The Beatles’ last song ever is a technical feat – but is it good?

Photo courtesy of Spotify

By Emma Weidmann | Arts and Life Editor

John Lennon and Paul McCartney sang together for the last time in The Beatles’ newest and final song, “Now And Then.” How was it possible to revive the voice of Lennon — and of George Harrison — on a new track?

Lennon wrote the song in the late 1970s, and until the 1990s, it lay in an old box before being rediscovered by his wife, Yoko Ono. Fast forward 30 years, and McCartney and drummer Ringo Starr have cleaned up the old recording with the help of artificial intelligence to isolate Lennon’s vocals.

McCartney reminisced on the process in the song’s accompanying documentary on YouTube.

“All those memories came flooding back,” McCartney said. “My God, how lucky was I to have those men in my life?”

How does the song itself sound?

It’s fitting for the last Beatles song, as it’s decidedly melancholy. Lennon couldn’t have known the fate of this song when he wrote it, but it’s eerily perfect for the occasion. The lyrics touch on missing an old friend, and many TikTok users were brought to tears by the idea of McCartney singing it with his late friend, now that he’s 81 years old himself.

“This song will be my Roman empire,” one creator lamented.

Musically, the Lennon-esque flair is apparent, as “Now And Then” bears a lingering resemblance to Lennon’s 1980 song, “Woman.” It was the first song to be released following his assassination the same year, and it paid tribute to Yoko Ono. It’s one of Lennon’s most iconic ballads, second only to “Imagine.”

So, you can imagine the tone this song strikes. Not only is it an emotionally potent song, but in true fab-four fashion, it’s doing numbers on the charts. With the first Beatles song, “Love Me Do,” as a B-side, there’s no better way for the Beatles’ legacy to be bookended.