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The Beatles Announce Release Of Final Song ‘Now And Then,’ Expand ‘Red’ And ‘Blue’ Compilations

Written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.

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The Beatles - Photo: Bruce McBroom / © Apple Corps Ltd.
The Beatles - Photo: Bruce McBroom / © Apple Corps Ltd.

As one of the biggest surprise releases in recent memory, The Beatles have announced a forthcoming single, “Now And Then,” the last official song by all of The Beatles. The song will be released worldwide at 2 pm GMT on Thursday, November 2, by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe.

The song was written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.

Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song (Short Film Trailer)

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The story of “Now And Then” begins in the late 1970s, when John recorded a demo with vocals and piano at his home in New York’s Dakota Building. In 1994, his wife, Yoko Ono Lennon, gave the recording to Paul, George, and Ringo, along with John’s demos for “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” which were both completed as new Beatles songs and respectively released as singles in 1995 and 1996, as part of The Beatles Anthology project.

At the same time, Paul, George, and Ringo also recorded new parts and completed a rough mix for “Now And Then” with producer Jeff Lynne. At that point, technological limitations prevented John’s vocals and piano from being separated to achieve the clear, unclouded mix needed to finish the song. “Now And Then” was shelved, with a hope that one day it would be revisited. That time has finally arrived.

The double A-side single pairs the last Beatles song with the first: the band’s 1962 debut UK single, “Love Me Do,” a truly fitting full-circle counterpart to “Now And Then.” Both songs are mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos, and the release features original cover art by renowned artist Ed Ruscha. The new music video for “Now And Then” will debut on Friday, November 3.

A 12-minute Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song documentary film, written and directed by Oliver Murray, will debut a day earlier, November 1. The film’s global online premiere will be hosted on The Beatles’ YouTube channel at 7:30 pm GMT/3:30 pm EDT/12:30 pm PDT. This poignant short film tells the story behind the last Beatles song, with exclusive footage and commentary from Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon, and Peter Jackson.

Along with the single, The Beatles’ beloved compilation albums 1962-1966 (The Red Album) and 1967-1970 (The Blue Album) collections will receive expanded reissues, also arriving on November 10.

Since their 1973 debuts, 1962-1966 (The Red Album) and 1967-1970 (The Blue Album) have ushered countless listeners of all ages, from all parts of the world, into lifelong Beatles fandom.

Expanded for their new 2023 releases, the collections together span The Beatles’ entire recorded canon with 75 standout tracks, from their first single, “Love Me Do,” to their last, “Now And Then.” The collections’ 21 newly-added tracks (twelve on Red and nine on Blue) showcase even more of The Beatles’ very best songs.

Both collections will be available digitally on streaming, on 2CD, 180g 3LP black vinyl, in addition to limited edition Beatles Store-exclusives: a 3LP colored vinyl (red for Red/blue for Blue); a 4CD slipcased set; a 180g 6LP black vinyl slipcased set; and 6LP red + blue vinyl slipcased set.

Pre-order “Now And Then/Love Me Do (Double A-Side)” and pre-order the Blue and Red Albums.

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