Just over 60 years after the release of their first single “Love Me Do”, we’ve reached the terminus of The Beatles’ career with the reflective, poignant final single “Now and Then”. Written by John Lennon some years before his death, and finished by Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr over four decades later, the new song marks the end of a celebrated and culture-defining band started by the Fab Four in Liverpool who went on to conquer the world.
So, how did they do it? The remaining Beatles were made aware of the song’s existence after Yoko Ono passed the demo recording on to Paul McCartney in 1994. The cassette, branded with the words ‘For Paul’, contained various songs Lennon had written at his piano in New York. Two singles initially spawned from the demos, with “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” released across 1995-96 to relative fanfare. Despite attempts to complete “Now and Then” at the time, there was a growing dissatisfaction with the track due to the lesser audio quality of Lennon’s voice on the recording.
Using modern technologies like AI to help isolate the vocals on Lennon’s original demo track, Paul and Ringo were able to complete the backing arrangement with a freshly written accompaniment, as well as incorporating recordings of guitar work from George Harrison, captured during the initial attempt to rework the track. The final result was a thoroughly authentic Beatles song, and a perfect way to say farewell.
The Official Digital Sheet Music
Want to play the song yourself? Get instant access to the official digital sheet music and be among the first to learn and play “Now and Then”, arranged here for Piano, Vocal & Guitar! The song is available now to buy and view on Musicroom.