The Final Beatles Record: Sir Paul McCartney Utilizes AI to Complete Unreleased Lennon Song
AI Resurrects Beatles: The Final Record - In a truly remarkable convergence of music and technology, the legendary Sir Paul McCartney has recently unveiled an extraordinary achievement—a Beatles record brought to life through the power of artificial intelligence. During an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today program, McCartney revealed that he employed AI to resurrect a long-lost song, referring to it as "the final Beatles record."
While the specific title of the song remains undisclosed, it is believed to be a composition by John Lennon from 1978 called "Now And Then." This particular track had once held the potential of becoming a Beatles reunion song during the production of their extensive Anthology series in 1995. McCartney had received the demo cassette a year earlier from Yoko Ono, Lennon's widow. Recorded in a rudimentary and raw manner, the tracks on the cassette, labeled "For Paul," were captured by Lennon himself as he sat at a piano in his
New York apartment, utilizing nothing more than a simple boombox.
Among these demos, two tracks, "Free As A Bird" and "Real Love," were previously polished and completed by producer Jeff Lynne. These releases marked the Beatles' first "new" material in a span of 25 years when they were unveiled in 1995 and 1996, respectively.
However, the unfinished song "Now And Then" had encountered numerous obstacles during its earlier recording attempts. The Beatles' initial session to record the track was quickly abandoned due to technical difficulties and George Harrison's dissatisfaction with the sound quality of Lennon's vocals. Nonetheless, McCartney had long expressed his desire to finish the song, and with the advent of technological advancements, his opportunity finally arrived.
The pivotal breakthrough occurred with the release of the documentary film "Get Back," directed by Peter Jackson. In the film's post-production process, dialogue editor Emile de la Rey harnessed the power of AI to isolate the Beatles' voices from background noises
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instruments, resulting in pristine audio. This revolutionary development allowed McCartney to "duet" with Lennon during his recent tour and also facilitated the creation of new surround sound mixes for the Beatles' iconic album, "Revolver," released last year.
Leveraging this AI-driven process, Jackson's team successfully extracted Lennon's voice from the original low-quality cassette recording of "Now And Then." By training the AI to identify Lennon's distinct vocal patterns and separate them from the accompanying piano, McCartney and his team achieved a clean and pure vocal track. This breakthrough paved the way for the completion of the song, as McCartney mentioned that they could now mix the record in the customary manner.
While the integration of AI in music production sparks a mixture of excitement and concern, McCartney acknowledged its immense potential. He expressed some reservations about the possibility of AI-generated tracks circulating on the internet, but he also found the technology fascinating and recognized its place in shaping the
future of the music industry. As he embarks on this new creative territory, McCartney remains curious about the direction AI will steer the world of music.
This revelation from Sir Paul McCartney comes just ahead of the launch of his forthcoming book and photography exhibition, titled "Eyes Of The Storm," at the esteemed National Portrait Gallery. The project features a collection of portraits captured by McCartney himself between December 1963 and February 1964, chronicling the meteoric rise of the Beatles to global fame.
In this unprecedented collaboration between human creativity and artificial intelligence, the completion of "Now And Then" signifies a momentous milestone in the Beatles' extraordinary legacy. It provides fans with a captivating glimpse into the boundless possibilities of technology in preserving and revitalizing iconic music. This final Beatles record, enriched by the voice of John Lennon, serves as a profound testament to the timeless magic of the Fab Four and their enduring influence on generations to come.