By Lizz Panchyk
The Beatles are a band I grew up with. Since I was young, I remember hearing their rhythmic voices calling out to me from my dad’s stereo. Although a dated band, I naturally assumed everyone else knew them too. I was lucky to have parents that majorly influenced my taste in music. (I have a whole Spotify playlist dedicated to over seven hours of music from the 60s to the 2000s and another one dedicated entirely to the Beatles). My dad even had a radio show during his time here at Adelphi: Beyond the Beatles.
Knowing this, you can probably bet on how I reacted when I heard the new Beatles song. My dad casually discussed it at the dinner table and started to play the song, which has the voices of all four Beatles, though John Lennon and George Harrison have passed. Known as “the last Beatles song,” “Now and Then” was announced on Oct. 26 and came out on Nov. 2. It includes an original recording by Lennon from the late 70s, before he was assassinated. After his late wife Yoko Ono found the recording in the 80s, the three remaining Beatles began to work on it, but never finished. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, not forgetting this recording, worked together using AI to create what Lennon left into a whole Beatles song, including vocals from Harrison from the 80s, before he died in 2001.
This, to me, is such a sad song. Lennon has a very soft voice; his song “Imagine” makes me tear up. But hearing his vocals sing “Now and then, I miss you” over 40 years later, it sounds like an ode to both him and George by Paul and Ringo. The music video doesn’t help, featuring old videos of the Beatles in their prime, acting silly, recording songs, performing on the biggest stages. It makes me nostalgic for something I never got to experience and I miss being a kid and hearing the Beatles warm up my living room with their harmonic voices.
I’ve been to Starr concerts and McCartney concerts, both experiences I’m glad I have in my memories. When this song came out it was almost as though time stopped. The Beatles made such a huge impact on music today and started a trend that was unfamiliar at the time. Their music always had a way of making me feel bittersweet, remembering hearing those songs for the first time, reminding me of how I grew up and influencing my taste in music. “Now and Then” fits right into the Beatles. It sounds as though the song came out decades ago. It makes me happy that Paul and Ringo kept the authenticity of their band and didn’t try to recreate it. I think this is a beautiful song and a perfect “goodbye.”