And the wind… cries…. “what a shitty Radiohead cover band.”
For the first time since the last time the Lennon – Harrison estate allowed them to release brand new music, The Beatles have returned for, uhh, their last song. Again. And while I am being foolish and blatantly unfunny, this song is anything but.
To old fans and new, “Now And Then” has a little Something something for everyone. Not to mention it is a single forty times as potent as the last three Rolling Stones releases, and that is coming from someone who worships Exile on Main St as if it were his own child.
Take a listen to the song for yourself and let us know your thoughts on this comeback in the comments below!
Paul has the skilled social abilities of any “great” popular politician, and for him to release this song, while being adoringly thankful to his once rival Yoko Ono for sending the leftover tape, is not only brilliant marketing, it showcases that even in his Billy Joel-tier latter career, he still can churn out a sincere, well-intentioned hit. As long as business partners, cigar-sized joints, and friends help him to get by.
Sure, it is a Lennon song, there is no doubt about it, and that is the point of this poetic release.
McCartney at 80 sings with his former co-writer at 40, aided by A.I. rendering, to further add to the myth that this song was written with Paul in mind. For George’s nineties guitar work to appear is an added bonus, never detracting from the overall somber melancholy of “Now And Then” and just under the pre-emo mellow of his gorgeous stand out “Something.”
And as for Ringo? Barely even noticeable as he always has been and should be; he keeps it simple, quaint, and with his “I’m the world’s biggest Beatles fan” button stitched inside the inner workings of his peace’d out aorta. It’s all love, maaan, yeaaah.
While the strings are strong, beaming at points, they have the same effect as Phil Spector‘s work during the tail end contractually obligated album, Let it Be. It isn’t a bad addition by any means, in fact it gets better and better on every listen, which is what gives the song more endurance than any popular artist’s release this year. These four British boys, two as dead as Jerry Garcia, channel a time ten years prior to the original demo Lennon had recorded (John left the song unfinished in 1977, Harrison’s pre-cancer post-Wilbury’s guitar work adds emotional depth).
It is a B side better than Old Brown Shoe and though I wish there was some sort of sonic stitching to repair other long rumored hidden unreleased tracks (Carnival of Light) this is far beyond what I expected. It is even less robotic than Star Wars/Indiana Jones ham-fisted digital commentary, and while those other legacy franchises are theme park dynamite about to explode, “Now And Then” keeps it cool, never exploitive, and endearingly hopeful for whatever could have been after John’s death in 1980.
These leftover baby boomers are richer men than we will ever be, experience and generational superstar influence included… for just because the world is round, it does not mean they should keep on releasing demos. Paul and Ringo should form a new band instead, with Eric Idle and Mean Mister Cleese before Graham and Terry chime in from comedic heaven.
Overall, B+ in an age where a C- track gets you a certified Grammy award.