Adventures In Audio

Is 'Now And Then' the worst Beatles song ever?

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@knockedoutloaded279:  How can it be worse than revolution no 9..? Opinions aren't all valid, as some are stupid and some are knowledgeable....Now and Then is a beautiful song and very moving,,,don't care if some people don't like it......

@RouXRenard:  Are you autistic? Just wondering, because the emotional content seems to have gone over your head.

@oximore111:  Yes it is, it’s true, the worst.

@niemann3942:  How to get a lot of YouTube views: Do a clickbait title about the Beatles, then trash them while claiming to be a huge fan.

@simonrodgers8902:  If there is another untouched demo, why would Now and Then be the last ever Beatles release? I know George won't be able to contribute, but then again, not all Beatles tracks feature all four members. Examples of this include Yesterday and The Ballard of John and Yoko.

@simonrodgers8902:  It's not your average Beatles song, to be honest, so I can understand some people not liking the song despite being fans.

@gerhardprasent3358:  So sorry for you and your (bad) taste.

@1chound1:  I agree with every word you said. Although they were very pioneering in their living day, this does not sound of The Beatles as we knew them. Bless those remaining for trying though.

@Station2066:  Didn’t John hate the song? I wonder if this version would have changed his mind.

@frankperry1111:  The narrator of this video is on the wrong plane of consciousness!

@AudioMasterclass replies to @frankperry1111: Relaxed and floating downstream...

@frankperry1111:  It's a great song as well as the purpose it serves. A balanced person with an open mind can appreciate the song and that it seemed John left a note that Paul see these songs. It's a tribute to a great band and I think it's great. I was 12 when our family saw The Beatles on Sullivan. Mom saw me playing broom guitar to a Beatle song on the radio in the following days. A month later Mom gave me my first guitar on my 13th birthday. I'm 72 now and sing and play at local open mics and music events. I owe a lot to the Beatles. Now and Then is great and I'm loving it.

@Dairunt1:  The song was a leftover, but that doesnt make it a bad song. It was never going to be one of the best songs in their catalogue, but its far from being their worst one.

@davespagnol8847:  It's not the worst song ever made, but I suspect that if it had been released without The Beatles name attached, it wouldn't have got anywhere. There are thousands of worse songs that got to number one. I liked the Beatles but this is nowhere near as good as the stuff they actually recorded when they were together and alive.

@nickdryad:  I like your attitude. The sycophants have really dominated this discussion.

@nickdryad:  It’s a terrible song really, but the worst Beatles song is You know Name (Look up my number)

@stratocat9999:  I am also of the first generation of fans, (albeit a year later here in the US compared to the UK) and while you are entitled to your opinion I really have to disagree with you on this.
I was not expecting anything with the weight of their previous catalog of hits. After all, none of them need the money.
I found the song moving and bitter sweet. An ode to his old bandmate, Paul, I believe, in origin.
In it's end state, It is a door being closed on an era.
It was not destined to be anything else.
Not everyone likes it and that is fine too. To each their own.

On the technical end I do have some praise and gripes.

Praise: the use of MAL to separate John's vocal from the piano and tape noise in such a pristine way is nothing short of amazing to me. He sounds 'present' unlike the rather ghostly sounding vocals on Free As A Bird or Real Love (of which, I love both, with Free As A Bird Being the stronger of the two, IMO). He sounds like he is in studio!

Gripe: Over compressed and hard limited to the 9's! 🙄 I suspect this is Sir Paul's doing. Listen to any of his albums from the last 20 years, or so, and they all sound like they were recorded in a very full coat closet. No air, no space, and brick-walled. I did not need to see a waveform to know. I bought Egypt Station on LP and got the complimentary MP3 download as well. There is no difference between the two. 😑
Now and Then is even more heavily brick-walled beyond that!

But this is just my own two-cents, and while I appreciate your reasons for consternation at the release and I can not wholly disagree with you on some aspects, I love it for what it is. A goodbye.
I did spend the money to buy the 7" 45, as this was how I bought all of my original Capitol Beatles singles as they came out in the 60's. And this is the last one.

@robertbowman7395:  God you’re a moron…. Block and delete

@fernandofonseca3354:  Sheesh... why can't they let sleeping dogs lie?... 🙄

@AudioMasterclass replies to @fernandofonseca3354: They're far from done yet I reckon.

@Pendletones77:  No, it’s “The Word”

@olivierferrarin:  Hello everyone. I was kind of disapointed when I heard Now and Then. But loved the song. So I picked John's isolated vocal on the net, and did my own version. Here it is. Enjoy it... Or not...

@Randgalf:  No it isn't, because it isn't a Beatles song.

@luisgoanddo6539:  Regarding Now and Then and after watching your video, I'm sure You absolutely look like Paul McCartney!

@AudioMasterclass replies to @luisgoanddo6539: Debunkment available at

@markv.5962:  lighten up man

@Synthematix:  No, the worst beatles song ever would be called "Now then Now then"

@AudioMasterclass replies to @Synthematix: Comment readers who look up this reference will probably regret it.

@BassManDan1018:  Bad take. Big L, old fellar.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @BassManDan1018: Yeah yeah yeah. So bad that likes on this video are 74%, dislikes 26%.

@aisle_of_view:  Not a good song. Like a leftover straggler French fry in a hamburger bag. Looks good, tastes cold and soggy.

@mervincombs6640:  you couldn't be anymore wrong.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @mervincombs6640: Yes I could. I could have fewer than the 74% likes on this video.

@mervincombs6640 replies to @mervincombs6640: doesn't mean anything. so that many are wrong like you. that's all that means. your opinion is 100% meaningless. and from your reply you said "yes I could" so you are saying you could be more wrong? got it.@@AudioMasterclass

@mervincombs6640 replies to @mervincombs6640: how many hit songs have you written? please list them. I'll wait for your answer. @@AudioMasterclass

@AudioMasterclass replies to @mervincombs6640: I was once at #4 in the Tower Records 'Weird' chart. Will that do?

@gregorywellman9423:  How very dare you?? Haha, fair enough, you’re opinion and I respect your points. I like it.

@LapsangTe:  You have to take it for what it is. It is not, and will never be, a REAL Beatles' song. It's Paul McCartney and Giles Martin making the best out of a half finished song. I see it as a curiosity piece and I love the video.

@user-ry1ng1km9i:  Only for make the buzzz this title … this is my idea…explanations are not interesting … this song is amasing. I think it can not séparates to Watch the vidéo in the same Times. Its a real guift….thanks for that

@user-eh1lf4pb1u:  This version isn't bad -

@AudioMasterclass replies to @user-eh1lf4pb1u: Plausible.

@shadowside8433:  Ahh, the award for 'raiding your back catalogue into oblivion' goes to Queen.

@jimwatson7238:  I love the song.

@mudover11:  The Beatles always been number with me, You nailed it I felt exactly the same . So many comments from friends and family saying wow this is so good it just remind me of that movie the body snatchers.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @mudover11: Thank you very much. I'll watch that movie later.

@tonytango7253:  It's nowhere near their worst song, come on

@mixville2:  We have to remember that these songs(including Free As a Bird and Real Love) were just demos that John was making at home. They weren't fully developed songs specifically selected by him for release. That troubles me. I do find all 3 enjoyable to listen to, accepting them for what they are. But I have to generally agree, they are low energy and mundane - which is definitely NOT what The Beatles were about. I wouldn't say Now and Then is the worst Beatles song ever, but it is pretty ordinary. The video however, I do find quite evocative, and it is really nice just to hear John's unique voice again. The perfect pitch and vibrato??? Sigh - how totally UN-John Lennon that is!!! He reveled in live authentic imperfection - and consciously pursued it! For me the true last Beatles song, and the absolutely perfect ending to their career, will always be the last real song on their last recorded album: The End. With Ringo's solo followed by the 3 guitarists back to their roots trading licks playing energetic rock n roll, and followed by the lyrics "and in the end . . . ," I simply can't think of a more perfect ending. That ending still gives me chills though I've heard it 10,000x since 1969! The later songs are artificial novelties. :)

@jamesbeard:  "Has there ever been a worse song to reach number one in the singles chart?" ... The answer to this is obviously yes - there have been many many much more awful travesties at number one in the UK. Go and listen to 'Mr Blobby' by Mr Blobby, a Christmas number one here; or a couple of years earlier, the Hale & Pace horrorshow that was the charity single 'The Stonk'. Both of those make 'Now & Then' look like 'Yesterday' in comparison ...

@rumpoh8039:  FAR TOO LATE FOR GOODBYE was probably written by john lennon, as JULIAN NEVER HAD ANY TALENT

@rumpoh8039:  YES

@mausermann7918:  The worst Beatles song ever - exactly my thoughts when I heard it on the radio.
Might be a future hit in fineral homes though, because its so depressing.

@richardfehlmann4593:  Have you ever heard Wild Honey Pie?

@AudioMasterclass replies to @richardfehlmann4593: Yes, it's an interesting teaser on side 1 for the actual Honey Pie on side 4.

@richardfehlmann4593 replies to @richardfehlmann4593: @@AudioMasterclass To me much worse than Now and Then, but ok, everybody has its own taste 😉

@georgeswanson9483:  As meh as the new "Beatles" song is, the worst was "Within you without you" on Sgt. Peppers. A festering bubo on the face of one of the top five rock records of all time.

@ThePHCHIEF:  Edge lord on the edge of eternity

@joefromkokimo:  It's easy to say it's the worst song since it's separate from the rest, but come on: Revolution 9, wild honey pie, what goes on, only a northern song, you know my name look up the number, etc. Not even close.

@michaelcrawley7597:  in a world where Tell Me What You See and You Like Me Too Much I say you're wrong.

@reinhardbauer2738:  I think, that this song is overproduced. There is a lot of compression made.
I didn‘t like Ringo‘s drumming, the rimshot did not suit at all to the song.
The acoustic guitars were quite in the background and the piano too loud.
I made my own mix with stem software, where I reduced the drums down to 10dB.
It is really not a bad song, but when you see and hear the covers that followed,
were some really better, than the original.
I liked most the version of Timmy Sean in the style of 1964 and he recorded this
only on one day and played all instruments by himself.
Reinhard from Germany, Beatles fan since 1963

@robertwood2490:  Every greatest song on each Beatles album, was John's. Every worst song on every Beatles album, was Paul's (excluding 'Don't Pass Me By😝, Ringo). Therefore, the absolute worst Beatles song is 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer'.

@jas.c.6255:  If Now and Then was released by an unknown Group without a video what would be the reply?🤔

@anthonylewis1475:  Yes, I agree! I'm a huge fan, have all of The Beatles albums on vinyl, and every song on each of the albums is far, far superior to the dull, boring schlock entitled Now and Then. Absolutely the worst Beatle song ever!

@miguelbravo1931:  i was not impressed with the song

@wiskandt123:  Isn't it funny how many people. Ah let's say fanboys. Discuss and argue about your statement about the beatles??
I totally agree it's not the best song but people will love it and buy it.

@wiskandt123:  Heard this song and thought. This is the worst(beatles) song I ever heard. So I have to agree to your expertise.. And I liked the beatles. 😮

@evenblackercrow4476:  I agree. Just listened to it, it's like being in between visits to a hospice.

@rkmklz7562:  Now and a masterpiece.....but I don't like remixes.... I have the Red and Blue was not good.....they should of remastered it like the original....the remixes took away the sound effect.... especially on Tomorrow Never is not like the original....the 2009 remaster is the best

@MrJustmitch:  Totally agree well said thank you

@johnhenson8862:  Nobody wants your opinion. Why do you think anyone gives a rat's ass of your opinion. I am sure people can make up their own minds. Now go and do something positive and useful.

@english3082:  I just think it's a bit hypocritical coming from Paul Mccartney

@AudioMasterclass replies to @english3082: Yeah yeah yeah... er.. no

@johngore5127:  This is simply another Christmas Beatle cash grab. It happens every year, regardless of the quality of the music. Not surprised.

@chrislj2890:  Jeez, and I thought I was a cranky old fart. I think the mistake was making it a Beatles song. John wasn't creaing a Beatles song, he was creating a John Lennon song. Once they isolated the voice, which I think sounds pretty good, they should have had a decent musician add the piano part. I didn't like the guitar, strings, drums, etcetera and think they were all unnecessary. Anyway, that's this old fart's opinion.

@carminecupani2315:  After 66 the Beatles were done. Billy Shears is not a Beatle. The song does suck. Probably because shears butchered it.

@english3082 replies to @carminecupani2315: If you didn't notice it billy is this man when he's not being Paul Mccartney

@AudioMasterclass replies to @carminecupani2315: It is little known that Billy Shears tragically died in late 1980 and was replaced by a lookalike.

@CutiePie-hh3gg:  I concur with George it's rubbish

@randymarsh2901:  its not their worst, but I doubt it would get on any beatles album

@AudioMasterclass replies to @randymarsh2901: This is a very good point. Clearly the song was written after the Beatles broke up. Even so, I couldn't imagine it on any of their albums. Real Love or Free As A Bird either.

@jackevans2386:  I have to agree it is crap. Free as a Bird and Real Love were both very tasteful with George's great guitar solo work. But you must also remember , that our fifth or is it sixth Beatle, Jeff Lynn was not involved a great deal in the latest production of Now and Then. I believe this is the real reason it sounds like crap. He did have some input back in 1995 though.

@english3082 replies to @jackevans2386: I hate that guitar because he developed that style after the beatles, that slide guitar is George solo, it's not beatles

@MackDJ:  While none of these songs are bad (Free, Real, Now), none of them were ever intended to become "Beatles" songs. I think Yoko Ono is a golddigging c*nt whose own "music" sounds like a cat being raped, and therefore has no income aside from milking the Lennon teet. What disturbs me most of all is that the remaining Beatles would even entertain the thought of doing what they've done, both in 2023 and 1994. It's disrespectful to John Lennon, and reduces "The Beatles" from LEGEND to COMMODITY. The Beatles ended in 1970. Let it be already.

@seanswindler3325:  You're off base here - it was magical to hear this song. No one would have embraced new technology like MAL more than the Beatles would have - no different that pioneering the use of ADT etc. We know how this was made, and its magical it came together like this. There are plenty of examples of Beatles songs given significant post production. Is the Specter Long and Winding Road much different? And that's canon.

@tonywright8294:  Hurray it’s not just me who thinks this song is CRAP 💩 and I love the lads

@diabolusvincit:  I don't think it's the worst Beatles song (it's also not a Beatles song), but it's definitely not deserving of the #1 spot. But good PR, hype, and the internet as a whole can make anything go #1 just for the fun of it.
John didn't finish this song probably because he didn't like it enough. If he really cared about the song, he would have finished it!
This is mostly Ringo and Paul wanting to remain relevant, especially with their live tours going on, this single will sell even more concert tickets!

@ScottMasson:  I write songs for a living. I’m not famous, but I don’t need to be. One song I wrote earned me enough money to buy a house. Take my opinion on songwriting for what it’s worth over this guy in the video: “Now and Then” is a well-crafted song. It’s a good song.

@robj1646:  I agree with you, although I think that Yellow Submarine is the Beatles' worst song. I have been a Beatles fan since their rise in the 60's, just like yourself. If one removes the emotions and nostalgia around 'Now and Then' what is left is a boring song without depth and excitement. Nostalgia do not make a song a good song! Don't get me wrong: I have always been a Beatles fan and will always be. But this song are not the Beatles, it's an artificial mock up of a song that already had hatched as mediocre. George was right: it's crap. Also, John is a not piano player, the piano accompaniment is too basic and naive

@jas.c.6255:  I'm glad to say that I am a real Beatle fan definitely not the new type of Beatle fan, the difference being that I lived it and any new fan probably read about them. Paul was always jealous of John and didn't mind letting everyone know it. When I heard it I didn't get the same great feeling that I had when I heard George's guitar in Free as a bird, I waited for it to sound like the Beatles but it only sounded like a few words that John was more or less doing for Yoko. You new Beatle fans might want to do a little reading about Paul's antics. If you don't know about that look it up, you might be surprised. Sorry but true.🤢

@newt0830:  You're a douche bag

@budmcnew7763:  He's definitely in the minority here. Doesn't get it . Poor fella.

@AudioMasterclass replies to @budmcnew7763: This is why it's so fun reading my comments. As of now this video has 74% likes. Not my best percentage but hardly a minority.

@russturk4132:  FINALLY! Someone who has EARS!

@MrRocktuga:  I wouldn’t say that it’s their worst song, but it’s far from the best.
I’d argue that it isn’t a Beatles song, but a John Lennon one. 😉

If Phil Collins writes and sings a song, and Mike Rutherford + Tony Banks plays on it, it becomes a Genesis song?
No, because any Genesis song would start from an ideia or small “sample” by any of them, but then developed as a group. 😉

There’s only so much that can be done with dead people.

As for the melodyne/auto tune, I heard it immediately the first time I listened to the isolated vocal.

@drag_gurus:  You are wrong I'm afraid. It's not one of Lennon's or The Beatles best, but it's a good song to end the wonderful journey that The Beatles have taken us all on over the last 60 years

@uyauabing:  Somehow I agree. Compared to so many other songs in the Beatles canon, Now and Then felt rather flat - perhaps it felt unfinished, or because it lacked the more collaborative spirit we heard on Free as a Bird back in 1994 (which gave me goosebumps all the way through). Even the Free as a Bird video was way more imaginative and interesting compared to Now and Then's rather kitsch and cheesy composites of those 1967 Hello Goodbye clips superimposed on the 1994-2023 footage.

@Mug_guy:  Hey, see the good side; still better than Revolution 7 isn't it? It's way much worser

@desPrez188:  It is a song which has a healing quality, which the world needs right now. Don’t need posh pontificating.

@proteusblack8913:  Reads the title
Apparently not when it's at the top of the charts and at least 90% of everyone I know who's listened to it young and old seem to express quite touching reactions to it. I would probably reframe your statement to say it's one of your own least liked tracks of theirs, for reasons that are likely exclusive to you and your expectations.

@carlosquijano2827:  No it is not. The one I dislike most is Mr Moonlight (not composed by The Beatles).

@wyldemusick:  It's an impressive achievement, but mainly for the engineering team.

I take it as alternate world Beatles...the last dreg of a final 1980 Fab Four who didn't split in 1970. One last single, before the archive deluge (can you imagine how much more rubbish would have been sitting around?)

It's not the worst, but it's far from prime Beatles.

George hated it because it sounded like crap.

@colingodfrey8613:  I think this bloke is an absolute prat! What has he done to deserve to be able to talk so critically negative. He misses the point about the meaning of Now and Then on true Beatles fans. There will never be any or many more opportunities to hear the fab four together again doing something new. He should let it be and enjoy the opportunity of hearing such originally good music.

@lotsaringwear2937:  Mr. Moonlight is the worst, come on.

@alanmstar:  What a load of crap you talk

@AudioMasterclass replies to @alanmstar: I wish I could put a screenshot here. The person who commented immediately before you says about my video, "Amen brother".

@magraretsbane6274:  Amen brother

@AudioMasterclass replies to @magraretsbane6274: I wish I could put a screenshot here. The person who commented immediately after you says about my video, "What a load of crap you talk".

@magraretsbane6274 replies to @magraretsbane6274: @@AudioMasterclass Yeah man people are so emotionally invested in this crap

@nickm8134:  Sadly, I have have to agree. I just find these releases a bit sad. I grew up with the Beatles too, and the shear raw energy, the constant creative surprises they came up with, and the pure quality of their music was just remarkable. N&T is just a big nothing for me, it is not 'The Beatles' and it neither adds nor takes anything away from my feelings about the band - I still love them!

TBH, I think it's disrespectful to John to release his demo like this - a demo is for a specific purpose, to capture, try out and maybe share ideas in a controlled context. That's why it was on low quality cassette tape. No amount of technology, AI, layers of effects, added instruments etc. can turn a crappy low cost microphone/cassette demo into decent quality audio.

It might be impressive to pull that much info out of the mush, but it's still crap after all that techno-magic. Partly down to the poor quality of the equipment, the impact of way too much tech processing, but also because it was a quick demo, not a performance.

Having said that, from comments here, and on other channels, some people love the song and the video, so I'm cool with that.

@DavidHeggie:  Totally agree - although I seem to be in a tiny minority with that opinion. Seems that there's a massive outpouring of love for this pretty average, kinda dirgey song. Definitely a second-rate Lennon demo that he didn't think enough of to work into a proper song, and I can see why. When you reeled off some of the incredible, groundbreaking songs he wrote, it just makes the comparison even more stark. And don't get me started on that ghastly, tasteless, almost ghoulish video for the song. It's one of the most crass things I've ever seen. Peter Jackson seems to have remade Bad Taste as a short music video.

@mervincombs6640 replies to @DavidHeggie: Ringo Paul or no one for that matter said it was the greatest Beatles song ever. True Beatles fans, unlike you, are just happy to have one more song. your's and others comments here are actually pretty funny. of course ignorance can sometimes be funny.

@colinsmith6444:  I prefer Elliott Roberts take on it. Check him out.

@TheGurner1:  I've never heard it, maybe I will one day ;-) Free as a bird sounded like a demo

@pasqualeminichillojr831:  This guy is filled with a lot of hate. If they were raiding their archive you would think it would have occurred before 25 years after the band broke up and would have been more than 3 songs. It's crazy that someone that makes trash music is criticizing the greatest band of all time. Maybe focus on writing good music instead of being an old crybaby on YouTube

@machiavelli99:  Come on - Old Brown Shoe?

@ArniePorter:  This song is an emotional tribute from one Beatle to another and to their fans and a fitting final song to the greatest and most influential band in history. That’s it full stop.

@jas.c.6255 replies to @ArniePorter: The last Beatle song was in 1969, "The End" and that's the way the Beatles wanted it. All four of them.

@ArniePorter replies to @ArniePorter: @@jas.c.6255 According to Yoko they were planning to get back together again just before John was assassinated. John was planning a trip back to England to get back together with his bandmates and a reunion concert in Central Park in NY was being discussed. The End was a nice way to end an album not a career.

@jas.c.6255 replies to @ArniePorter: The End was the last song recorded collectively by all four members of the band.

@DPSingh-px4xu:  How silly we are...the song is awful. My son asked me the question.....who gives a shit about that stuff ? Likely the same people who give a shit about a new Rolling Stones album

@Annie-hd3jx:  Let’s be honest, if you dislike it so much just shut up and get on with your life. Why try to spoil other people’s pleasure. I think after listening to you rambling on and on, just give a rest ☹️

@graemejwsmith:  I wasn't expecting a "mid-1960's Fab Four" excitement.

TECHNICALLY - it's interesting how they extracted John's vocal.

But "Now and Then" - it should have remained on the cutting room floor along with "Free as a Bird". It's not good........

@primalengland:  As someone who, at 9 years of age got ‘With the Beatles’, a plastic wig and an acoustic guitar for Christmas, then, as a 13 year old sat in the sun listening to Sgt Peppers for the first time, your opinion is valid, even though it’s just clickbait.

@NicolaLarosa:  No, John cannot do better: he's dead, remember? Useless rant, I stopped right there. Not sure what you hoped to achieve by venting like this, but whatever.

@Santiago-ov8gc:  Nowhere Man was always one of my favorites. I'm surprised it never made it to #1. I think it's a much better song than Now and Then but I don't think Now and Then is the worst song they ever recorded. It's definitely better than Happy Just to Dance with You.

@tonytango7253 replies to @Santiago-ov8gc: Nowhere Man was never released as a single

@Santiago-ov8gc replies to @Santiago-ov8gc: It doesn't look like it was ever released as a single in the UK, but Wikipedia says it was "issued as a single A-side in February 1966 ... the single peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100." It must have only been released as a single in the US. @@tonytango7253

@letsbefrank3:  For me, much of what makes a 'good' song is about the melody and it's relationship to the chord structure to convey emotion. I agree that the production sounds vintage to some extent but production doesn't rate highly in my criteria for a good song. Personally...I like it and after seeing the video on it's day of release, it always evokes an emotional reaction when I hear it, in the same way it did when they first let us all hear Lennon's voice, isolated. Each to their own obviously and, of course it will attract a lot of views and comments so well done there (I am subscribed by the way).

@ometec:  The only negative is that I'd heard the bootleg of the cassette recording for years and was expecting something more exceptional over and above the demo not merely shortened and polished. Something more like this maybe.

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Thursday January 4, 2024

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David Mellor

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of Adventures In Audio.

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