THE BEATLES' LAST EVER NEW SONG, "NOW AND THEN," CROSSES A GREAT GENERATIONAL DIVIDE
Kayla Moreno ⋅ Nov 18, 2023
The Beatles are often hailed as the greatest band who ever lived. Their massive success is hard to beat; few other artists have managed to generate fans so long after the band breaks up, especially with the finality of said breakup. Still, millions across the world, myself included, were stupendously astounded by the opportunity to hear a new Beatles song in 2023. Some of us grew up with parents and grandparents who idolized The Beatles, the same way we have icons like Taylor Swift to guide the way. I knew this was a special moment before I even connected my AirPods to my iPhone's Bluetooth, a statement that feels extra magical considering how long it's been since the track was initially recorded in the 1970s.
A song like "Now And Then" cannot be reviewed with the approach I normally take. Of course, I knew it would be good – it is The Beatles, after all. However, this song is a technological triumph. Even the AI-resistant cannot deny that this use of technology is incredible for the sake of preserving history. The enhancement of John Lennon's vocals does not feel forged; instead, they are naturally integrated, as though he could effortlessly walk into the studio today. This is especially important to recognize, as it's noted The Beatles tried to record "Now And Then" from a Lennon demo, but the vocals couldn't be isolated properly without the advancements that exist today in 2023.
It's amazing to me that The Beatles are still innovating. "Now And Then" is a great song on its own; Lennon's haunting vocal melodies are memorable, and the instrumentation from the band is as clean as it ever was. Integrating technology that Lennon never got to see in his lifetime, to release his work to the world one last time, is a true testament to The Beatles' legacy. Consequently, the lyrics do feel like a goodbye note, giving listeners room to assume that Lennon would have signed off on this being their last hurrah as a group.
I feel extremely fortunate that my grandma used to wake me up each morning with The Beatles on vinyl, and that she used to tell me stories of what it was like to be one of the world's original fangirls. She would have adored "Now And Then."
Stream "Now And Then" by The Beatles on Spotify here.
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