“I wouldn’t be surprised if George wanted to get back to his garden in all honesty”: Giles Martin says George Harrison didn’t love Now And Then when it was first recorded
The producer takes us behind the scenes of the song’s making in a new interview.
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Giles Martin, the co-producer of the Beatles’ new song Now And Then, has shed some light on George Harrison’s lack of love for the track when they recorded it in the ’90s.
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Touted as the fab four’s “last”, Now And Then features sonic contributions from all four Beatles: George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. The song arrived earlier this month and is part of the newly remastered The Beatles 1962-66 (aka The Red Album) released last week along with The Beatles 1967-1970 (aka The Blue Album).
In addition to the cleaned-up audio sourced from a John Lennon demo tape dating back to the late 1970s, the song features guitar contributions from the late Harrison, who made no secret of his dislike of the song.
Asked if there were concerns about Harrison’s wishes being posthumously overruled with the release of Now and Then, Martin told MOJO magazine: “No, because of course this wouldn’t happen without [George’s widow] Olivia and [son] Dhani’s approval.”
“It wasn’t that George didn’t like the track,” the producer explains.
“It was that they’d done the other two and the quality [of the Now And Then demo] was so bad, I wouldn’t be surprised if George wanted to get back to his garden in all honesty.”
In related news, Giles Martin has clarified that AI software was only used to extract and clean up Lennon’s vocals on the demo track, saying, “It might have been easier if I used AI, but I didn’t.”
Of the song’s backing vocals in particular, Martin said: “No, it’s not artificial or intelligent. No, it’s the same process that I used, as you say so rightly, in Love.”
“I’m not using AI to recreate their voices in any way. I’m literally taking the multitrack tapes of Eleanor Rigby, some stuff from Because and Here, There, and Everywhere, just in the same way the Beatles are splicing that in.”
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