The Last Beatles Song, “Now And Then,” Is Coming November 2; The Beatles’ 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) And 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’) Collections Expanded, Mixed In Stereo & Dolby Atmos For 2023 Edition Releases Out Via Capitol/UMe November 10

AP Editor’s Note: The following text is from an official Beatles/UMe press release. Updated analog-centric notes and additional artwork will follow as we verify the information directly—MM [Update, 11.02.2023: The official “Now And Then” YouTube clip is now embedded below—MM]

London – October 26, 2023 – Together and apart, The Beatles have always had a talent for the unexpected. And now, 2023 brings one of the most anticipated releases of their long and endlessly eventful history. “Now And Then” is the last Beatles song — written and sung by John Lennon, developed and worked on by Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, and now finally finished by Paul and Ringo over four decades later.


“Now And Then” will be released worldwide at 2pm GMT / 10am EDT / 7am PDT on Thursday, November 2 by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. The double A-side single pairs the last Beatles song with the first: the band’s 1962 debut UK single, “Love Me Do,” a truly fitting full-circle counterpart to “Now And Then.” Both songs are mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos, and the release features original cover art by renowned artist Ed Ruscha. The new music video for “Now And Then” will debut on Friday, November 3. More details including global premiere plans will be announced.

A 12-minute “Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song” documentary film, written and directed by Oliver Murray, will debut on November 1. The film’s global online premiere will be hosted on The Beatles’ YouTube channel at 7:30pm GMT / 3:30pm EDT / 12:30pm PDT. This poignant short film tells the story behind the last Beatles song, with exclusive footage and commentary from Paul, Ringo, George, Sean Ono Lennon and Peter Jackson. The trailer is available to watch now.

Watch/embed the “Now And Then” short film trailer below.

On November 10, The Beatles’ 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) and 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’) collections will be released in 2023 Edition packages by Apple Corps Ltd./Capitol/UMe. Since their first incarnations appeared 50 years ago, these albums have introduced successive generations to The Beatles’ music. Now, both collections’ tracklists have been expanded, with all the songs mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos. New 4CD and 180-gram 6LP vinyl collections pair ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ in slipcase sets. The UK single version of “Love Me Do” now kicks off 1962-1966 (2023 Edition) and “Now And Then” is featured on 1967-1970 (2023 Edition) to complete the career-spanning collections.

The story of “Now And Then” begins in the late 1970s, when John recorded a demo with vocals and piano at his home in New York’s Dakota Building. In 1994, his wife, Yoko Ono Lennon, gave the recording to Paul, George and Ringo, along with John’s demos for “Free As A Bird” and “Real Love,” which were both completed as new Beatles songs and respectively released as singles in 1995 and 1996, as part of The Beatles Anthology project. At the same time, Paul, George and Ringo also recorded new parts and completed a rough mix for “Now And Then” with producer Jeff Lynne. At that point, technological limitations prevented John’s vocals and piano from being separated to achieve the clear, unclouded mix needed to finish the song. “Now And Then” was shelved, with a hope that one day it would be revisited.

Cut to 2021, and the release of The Beatles: Get Back docuseries, directed by Peter Jackson, which astonished viewers with its award-winning film and audio restoration. Using WingNut Films’ MAL audio technology, Jackson’s team had de-mixed the film’s mono soundtrack, managing to isolate instruments and vocals, and all the individual voices within The Beatles’ conversations. This achievement opened the way to 2022’s new mix of Revolver, sourced directly from the four-track master tapes. This led on to a question: What could now be done with the “Now And Then” demo? Peter Jackson and his sound team, led by Emile de la Rey, applied the same technique to John’s original home recording, preserving the clarity and integrity of his original vocal performance by separating it from the piano.

In 2022, Paul and Ringo set about completing the song. Besides John’s vocal, “Now And Then” includes electric and acoustic guitar recorded in 1995 by George, Ringo’s new drum part, and bass, guitar and piano from Paul, which matches John’s original playing. Paul added a slide guitar solo inspired by George; he and Ringo also contributed backing vocals to the chorus.

In Los Angeles, Paul oversaw a Capitol Studios recording session for the song’s wistful, quintessentially Beatles string arrangement, written by Giles Martin, Paul and Ben Foster. Paul and Giles also added one last, wonderfully subtle touch: backing vocals from the original recordings of “Here, There And Everywhere,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Because,” woven into the new song using the techniques perfected during the making of the LOVE show and album. The finished track was produced by Paul and Giles, and mixed by Spike Stent.

Paul says: “There it was, John’s voice, crystal clear. It’s quite emotional. And we all play on it, it’s a genuine Beatles recording. In 2023 to still be working on Beatles music, and about to release a new song the public haven’t heard, I think it’s an exciting thing.”

Ringo says: “It was the closest we’ll ever come to having him back in the room, so it was very emotional for all of us. It was like John was there, you know. It’s far out.”

Olivia Harrison says: “Back in 1995, after several days in the studio working on the track, George felt the technical issues with the demo were insurmountable and concluded that it was not possible to finish the track to a high enough standard. If he were here today, Dhani and I know he would have whole-heartedly joined Paul and Ringo in completing the recording of ‘Now And Then.’”

Sean Ono Lennon says: “It was incredibly touching to hear them working together after all the years that Dad had been gone. It’s the last song my dad, Paul, George, and Ringo got to make together. It’s like a time capsule and all feels very meant to be.”

Excitement and anticipation for “Now And Then” has been building since June, when Paul first teased “a new Beatles song” in a media interview. Finally, on Thursday, November 2, “Now And Then” will be shared with the world as it was always meant to be heard.

This last installment of The Beatles’ recorded history will be followed by new editions of the two compilation albums always seen as the definitive introduction to their work. Since their 1973 debuts, 1962-1966 (‘The Red Album’) and 1967-1970 (‘The Blue Album’) have ushered countless listeners of all ages, from all parts of the world, into lifelong Beatles fandom. Expanded for their new 2023 Edition releases, the collections together span The Beatles’ entire recorded canon with 75 standout tracks, from their first single, “Love Me Do,” to their last, “Now And Then.” The collections’ 21 newly-added tracks (twelve on ‘Red’ and nine on ‘Blue’) showcase even more of The Beatles’ very best songs.

In recent years, several 1967-1970 tracks and a few from 1962-1966 have received new stereo and Dolby Atmos mixes for The Beatles’ Special Edition album releases, including Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017), The Beatles (‘The White Album) (2018), Abbey Road (2019), Let It Be (2021), and Revolver (2022), as well as new stereo mixes for The Beatles’ 1 (2015). All tracks not also featured on those releases have been newly mixed in stereo and/or Dolby Atmos by Giles Martin and Sam Okell at Abbey Road Studios, aided by WingNut Films’ audio de-mixing technology. Both collections include new essays written by journalist and author John Harris.

“Now And Then” Credits:
Produced by Paul McCartney, Giles Martin
Additional Production: Jeff Lynne
Vocals: John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Backing Vocals: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
Guitars: George Harrison
Guitars, Bass, Piano, Electric Harpsichord, Shaker: Paul McCartney
Drums, Tambourine, Shaker: Ringo Starr

Additional Credits:
String Arrangement: Paul McCartney, Giles Martin, Ben Foster
Mixed by Spike Stent
Engineered by Geoff Emerick, Steve Orchard, Greg McAllister, Jon Jacobs, Steve Genewick, Bruce Sugar, Keith Smith
Source Separation / MAL Courtesy of WingNut Films Productions Ltd.
Head of Machine Learning: Emile de la Rey
Project Management: Adam Sharp

Recorded at Hog Hill Studio, Capitol Studios and Roccabella West
Mastered by Miles Showell

Project Producers: Jonathan Clyde and Guy Hayden
Executive Producer: Jeff Jones

Pre-order any/all versions here

(double A-side single)

1962-1966 + 1967-1970 (2023 EDITIONS) 6LP VINYL SLIPCASE SET
(1962-1966: LPs 1-3 / 1967-1970: LPs 4-6)
(stereo / 1962-1966 3LP Vinyl & 1967-1970 3LP Vinyl = same track sequencing for each as listed below)


LP1 (‘Red’)

Side A
1: Love Me Do (2023 Mix)
2: Please Please Me (2023 Mix)
3: From Me To You (2023 Mix)
4: She Loves You (2023 Mix)
5: I Want To Hold Your Hand (2023 Mix)
6: All My Loving (2023 Mix)
7: Can’t Buy Me Love (2023 Mix)

Side B
1: A Hard Day’s Night (2023 Mix)
2: And I Love Her (2023 Mix)
3: Eight Days A Week (2023 Mix)
4: I Feel Fine (2023 Mix)
5: Ticket To Ride (2023 Mix)
6: Yesterday (2023 Mix)

LP2 (‘Red’)

Side A
1: Help! (2023 Mix)
2: You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (2023 Mix)
3: We Can Work It Out (2023 Mix)
4: Day Tripper (2023 Mix)
5: Drive My Car (2023 Mix)
6: Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (2023 Mix)

Side B
1: Nowhere Man (2023 Mix)
2: Michelle (2023 Mix)
3: In My Life (2023 Mix)
4: Girl (2023 Mix)
5: Paperback Writer (2022 Mix)
6: Eleanor Rigby (2022 Mix)
7: Yellow Submarine (2022 Mix)

LP3 (Bonus ‘Red’ LP)

Side A
1: I Saw Her Standing There (2023 Mix)
2: Twist And Shout (2023 Mix)
3: This Boy (2023 Mix)
4: Roll Over Beethoven (2023 Mix)
5: You Really Got A Hold On Me (2023 Mix)
6: You Can’t Do That (2023 Mix)

Side B
1: If I Needed Someone (2023 Mix)
2: Got To Get You Into My Life (2022 Mix)
3: I’m Only Sleeping (2022 Mix)
4: Taxman (2022 Mix)
5: Here, There And Everywhere (2022 Mix)
6: Tomorrow Never Knows (2022 Mix)


LP4 (‘Blue’)

Side A
1: Strawberry Fields Forever (2015 mix)
2: Penny Lane (2017 mix)
3: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017 Mix)
4: With A Little Help From My Friends (2017 Mix)
5: Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (2017 Mix)
6: A Day In The Life (2017 Mix)
7: All You Need Is Love (2015 Mix)

Side B
1: I Am The Walrus (2023 Mix)
2: Hello, Goodbye (2015 Mix)
3: The Fool On The Hill (2023 Mix)
4: Magical Mystery Tour (2023 Mix) 5: Lady Madonna (2015 Mix)
6: Hey Jude (2015 Mix)
7: Revolution (2023 Mix)

LP5 (‘Blue’)

Side A
1: Back In The U.S.S.R. (2018 Mix)
2: While My Guitar Gently Weeps (2018 Mix)
3: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (2018 Mix)
4: Get Back (2015 Mix)
5: Don’t Let Me Down (2021 Mix)
6: The Ballad Of John And Yoko (2015 Mix)
7: Old Brown Shoe (2023 Mix)

Side B
1: Here Comes The Sun (2019 Mix)
2: Come Together (2019 Mix)
3: Something (2019 Mix)
4: Octopus’s Garden (2019 Mix)
5: Let It Be (2021 Mix)
6: Across The Universe (2021 Mix)
7: The Long And Winding Road (2021 Mix)

LP6 (Bonus ‘Blue’ LP)

Side A
1: Now And Then
2: Blackbird (2018 Mix)
3: Dear Prudence (2018 Mix)
4: Glass Onion (2018 Mix)
5: Within You Without You (2017 Mix)

Side B
1: Hey Bulldog (2023 Mix)
2: Oh! Darling (2019 Mix)
3: I Me Mine (2021 Mix)
4: I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (2019 Mix)


Rashers's picture

I bought the 2014 Red and Blue albums that were all analog. This new version is remixed - i.e. digital - which may sound better or worse. Then there is the extra disc - which I want but - decisions decisions.
I presume we now have the 2023 Beatles Holiday package. I had been hoping for a new version of Rubber Soul.

rich d's picture

Were the original recordings lacking in some important way? Does anyone really feel that all this technology has made the music more charming, more soulful, more anything? Oh, yes, more lucrative. Got it.
Having said that, I must confess that two months ago I added about twenty quid to Sir Paul's coffers by attending his photo exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. To my surprise it was excellent. Maybe Beatles fans could forego these new cash-ins and buy the exhibition guide (still available, I believe) for a fresh insight into Beatlemania.

Arvo Palm-Leis's picture

Hi, Rich. Yes, the original recordings, especially of the Red list, didn't have the kind of multitracking and mixing available for the later works. You can check out the remixed Revolver for comparison. Or just download the 2023 version of Eleanor Rigby. It's $2.49 at Qobuz. Giles commented when those were released that this is what the album would have sounded like if they had recorded it a couple of years later.

rich d's picture

Hello Arvo,

I'm very aware of the simplicity of early '60s recording technology compared to what's available today. I still contend that the intrinsic joy in these recordings is diminished, rather than enhanced, by all the manipulation. I don't like the Giles Martin remixes at all. It's as if there's a spotlight on every detail, even the bits that are supposed to blend in. If i eat a curry, I want to taste a curry and not have my attention called to the fenugreek.

And Giles Martin (who was born a few months after the final Abbey Road sessions) cannot know how the records would have sounded had they been recorded some other time. History does not allow us the luxury of unrealized alternative outcomes.

But if you like what they're doing, and don't mind the price tag, enjoy! As for me, I'll continue to enjoy my flipback Parlophones.

vinyl listener's picture

Those credits dash any hopes these will sound good.
The GM de-mixes are like the teleporter in The Fly - what goes in always comes out differently.
Originals and the 2014's are readily available.

Arvo Palm-Leis's picture

Hello, Rich.

You and I may have some common ground or even common frustration with reissues.

Take, for example, the many versions of Kind of Blue. In some sense, a slightly beat up garage sale LP has exactly the same joy of music as the latest and greatest and orders of magnitude more expensive ultra release. The difference is primarily in sound quality, and if I were honest, I'm not sure my stereo or my ears are all that capable of resolving those differences. But I don't need those differences to thoroughly enjoy the music and musicianship.
Maybe you and I would agree that this catalog churning for ever so slight marginal improvements in fidelity isn't really worth the money for some of us; those original recordings have something that's very cool despite what might be lacking.

That said, what excites me about these Beatles releases, is that it's not just an attempt to eek out a bit more quality. They really are tearing them down to the studs and doing a renovation. That doesn't always mean better, but they are very different. Different enough that I will be happy to have both versions of the Red album next to each other on the shelf.

The new Eva Cassidy/London Symphony Orchestra project is a step further. It's not hard to imagine something like that happening had she found fame and lived long enough to do it. Now we can get a glimpse of what might have been. Would I throw away the original CDs? No way.

These Beatles and the Eva/LSO projects are something new and very interesting. They are not a replacement for the originals. That's the value.

Peter Music's picture

The problem is that the GM versions displace the originals in the distribution channel, as they have here. The musically historic and sonically wonderful originals become impossible to find, except for used copies at astronomical prices.

RG's picture

You are absolutely correct. I have never seen in a retail rack, say, both the Giles Martin remix of Abbey Road AND its Gile's free predecessor. The previous versions have been effectively if not offically, deleted from the catalog. And after I have read that Giles has really laced hard into some of these recordings, not the least of which is I am the walrun, to which Giles has actually added new material! Giles man, you're suppossed to be protecting these priceless recordigs, not actually adding new material to them! And that is why I just snagged new copies of the red and blue 2014 releases in all their analog and Giles free glory. I suggest you do the same.

rich d's picture

Tip of the cap and all that.

Incidentally, if you want a new perspective on this music, I recommend you find some VG+ or better '60s Parlophone 45s (if you don't already have some). Not the Capitol stuff, not the later reissues, but the originals. "I Feel Fine/She's a Woman" sounds startlingly fresh compared to the commonly available singles, as do some of the others. "Old Brown Shoe", believe it or not, will make your speakers want to get up and dance.

Arvo Palm-Leis's picture

I love to find treasures like that.

Good hunting!

thomoz's picture

"Love Me Do" (Sept 8 '62) in first-time stereo!
"She Loves You" in first-time stereo!
"I Am The Walrus:, all 4:36 in stereo throughout (and not crossfaded into something else like it was on 'Love').
I'll happily take all of these. Plus, this set gives us a glimpse at future stereo remixing of the 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Help' and 'Rubber Soul' albums. I'll take it ALL. No complaints.

Mike Mettler's picture
After having now heard “Now And Then” (I pre-ordered the light blue 7-inch seen in this story, plus the black 12-inch and even the cassette), and I appreciate the better quality of John's demo vocal due to the Peter Jackson/A.I. tech involved. Hence, I have a question for the cognoscenti -- should that same tech now be used to revisit/remaster “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love” to better enhance John's vocals on both of those mid-1990s Anthology-era tracks, or would you consider that to just be further sacrilege? Thoughts?
Tom L's picture

The rather muffled sound of those two songs would really benefit from the new tech, and they were already kind of sacrilegious, so why not?

RG's picture

Oh sure. And while you’re at it, could you have them remake all those terrible impressionist painting where everything is out of focus? Thanks.

RG's picture

What Giles, Paul, Ringo and Peter should do is apply the AI to the star club recordings which are begging to be cleaned up. John always claimed that the band was never hotter than it was in Germany.

timorous's picture

I just had a listen to Now And Then, on YouTube and Spotify(free). It's a nice enough song, but it still sounds like a demo that's been fleshed out.

Most of just sounds AWFUL!! Severely (and poorly) compressed, even by today's streaming standards. The restored vocal sounds "wheezy", the drums have no snap to them at all. The strings are barely audible in the murky mix. Paul's slide guitar solo is really lame, and simply follows the melody line. George would have come up with something much better, I'm sure.

They need a real producer and engineer. This just sounds like a throw-away that the Beatles and George Martin would have left on the shelf, back then.

The new stereo re-mix of Love Me Do sounds much better than this, fortunately, with no obvious compression. By the way, this is the earlier, first version, with (if I recollect right, Ringo on drums), rather than the more commonly heard version, with Andy White on drums.

FYI, I have a decent, neutral-sounding audio setup for my computer: Full-range, custom-designed, bi-amped speakers, using a Topping E30 DAC.

RG's picture

Art doesn’t doesn’t obtain its impact from its technical construction or craftsmanship, it derives its power from the totality of its elements. Jackson Pollack’s paintings may have resulted from a haphazard way of applying paint, Andy Warhol may have shot Polaroids and Robert Johnson’s recordings may be technically crude, but all of these have been loved and and enjoyed by millions despite their technical limitations. And millions of people are enjoying Now and Then. Let those with ears hear.

RG's picture

Whoever is printing the Apple Records logo on vinyl has really messed up the reproduction on the green apple “A” side. The shadow fades to almost complete black. This makes reading the text printed in that area impossible. C’mon Apple Records, you can do better than that.