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The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

“Now and Then”: a great end to the Beatles’ impressive decades long career

Restored from an unfinished demo that Lennon recorded in the 70s, “Now and Then” released in 2023, is considered to be the final song in the Beatles’ discography.

As the finishing strings echoed, a final moment with the young Beatles was revealed on the screen. They bowed down with pride, and the picture slowly faded to black.

The Beatles released their newest song, “Now and Then,” on Nov. 2, 2023. The soft rock ballad, which has received significant attention since its release, features musical elements from all four of the band’s members, even those who have passed, by combining past recordings with present day production. The song’s music, with its expressive emotions and flow, creates a sense of nostalgia for the past and the song, which is considered the final track by The Beatles, is an incredible end to their 60 year career.

The story behind the making of the song is completely fascinating. John Lennon, who passed away in 1980, recorded an unfinished demo of “Now and Then” in 1977. After the emergence of audio restoration technology and the help of producer Peter Jackson, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, the last living members of The Beatles, were able to work with Lennon’s recording. McCartney and Starr added instrumental arrangements, including guitar tracks by George Harrison recorded in 1995 before he passed away in 2001. After a few supplementary recordings and slight format changes, the song was ready for its long-awaited release.

One of the highlights of the song is the musical composition. The rhythmic guitar intro sets up the calm mood of the track, and Lennon’s legendary voice fits the slow tempo and smooth emotion of the song perfectly. The song’s format is standard, with an intro, verses, bridge and chorus, but each element improves the excellent flow and satisfying finish of the ballad.

“Now and Then” creates a feeling of remembrance. I was moved by listening to McCartney once again harmonizing to Lennon’s voice from his 1977 recording, connecting The Beatles’ past to the present. The chorus of the song has an emotional key change and minor chords, lending great emotional power to the song, further emphasized by Giles Martin’s string arrangement.

The lyrics match the melancholy of the composition. Through the song, Lennon speaks to a hypothetical person, describing a sense of nostalgia that existed in the relationship between the two. The name “Now and Then” also highlights the contrast between the past and the future, and how that relationship has changed.

The music video created for the track is moving. In the video, we see old clips of The Beatles, with all the band members enjoying their music together. This is an emotional moment that pairs well with the mood of the piece, adding to the nostalgia for the amazing era of music that The Beatles were a part of.

Starting in the 1960s, The Beatles has been one of the most successful bands in the world of music, and “Now and Then” is a fantastic finish to their incredibly memorable musical journey.

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