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Technology provides Beatles’ unexpected return

The+members+of+the+Beatles+have+always+been+keen+on+utilizing+technology+to+enhance+their+unique+sound.+Photo+via+EMI.
The members of the Beatles have always been keen on utilizing technology to enhance their unique sound. Photo via EMI.

At the start of the month – nearly 22 years after the death of George Harrison and 43 since John Lennon’s murder – music fans around the world were shocked to see “New music from the Beatles” advertised on their social media. 

“Now and Then,” the band’s latest release, has since been dubbed the last Beatles song. 

The song was remastered by the band’s two remaining members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, after they revisited a demo created by John Lennon. 

Originally, “Now and Then” was supposed to be grouped with “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love,” which were gifted to Harrison, McCartney, and Starr by Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono. “Free As a Bird” and “Real Love” were remastered and released as a part of “The Beatles Anthology,” which was a multimedia homage to the Beatles released in 1995. 

However, “Now and Then” was originally scrapped because the piano was too loud and Lennon’s voice was too quiet, despite work that all three remaining Beatles did on the track.. 

The remaining members of the band had accepted that “Now and Then” was a lost cause. And then modern technology came along that permitted the separation of Lennon’s vocals and piano. 

The accompanying short film, titled Now and Then – The Last Beatles Song, showcases the journey of Peter Jackson and his team – who also worked with the Beatles on their Get Back documentary series – using their unique software to restore Lennon’s voice. 

From there, McCartney and Starr came up with original instrumentation, including a guitar solo that mimicked Harrison’s style and a full orchestra. 

Many listeners, including the band members themselves, question whether it’s ethical to repurpose Lennon’s unreleased demos after his passing, but McCartney himself said it’s what Lennon would have wanted. 

The song has similar lyrics and stylistic choices to “Across the Universe,” which Lennon once said was one of the best songs the Beatles ever wrote. 

Another element of “Now and Then” that has come into question is whether or not it is truly an authentic Beatles song, but the answer is yes. All four Beatles have genuinely worked on it, and it is the last song to ever be created by all four Beatles.

As for the quality of the song itself, “Now and Then” takes listeners on a four-minute, chill-inducing journey that perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the Beatles. 

The members of the Beatles have always been keen on utilizing technology to enhance their unique sound. Combining that with Lennon’s raw vocals provides unforeseen closure, it and creates a beautiful end to the Beatles’ extraordinary legacy. 

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About the Contributor
Aria Majcher
Aria Majcher, Entertainment Editor
Entertainment Editor Aria Majcher is a senior in her second year on the Purbalite. If she’s not spending all of her money at a record store, it’s probably because she’s spending all of her money at a concert. 
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