The One Show: The Beatles ‘The Last Song’ celebrated on special show
Back in the mid-1990s, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison came together to record new Beatles tracks.
The three surviving Fab Four members had been given John Lennon demos by Yoko Ono that had been recorded in his New York City apartment before his untimely death in 1980.
For the first time in 25 years, The Beatles would have new singles in the charts with Free as a Bird and Real Love, released in 1995 and 1996 respectively.
However, the trio had given up on the third song Now and Then due to the difficulty of extracting Lennon’s voice from his piano on the recording.
Nearly 30 years later and with the help of modern technology, The Beatles: Get Back director Peter Jackson was able to help Sir Paul and Sir Ringo do just that.
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Of course, George Harrison died in 2001 which hampered the project but his part from those original session have also been included in this 2023 single. Dubbed the last Beatles song, Now and Then was released today resurrecting both Lennon and Harrison to work just one more time with McCartney and Starr.
The track opens with Macca counting the four metaphysically in, before Lennon’s distinct vocals open what is a quite moody and apologetic love song; something rather typical of his later years. Meanwhile, Harrison’s guitar is heard gently weeping in his signature style, with Macca having also added a slide guitar as a tribute to him.
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If anything, the rest is reminiscent of Free Bird’s smooth but slightly “dreary tone” compared to the upbeat and more Beatlesy vibes of Real Love.
The Beatles’ light, sunny vibes don’t really shine through this track, but instead reflect the emotional place of where Lennon was at, at the time.
It seems somewhat of a shame to complete the Fab Four’s back catalogue with such a sullen ending, but just having another Beatles song is well worth the wait, especially for the biggest fans.
The official music video of Now and Then directed by Peter Jackson arrives tomorrow at 2pm GMT.
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