it's dreary" and perhaps the worst offender of all, "ooh, it hurts my vinyl/tube spoiled ears." Honestly, what a bunch of Mary's you are. I too have a megabuck system, but I can also enjoy the music for the music.

    • 2023-11-04 12:06:35 PM

      JACK L wrote:


      "I too have a megabuck system, but I can also enjoy the music for the music." qtd JDisGuy

      Who needs/wants a "megabuck system" to enjoy music ??

      FYI, my elder son, graduated from my city's Royal Conservatory of Music (founded 1886) in classical piano theory & practice when he was only 18 before entering for a professional discipline. He never owns any audios at all. Yet he enjoys bigtime his music from his laptop minispeakers at home & earbud music-to-go from his iPhone !

      Yet he is a perfect pitch! So often he sits down quietly beside me during my classic music listening in my basement audio den & tells me what pitch of the music being played in split second without fail whenever I test his music sensing.

      JACK L

    • 2023-11-04 02:02:24 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      I love the backstory as well and of course it brought a tear to my eye... and it's okay musically in a Jeff Lynne sorta way...I'm glad they did it....

  • 2023-11-03 08:18:57 PM

    bwb wrote:

    +1 ,,,,