Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

The Beatles just dropped a new song

“Now and Then” is a long-awaited masterpiece
Jenna Taylor





This is a big deal — maybe the biggest deal. The Beatles just dropped a new song, their last song, in fact, and it is a masterpiece. Reminiscent, longing and hopeful, “Now and Then” is the Beatles’ final song, and we are lucky to be alive to hear it. 


In case you did not already know, the Beatles formed in Liverpool in 1960. The Beatles are Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and they are the most influential band of all time. 


“Now and Then” started in the ‘70s. After the Beatles broke up in 1969, John Lennon became a stay-at-home dad. He stopped touring and fulfilling record label obligations, but his musical output remained noteworthy. Many of his songs made it onto his various albums before his death in 1980, but several never left the cassettes he recorded them on. 


At least until 1995, when the three remaining Beatles met up to record new music for the first time without Lennon. Yoko Ono gave them some tapes of Lennon’s old demos, and this is where “Now and Then” was found. 

“To hear John’s voice, that’s a thing that we should cherish,” Harrison explained during a recording featured in the short film that was released along with the single.

  Sadly, technology was not advanced enough at the time, and Lennon’s voice could not be separated from the piano present in the demo, making his vocals unusable. 


Sadly, the time was not right in 2001, either.

“In 2001, we lost George,” McCartney explained in the short film. “It took almost a quarter of a century for us to wait until the right moment to tackle ‘Now and Then’ again.”


In 2022, things finally lined up. McCartney and Starr felt it was time to record the Beatles’ final song, and technology had advanced enough to allow them to do so. 

Thanks to the techniques that Peter Jackson developed and utilized in the docuseries “The Beatles: Get Back,” he was able to separate Lennon’s vocals from the piano. 

“Since Peter took John off and gave him his own track, it was like John’s there, you know? It’s far out,” Starr explained in the short film. 

Now that they had the vocals, McCartney was able to add a better bass track, and Starr recorded the drums. They also added strings, reminiscent of the Beatles’ baroque-pop days, and recorded an arrangement at Capital Studios. The strings were arranged with the help of Giles Martin, son of the late Beatles’ producer, George Martin. 

There is also a guitar solo featured in “Now and Then.” They kept Harrison’s guitar recordings from the 1995 session and created a slide guitar solo in Harrison’s style.

“It was really a tribute to George,” McCartney explained. 


The music video for “Now and Then,” and the revival of the original demo, make this last song seem hopeful and grateful. Maybe Lennon is reminiscing on how thankful he is for his bandmates, or maybe he is writing about something else entirely.

All we know is that “Now and Then” is probably the last true Beatles song, and it ends their discography on a stellar note. Maybe it is not their greatest song, but with simple, stunning lyrics, gorgeous strings and perfected instrumentals from each of the four members, the release of  “Now and Then” is a remarkable feat, and “it’s all because of you.”

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About the Contributors
Lauren Hernandez
Lauren Hernandez, Assistant Arts & Life Editor
Lauren (she/her) is a second year English student at UTSA. After graduation she plans on attending law school. Outside of The Paisano you can usually find her at a concert taking pictures, hiking in the woods, watching movies or thrifting with her sister.
Jenna Taylor
Jenna Taylor, Magazine Editor
Hi! I am Jenna (she/her) and I am a senior communication major as well as the Magazine Editor for both of the Paisano's 2023 magazines. I love writing and graphic design and am grateful to spend my last year with my fellow editors and staff members!

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