‘Now and Then’? Better stick with ‘Paperback Writer’

As a real Beatles fan, I'm disappointed when so-called "new recordings" come out.  I'm sad because there is nothing new, especially since they were in the studio 50 years ago. Nothing new, trust me.

My brother, and several school friends, sent me the new Beatles' single flying up the charts everywhere. Every message came with the same question: "Did you hear the new one from the Fab Four"?

Sorry, but I'd rather keep the Beatles in my closet collection of LPs or some of those digital recordings that came out when we started trading our vinyl for CDs.   

Who remembers going out and buying all of those CDs only to find out that the tracks on Rubber Soul were different than the U.S. versions?  I think that they fixed that later by issuing the U.S. versions on CD as well.  After all, how can you listen to Rubber Soul and not hear "I've Just Seen a Face" as the first song on side A?  What's wrong with those Brits? Of course, an English friend in high school once told me that it was we over here who messed up the track listings.

I've been reading a few reviews of "Now and Then" and this is the one that comes closest to my feelings about the song. This is from Gil Kaufman:

Probably, but this feels like such a unique, one-off kind of thing I hope we don’t start digging into the crates for unfinished songs from beloved artists that won’t significantly add to their legacies, if not outright despoil them. A good friend who is a major rock band manager once told me, “If they didn’t release it as a single or even include it 11 tracks deep, you probably don’t need/want to hear it.”

Yes, John did not include this on his last solo album. It took 45 years to get around to releasing it.  Maybe it was meant to be unreleased and that's the best way to say it.

Want to hear the Beatles? Check out Rubber Soul or Revolver this weekend.  Or find that scratchy 45 version of “Paperback Writer” and go really loud.  It will remind me of my late Cuban mother banging on our door saying that stuff would mess up our hearing.

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Image: Noord-Hollands Archief / Fotoburo de Boer

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