The Impact of the Beatles New Song “Now and Then”
On Thursday November 2nd, WDHA joined radio stations around the country in playing “Now and Then,” a new song from the Beatles. This morning on All Mixed Up Jim Monaghan spent a full segment discussing and dissecting “Now and Then” and the impact/importance of this new song.
For the first time since 1969, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles have new music out at the same time (Let It Bleed and Abbey Road were both released within a few weeks of each other that fall). Talk about “fall back” for the start of Eastern Standard Time – we did a complete time warp going back 54 years!
And as we approach the 60th anniversary of the Beatles first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, having something new from them is a real treat.
Here is the full audio from today.
“Now and Then” backstory
One of three John Lennon songs on a cassette that Yoko Ono had given to the then three surviving Beatles in the mid-1990’s, two others (“Free As A Bird” and “Real Love”) had already been augmented by George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr.
There were attempts to do the same with “Now and Then,” but because John Lennon’s voice and piano were on the same track, the results were nothing special and a decision was made to shelve the final tune.
Enter Peter Jackson
Filmmaker Peter Jackson, who gave us the three-part Get Back documentary used his MAL audio software that allowed him to pull Lennon’s vocal and separate it from the piano.
The process and subsequent amazing results were detailed in a 12-minute documentary.
McCartney and Starr were now able to go back to their original session with George Harrison, add in Lennon’s cleaned-up vocals and complete the song.
The relationship between radio and rock and roll
Rock and roll and radio were almost made for each other. The thrill of hearing something new and exciting was captured by the Velvet Underground perfectly on “Rock and Roll.”
Tom Hanks totally nailed the excitement of a band hearing its song on the radio for the first time in That Thing You Do.
We went to school the next day talking to our friends about how the night before “the DJ broke to play us something new.”
So it was only natural that radio should be how the surviving members of the Beatles chose to release what they’re calling the “final Beatles song.”
And the full “Now and Then” experience wouldn’t be complete with the Peter Jackson-produced video that accompanied the song’s release.