The final offering from has been confirmed, as the last song featuring vocals by will be released 42 years after his death.
Written and sung by Lennon, the remaining Beatles , and continued to.
And now, 22 years after Harrison’s death in 2001, by Sir Paul and Starr, and will be released next month after more than four decades.
Now And Then will be released worldwide on November 2, as part of a double A-side with the first-ever Beatles Track Love Me Do, bringing the Beatles story full circle.
A music video for the track will follow on Friday, November 3 – and the new track will be preceded by 12-minute documentary Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song on November 1.
The track started life in the 1970s, when Lennon recorded a demo with piano and his vocals, but which was never finished .
His wife, Yoko Ono, gave the recording to the remaining members in 1994, but technology at the time wasn’t enough to separate the piano and vocals to give a clear mix for Sir Paul, Sir Ringo and Harrison to finish it themselves.
But in 2021, The Beatles: Get Back docuseries saw old footage and recordings given new life – and Peter Jackson’s sound team worked with The Beatles to completely refresh Now And Then.
The sound team, alongside Sir Paul and Sir Ringo continued working on the song using Harrison’s guitar recorded in 1995, and added drums, bass and piano, as well as backing vocals.
In a statement, Sir Paul recalled: ‘There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear.
‘It’s quite emotional. And we all play on it, it’s a genuine Beatles recording. In 2023 to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s an exciting thing.”
Ringo added: ‘It was the closest we’ll ever come to having him back in the room so it was very emotional for all of us. It was like John was there, you know. It’s far out.’
Harrison’s widow, Olivia, remembered her late husband working on the track in the 1990s, saying he ‘felt the technical issues with the demo were insurmountable and concluded that it was not possible to finish the track to a high enough standard.
‘If he were here today, Dhani and I know he would have whole-heartedly joined Paul and Ringo in completing the recording of Now And Then.’
And Lennon’s son, Sean Ono Lennon, said it was ‘incredibly touching to hear them working together after all the years that Dad had been gone.
‘It’s the last song my dad, Paul, George and Ringo got to make together. It’s like a time capsule and all feels very meant to be.”’It’s the last song my dad, Paul, George and Ringo got to make together. It’s like a time capsule and all feels very meant to be.’
Sir Paul caused shock this year when he announced a new Beatles song was on the way, years after Lennon’s murder and Harrison’s death from lung cancer.
When making the announcement on programme, Sir Paul explained how he and Jackson extracted Lennon’s voice from ‘ropey’ cassettes and technology for the film Get Back.
‘He could separate them with AI. He’d tell the machine, “That’s the voice. This is a guitar. Lose the guitar.”
‘So when we came to make what will be the last Beatles record, it was a demo that John had [and] we were able to take John’s voice and get it pure through this AI.’
He later clarified the confusion’ about the use of AI in the new song, as he explained nothing has been ‘artificially or synthetically’ created.
The star explained how they simply ‘cleaned up some existing recordings’ in a ‘process which has gone on for years.’