The Beatles Now and Then: I joined Fab Four fans at The Beatles Story in Liverpool to listen to new song

Applause and tears met the first play of Now and Then, The Beatles' final track, when it was played in their hometown of Liverpool

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Visitors to The Beatles Story at Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool were treated to a first listen of the Fab Four’s new single Now and Then, which has been nearly 50 years in the making.

There was a round of applause from the audience, and some listeners wiped away tears as the track concluded after its premiere on Thursday.

The track’s demo was originally written and sung by John Lennon at his New York home and later developed alongside other band members including George Harrison. Almost 50 years after the demo was originally recorded, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr, with a little help from AI, completed the track.

After much hype and build up, The Beatles’ “final song’’ was released at 2pm on Thursday and fans around the globe gathered to listen. I headed down The Beatles Story for the emotional airing among Fab Four fans which was an unexpected surprise for some.

Beatles fans Andy and his wife Gail at The Beatles StoryBeatles fans Andy and his wife Gail at The Beatles Story
Beatles fans Andy and his wife Gail at The Beatles Story

Andy and his wife Gail, who are visiting Liverpool, didn’t realise that they would be treated to the track when they headed to the tourist attraction. Andy said: "The round of applause just sealed it. Hopefully another number one."

Charlotte Martin, who has a masters degree in The Beatles, and runs her own business offering bespoke music tours of the city, said: "To hear John’s voice is so emotive. It’s so beautiful. To have the four boys on a track together again it’s just incredible."

Beatles fans react to the first play of Now and Then at The Beatles Story. Image: Emily BonnerBeatles fans react to the first play of Now and Then at The Beatles Story. Image: Emily Bonner
Beatles fans react to the first play of Now and Then at The Beatles Story. Image: Emily Bonner

John Lennon recorded a demo with vocals and piano in the 1970s. Although the recording was given to the band in 1994 by Yoko Ono Lennon, technological limitations prevented John’s vocals and piano from being separated, so it was shelved, with a hope that one day it would be revisited.

Thanks to the power of Artificial Intelligence, In 2022, Paul and Ringo set about completing the song, which has now been shared with the world as it was always meant to be heard.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.