BEATLES BACK TO WHERE THEY ONCE BELONGED
Sunday April 29,2007
By Chris Goodman
The Daily Express
THE BEATLES have been reunited for the release of a never-before-heard new single.
It has emerged that the legendary band, who are tipped to reinvent themselves when their music goes digital this summer, have not released their last Lennon-McCartney track.
Friends say this may now be the “one last great song” that Sir Paul McCartney has felt he has been waiting for since he resumed touring and working in 1989.
His iconic band are expected to cash in to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds in new marketing campaigns around the first release of Beatles digital downloads. They plan to reach their existing fans and a whole new generation of young music lovers. But they are set to surprise the world by offering the new song alongside the classics.
The plan is to have Ringo Starr drumming on the track and to lift a George Harrison performance from The Beatles archives to make sure that the Fab Four are included in the enterprise.
In a flurry of activity, McCartney will also release a new album, Memory Almost Full, in June to coincide with the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album.
The new song, entitled Now And Then, is based on fragments of a Lennon ballad given to Sir Paul McCartney by Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono in 1994 as part of their Anthology project.
The idea was to have a new Beatles single on each of the three Anthology CDs but McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr abandoned the final song.
“Paul had gone to Yoko to ask if she had any of John’s songs kicking around,” said a source close to the project.
“The deal was that Paul would induct John into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in return.
“Yoko’s a generous person in that respect, so she actually gave him three songs – Free As A Bird and Real Love were worked up and released, the last one wasn’t.”
According to ELO star Jeff Lynne, who produced the sessions, they merely worked on Now And Then for one afternoon.
“It was one day – one afternoon, really – messing with it,” he said in 1995. “The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish.
“It was sort of a bluesy sort of ballad, I suppose, in A minor. It was a very sweet song; I liked it a lot, and I wished we could have finished it.”
McCartney has occasionally talked about wanting to complete Now And Then and perhaps referred to John’s original title for the song, I Don’t Want To Lose You.
“It didn’t have a very good title, it needed a bit of reworking,” he said last year. “It had a beautiful verse and it had John singing on it. But George didn’t want to do it.
“The best thing about it all was to work with John again. Hearing him in the headphones, it was like he was in the next room. It’s like an impossible dream.”
With Harrison dead, sources say McCartney has gone back to the drawing board and will finish the song the way he and John always worked, making it a proper Lennon-McCartney composition.
“Those who’ve heard it say it’s like a bit of a verse and a chorus, very skeletal,” said one.
“George just didn’t want to rework it because it’s not a matter of putting some vocals, or a bit of bass and drums to finish it. With this, you have to really build the song. The genius of The Beatles was predicated upon Lennon and McCartney. What was normal in the early days at least was that John would come in with a fragment and Paul would turn it into a hit – or vice versa.
“This is exactly the same situation and it’s the one opportunity left for a Lennon/Mc*Cartney co-write.
“Paul was asked in the early Nineties when he started touring again, why he was doing it. They said that he was rich, he didn’t need this. But Paul said that he felt he had one great song left in him. He’s always been the most uncannily intuitive person and it looks like that song has finally arrived.”