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Beatles...Now and Then


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And make no mistake... this is really a monumental thing. For the legions of people who glommed onto the Beatles when they were still a working band, and for the generations that picked up on them later, "Now and Then" puts a fitting cap on their legacy — fitting because it's a moving, haunting, poignant song featuring all four of these legends.

Think about the span of time involved: the John-Paul-George-Ringo lineup solidified in 1962, Beatlemania changed the world in 1964, and they broke up in 1970. Twenty-four years later, in 1994, the "Three-tles" reunion produced "Real Love" and "Free as a Bird," both with John Lennon vocals. At the time, Paul, George, and Ringo talked about a third track they worked on but didn't complete. I remember hearing McCartney say in subsequent years that at some point, he wanted to go back and nick "Now and Then," finishing off the third of the three tracks they set out to produce.

Now here we are in 2023 — 61 years after their first album — and a new Beatles song is about to drop. Ob-la-di, ob-la-da! 

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Absolutely beautiful. An amazing realization of a song John Lennon started... and the others finished up in 1994 and 2023. It's got so many Beatle-y touches in it, and the enhancements are so clean and bright. 

I really dug and still dig "Real Love" and especially "Free as a Bird" — to me, this one ranks right up there, on the same level, as a song... but of course is even better in terms of sound quality.

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I like it and actually went to bed last night with the melody for the verse in my head. Guess that means it’s a good tune.

Wonder if they'll reprocess John's vocal on “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love” using this technology for an updated (improved) sound? They probably already did it but are holding it to not steal any thunder from "Now and Then."

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Agree, Bernie. That pairing — Paul and John, now and then — is kind of stunning, really.

The key to the technological breakthrough, as explained in the trailer video, was the ability to isolate John's voice. That made the harmonizing a lot easer.


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These fellas are definitely the timeline of my life, beginning with baby me bouncing on my mom's lap during the Ed Sullivan appearances. 

I spent my funds building my Beatles library both on vinyl and on the bookshelves.  My friends and I formed an all girl Beatles cover band.  I was inconsolable when Lennon was assasinated and when George passed.

I wrote scholarly papers. 

As I traveled overseas, I combed record shops for rare and foreign Beatles' records.

One year when I returned home to spend Christmas with my folks, my mom mentioned that one of her students had written a paper on the Beatles and asked if I would read it for her as she hadn't had a chance.  I sifted through the papers on her desk until I found it.  I went to the library, sat in my favorite chair and began to laugh as I read the paper.

"Mom... Hey, Mom!"

"Yes, Susie?"

"Hey, Mom.  You've got a plagiarist in your class."


"Yup!  This first page was lifted straight from The Beatles An Illustrated Record by Roy Carr & Tony Tyler."

I went to my childhood bedroom and pulled my original 1975 edition that I had left on the shelf when I went to college and handed it to her along with the plagiarist's paper.

Boy was that kid shocked after Christmas break when Dr. B gave him the choice of a zero or two weeks to write a new paper.  This was pre-Internet, so he had copied it straight from the book.  I'm sure he wondered how she knew that book, but it had been one of my teenage Beatles bibles, and I knew it by heart.

So another chapter closes in my life with the Beatles with this magnificent song.

It is the last one.

And I love it... and them.




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Wow. Just watched the Peter Jackson video, and it is as you advertised — very moving. Hard not to be impressed (and choked up) at how the video weaves in Beatles, solo Beatles, and Paul and Ringo today. I will need to watch it multiple times more because I know there are details I missed in this first viewing. 

I got such a kick out of the "Hello Goodbye" video snippets, especially of John clowning around. And the early George, Ringo, and Paul video snippets are so perfectly juxtaposed with the 1994 sessions and with Paul and Ringo today. 

When I listened to the audio-only version of the song, I thought I heard Ringo's voice in the harmonies, and the new footage shows I wasn't hearing things. 

Bravo... the Beatles were one of a kind, never to be matched in terms of sheer impact and musical genius.

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