UNITED KINGDOM: Artificial intelligence assisted in creating a final Beatles song, over 50 years after the band’s split, said Paul McCartney. He claimed the technology extracted John Lennon’s voice from an old tape, allowing him to finish the song. It was likely written by Lennon in 1978, will be released later this year.
In 1995, John Lennon’s widow, Yoko Ono, gave a demo to Paul, who recorded it on a tape titled “For Paul” just before his death in 1980. The tracks are lo-fi and, in their infancy, recorded on a boombox while Lennon was seated at a piano in his New York apartment.
The Beatles released two songs, Free As A Bird and Real Love, in 1995 and 1996 after being cleaned up by Jeff Lynne. This marked their first release of new music in 25 years. The group also attempted to record speculated title song Now And Then, a love song with an apology, but the session was cut short.
The chorus was present, but the song’s verses were absent. A crude backing track was attempted but ultimately abandoned, said Lynne.
Paul stated that George Harrison declined to contribute due to John Lennon’s “rubbish” vocal tone.
He thought it didn’t have a great title and needed some tweaking, but it had a nice verse and John singing it. He stated that George wasn’t a fan of it, and that the Beatles, being a democracy, didn’t do it.
The initial recording of Lennon’s song had technical problems and a persistent buzz from electrical circuits in his flat. A bootleg CD containing a new version of the demo without the background noise was released in 2009. Fans speculate that it might not exist in 1995 or have been stolen from his flat after his death.
Paul expressed his desire to complete the song, stating in 2012 in a news programme that it’s still hanging around.
Technology has enabled artists to achieve their goals, with dialogue editor Emile de la Rey training computers to distinguish the Beatles’ voices and remove noises, resulting in clean audio in Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary. This procedure was also used to create new surround sound mixes of the Beatles’ Revolver record and enable Paul to “duet” with Lennon during his recent tour.
According to Paul, Peter Jackson used AI to extract John’s voice from a cassette, allowing flexibility in creating the last Beatles record. AI informed the device to remove the guitar, allowing the album to be mixed as usual. However, Paul expressed concerns about other uses of AI.
Paul McCartney discussed the future of AI in music, stating that it is both exhilarating and frightening. He spoke to the media portal about the National Portrait Gallery’s opening of a photography exhibition and a new book titled Eyes Of The Storm, featuring photos taken by him during the Beatles’ meteoric rise to popularity.