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Now and Then, the final Beatles song brought to life by AI, is officially here

It’s the last time we’ll ever hear a new track with contributions from John Lennon.

Now and Then, the final Beatles song brought to life with a little help from AI, has officially landed.

The track – which has been teased extensively over the past few months – is the final time we’ll ever hear sonic contributions from all four Beatles: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

It’s a ballad driven by a soothing bed of acoustic guitar and piano, with John Lennon’s unmistakable vocals brought to life once more, accompanied by vocals from Paul McCartney.

Now and Then was originally written and recorded by John Lennon circa 1977 as a solo piano home demo, but was left unfinished. That is, until the recent artificial intelligence boom, which has enabled the surviving Beatles to put the finishing touches on it some 46 years later.

A music video is set to arrive tomorrow (3 November), directed by Peter Jackson, the mastermind behind 2021’s The Beatles: Get Back documentary series.

“When Apple asked me to make the music video,” Jackson says, “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.”

Jackson’s anxieties prevented him from saying yes, and he even claims he never actually agreed to make the video.

“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…” he adds.

“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.”

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