According to Sir Paul McCartney, a final Beatles song has been successfully released thanks to the help of artificial intelligence.
Thanks to the use of artificial intelligence, The Beatles have successfully been able to clean up some John Lennon demos to create two new songs titled ‘Free as a Bird’ and ‘Real Love’ in what he calls “the final Beatles record”.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir Paul McCartney revealed that technology was used to “extricate” John Lennon’s voice from an old demo so that the song could be completed. “We just finished it up, and it’ll be released this year,” he explained.
While Sir Paul did not name the song, it likely was a 1978 Lennon composition called ‘Now and Then’.
The Beatles – one of the most famous bands in the world
The Beatles are an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960 and comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
They experienced unprecedented success and today are regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time.
They were credited with being integral to developing 1960s counterculture and music’s recognition as a true art form.
John Lennon – a brilliant talent
John Lennon wrote ‘Now And Then’ during his “retirement” era when he had no official record contract and was occupied with raising his young son Sean.
Unfortunately, on the evening of 8 December 1980, John Lennon was shot and fatally wounded in the archway of his residence in New York City.
In the following intervening years, Sir Paul repeatedly talked about his intention to finish Lennon’s song.
“That one’s still lingering around,” he told a BBC Four documentary on Jeff Lynne in 2012. He said, “So, I’m going to nick in with Jeff and do it. Finish it one of these days”. That day seems to have come now, thanks to the help of artificial intelligence.
The final Beatles record – created with the help of artificial intelligence
The band had attempted in the past to record ‘Now and Then’, which could be best described as an apologetic love song which was quite typical of the songs that Lennon produced in his later career; however, the session was abandoned in quick succession.
When reflecting on it, producer Jeff Lynne said, “It was one day – one afternoon, really – messing with it. The song had a chorus but is almost totally lacking in verses. We did the backing track, a rough go that we really didn’t finish”.
The turning point came when during Peter Jackson’s Get Back documentary, dialogue editor Emile de la Rey had successfully trained computers to recognise the Beatles’ voices and even separate them from background noises and their instruments to create what they described as truly “clean” audio.
The exact process has already proved its efficiency, allowing Sir Paul to “duet” with Lennon on his recent tour and for new surround sound mixes of the Beatles’ Revolver album to be generated the previous year.
While waiting for the official Beatles release of the song later this year, you can listen to one user’s version above.