Then and Now cover art

Wow, just wow.  

Roger Bara

Not just the technology that made this possible; not just the quality of the song, so typically “Beatles”; not just because I’m an emotional 71-year-old that cannot watch the astonishing video without crumpling up into tears; this is simply superb, wonderful, inspired, superlative and breathtaking.

Ringo & Paula eating
Ringo & Paul, 2023

The Beatles had an enormous effect on my life. The buggers stopped me trying to become a concert pianist. In all honesty, I probably didn’t have the talent to succeed, but it was so much more fun playing along to “She loves you” than perfecting Beethoven’s five (or is it 6?) piano concertos. Remember, I was a pianist, and the Beatles never had a regular keyboard player, so in my eyes, we were the Fab Five! They encouraged me to know that I wanted a career in music. Thank you guys.

I had only heard this song twice when it came on the radio recently. The volume was pretty low, but instantly I recognised it. That’s what The Beatles were to me – immediately identifiable songs that are still not dated over 60 years later.

Worthy? Bloody well right it’s worthy!

Now and Then: worthy or not?

Our Rusuk Blog writer Sergey

I discovered the Beatles in 6th grade, in 1986. I started with “Girl”, myguide into the Beatles’ world. By the way, I now realise that more time passed between 1986 and 1966 when the song was released on the Revolver album!

So it is all about now and then!

The Beatles were my first profound, long-term affection for Western music. I not only listened to their music, but I also read books and magazine articles about them. As a schoolboy, I indeed became a Beatles expert.

Later, I switched to Paul McCartney’s solo works, Pink Floyd, Dire Straits, and, eventually, Queen and the Stones. Plus, there were other milestones, from Deep Purple to Abba. I’ve done all the way if we talk about the contemporary classics.

The song is really nice; it sounds like a typical John Lennon ballad, smooth and tender. I was impressed by the massive post-production work, ranging from current AI involvement in separating Lennon’s vocal from piano to numerous video effects that bonded all the group members into a magic mix of different times.

However, as a true admirer of the Beatles, I must note that Lennon initially performed the song as a rough cut in 1978. Two years later, he released his incredible – and last – Double Fantasy album. The song didn’t make it to the list of tracks chosen for the album. I wonder why? Did John think it wasn’t good enough? Or maybe he wanted to make it even better and put it into his next work? We will never know that.

I enjoyed listening to the song; had John chosen it for Double Fantasy, it wouldn’t be odd there. I liked the tremendous post-production visual efforts to produce it. Obviously, the other Beatles members treasured the song and wanted to make it as good as possible. On the flip side, it sounds like a typical Beatles/Lennon song.

Probably, the epoch has gone, as the Times, They Are A-Changin’…

Now and Then: worthy or not?

Photograph of Dean Lewis

I just this minute watched it for the first time. I feel… emotional. I feel… old. I’m so very old. I can’t even imagine what went through Sir Paul’s mind. It’s the Beatles. I think I’ll stop typing and listen a second time. BRB.

Of course, the double entendre of listening to John sing about missing you cannot possibly be lost on anyone. “Now and then, I miss you. And now and then I want you to be there for me.” Another odd point of my becoming emotional at hearing a Beatles song for the first time: It’s that I’m just a little too young. I remember when the Beatles broke up: it was the last story of the evening on the main ABC Evening News broadcast in 1970. I remember it clearly and it’s one of my oldest memories; I wasn’t a teenager in the sixties.

I’ll leave it to others smarter than me to explain the symbolism of younger Beatles stealing the drum kit while the older Beatles continue to play. I don’t care, it’s the Beatles.

So, the title and question is: Is it worthy? Is it a real Beatles song? Duh. I think that’s why I almost cried; yes, this is the Beatles. I would also note the video director resisted the temptation to “bring John back”. At no point is George transported anywhere. No amazing graphics, no special effects, just the Beatles. Made with obvious love for two old friends. Good bye.