The Beatles are back when we need them the most
Nov 13, 2023 – minute read
Nov 13, 2023 – minute read
In this moment in time where many around the world are experiencing extreme pain and anguish, we have been given an extraordinary gift of new music from one of the most influential bands of all time, The Beatles. On 2nd November, The Beatles returned to make history once again with their new single, ‘Now And Then’, a song that shares a message of love, hope and tenderness for one another.
Billed as ‘the last Beatles song’, the long-mythologised John Lennon demo has been over 40 years in the making. To mark this momentous occasion in the band’s storied history, The Beatles have joined YouTube Shorts for the first time ever, unlocking not only ‘Now and Then’ on Shorts but all seventy five songs from Friday’s re-issued Red and Blue albums.
The story of ‘Now And Then’ goes like this: in the late 1970s, Lennon recorded a demo at his piano at home in New York. After his death, Yoko Ono gave the recording to Paul, George and Ringo, who first attempted to work on the track together in 1995 as part of The Beatles Anthology project. It remained unfinished, partly due to the impossible technological challenges in working with John’s initial recording. Fast forward to 2022, when director Peter Jackson developed a new software for the production of his documentary series, ‘Get Back’, which finally opened the way for the uncoupling of John’s vocals from the piano part and background noise. This journey is beautifully articulated in an accompanying short film Now and Then - The Beatles Last Song written and directed by Oliver Murray, and in Peter Jackson’s music video for the song.
The result of this remarkable feat of musical archaeology is a poignant swansong that reunites all four members of the band, in what is Beatles balladry at its best. Capturing the hearts of fans and critics alike, ‘Now And Then’ has quickly become the band’s first UK #1 single in over half a century. On YouTube alone, the track has earned over 33 million views collectively so far and has trended at #1 in over a dozen markets around the world. The track also earned the #1 slot on YouTube’s UK top trending, top music videos and highest debut charts in its first week.
The Beatles have earned over 1 billion views across their official YouTube channel from all eras of Beatles fans.
‘Now And Then’ is testament to the band’s longstanding creative curiosity and fascination with technology to take their art to new limits - a philosophy shared by us at YouTube, which sees us pushing the boundaries of innovation to make our platform the best place for every artist and fan to experience music. In the past year alone, The Beatles have earned over 1 billion views across their official YouTube channel from all eras of Beatles fans. And as part of our shared vision, and to mark the release of ‘Now And Then’, The Beatles have shared seventy five of their greatest songs from the Red and Blue albums for use on YouTube Shorts. The two landmark compilations are an essential education into The Beatles, and are set to introduce a new generation of fans to the incredible history of one of the most important bands in modern music, opening up a whole new way for fans to creatively engage with their catalog.
The beauty of YouTube is that it attracts music lovers of all generations. So, a Beatles fan from day one could relive a seminal concert they attended at 17-years-old and be transported back to that magical moment by watching it on YouTube. At the same time, a 17-year-old today could discover The Beatles on YouTube Shorts and fall in love with them for the very first time. While this might be the last Beatles song, this could be the first day a new fan is created.