‘Now And Then’ stemmed from a demo tape recorded by the late John Lennon, and was completed with the help of AI technology – which lifted the songwriter’s vocals off the initial recording.
At one point in the short film, McCartney recalled the process of adding a string arrangement to the single during a session at the famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California.
“Giles worked up an arrangement like Giles’ dad would have done in the old days,” he explained.
“We had to put the music out on the stands for the musicians, but we couldn’t tell them it was a new Beatles song. It was all a bit hush-hush. We pretended it was just something of mine.”
The 12-minute film also aired on last night’s episode of The One Show. After it played out, the programme spoke to violinist Charlie Bisharat who didn’t know until the broadcast that he was on the finished single.
“It’s absolutely epic to be part of this,” he said. “We didn’t know at the time what it was. Many times we work on projects, they don’t come out or they come out years later or something.
“I had actually looked for this song many times online, and I thought, ‘Whatever happened to that? It was never released’. It was a year-and-a-half ago that we recorded the strings for it.”
“Being part of this is more than epic – a lifelong dream,” he said.
Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song was written and directed by Oliver Murray. You can watch it in full above.
An official video for the song – which will be the first-ever music video directed by Peter Jackson – is also set for release tomorrow (November 3). According to the renowned filmmaker, the visual accompaniment will include new footage of McCartney and Starr, as well as recently unearthed footage of all four members.
Additionally, next week (November 10) will see The Beatles release new expanded editions of ‘1962-1966 (The Red Album)’ and ‘1967-1970 (The Blue Album)’, mixed in stereo and Dolby.