The Beatles’ poignant ‘last ever song’ Now And Then is on track to top UK singles chart – making it the Fab Four’s 18th number one single and the band’s first chart-topper in 54 years
- The track is based on demo tapes recorded before John Lennon’s death in 1980
The Beatles are on track to get their 18th number one single after their ‘last recorded’ song outsold the rest of the top five combined in its opening weekend.
Now And Then was originally written by the late John Lennon and developed by his fellow band members, including George Harrison who also passed away.
But thanks to advancements in technology, it has finally been finished and after its release on Thursday, it is set to become yet another number one single by the Fab Four, according the Official Chart Company’s first look.
It would also be their first chart-topper in 54 years, with the last being The Ballad Of John And Yoko in 1969.
Now And Then was originally written by the late John Lennon and developed by his fellow band members
Sir Paul McCartney pictured in the 1990s with George Harrison, who played the guitar track in 1995 before he died in 2001
The clip – directed by the acclaimed Peter Jackson – blends moving archive footage of the Fab Four with shots of Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr recording new segments for the song
The stunning video for new Beatles track Now and Then has been released online
Other previous number one songs are classics such as Hey Jude, All You Need Is Love, Yellow Submarine, Help! and Love Me Do – which was their first number one hit.
The remastered track was sourced from a Lennon demo which was recorded in the late 1970s at his home in New York’s Dakota Building.
After his death in 1980 aged 40, Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono gave the recording to the remaining Beatles in 1994 along with Free As A Bird and Real Love, which were released by the band in the same decade.
During this period, Harrison, Sir Paul and Sir Ringo recorded new parts and completed a rough mix for Now And Then with producer and musician Jeff Lynne.
However, the band did not release the song and cited issues to do with extracting Lennon’s vocals and piano due to limited technology at the time. Harrison later died in November 2001 aged 58.
Filmmaker Peter Jackson’s recent Beatles documentary used audio restoration technology that allowed for vocals, music and conversations by the band to be isolated, a technique which was later used for Now And Then.
It includes the earliest ever footage of the band, filmed in a Merseyside church hall in 1962, before they became the world’s most famous rock stars and manager Brian Epstein convinced them to all wear smart suits
The final scene in the video shows the Beatles bowing before they disappear and the camera fades to black`
The footage has been provided by the band’s original drummer Pete Best and his brother Roag. Pictured, the Beatles including Pete Best on drums
The Fab Four: (Clockwise from far left) George Harrison, Ringo Starr (at drums), Sir Paul McCartney, John Lennon in New York in 1964
READ MORE: The Fab Four’s final farewell: Beatles fans break down in tears as they listen to band’s poignant ‘last ever song’
The song, which includes Harrison’s electric and acoustic guitar recorded in 1995, was finished by Sir Paul and Sir Ringo last year.
A music video for the song was also created by Jackson which sees the Fab Four reunited as Lennon and Harrison can be seen playing instruments alongside recent footage of surviving members Sir Paul and Sir Ringo.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Sir Paul said: ‘I like the idea of not letting go of each other.
‘You know, when you have somebody you love so much. In many cases it’s a relative, and even though they go, you don’t want to let go – that’s what people say when somebody dies.
‘They’re in your memory, always in your heart. And, yes, that’s certainly true of me and the boys.’
Reflecting on how he would like the band to be thought of, he added: ‘I remember the Beatles, I remember joy, talent, humour and love.
‘And if people remember us for those things I’d be very happy.’
Sir Ringo said he would like for the group to be remembered ‘with love’.
The drummer added: ‘How many streams did we do last year? One billion? Three billion? It blows me away. The beat’s still going on, you know?’
Emotional fans took to social media to hail the ‘compelling, emotional and touching’ music video for The Beatles’s final track.
Using CGI, the clip – directed by Peter Jackson – cleverly brings Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr back together again with the dearly departed John Lennon and George Harrison.
One fan called it ‘so compelling, emotional and touching. Fantastic work by all involved.’ Another wrote: ‘Honestly so emotional! Their last work together…’
Another wrote: ‘Honestly so emotional! Their last work together…’
The video includes the earliest ever footage of the band, filmed in a Merseyside church hall in 1962, before they became the world’s most famous rock stars and manager Brian Epstein convinced them to all wear smart suits.
Pete Best, The Beatles’ drummer before Ringo star, handed the cine camera footage – which shows the group dressed in leather – to his former band with the help of his brother Roag.
Roag said he purchased the silent footage from a man who filmed the performance at St Paul’s Presbyterian Church Hall in Birkenhead in February 1962, eight months before they released their debut single.
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