Monday, November 06, 2023

How Dare Two of the Beatles Be Dead!!!

My two cents about the "new" Beatles song?

I prefer this cover version by an artist heretofore unknown to me -- Timmy Sean.

The short version: Mr. Sean decided the best way to recreate the thing was to do it a la early-middle (1965) Beatles stuff, in the vein of "I'll Be Back," or "Things We Said Today." And I think he was absoutely right.

As for the official version? It's a nice footnote to Beatles history, which is all anybody could have hoped for or expected. Frankly, of the three unfinished John demos Yoko gave to Paul, "Now and Then" was clearly the weakest, and compared to "Free as a Bird" or "Real Love" (and I think the Jeff Lynne version of the latter is an A-list Beatles record) it was always gonna be a disappointment, no matter how the surviving Fabs embellished it.

In any event, as I said, the 2023 Paul and Ringo version is very nice, and frankly, if you profess to dislike it, you're just being difficult and deliberately hepper-than-thou.

In other words, get over yourself.

I should add that I'm now very curious about other stuff by Mr. Sean; you can find out more about him over at his official website HERE.

I should also add that if Jeff Lynne had produced the new one with the same panache as he did the earlier two, we probably wouldn't even be having these arguments.


Sal Nunziato said...

A long time friend of Burning Wood, Mr. Baez, commented on my last "Songs Of The Week" post that he was interested in my thoughts on "Now & Then." I am sending him here to read this post because I agree with everything you said, especially "Real Love" being an "A-list Beatles record." Thanks for saving me the work. And that Timmy Sean version is fab.

edward said...

Much better. Buy Mr Sean a drink.

Allan Rosenberg said...

Now the song comes to life! Thumbs up to Timmy Sean!!!

Captain Al

mistah charley, sb, ma, phd, jsps said...

this version is definitely power pop and very likable

MJConroy said...

The other day, I posted elsewhere that "I prefer this cover version".
Great minds think alike!

neal t said...

probably already had this but this would be interesting; Beatle's covered, any better than original?

Alzo said...

Wow. This approach brought the song to life.

daudder said...

A nice bop!

Gummo said...

That? Is an excellent cover!

I love his approach.

And I think Real Love is the gem among the 3 post-Beatles songs. It's the most Beatles-y, and George Harrison's simple solo is to die for.

danny1959 said...

The smartest thing they did was to remove the bridge from the demo. It turned a meandering doodle into an actual song. It is definitely the weakest of the demos, but I still like what they turned it into.
P.S. I like the cover very much.

Anonymous said...

The cover is vastly superior to the Lynne version. Sean does a good job nailing down a lot of Beatles trademark sounds. It has a good beat and you can dance to it. And cowbell too. Very clever. He makes it a totally different thing.

It doesn’t change the way I feel about the so-called last three "Beatles" singles. They're weenie songs written years after they dissolved. By that time, John had been, to put it politely, thoroughly domesticated. They don't sound like Beatles songs because they're not. It's sappy shit. It's musical necrophilia. I think Jeff Lynne's production makes them sound like Jeff Lynne records, not Beatles records. Even John Lennon is AI generated on the new one. "Now and Then" wasn't even good enough to make the grade for the voluminous "Lost Lennon Tapes."

To add to the illegitimacy of it all, the powers that be have decided to add "Now and Then" to the "Blue Album," you know, "The Beatles 1967-1970." 1967-1970! It has a spiffy new mix. What a joke.

Blaming Yoko ain’t enough.

VR - hand to heart and not on the rag

Phil Cheese said...

Too bad Yoko didn't hand that demo cassette over to The Floor Models in 1982. We would have a cover of Now And Then in the same vein as Timmy Sean, but only better!

Anonymous said...

VR, Lynne didn't produce "Now and Then" ... and John's voice is not AI generated, although it is clearly computer-enhanced.

Anonymous said...

Lynne had a hand in all three since he produced the 1995 sessions for the turd and "final" Beatles single. It was a poor choice of words to use "generated." What I meant was "fucked with." Some kind of auto-tune, pitch correction also seems evident.



Steve, if you take requests, Not Where It's At by Del Amitri. Saw 'em do it in concert at I think you'd like it.

Mark said...

All this is true. And the recent Ringo EP, Rewind Forward, is very much like how my Dad used to describe the cole slaw at Waldbaum's: not bad.

Sal Nunziato said...

"Not Where It's At" made my BW Top 100.

steve simels said...

VR — I’m mad about Not Where It’s At.

M_Sharp said...

Thanks for the excellent Timmy Sean version, I too am now very curious about his other songs.

The Beatles “original” is meh. That’s not being hepper-than-thou, it’s being realistic. It’s the “domesticated” version of Timmy Sean’s excellent cover.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I like it better than "Real Love", but not as much as "Free As A Bird". "Now And Then" is a mediocre Lennon solo song that doesn't sound like anything The Beatles would have given a green light to.

Anonymous said...

Steve and Sal,

Re: Del Amitri-Not Where It's At

Reason I brought it up was cuz I went off on a Del Amitri tangent at BW during comments about Lust For Life. So they've been on my mind. Thanks for the links and info. That blog entry predates my first venture into powerpopblogspot. I kinda figured you'd done it before. It's right up your alley. Musically and lyrically.

They pull that song off really well live too. And it's so true, that concert of theirs at the Coach House ruined me for anything else. They fuckin' peaked. Glad I was there.


I think Not Where It's At can be interpreted a bunch of ways. The girl's gay, picky, trendy, a golddigger, a bitch or she's a size queen :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot. That Sean guy knows how to put AI to use. With the advances in technology we may be hearing more last "Beatles" singles after all four of them are dead.


Ken F said...

Now and Then is cool, I like it. I do not consider it a Beatles record, though. More like a Double Fantasy-era Lennon track. I love hearing John's voice singing something I never heard before, but it seems to me like the song was written to be a JL track, and not written with the Beatles in mind. But it's still cool.