Now And Then

Written by: Lennon
Recorded: 1979; 20, 21 March 1995
Producer: Jeff Lynne


Based on a 1970s demo by John Lennon, Now And Then was briefly considered for release on Anthology 3 but later rejected.

Also known as I Don't Want To Lose You and Miss You, Now And Then was recorded by Lennon at his home at the Dakota Building in New York City.

In January 1994 Yoko Ono gave Paul McCartney two cassettes of John Lennon's home recordings, which included a number of incomplete and previously unreleased songs. They included Free As A Bird, Real Love, Grow Old With Me and Now And Then.

On 20 and 21 March 1995 the three surviving former Beatles began constructing a backing track to be added to Lennon's demo of Now And Then. However, during the second day work on the song ended.

According to McCartney, George Harrison "didn't want to do it," possibly because the song needed to be extensively rewritten before it could be released. Another factor was a humming sound on Lennon's demo which proved hard to mask.

It was one day - one afternoon, really - messing with it. 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.
Jeff Lynne

Now And Then had been considered as a third reunion single. It was replaced on Anthology 3 by the orchestral track A Beginning, recorded in 1968 as an unused introduction for Don't Pass Me By.

Since 2006 there has been speculation that McCartney intends to complete the song, as a Lennon-McCartney composition, with new verses and a drum track recorded by Ringo Starr.

27 responses on “Now And Then

  1. Artie Gordon

    This recording should be released. It is strange how information is so hard
    to come buy regarding this track. The
    secrecy surrounding this recording is
    in very poor taste,and a crime for Beatle fans dying to hear it.

  2. Ben Sikking

    New reports on the internet say the song was finished by Paul McCartney over a year ago. There were a number of Sessions by McCartney over a two or three year period. former Beatle engineers Ken Scott and Eddie Klein have both said in no uncertain terms the song is finished and sounds very Beatley. All four Beatles are on the track according to Klein and Scott. Klein actually engineered the sessions when McCartney embellished and finished the song. Still there seems to be some sort of official cover up denying the public the right to know about the finished recording.

  3. Schminking of gin

    Not sure I am all that happy McCartney would finish it and release it. Obviously I want to hear it, but without John around to OK it and George having rejected it before, something just seems…off…about finishing it and releasing it now that George has passed on.

    Free As a Bird and Real Love were both so beautiful, but it really featured a collaborative effort from the boys. I don’t know. I’d rather him release Carnival of Light and the 27-minute version of Helter Skelter

  4. SamuelTurn

    Free as a Bird, Real Love, Now and Then, Carnival of Light, and the 27 min. version of Helter Skelter should all get released on to one new Album, w/ the original recording of Free as a Bird, Real Love and Now and Then.

  5. Morton Wall

    It seems many unreleased songs were prepared by the engineering staff during the Beatles remaster project. At sometime between 2007-9 many of these unreleased songs were prepared by the remastering staff working for Apple. For some reason they weren’t released. Clearly the unreleased material was being prepared for something. Now four years later not a word. Strange days indeed.

  6. Trebor

    I agree that Now & Then must be released, but not in isolation. Other unreleased songs which Paul & Ringo should ‘complete’ (to Free As A Bird and Real Love standard) and re-master, include these excellent 60’s demos : Child Of Nature, Sour Milk Sea, Goodbye, Bad To Me, I Lost My Little Girl, Take Good Care Of My Baby, September In The Rain, I’m In Love, One & One Is Two, a medley of the ‘Threetles’ songs (released on the Anthology DVD, plus Carnival Of Light.. Enough material for a Beatles “Post script” album, which should also include Free As A Bird & Real Love, plus Christmas Time Is Here Again which has only ever been issued as a single B-side (and deserves an album release)…

  7. Jaz

    Apparently some YouTube user tried to remix the demo of “Now and Then” you all can check it out on YouTube. I don’t think its legal because of copyrights… I hope the Beatles don’t find it he may get sued… I do wish they would complete the track it would be a nice addition to another Beatles chapter. They should get as many tracks out before they do die. I mean even look at Michael Jackson they even remixed an album of demos and it doesn’t sound half bad. I can’t even think of a person attempting that with the Beatles with there unreleased tracks. Every artist will have 5 tracks unreleased tracks for every 1 released track.

  8. Harry Mutton

    If you don’t believe in it don’t buy it, but don’t attempt to stop the rest of us from getting a chance to hear it! Of course it has to do with the Beatles, it is the Beatles! All Four Beatles are on the track. McCartney did a number of sessions several years ago, editing, writing additional bits, overdubbing, then more recently, McCartney, Ringo and Jeff Lynne did the final touches it is complete up to or exceeding the FAAB Real Love standard. As our previous poster said, in 2007-9 staff at EMI/Abbey Road prepared a number of unreleased tracks, which ones? well who knows, maybe Sour Milk Sea with George’s vocal flown in, or found on the multi’s, and Carnival Of Light, Now and then, maybe All For Love, a bunch of unreleased Beatles tracks were prepared as possible bonus tracks on expanded issues or for some purpose. These things cost money to do, they must have done all this secret work, for all these years for some purpose Is this not so?

    For crying out loud McCartney just said on camera in that Jeff Lynne BBC 4 documentary that he couldn’t wait to go in with Jeff and finish Now and then, a little rude inside joke I suppose? or a clue?

  9. Jonas

    Considering all the officially released Beatles’ songs that have one or more members NOT playing on them, I don´t think it is entirely necessary to release today only songs that have John AND George playing on them. If Paul & Ringo add their new backing to whatever they choose of these left-overs, they may very well be allowed to call it a Beatles recording, if they so choose. The quality of the end result is another matter though…

  10. Werner Brückner

    “Now and then” is such a beautiful song, maybe as epic as “imagine” , and John has dedicated it to Paul. If it becomes a “Beatles” song, it will be one of the best ever. The problem for Paul might be, that he has a wonderful song dedicated to John, but there is no chance that it will ever be a “Beatles” Song, as John cannot join in…

    1. BeatleBug

      If you were here today. Oooooh, here today….

      Love that song; the first time I heard it was the closest I ever got to crying over my laptop. I play it on the guitar all the time. It’s the only song I know where the lyrics truly matter to me. (I know, I know.)
      But as for “Now and Then”, I don’t know that I need them to remake it. I’d like to just see them clean up the demo a bit and release it officially. Bootlegs make me feel guilty! 🙂

      Not guilty
      For listening to a track
      By a man who can’t come back… >snif<
      I'm not trying to be smart, I only want to hear the rest!

  11. sertaneja

    It’s one of the most beautiful songs John has ever written, Also painful He sings as if he was really missing someone. I feel like crying every time I listen to it. Now…At least we can listen to ti on youtube. There are some videos with drums and guitars and some people say it’s by The Beatles. I don’t think they are, I am not sure, I always listen to that amazing video featuring only John and his piano. And his pain.

  12. Rising Sun

    it’s a beautiful song by John, so deep and personal. i think they should complete it, Paul and Ringo, and then release it. when an artist dies his work must surface, unless he had stated otherwise. and time leaves a stream of purity along that unfineshed art, so i think it’s a shame let not know worldwide such beauty. i mean it for the George’s unreleased (Valentine ecc) too

  13. Jonas Svensson, Sweden

    In a filmed interview (can´t remember which at the moment), Paul described the discussion regarding the recording. George Harrison told Paul “It´s fucking rubbish”, Paul said “But it´s John, you know”, George replied “Yeah, but it´s still fucking rubbish!” It would be very difficult for Paul to try to finish the track after that. Another thing is, the Threetles could have asked Yoko for other John songs, perhaps a bit more upbeat than this dreary poorly-recorded piece on a cassette.
    Now and then, Grow old with me, Free as a bird are just about the same type of song, all very slow piano based ballads.

    Today, if they so decided and their ex-partners´ wives agreed to it, Paul and Ringo could get together and use both John AND George leftovers to make an album, but that would be squeezing things beyond what is up to their standards. Personally, I am okay with what they have done together already. I don´t need a record constructed by The Twotles sold under the name The Beatles.

  14. manteau

    “Now and then” is simply one of my John Lennon’s favourites, just him and his piano, the melody is haunting, sometimes I fing myself humming or whistling it. It needs no further embellishment or decoration. by the way, I’ve just read here that it was dedicated to Paul, could you be more specific, Werner?

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