Paul McCartney & John Lennon - Finishing "Now and Then"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by EmceeEscher, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. EmceeEscher

    EmceeEscher Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Austin, TX
    From a lengthy and worthwhile read here, from the reputable New Yorker who interviewed Paul face to face:

    Confirmation that Paul aims to complete the "lost" Lennon/Beatles track Now and Then, mentioned in the same breath as upcoming projects like It's a Wonderful Life and Hey Grandude...

    Thoughts? Will this eventually be a Beatles release on some compilation? A Paul track? A Lennon track featuring Paul and Ringo? What say you?

    Paul McCartney Doesn’t Really Want to Stop the Show

    "McCartney sat down to talk on a screened porch. Projects lay ahead, some of which he’d be completing as he hit eighty. There’s a new children’s book just out: “Grandude’s Green Submarine.” He’s collaborating with the scriptwriter Lee Hall, known for “Billy Elliot,” on a musical version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” There’s even a quasi-Beatles song to finish. After Lennon died, Ono gave the surviving members demos that he’d recorded at home. McCartney, Starr, and Harrison worked on three, but added tracks only to “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love.” Now McCartney wants to fill out the last of them, “Now and Then,” even though Harrison had declared the song “****ing rubbish.”
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  2. raveoned

    raveoned Forum Resident

    Ambler, PA
    I hope that it eventually does get released, and have whatever George did on it (if it works with the song).

    George seemed to be rather grouchy about the whole Anthology project, so I wouldn't give his opinion much weight on the song. He seemed more to want to get it all over with.
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  3. EmceeEscher

    EmceeEscher Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Austin, TX
    Certainly a lot better editing, mixing and overdubbing can be achieved now versus what may have been attempted in 1995. So it has that going for it.
  4. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY, USA
    I hope he doesn't use his current vocals.
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  5. EmceeEscher

    EmceeEscher Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Austin, TX
    I could see it being easier (and more successful) and less confusing to release it as a Beatles thing, rather than a "Lennon featuring..." or "McCartney featuring..." as it really is a John solo song gifted to the other three by Yoko, so it should go out as The Beatles, even if George's involvement ended up being minimal or nil.

    I'd also be cool with it being on a Lennon tribute album as Paul & Ringo's contribution to it with John's vocal in the mix.

    But if it ends up being a Beatles track and Apple released it next year, I suppose they could create a new music video for Now and Then, put out a CD and vinyl EP with Now and Then, Real Love and Free as Bird on it (the 1+ remixes of those two have never been on CD or Vinyl).

    Keep it simple and consistent with those three related tracks. Done.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  6. BertDert

    BertDert Zapple scruff

    I can't see Apple keeping the release of a "new" Beatles song simple. Can't say I'd blame them either.

    Anthology is overdue for a Blu-ray release, no? Maybe tied in with that somehow...
  7. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA

    George: "That Now and Then song is f--king rubbish. Not like the colorized cover for All Things Must Pass, which is f--king brilliant. Or the woodpile on my estate, which would make f--king amazing ephemera if I ever release a super deluxe box set."
  8. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member

    "wants to" does not mean "will"
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  9. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    Wouldn't it be cool if the finished Now and Then and Peter Gabriel's I/O both came out in the same decade?
  10. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Planetary Resident

    Los Angeles, CA.
    Calling it now--this thread will get to 200 pages, easy.
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  11. Chuckee

    Chuckee Forum Resident

    Upstate, NY, USA
    Peter Gabriel should finish it.
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  12. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    George Harrison approves this message.
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  13. foreverrock

    foreverrock Forum Resident

    Wouldn't be shocked if it was finished up for some sort of rerelease of Anthology for bluray or whatnot..

    Hopefully there was enough 90s Macca voice laid down already. I am curious how far along they got before George was just tired of being around Paul.
  14. EmceeEscher

    EmceeEscher Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Austin, TX
    I could definitely see some kind of Anthology re-release and Now and Then being a new "single" that helps promote that. Maybe in the wake and success of Get Back, it will be time then for the Anthology series to come to streaming next, and Apple to reissue the three soundtracks in a single box set.

    Now and then could take its rightful place as Track 1 on Vol. 3 ;)
  15. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan

    McCartney has said this before. Back in the 90s just after anthology.. more recently he said the same sitting with Jeff Lynne, and now this 3rd time.

    Question why is it different this time ?
  16. BeatleJWOL

    BeatleJWOL Senior Member

    Answer: it's not. :)

    It's like Paul knows what goes on here.
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  17. Juan Hitwonder

    Juan Hitwonder Forum Resident

    George was right.
  18. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    If there ever is an Anthology box set - expanded audio and (HD) visual set(s) - in the plans, probably the then finished 'Now And Then' can be part of it.
  19. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan

    We've gone through this before. I'd like to hear it.

    The John Ringo Paul outfake is pretty good.
  20. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    Personally, I think it's a pretty weak song but I'd be lying if i didn't say I'm interested in hearing a finished version with Paul. It would be **really** nice if Yoko allowed him the liberty of working on the song "with John"..change a couple of chords , maybe add a different bridge...this was the sort of combined songwriting which made many of their songs greater than they might have been otherwise.
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  21. Elliottmarx

    Elliottmarx Always in the mood for Now and Then

    Los Angeles
    I would accept nearly anything, this particular recording is more or less my holy grail of Beatle artefacts.
    I'd rather this were finished than finally hearing Carnival, or the long Helter Skelter or whatever else that we know about.

    I'd really be fine if George was just nominally involved, if need be - perhaps a slide solo flown in from another song laying around Friar Park, or just a few strums on a ukulele, or an ooh or ahh recorded for an entirely different project. If Paul hadn't laid down vocals in the 90's, find some youthful oohs and aahs from that era, and blend them with George's. Have Ringo play the drums, have Paul mastermind a structure, play some bass, maybe write an instrumental bridge section, etc.

    Let's just finish this before all of the creative decisions are being made by Nancy and Barbara.
  22. Pauly56

    Pauly56 Forum Resident

    I agree with George. Crap. Leave it alone. It’s definitely the worst of the 3 songs.
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  23. johnny moondog 909

    johnny moondog 909 Beatles-Lennon & Classic rock fan

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  24. Bilbo Swaggins

    Bilbo Swaggins Forum Resident

    From Wikipedia:

    Producer Jeff Lynne reported that sessions for "Now and Then" consisted only of "one day—one afternoon, really — messing with it. The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn't finish."

    An additional factor behind scrapping the song was a technical defect in the original recording. As with "Real Love", a 60-cycle mains hum can be heard throughout Lennon's demo recording. However, it was noticeably louder on '"Now and Then", making it much harder to remove.[citation needed]

    The project was largely shelved due to Harrison's dislike of the song. McCartney later stated that Harrison called Lennon's demo recording "****ing rubbish."[3] McCartney told Q Magazine in 1997 that "George didn't like it. The Beatles being a democracy, we didn't do it."[4] An unnamed participant in the sessions told the Daily Express: "George just didn’t want to rework it because it’s not a matter of putting some vocals, or a bit of bass and drums to finish it. With this, you have to really build the song."[2]
  25. I'd take Carnival of Light over N&T anyday

    Fabs sound collage from 1967 or dreary Jeff Lynne produced reject is a no brainer
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