John Lennon and George Harrison are seen playing instruments for the “last recorded” Beatles song alongside recent footage of the surviving members as part of the official music video’s visual effects.
The Fab Four have reunited through the track Now And Then, released on Thursday, which had originally been recorded as a demo by Lennon in the 1970s.
It was developed by the other band members, including Harrison in the mid 1990s, and was finished by Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Ringo Starr in the decades after the original recording was made.
During the chorus, Sir Paul and Sir Ringo sing alongside Lennon and Harrison whose figures, taken from archival footage, have been superimposed on to the screen.
There is also footage showing young versions of the band members moving equipment around while a modern day Sir Paul and Sir Ringo play their instruments.
In a statement on the website of The Beatles, Jackson admitted he was initially “very reluctant” to take on creating a music video for the song due to scale of the task.
The director also said: “My lifelong love of The Beatles collided into a wall of sheer terror at the thought of letting everyone down.”
The remastered track, which was released on Thursday by Apple, Capitol and Universal Music Enterprises (UMe), used technology to extricate and isolate Lennon’s voice.
The official music video for ‘Now And Then’ is live on YouTube directed by Peter Jackson. https://t.co/yTe4ZNUFGW
He describes finding “a collection of unseen outtakes in the vault, where the Beatles are relaxed, funny and rather candid. We wove humour into some footage shot in… pic.twitter.com/vdVnoAxryb
— The Beatles (@thebeatles) November 3, 2023
The band had not released the song until now because of issues with extracting Lennon’s vocals and piano – due to limited technology at the time.
Filmmaker Jackson’s recent Beatles documentary used audio restoration technology that allowed for vocals, music and conservations by the band to be isolated, a technique which was later used for Now And Then.
The song, which includes Harrison’s electric and acoustic guitar recorded in 1995, was finished by Sir Paul and Sir Ringo last year.
Recorded at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, Sir Paul oversaw the track as backing vocals were added from the original recordings of Here, There And Everywhere, Eleanor Rigby and Because.
The musician described Now And Then as “the last Beatles record” in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, in support of an exhibition showcasing Sir Paul’s Beatlemania photos at the National Portrait Gallery.
Alongside the song and music video is a 12-minute-long documentary Now And Then – The Last Beatles Song which premiered on Wednesday on The Beatles’ YouTube channel.