Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are in the public eye again thanks to a new belated Beatles track. The pair still marvel at the band’s success. The fanfare for the group’s supposed final track, “Now and Then”, proves that The Beatles are as relevant as ever.
Despite its humble beginnings in Liverpool, the band’s two surviving members never anticipated the remarkable longevity they would achieve. “None of us thought it would last a week!” Ringo Starr quipped to the Sunday Times of London. “Paul was going to write, I was going to open a hairdresser’s, George would get a garage,” he added. “But it went on and then it ended. And at the right time, I think. But, you know, that didn’t stop us playing with each other.”
The Beatles’ last track, “Now and Then,” released on Thursday, touched generations of fans. This farewell from the Fab Four showcases John Lennon on vocals and George Harrison on guitar, brought back to life through modern technology. As Paul McCartney looks back on the past, he echoes Ringo Starr’s astonishment at the timeless appeal of The Beatles, who remain one of the most cherished bands in the history of music.
Paul McCartney Agress with Ringo Starr’s Assessment About the Longevity of The Beatles
“When we started, we thought that, maybe, we’d have 10 years — that was the maximum span for a rock ‘n’ roll group,” McCartney admitted to the Sunday Times. Although their estimation was largely accurate as far as The Beatles’ time recording together, their music has managed to captivate and inspire subsequent generations of listeners, even long after they called it quits.
“Now and Then” first took shape in 1977, when Lennon recorded a rough piano draft in his Dakota apartment in New York City. Two years later, he was tragically murdered.
In the 1990s, Yoko Ono shared one of Lennon’s old demo tapes with the remaining band members. McCartney, Harrison, and Starr attempted to use Lennon’s tape as the foundation for a new Beatles song. However, technological limitations prevented them from extracting Lennon’s muffled voice from the piano recording. The project was put on hold.
Recently, director Peter Jackson revisited it in the 2021 Beatles documentary Get Back. With state-of-the-art equipment, he split the parts to create a new recording. He also released a video to accompany this historic track. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr individually contributed new recordings on their respective instruments, while a string section was incorporated to enhance the depth of Lennon’s composition.
“It’s strange when you think about it,” McCartney explained to the Sunday Times. “There’s John, in his apartment, banging away at a piano doing a demo. And now we’ve restored it and it’s a crystal-clear, beautiful vocal.”
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